Into the Wild
[Note: This started off as a post in the “What are you listening to… Right now!” thread on the Vines forum (I was listening to Hard Sun) and I may have rambled on a bit, so it got far too involved and long so I’m posting it here instead. I’m not sure what it is exactly, it’s kind of like a half album review, half film review I guess.]
[About Hard Sun] Eddie’s voice is the sweetest torture. This song gives me a feeling like no other, it is just phenomenal. Goosebumps.
I am obsessed with the entire soundtrack. I’m glad I had discovered Pearl Jam when I watched the film because Eddie’s voice is the perfect backdrop - relevant, chilling and moving - yet because I was familiar with him, quite comforting too. Even while watching it I just knew I had to buy the soundtrack and I did so straight after. In the four days it’s been since it arrived in the mail, I have over 170 plays of it on Last.fm. It is truly stunning. Its atmosphere is huge and its connotations so passionate and stirring. Each song has a different character and though they evoke different feelings they all evoke them so strongly. Whether he is crying out with passion and pain, or crooning his beautiful lyrics softly, Eddie’s voice pierces right through my heart.
Eddie Vedder by Anton Corbiju
As for the film itself, no film has ever made me cry like Into the Wild. It is just a brilliant, brilliant film.
I had only ever seen Emile Hirsch in The Girl Next Door, which is definitely not the worst of films - I quite enjoyed it actually and will probably watch it again one day soon - but I wondered how well he would play the role, as I knew what type of film this was before I watched it. I shouldn’t have wondered one bit. His portrayal of Christopher “Alexander Supertramp” McCandless was amazing, and so moving. He delicately and passionately conveyed an array of emotions and it perfectly reflected the constant battle between pain, suppression, happiness, and freedom, that remained constant in the film. Every single character in Into the Wild plays an integral role to the story and is affected by, and affects, the larger scheme of things. The characters of Jan and Rainey (portrayed by Catherine Keener and Brian H. Dierker). and Ron Franz (Hal Holbrook) were particularly memorable and their stories particularly wonderful.
Like I said before, no film has made me cry like this one. I had pretty much stopped crying by end of the film, but then onto the screen came a piece of text and photograph alluding to the fact the film was based off a real story and I started crying harder than before. It’s quite stupid of me not to have known, I know, but I hadn’t read anything about the film before I watched it on the recommendation of a friend and hence this part really got to me.
The story (which I’m not going to expand on because I would find it hard to restrain myself from spoiling it) is unforgettable, and although a bit of controversy surrounds this film regarding McCandless and his decisions and actions, I am not going to comment on it because I enjoy the film for what it is and hope others do too. This film harbours many things; amazing portrayals of amazing people and raw, unfiltered emotion, an unforgettable story of lessons and sacrifice, and - who could forget? - those absolutely stunning landscapes. Each element entwines so naturally and so beautifully, and with Eddie’s voice among all of it, aiding the narration and instinctual, passionate inner thoughts and themes of the film, I can’t even describe how well it all came together. It just kills me.
I don’t think a film or soundtrack has affected me quite like Into the Wild. Even thinking about it and listening to the songs makes me feel like weeping. Take the first few days after I heard the soundtrack for example. This is probably quite embarrassing but it illustrates my point well. On Wednesday night I completely forgot to sync my iPod to make sure the album was on it and this annoyed me because in the morning I felt like listening to Hard Sun on the way to school. As the days passed I couldn’t stop thinking about the film and a strange feeling like a longing or restlessness began to grow in me, and it could only be fulfilled by listening to the album. I still yearned to listen to Hard Sun while walking to school (there’s something invigorating about walking in the winter morning air and I wanted to combine it with the listening of this song) so on Thursday night I manually synced my iPod. The next morning I was running late so when I hurried out the door, put my earphones in, and scrolled through the list of artists on my iPod and got down to “E” and noticed “Eddie Vedder” wasn’t there (the album hadn’t synced), I almost felt like crying.
I am still obsessed with this album and feel like watching the film again but now that I know what it entails I’m not sure if I will for a little while longer. I will also read the book one day but I’m hesitant to do that too, because when I read Marley & Me after seeing the film, it made me cry even more than the film did and I suppose this will happen again, to a much greater extent.