You found a bus where?

I indulged in a mid-week movie with hubby this week.  Now don’t get me wrong, we didn’t get crazy and go out or anything, but settled on our new comfy couch, with kids sleeping, and glass of cheeky red, it was still quite a treat.

Into the Wild
was Matt’s pick, and a good one too. The film (released in 2007) is based on Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book of the same name, and retraces the steps of Christopher McCandless. It’s a fairly somber boys’ own adventure story. In the tradition of  Henry David Thoreau and Jack London, Christopher aka ‘Alexander SuperTramp’ takes to the road, eventually finding his way into the Alaskan wilderness. His trek is a means to escape his dysfunctional parents, and is both an enlightening and destructive journey.

A couple of things really stood out to me about this film, and make it well worth a watch…firstly, its soundtrack, taken care of by Eddie Vedder sets the mood perfectly, it’s appropriate to the era of the film (set in the early 90s) without being retrospective or dated.  Secondly, the story itself seems pretty reliable.  It’s not overly romanticised (well, maybe a little, but not too much) and it seems to be taken from a variety of sources.  This makes it a  really well-rounded storyline.  Lastly, it’s an interesting study of how some choose to deal with trauma and with genius.  This film provides glimpses of transition from childhood to adulthood, a young man struggling to escape his situation and surrounds.

For lovers of literature, this a really interesting film.  Chris is inspired by writers (for good or ill), and analyses their work as if he’s trying to crack a code.  His tendency to look for answers in the work of his favourite authors eventually proves his undoing.

So now I’ve got another book to add to my reading list.  I feel a little like I’ve cheated by seeing the film first, so I’ll have to get my hands on a copy sooner rather than later.  I’ve heard that reading the book is a bit of a different experience to the film, so it’ll be an interesting comparison.

Has anyone read the Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer?  How does it compare to the movie?

Do you think it matters whether you watch a film or read a book first?