Eddie Vedder - Into The Wild (ST-2007)

Well...besides music, film is one of my favorite pastimes. And besides the horror genre, I really dig roadtrip movies like Easy Rider, Vanishing Point, Motorcycle Diaries or the classic Dirty Mary-Crazy Larry. I havn't seen "Into the Wild" yet, but I'm well aware of the story written by Jon Krakauer. The film is on my to do list for October. Directed by Sean Penn and screenplay too.

Into the Wild is the story of Christopher McCandless, who grew up in a wealthy suburb of Washington, D.C., Annandale, VA and died, aged 24, in a wilderness area of the state of Alaska. After graduating during 1990 from Emory University, McCandless changed his name, ceased communicating with his family, gave away his savings of $24,000 to OXFAM and began travelling, later abandoning his car and burning all the money in his wallet.

In April 1992, an Alaskan named Jim Gallien gave McCandless a vehicle ride to the Stampede Trail in Alaska. There McCandless headed down the snow-covered trail to begin an odyssey with only ten pounds of rice, a .22 caliber rifle, a camera, several boxes of rifle rounds, some camping gear, and a small selection of literature– including a field guide to the region's edible plants. Gallien was concerned about "Alex", who had little gear and no experience in the Alaskan bush. Gallien tried to pursuade "Alex" to defer his trip, and even offered to drive him to Anchorage to buy suitable equipment. McCandless refused all assistance except a pair of rubber boots, two tuna melts, and a bag of corn chips.

McCandless survived for approximately 112 days in the Alaskan wilderness, foraging for edible roots and berries and shooting an assortment of game. Although he planned originally to hike to the coast, the boggy terrain of summer proved too difficult and he decided instead to camp in a derelict bus.

Sometime during August, he died, possibly as the result of starvation. During the end of July, after apparently remaining healthy for more than three months, McCandless wrote a journal entry reporting extreme weakness and blaming it on "pot. seeds".

On September 6, 1992, two hikers and a group of moose hunters found this note on the door of the bus:

"Attention Possible Visitors. S.O.S. I need your help. I am injured, near death, and too weak to hike out of here. I am all alone, this is no joke. In the name of God, please remain to save me. I am out collecting berries close by and shall return this evening. Thank you, Chris McCandless. August?"

His body was found in his sleeping bag inside the bus. He had been dead for more than two weeks. His official cause of death was starvation. Jon Krakauer believes McCandless died from eating the seeds of the wild potato (Hedysarum alpinum), which McCandless wrote about eating and blamed for his debilitating final illness. Although they are not commonly known to be poisonous, and the root of the plant is edible, there is evidence that the seeds contain an alkaloid which prevents glucose utilization. However, Dr Thomas Clausen – of University of Alaska Fairbanks – carried out extensive tests on the seed and found there were no toxins or alkaloids.

Into the Wild was made into a film directed by Sean Penn, who also wrote the screenplay, and stars Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, and Catherine Keener. It was released on September 21, 2007.

The soundtrack by Eddie Vedder of Peral Jam fame.

Eddie Vedder - Into the Wild

No comments: