Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Into the Wild

Before I get started on the dispatch for today, there is a small matter.
I tuned in the Rush Limbaugh show today, and the first thing I heard him say…”If I was a black voter”

Before last night, I could not remember the last time I had paid full ticket price to see a movie. Last nights adventure cost $8.50, or enough to buy a shoebox full of yard sale videos. Of course, I would not have the bonding experience, nor had someone hear me groan when I saw William Hurt’s name in the opening credits.
I saw Herr Hurt in this same theatre a few years ago, in some travesty about being an Accidental Tourist. A couple of weeks later, the late Lewis Grizzard wrote about this alleged movie, and said that Mr. Hurt had the charisma of a slice of Velveeta cheese. You know that something is up when I agree with Lewis Grizzard. Of course, the character Mr. Hurt played here had the charisma of a slice of velveeta cheese. He was also an evil poopyhead whoruined his son's life.
The movie in question is “Into The Wild”. I had heard about it the day before, and the men I was with agreed to meet the next evening and see the thing. I was under the impression that it was a small budget film, until I saw that it was directed by Sean Penn, formerly known as Mr. Madonna.
The film was about Alexander Supertramp, who destroyed his identity after graduating from Emory and disappeared into the American West. He had some excellent adventures, before he went to Alaska,killed a moose, ate some poisonous weeds, and died. There was a lot of philosophical talk about freedom, which somehow seemed to miss the point.
When I was 26, I took a greyhound bus to points west, and wound up in a hostel in Seattle. I worked through various temp agencies and day labor things, and somehow managed to keep myself fed. One day, I was outside this grungy building on the Alaska Highway waiting for someone to come by with work, and I had a Supertramp-like insight. Yes, I was free here, free to starve if I didn’t get busy and find a job. Before long, this car came by and asked me if I wanted to work. The driver asked if I had been drinking, and I noticed he had on a priest’s collar. I went to a house overlooking Lake Washington and dug up some weeds for this lady who told be to go all the way to the roowuts.
Back to Alexander Supertramp, which was quite a story, if a bit depressing. He met some neat people, and some not so neat, like the railroad “bull” who beat him up. He was a bit on the glib side, and generally had a bad case of being 22 years old. The problem is that he took his youthful folly a bit too far, and did not make it to 25.
This was all gloriously photographed and soundtracked, and showed what a neat place the American west is. He was in and out of tight spots for much of the movie, just like the last yardsale video I saw, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.
At one point I felt a connection to his wonderful words. He was talking to a benefactor, played (unconvincingly) by Hal Holbrook. He climbed up a hill, and shouted for the old man to follow him up. Alex said that life is what happens when you step outside your shell and do something you are not used to doing. (He was a lot more poetic than that, but that is the general idea) Mark Twain followed him up the hill, and agreed that it was a splendid view.
Now, this could have been a typical Monday night. Go home, eat leftovers, take a walk, play with the computer, and go to bed. The Falcons were playing on Monday Night Football, and I WAS SO GLAD I MISSED SEEING THAT. Instead of the typical night, I drove directly into town from Mayretta, and saw a movie with a group of friends. I don’t know if that is real life, but it was a pleasant change. And I didn’t have to kill a moose.


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