Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Reel People: Emile Hirsch is Christopher McCandless

The film is Into The Wild, written and directed by Sean Penn, and based off the 1996 book also titled Into The Wild, written by Jon Krakauer.

Christopher McCandless, born 1968, grew up in Annadale, Virginia. He graduated from Emory University in 1990 with a degree in history and anthropology, and is remembered for shunning American-dream-consumeristic society, such as refusing his invitation to be a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

When he graduated he donated his savings ($24,000) to Oxfam International, an organization who's primary goal is to fight hunger and famine. Often using the name Alexander Supertramp, McCandless traveled throughout North America, at times securing jobs, and at other times living in isolation living off the land.

In April 1992, McCandless hitchhiked to Fairbanks Alaska were he lived for several months completely on his own, living off of the plants and animals in the region. While there he kept a journal and lived in an abandoned bus. From his journal, it appears he tried to leave the area but was trapped by a river that had grown wider after he had lived there for a few months.

McCandless was found dead in the bus in September of 1992 by two hikers and a group of hunters, with an SOS note on the bus door about needing help, being injured and sicked.

In the film Marcia Gay Harden and William Hurt play the parents of Christopher. Other acting talent in the film includes Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Hal Holbrook, and Jena Malone.

Will this biographical film earn young actor Emile Hirsch some critical awards attention this year for his portrayal of this Real (Reel) Person?

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Anonymous said...

I really liked that book. Thanks for letting me know about the film.

Grete said...

I remember having to read that book for Sophomore Composition class in college. I don't remember a lot beyond that, other than the premise. :)
The movie sounds interesting!