Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Into the Wild"

I am deliberately not going to see the movie Into the Wild, directed by Sean Penn and partly filmed here in Portland. It's based on the 1997 book of the same title written by Jon Krakauer, about the short life and mysterious death of free-spirit Chris McCandless. It was a book I liked a lot, which is why I don't want to see the movie -- I don't want the picture I have in my head overwritten by the movie's interpretation. In all my life I've only seen two movies that seemed faithful to my imagination -- A Separate Peace, based on the John Knowles book, a book I absolutely loved as a kid, and The World According to Garp. Every other movie was relatively disappointing compared to the book, but the instant you have the movie's interpretation in your head you lose absolutely everything that you spent so long building so tenderly in your head. I actively tried to avoid all shots and commercials from All the Pretty Horses, a book I was pissed they made into a movie. How can you improve on it? You can't. I feel the same way about Into the Wild. It's not for me.

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