Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Christopher McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp (Emile Hirsch) is not like other teens. For one, he paraphrases Thoreau. He also wants, more than anything else, to go to Alaska and live out in the wild. On the way, he finds work on a farm, and a similarly restless spirit in its owner, Wayne Westerberg (Vince Vaughn). A key moment occurs when the two are sitting in a bar, talking the way passionate, inarticulate people do when they are a few drinks down.

Christopher McCandless: I'm going to Alaska
Wayne Westerberg: Alaska, Alaska? Or city Alaska? Because they do have markets in Alaska. The city of Alaska. Not in Alaska. In the city of Alaska, they have markets.
Christopher McCandless: No, man. Alaska, Alaska. I'm gonna be all the way out there, all the way fucking out there. Just on my own. You know, no fucking watch, no map, no axe, no nothing. No nothing. Just be out there. Just be out there in it. You know, big mountains, rivers, sky, game. Just be out there in it, you know? In the wild.
Wayne Westerberg: In the wild.
Christopher McCandless: Just wild!
Wayne Westerberg: Yeah. What are you doing when we're there? Now you're in the wild, what are we doing?
Christopher McCandless: You're just living, man. You're just there, in that moment, in that special place and time. Maybe when I get back, I can write a book about my travels.
Wayne Westerberg: Yeah. Why not?
Christopher McCandless: You know, about getting out of this sick society. Society!
Wayne Westerberg: [coughs] Society! Society!
Christopher McCandless: Society, man! You know, society!

The rest of the exchange is standard Holden Caufield cliche but it scarcely matters - the shouts of ‘society’ continue to reverberate long after the scene has ended. Not since ‘Attica’ in ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ has a word picked out at random and worried to death provided the most resonant moment in a movie.


Anonymous said...

Depressing movie!! Depressing, depressing! .. especially when you're watching it alone in your apartment in a country where noone speaks your language.


a fan apart said...

Haha. I can imagine. Its the kind that screws with your head no matter where you are. Great scene though. Vince Vaughn is a goddamn prince!