Into The Wild
A formative film for myself growing up, I always loved the images and story told in the film "Into The Wild" from Director Sean Penn. Based upon the book by Jon Krakauer this films images focus completely on a naturalistic style that breathes fresh air into every experience 'Alexander Supertramp' the lead character goes through.
Eric Gauthier, the Cinematographer for this film, does a stunning job capturing nature in its true beauty, helping immerse the audience in the unadulterated euphoria that Christopher McCandless searched so hard for.
In an interview in 2008 Gauthier describes Sean Penn's worry for the story getting lost in scenic landscapes.
"He (Sean Penn) was also afraid of falling into landscaping excess, that one would be swallowed up by the beauty of the sites and that one would just make a film of images of Epinal." - Eric Gauthier
The film begins with nature being this beautiful fruit, ripe for the picking, but as the frames progress the filmmakers show via colour temperature and overall exposure, just how unfriendly and dangerous nature can be. As the story progresses the images get darker, less saturated and more bleak as the reality of mother nature's harshness sets in for McCandless.
The film is a true story of a man seeking truth in life, and ultimately pays the price for seeking that truth with his life. The truth that Chris McCandless discovered and that has stuck with me since I first saw this film in the 7th grade was:
"Happiness is only real when shared" - Christopher McCandless
Gauthier would earn a Lumiere Award for his work on Into the Wild, and would attract a few other larger budget American films.