Sean Penn’s Into the Wild (2007) had a a big impact on me when it first came out and so did the soundtrack by Eddie Vedder. Today’s track “Guaranteed” is the last song on the soundtrack performed by the Pearl Jam vocalist. After all of the soul-searching the American wanderer Christopher McCandless did, he could only arrive at one conclusion – Happiness is only real when shared (as recorded in his journal).
The movie is based on the book by Jon Krakauer who said, ‘When I was 23, I was young and reckless and did a similarly stupid trip in Alaska..a major solo expedition called the Devil’s climb..I thought if I pick a challenge that is hard enough and succeeded then everything thereafter would be alright..in some spiritual sense you would feel so good after doing something that’s hard‘.
Director Sean Penn said that as soon as he heard the song he “just felt that for sure this is the musical voice of (actor) Emile (Hirsch’s) character.” There is an intriguing Charlie Rose interview here with Sean Penn and Eddie Vedder about the movie and their collaboration.
Vedder won a 2007 Golden Globe Award for “Guaranteed” and received a nomination at the Grammy Awards for Best Song. Eddie Vedder would go on to perform the song on his 2008 solo tour. It has also been performed once with Pearl Jam during their 2008 tour.
On bended knee is no way to be free
Lifting up an empty cup, I ask silently
That all my destinations will accept the one that’s me
So I can breathe
Circles they grow and they swallow people whole
Half their lives they say goodnight to wives they’ll never know
Got a mind full of questions and a teacher in my soul
And so it goes
Director Sean Penn hand-picked Vedder to provide the music for the film. Eddie Vedder said about his writing of the soundtrack: ‘I wouldn’t want to romanticize my input of the process, but..two weeks or three weeks went by and I kind of woke up and it was done. And I don’t really remember a whole lot about it…it was from some place and I’m not really sure where it was.‘
1. Guaranteed (Eddie Vedder) – Wikipedia