Into The Wild - banner

WOLF in the cinema

To complement WOLF, we present a film programme in (collaboration with) Sphinx Cinema, which explores the tension between 'civilised' man and 'feral' nature. Does wilderness offer freedom? Does its extremity drive man to extremes?

Into The Wild (2007)

28th of May 2024, 20h

Moving into the wilderness. A wish and, unfortunately, the last of Chris McCandless, on whose life Into The Wild is based. That life seemed so favourable to him: the American young man is from a wealthy background, is invited by the prestigious Harvard. But, this 'earmarked path' no longer appeals to him, as it is marked by materialism, performance anxiety and lust for money. He decides to escape his comfortable life, and takes the nomadic path: out of the oppressive society, into unspoilt nature.

As liberating as nature can be, it can wreak havoc. Once in northern Alaska, survival becomes precarious. Finding food, braving the cold,... A wreck of a bus he stayed in would eventually become a symbol of the unbridled desire for freedom and (self)discovery -although at the ultimate cost.

Sean Penn, both director and screenwriter here, managed to capture the 'essence' of Chris' adventurous and tragic life in an engaging character study. The small film crew and limited budget probably contributed to the intimate nature of Into The Wild. Emile Hirsch performed the (lead) role of his career. And Eddie Vedder, frontman of Pearl Jam, provided one of the best-known soundtrack.

Into The Wild - poster

Insomnia (2002)

30th of July 2024, 20h

After the cult hit Memento, director Christopher Nolan had Hollywood's attention. Suddenly, the likes of Al Pacino, Martin Donovan and Robin Williams accepted his requests, and he was given a substantial budget for his next production Insomnia. The thriller is an intense cat-and-mouse game, although it is the mouse that can be treacherous.

Two detectives from sunny Los Angeles, Will Dormer (Pacino) and Hap Eckhart (Donovan), are sent to whimsical Alaska to investigate a murder. The prime suspect, Robin Williams in an exceptionally 'serious' role, is soon traced. But, nature puts a spanner in the works. The days are long. Literally. The sun simply does not set. Will in particular struggles with insomnia -insomnia! A detective better not have concentration problems. And then no weapon either. The death toll rises, and a young detective (Hilary Swank) is called in to untangle the knot. Who is actually 'hunting' whom? Everyone seems guilty in this foggy neo noir.

The northern landscapes invariably deliver pretty pictures, canned by cinematographer Wally Pfister. He would work with Nolan for years to come - and even won an Oscar for his Inception.

Insomnia - poster (clean)