I had the fortunate opportunity to see an exclusive screening of the new Sean Penn directed move, Into The Wild (which opened up yesterday), a week ago at the San Rafael theater in northern California. The San Rafael Theater is an eight million dollar refurbished theater that was originally constructed in 1918 – incredibly cool venue! George Lucas and Sean Penn live within walking distance and the Lucas family is a large contributor towards the refurbishing. The only thing the San Rafael theater plays is independent films. It takes nothing to be a member of ‘The California Film Institute’ and you can be invited to events like this as well. Chicago should have something like the San Rafael Theater. Send a comment letting me know where to find such a cinema experience in town.
The movie is worth a viewing especially if you are into cinematography, acting, and deep thought provoking life circumstances. I was impressed with Mr. Penn’s efforts in directing….the guy is actually over the top talented in this field! He even got his buddy Eddie Vedder to score an original soundtrack (how ’bout that for a nice touch!). After the screening, there was a Q & A session with Sean Penn and the leading actor, Emile Hirsch – who looks like a young Leonardo DiCaprio, and like DiCaprio, is an actor’s actor. Sean Penn looked fit and had an intense presence about himself which made for an exciting atmosphere.
Afterwards there was a first class party with the actors across the street at a restaurant. Other notables in the crowd cocktailing was Lars Ulrich from Metallica and Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains. I did have my chance to meet the notorious Sean Penn. I ended up saying to him that I understand it took him eleven years to get the rights from the family to create this true story film and my question was what was it about this story that had him keep up such tremendous passion over all these years. My answer was, “It’s in the move” – thanks Sean!! Young Mr. Hirsch is very talented, charming, humble in person, and will be seen in the upcoming Speed Racer movie.
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