Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No. 800 – Hard Sun

Performer: Eddie Vedder
Songwriter: Indio
Original Release: Music for the Motion Picture Into the Wild
Year: 2007
Definitive Version: None

As a working actress with a couple of movie and TV credits to her name, Laurie is a member of SAG—the screen actor’s guild. A perk of that—besides being able to collect checks seemingly forever from movies where she ended up on the cutting floor—is that she gets screening copies of movies every year before the Oscars. (The movies invariably are for voting in the SAG awards, which are before the Oscars.)

This started in 2006 when she got Crash, which, of course, won the best picture Oscar. The next year, she got three movies, including The Departed, which also, of course, won best picture. In 2008, the floodgates opened: She got five movies, including No Country for Old Men, also a best-picture winner and—if I may don my Roger Ebert tweed jacket for a second—one of the most overrated movies ever. Its only redeeming characteristic is that I didn’t have to pay to see it, but I’ll never get back the 2 hours I lost watching it.

Anyway, that same year, Laurie got Into the Wild, which was an infinitely better movie, not the least of which because you could actually follow the plot and you actually cared what happened to the characters in the movie. (And having Eddie Vedder do the soundtrack never hurts.) We had wanted to see it in the theaters but didn’t get around to it when we had the chance.

The biggest reason we missed it was that when it was in the theaters, so was Laurie. She was doing a play in the winter of 2007-2008, which meant we never had much time to see movies. Heck, when Laurie’s doing a show, we never have much time to see each other, period, so the last thing I want to do is spend 2 hours seeing a movie that sucks. Consequently, I’m pretty picky about the movies we see during this time.

So getting SAG copies in the mail was a godsend. Most of the time, we try to watch the movies right away—Laurie has to vote for the SAG awards in February, you know—but sometimes things get in the way that prevent us from seeing a movie. Most of the time it’s because we have zero interest in seeing the movie, such as was the case with Hairspray that year.

Other times, however, life has a way of intruding. As I write this, I can’t remember whether we saw Into the Wild right away or later. I can tell you that I downloaded this song from iTunes in September 2008, but that came as a result of getting two free downloads from the purchase of concert tickets—likely Coldplay in June—so that isn’t helpful.

If I had to guess, I’d say we saw it in March 2008 before we went to Mexico and before life intruded in a way that was unfathomable as we watched the tale of Christopher McCandliss. Little did we know, Laurie also was about to walk into the wild herself.

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