Come Anticipate "Brokeback Mountain" With Me

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Because someone has to.

A film critic friend saw it at the Toronto festival about 6 weeks ago and she has not stopped raving about it: an adaptation that deepens its source material. She said the male-male sex scenes were extended and graphic; this is not a film which limits sexual contaxt to a Philadelphia-style peck on the mouth. To her surprise (and mine), Heath Ledger gave the best performance.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 10 November 2005 14:45 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm pretty excited to see some male-on-male action without the shame of ducking into a pr0n theatre.

Homosexual II (Homosexual II), Thursday, 10 November 2005 14:49 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm already in line.

The Milkmaid (of Human Kindness) (The Milkmaid), Thursday, 10 November 2005 14:51 (fifteen years ago) link

Hearing Ledger's 'accent' in the trailer, I have a difficult time buying him as the best performance.

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:13 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm very much looking forward to this. The trailer looks a little ridiculous, but I am so there.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:16 (fifteen years ago) link

IF you think his accent is bad in the trailer, you should rewatch Monster's Ball, wherein he was most unconvincing as Billy Bob's boy. His Oscar-begging line (it sounds something like this):

"DO YEW HAYTE MEE?"

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:19 (fifteen years ago) link

I love hearing bad accents in the movies. It's fun to figure out exactly what they're doing wrong. That aside, there are lots of good-looking people in this movie. Even the ladies!

The Milkmaid (of Human Kindness) (The Milkmaid), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:23 (fifteen years ago) link

Jen Lindley finally overtakes Joey Potter's career. Take that, Ms. Cruise.

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:25 (fifteen years ago) link

I've always liked Michelle Williams but haven't seen any of her post-Dawson's Creek work. Wasn't she a lesbian in If These Walls Could Talk?

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes, with Chloe Sevigny. She was also in a low-budget chick flick (Me Without You) with some hated British actress and had a smallish part in The Station Agent. Both are pretty decent, but I don't remember seeing her in anything else.

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:35 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't think I'd want to see a Jake Gylennhall/Heath Ledger cowboy movie with or without graphic gay sex in it.

'Twan (miccio), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Also one about people who get recreational lobotomies. She's really nice too - I used to see her at shows in Wilmington.

The Milkmaid (of Human Kindness) (The Milkmaid), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Michelle Williams was pretty decent in Dick

'Twan (miccio), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh yeah, I forgot about Dick. I've always gotten Me Without You confused with the pointless My Life Without Me.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:38 (fifteen years ago) link

"You don't go there to FISH!"

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:38 (fifteen years ago) link

"I can't quit you!"

giboyeux (skowly), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:41 (fifteen years ago) link

Edit: "I don't know how to quit you!"

Or something like that.

giboyeux (skowly), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:41 (fifteen years ago) link

Hilarity.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:42 (fifteen years ago) link

"If we're going to be working together, I reckon it's time we started fucking..."

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Thursday, 10 November 2005 18:42 (fifteen years ago) link

"want to toss some hay?"

gear (gear), Thursday, 10 November 2005 19:35 (fifteen years ago) link

I can't get over how clean and shiny-haired Anne Hathaway looked compared with Michelle's poor Appalachian waif.

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Thursday, 10 November 2005 19:45 (fifteen years ago) link

I snickered uncomfortably at the trailer. Some of it looked like Tom of Finland put to film.

andy --, Thursday, 10 November 2005 21:02 (fifteen years ago) link

I'll be intrigued to see if the JG character's fate is as ambiguous (or not) as it was in the Proulx story.

Apparently Michelle Williams may be 'acting' off the set much like Katie Holmes, IF you know what I mean...

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 10 November 2005 21:11 (fifteen years ago) link

You guys realize if there's any pudding in this film, it'll be the strawman indie film as outlined by Cartman in South Park?

mike h. (mike h.), Thursday, 10 November 2005 21:11 (fifteen years ago) link

I think it's Michelle's poor Wyoming Rockies waif.

Movies like this always make me want to move to one of those shithole militia states - they're all so pretty and clean.

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Thursday, 10 November 2005 21:13 (fifteen years ago) link

This movie has to be so much better than very good before I'll be glad it was ever made. It has to be, as Michael Hitchcock said in Guffman, magic.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Thursday, 10 November 2005 22:50 (fifteen years ago) link

But that's how I feel about most movies!

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 10 November 2005 22:52 (fifteen years ago) link

You didn't say that about Asian Knights II: The Revenge

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 10 November 2005 22:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Movies like this always make me want to move to one of those shithole militia states - they're all so pretty and clean.


They're the best.

giboyeux (skowly), Thursday, 10 November 2005 22:58 (fifteen years ago) link

You didn't say that about Asian Knights II: The Revenge

Revenge is sweet, but it's not magic.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 10 November 2005 23:09 (fifteen years ago) link

i was really hoping this would be super campy overwrought and terrible.

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 10 November 2005 23:38 (fifteen years ago) link

That's still a real possibility.

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Friday, 11 November 2005 00:04 (fifteen years ago) link

Of course, I'm hoping that it's super campy overwrought and wonderful.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 11 November 2005 00:07 (fifteen years ago) link

every love scene scored to "Glory of Love" by Peter Cetera, in its entirety.

gear (gear), Friday, 11 November 2005 00:17 (fifteen years ago) link

and the Stones' "Monkey Man" over the end credits.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 11 November 2005 01:05 (fifteen years ago) link

This would have been even wilder if they had used the cast of Young Guns and cast Charlie Sheen & Emilio Estevez in the roles. Wrong you right out the theatre, it would.

'Twan (miccio), Friday, 11 November 2005 06:12 (fifteen years ago) link

I wonder how many people in the audience would even know they were watching staged incest.

'Twan (miccio), Friday, 11 November 2005 06:13 (fifteen years ago) link

i wouldn't dwell on that.

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 11 November 2005 06:29 (fifteen years ago) link

well it can't be THAT graphic 'cause i thought obviously shown penises get an X rating.

sonore (sonore), Friday, 11 November 2005 06:44 (fifteen years ago) link

it depends on the state of the penis

tokyo nursery school: afternoon session (rosemary), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah if it's dead you can get an "R".

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:28 (fifteen years ago) link

Or if it's floppy and only onscreen for a second. See: The Piano.

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:32 (fifteen years ago) link

But it has to be *floppy*. A cold, shrivelled penis also gets you an X.

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:32 (fifteen years ago) link

Trainspotting had penis.

giboyeux (skowly), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:32 (fifteen years ago) link

I was going to mention the collected films of Ewan McGregor, but there you go.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Ewan has a magnificent member, IIRC.

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Bad Lieutenant.

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Was definitely NC-17.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:34 (fifteen years ago) link

And most of Ewan's films have also been NC-17. Trainspotting shows his johnson in silhouette which is probably another way of getting an 'R'.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Ewan's macgregor even appeared to be at half-mast while he was doing "TV Eye."

I thought Heath Ledger gave the best performance in "Monsters Ball" --I don't care much about accent authenticity, and if only Halle Berry's character had blown her brains out before she did all that caterwauling.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:36 (fifteen years ago) link

The thought of Ewan at half mast makes me temporarily gay.

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Which makes him fully erect. The irony!

'Twan (miccio), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:46 (fifteen years ago) link

It's weird how the plot arc of this story and film confirms the Vito Russo / Foucault chestnut that the only unacceptable image is of two gay men who just do walk off into the sunset together; a vexed committment to a kind of selfhating "realism" demands a tragic resolution that forecloses queer happiness or continuity. Which makes you wonder if Forster's "Maurice" isn't the more radical work, rather than just wishfulfillment fairytale.

but . . .

I am totally stoked to see them make out with each other.

Drew Daniel (Drew Daniel), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:47 (fifteen years ago) link

why does calling penises "members" always sound so... icky?

Kim (Kim), Friday, 11 November 2005 18:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Because it sounds less human, like tentacle hentai?

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Friday, 11 November 2005 19:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, I've always cringed at that term, too.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 11 November 2005 19:56 (fifteen years ago) link

i still keep reading this as "Bareback Mountain"

splates (splates), Friday, 11 November 2005 19:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I am having a hard time finding a SINGLE Ewan McGregor film that is NC17 (unless the Pillow Book being unrated counts), much less MANY! What are you people talking about???

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:05 (fifteen years ago) link

Young Adam was NC-17, wasn't it?

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:07 (fifteen years ago) link

I think unrated does count. It baffles me that any theater would carry an unrated movie and not an NC-17 movie. It's the same thing, with the same age restriction.

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh, never mind, Young Adam was NC-17 and the studio cut out Ewan's cock to get an R in the states.

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Why does he always want to show his cock to everyone, is what I wonder. They should've put that in Star Wars, would've been soooo much better.

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:10 (fifteen years ago) link

the studio cut out Ewan's cock

OW OW OW

I do feel guilty for getting any perverse amusement out of it (Rock Hardy), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:11 (fifteen years ago) link

He should have whipped it and started making light-saber noises. (oh come on, we've all done it.)

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:12 (fifteen years ago) link

Why does he always want to show his cock to everyone, is what I wonder.

Because it is magnificent. Like George Michael's ass, it will one day rule the world.

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:13 (fifteen years ago) link

I've got a GREAT ASS!! Let's go to the video!

I do feel guilty for getting any perverse amusement out of it (Rock Hardy), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:19 (fifteen years ago) link

>a vexed committment to a kind of selfhating "realism" demands a tragic resolution that forecloses queer happiness or continuity.<

Except, particularly with movies, the lionized/cherished love stories seldom see the couple together at the end (exempting comedies -- or unless they're ghosts).

"Maurice" is most definitely wish fulfillment.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:28 (fifteen years ago) link

It sure is. And the Anne Proulx story on which "Brokeback Mountain" is based is a better work of art too.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:32 (fifteen years ago) link

(better than Maurice, that is)

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 11 November 2005 20:33 (fifteen years ago) link

George Michael's ass is no Bruce Springsteen's ass.

And yes, dramatic film love stories generally don't end happily ever after. I'm sure there's several where the story is about all sorts of horrible shit people do to each other or endure and then everything works out in the end anyway, but I can't remember any of 'em off the top of my head.

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Friday, 11 November 2005 21:02 (fifteen years ago) link

omg Hot Lips agreed with a post of mine, I musta SAID SOMETHING by aksident -- THERE'S GONNA BE ONE FROSTY CONJUGAL BED IN NO.VA. TNITE!

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 November 2005 22:00 (fifteen years ago) link

can you please stop being an obnoxious cock, in other words?

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Friday, 11 November 2005 22:30 (fifteen years ago) link

obnoxios member, you mean.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Friday, 11 November 2005 23:04 (fifteen years ago) link

xpost

to provide the source texts so that I'm not badly summarizing:

People can tolerate two homosexuals they see leaving together, but if the next day they're smiling, holding hands and tenderly embracing one another, then they can't be forgiven. It is not the departure for pleasure that is intolerable, it is the waking up happy.- Michel Foucault

A happy ending was imperative. I shouldn't have bothered to write otherwise. I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwood. I dedicated it 'To a Happier Year' and not al together vainly. Happiness is its keynote - which by the way . . . has made the book more difficult to publish. If it ended unhappily, with a lad dangling from a noose or with a suicide pact, all would be well . . . but the lovers get away unpunished and consequently recommend crime. - E. M. Forster

The question is one of what makes a story worth telling; a story of a happy couple who stay together without incident would be boring, and of course no one would make a film about it. But . . . the imperative that gay sex lead to death and punishment in the name of realism reifies the very problem it depicts/memorializes, and this is a strategic, political problem for how we represent gay existence. It's got nothing to do with whether Annie Proulx's story is well written and moving (which it certainly is in my opinion).


Drew Daniel (Drew Daniel), Friday, 11 November 2005 23:55 (fifteen years ago) link

ilx - members only

Kim (Kim), Saturday, 12 November 2005 00:13 (fifteen years ago) link

"registered user"

jaymc (jaymc), Saturday, 12 November 2005 00:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Maurice doesn't really end happily unless you willfully ignore the fact that there are actually 3 main characters.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Saturday, 12 November 2005 13:17 (fifteen years ago) link

I haven't read any interviews with Proulx -- has she in any way placed the ending in the context of the Mathew Shepard murder, which preceded the story by (i'm guessing) a year or two? Which took place in one of those clean Western states.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 12 November 2005 17:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Not bad, EComplex. Of course, you're wrong about Diane Keaton.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 12 November 2005 20:41 (fifteen years ago) link

I will concede Annie Hall. The film holds up surprisingly well. She's completely charming in it. Unfortunately, that was 30 years ago. But Buster Keaton...now there's a Keaton who won't destroy your film...unless, of course, you plan to make a talkie with sync-sound!

EComplex (EComplex), Saturday, 12 November 2005 21:00 (fifteen years ago) link

I won't hijack this thread, but consider: Sleeper, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Reds, Shoot The Moon (her best performance), Mrs Soffel, The Good Mother, Baby Boom, Marvin's Room, Something To Live.

A lot of this films are awful, but all of them feature a great Keaton performance.

(And I haven't even mentioned her Kay in The Godfather series)

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 12 November 2005 23:01 (fifteen years ago) link

i saw it last week, and bloggeed about it, its v. v. v. good

anthony easton (anthony), Thursday, 17 November 2005 09:32 (fifteen years ago) link

Jake in denial? He says it's about "straight guys who fall in love"!

http://towleroad.typepad.com/towleroad/2005/11/gyllenhaal_in_d.html

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 17 November 2005 14:26 (fifteen years ago) link

I mistakenly read the thread title as: Come Anticipate "Bareback Mountain" With Me

maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Thursday, 17 November 2005 14:38 (fifteen years ago) link

A paradgm play - social microsurgery masquerading as alpha man/beta boy love.

Proulx may well mitigate the course of many confused, love starved raging hearts...with 68 small pages (large typeset). Amazing. The book/movie underlines,capitalizes and italycizes auto-betrayal of the heart and unites its close cousins - anguish and hoplessness. This rendition of love exposes, in its tortuous lesson, the 'right key'. Timely

Brokenot, Wednesday, 23 November 2005 04:33 (fifteen years ago) link

This is the same Ang Lee who did "The Hulk," right?

rogermexico (rogermexico), Wednesday, 23 November 2005 05:14 (fifteen years ago) link

I won a navy blue Brokeback Mountain hanky at a bar last week for entering a photo contest (details, no).

Queer cultural critic Gary Indiana (who can be a real ninny, but not so much here maybe) isn't thrilled...

"The case has already been made by some critics that Ang Lee's is the first 'mainstream' movie with 'A-list stars' to deal with a gay male relationship—a weird assertion, given how narrowly 'mainstream' would have to be defined for this to be true, and how small the theater audience for mainstream films, however you define them, has become, and how wholly dependent on DVD sales and rentals this putative mainstream currently is. (As far as that goes, Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, remarkable as they are as Jack and Ennis, respectively, have been 'A-list' stars for about six months, which isn't the same thing as being Barbra Streisand or Warren Beatty.)

I'm not sure what this type of claim is supposed to signify—that Hollywood is on the cutting edge of social progress? That every other movie on this subject has been merely a "festival film" or in some other way unimportant compared to one with saturation booking in a thousand multiplexes? Or could it mean that we prefer to think we're making progress when the clock is running backwards?"

http://villagevoice.com/film/0548,indiana,70453,20.html

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 21:15 (fifteen years ago) link

J. Hoberman's review makes Gary Indiana's look like a (guarded) rave.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 21:18 (fifteen years ago) link

http://www.filmsondisc.com/images/inandout.jpg

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 21:22 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm surprised, Morbius. i Love indiana's writing (although i suppose i haven't read that much of his journalism). "Resentment" is an incredible book and his BFI book on Salo is much better than that film is.

jed_ (jed), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 21:23 (fifteen years ago) link

my gf ADORED this, so not everyone's hatin...

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 21:48 (fifteen years ago) link

yance you see this? tell me what i need to know about anne hathaway.

j blount (papa la bas), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 22:12 (fifteen years ago) link

ie, "Are her titties out?"

Dan (Blount Translator) Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 22:13 (fifteen years ago) link

Jams, you stayed home from a screening? Just cuz Jake didn't shave his chest for this one?

Jed, you know about this:

Armond White vs Gary Indiana on Christianity & Bresson

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 22:13 (fifteen years ago) link

hahaha! blount, i KNOW anne. she was good friends w/ some of my old roommates.

and no, i didn't make it to the screening. apparently heath ledger lives off the graham l stop. i think my gf is gonna stalk him. also, after seeing this and jarhead, lisa sez jake is 100% gay. the rumor is he's dating peter saarsgaard (maggie's a beard!).

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 22:15 (fifteen years ago) link

uh, jake Gyllenhaal is probably a more recognizable star for most movie-going audiences than warren beatty these days. gary indiana you are an OLD MAN.

kyle (akmonday), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 22:15 (fifteen years ago) link

See her as slutty rich evil girl in Havoc. Directed by the woman who did Harlan County, USA!

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 22:16 (fifteen years ago) link

(ps i have no idea why anyone thinks a.h. is hot)

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 22:18 (fifteen years ago) link

I liked Indiana's piece, but I've yet to see a comparative study of the short story and film. The former is rather terse and unsentimental.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 22:26 (fifteen years ago) link

the rumor is he's dating peter saarsgaard

Jams, you have given me too much dream fodder now... Heath & Michelle Williams lived in Cobble Hill, I thought (and old rumor is Naomi Watts usta beard for Heath).

Kyle, GI's point was that Beatty was a star for 40 years, that JG isn't the icon of 1960s/70s Warren.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 22:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Jake's actually shacked up with me. He's fixing gin and tonics as we speak.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 22:53 (fifteen years ago) link

That's not the way it reads. He's saying that Gyllenahl and Ledger aren't stars of Beatty's and Streisand's caliber today - it's not that big a risk for them, they're not REAL stars.

Which is clearly bullshit. No one under the age of 45 cares about Beatty or Streisand (esp. Streisand).

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 23:04 (fifteen years ago) link

yance if i'm ever back in ny you need to hook me up with anne hathaway

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 1 December 2005 02:20 (fifteen years ago) link

Is that like an outtake from Princess Diaries or something? WTF?

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 03:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Best DIsney movie ever.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Thursday, 1 December 2005 04:46 (fifteen years ago) link

the princess RED SHOE diaries!!

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 1 December 2005 05:44 (fifteen years ago) link

He's saying that Gyllenahl and Ledger aren't stars of Beatty's and Streisand's caliber today

Since the last time either WB or BS made a film no one except their moms knew who Jake and Heath were, you're mistaken. He's saying it's not as big a risk for them as it would've been for the other two in 1971.

It may not even prove to be the best Disney film starring Gyllenhaal.


http://www.jakegyllenhaal.info/jgallery11.jpg

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 1 December 2005 14:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Since the last time either WB or BS made a film no one except their moms knew who Jake and Heath were, you're mistaken. He's saying it's not as big a risk for them as it would've been for the other two in 1971.

Except he says nothing about 1971 or 'back in the day.' He says they've been stars for "six months" - which means they can't be cultural figures of Beatty and Streisand's magnitude.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Thursday, 1 December 2005 15:24 (fifteen years ago) link

No, they can't. He's about 60, read between the lines.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 1 December 2005 15:27 (fifteen years ago) link

There's nothing between the lines to read. He says nothing about the past, or Beatty circa 1971. He's talking today - they're not big enough stars to claim this is a big risk on anyone's part.

That he's an old fogey may just underscore the fact that he's out of touch. No one cares about Beatty or Streisand. They could play gay grandparents all day long and no one would care - 'cuz no one will see them.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Thursday, 1 December 2005 15:49 (fifteen years ago) link

You're right, Indiana must be an idiot.

How many big grossers have centered on JG or HL? None (Jarhead
is doing OK).

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:07 (fifteen years ago) link

No, he's just wrong on this. That is possible, you know. An older person can, in fact, be out of touch with the cultural zeitgeist and hanging on to the cultural values of their youth.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:20 (fifteen years ago) link

milo, are you seriously saying that even in this day and age and despite the fact that the woman is WELL past her sell-by date, that barbra streisand is a star of the same magnitude as jakey & heathy?

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:27 (fifteen years ago) link

because that's fucking insane.

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:28 (fifteen years ago) link

No, Milo is claiming that that's what Gary Indiana is saying, and he agrees with you that it's insane.

Now, Morbs, you're right that neither Gyllenhaal or Ledger have single-handedly carried a box-office smash (unless A Knight's Tale counts, which it probably shouldn't) -- but I'd argue that both are very much A-list stars. (And I bet lots of people went to see The Patriot and Day After Tomorrow because of Heath and Jake, respectively.)

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:36 (fifteen years ago) link

jay, I think you misunderstood my point. Which is that Gary Indiana is actually kind of right vis a vis Jake G. v Barbra S. and their respective star magnitudes. A-list star is not the same thing as being absolutely enormous. If this movie starred Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp, that'd be the sort of magnitude being hinted at (whether or not I agree with the idea that smaller level stars makes a mainstream film by an A-list director "less risky").

The argument seems to take hold if you want to take on Warren Beatty tho, I mean I'm not really sure why he was Indiana's example.

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh, I see what you mean now.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:45 (fifteen years ago) link

Is Babs enormous among any group of people not getting ready to collect a social security check?

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:46 (fifteen years ago) link

Since the last time either WB or BS made a film no one except their moms knew who Jake and Heath were, you're mistaken.

I am pretty sure that Streisand was one of the stars of the top-grossing comedy of 2004.

monkeybutler, Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:49 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, I guess Ledger and Gyllenhaal are not yet HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:51 (fifteen years ago) link

Is Babs enormous among any group of people not getting ready to collect a social security check?

I would be willing to bet you really good money that more people know who she is than know who Heath Ledger is.

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:52 (fifteen years ago) link

Ally OTM! (except, really, Warren Beatty was A HUGE STAR in the '60s and '70s. He got an epic about American Communists financed by a studio, and showed it at the White House to Reagan.

Is Babs enormous among any group of people not getting ready to collect a social security check?

Been to the Castro or Chelsea lately?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 1 December 2005 16:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, Warren Beatty was a pretty big star but I don't think he's really...held it as well as Babs has. Like I can see Jake G. becoming a Warren Beatty, but not a Barbra Streisand (not just for obvious reasons) (though that would be totally hot)

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:04 (fifteen years ago) link

I just think that cos of Warren Beatty's kind of slide off, you know, he coulda used a better example...like why not Redford? Or, christ, DeNiro. I would pay a lot of money to see DeNiro break character and go gay at this point.

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:05 (fifteen years ago) link

No Yentl or The Mirror Has Two Faces for Jake! (c'mon, surely you'd take Dick Tracy or Bulworth over those.)

DeNiro's lack of "slide off"? Like, The Fan or Rocky and Billwinkle!? :o

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:08 (fifteen years ago) link

No that's what I meant by I'd pay good money to see him go Brokeback Mountain! His recent films are all like almost universally crap! Though The Fan is great for comedic value. BUT he's someone who still gets a lot of respect, whereas Beatty makes Dick Tracy and people decide he's gone insane. But really DeNiro was a tangent brought on by Barbra Streisand via Meet the Fockers.

Redford though, he still stands as a valid example!

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:11 (fifteen years ago) link

More people have heard of Streisand - but how many care about her, aside from the elderly (and apparently the gay)? I'd wager that as many people have heard of Bette Middler as Jake G - but that doesn't mean they care, or that she's culturally relevant.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:11 (fifteen years ago) link

Indiana would have had a much better point with a couple of current, legitimate royalty - Tom Cruise (not playing too far out of himself), Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:12 (fifteen years ago) link

Does anyone still care about Tom Cruise???! Besides for comedy purposes??!

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:17 (fifteen years ago) link

Plenty. War of the Worlds is one of the year's top grossers.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:18 (fifteen years ago) link

I wouldn't blame that on Tom Cruise, though.

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Though now we're going into that dreaded Spielberg territory that it is best we all just avoid ;)

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:22 (fifteen years ago) link

What about Indiana shooting down the 'first Hollywood gay male relationship' myth? Hello, Kiss of the Spider Woman, with an Oscar even? It's the COWBOY element that's the magnet here -- these are real men, y'know.

Jams remarking his GF loved it -- the b.o. success will depend on straight women.

Indiana would have had a much better point with a couple of current, legitimate royalty

But see, you get his POINT. Screw the example.

(Dick Tracy had several dozen times the Fun Quotient of every 'serious' comic-book adaptation since, and a Screaming Al Pacino that fit, for once...)

What if Brokeback had been makeable in 1980? Jeff Bridges and Dennis Quaid... mmmm...

Ally, I promise to be rational about 'Spielberg sucks' if I can point out the massive silliness of The Thomas Crown Affair, one hot chess match aside. ;)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:31 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh dude, I will never debate that The Thomas Crown Affair is fairly silly. My '60s ballot was cutthroat visceral-immediate-reaction choices only otherwise I woulda spent 8 days on it.

Veering dangerously off topic but Dick Tracy has a terrible rap. The worst part about it is actually probably Warren Beatty but even he is ok. I haven't seen it in quite a while though. Both Madonna and Al Pacino were actually great choices, despite their obvious flaws in like virtually every other movie thrown at them. Even Bullworth wasn't really horrible! It is a little unfair, Warren Beatty's drop off had less to do with the actual quality of his work vis a vis others and more to do with Warren Beatty as a person.

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:51 (fifteen years ago) link

What if Brokeback had been makeable in 1980? Jeff Bridges and Dennis Quaid... mmmm...

*eyes roll back into head.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 1 December 2005 17:52 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't know this Anne Hathaway, but I could tell Michelle Williams could act on Dawson's Creek, which was a feat.

More bits on the MSM hypefest (Heath: "But in the end, it was just like kissing a person"):


http://towleroad.typepad.com/towleroad/2005/12/the_brokeback_j.html

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 5 December 2005 18:49 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm seeing this tomorrow morning. will report back.

s1ocki (slutsky), Monday, 5 December 2005 18:52 (fifteen years ago) link

You can read the original story here:

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/content/articles/051212fr_archive01

o. nate (onate), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 22:10 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes, the EW story from which the Heath quote is drawn is prissy in the most revolting way.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 22:16 (fifteen years ago) link

the sight & sound article on this ws so FKN dumb

cozen (Cozen), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 22:16 (fifteen years ago) link

Did it make you gay, Slocki?

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 22:20 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm sure it would have if i hadn't slept through the screening!

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 22:24 (fifteen years ago) link

i should clarify that--i slept IN and missed the screening. thus i am still straight!

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 22:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh -- I thought it was so boring it put you to sleep.

Lars and Jagger (Ex Leon), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 22:26 (fifteen years ago) link

it was so boring it made you gay.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 23:07 (fifteen years ago) link

yes. the only thing to do in the theatre to distract me from the boring movie was to be gay with other members of the audience.

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 23:10 (fifteen years ago) link

Any more reviews? It's swept the New York and L.A. film crit awards.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:34 (fifteen years ago) link

David Edelstein no like: "Ang Lee's formalism is so extreme that it's often laughable, and the sex is depicted as a holy union: Gay love has never been so sacred..."

http://www.slate.com/id/2131264/?nav=fo

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:43 (fifteen years ago) link

I still haven't seen it, but I appreciate Edelstein's (and Stephanie Zancharek's) contrarianism.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:47 (fifteen years ago) link

edelstein is terrible! like armond white, he only reacts to others. our metafilmcritic.

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:49 (fifteen years ago) link

i like edelstein!

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:49 (fifteen years ago) link

a) no style from a pure writing perspective
b) reviews the reviews rather than the movie

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:51 (fifteen years ago) link

i.e. don't be shocked when he gets chosen to replace denby

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:51 (fifteen years ago) link

i disagree with both points!

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:52 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't like Edelstein much. I do, however, plan on using Armond White's "I pity you" a lot in conversation.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:53 (fifteen years ago) link

"armond white pities you!"

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:55 (fifteen years ago) link

b) reviews the reviews rather than the movie

Read his lovely review of The Lion, the Witch, & The Wardrobe

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:57 (fifteen years ago) link


I think it was Ed Gonzalez at Slant who pointed out that quite a number of gay critics don't like Brokeback. One of the NYC homo weeklies ran a front-page screed against it.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 18:59 (fifteen years ago) link

The previously mentioned Brokeback item I own (and by the code, it's not particularly my color):

http://notonlybutalso.typepad.com/notonlybutalso/2005/12/brokeback_promo.html


Armond White doesn't always 'review the reviews.' He critiques the way 'good' films are ID'd and positioned in the culture by the marketing-media complex, which inevitably requires mentioning his peers sometimes. Esp when it's the most visible movie critic in the nation idiotically dismissing War of the Worlds on the grounds that 'tripods are illogical.' Or those who hail a filmmaker who makes one interesting movie (Christopher Nolan) as a visionary, which enables him to make bilious mega-budget juvenilia like -- you know.


Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 18:40 (fifteen years ago) link

ebert's stance on war of the worlds (the whole "tripods are illogical" thing) was SOOO maddening!! you'd think a film critic would know about TRIPODS!!

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 18:54 (fifteen years ago) link

Or those who hail a filmmaker who makes one interesting movie (Stephen Spielberg) as a visionary, which enables him to make bilious mega-budget juvenilia like -- you know.

j blount (papa la bas), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 18:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Or those who hail a filmmaker who makes one interesting movie (Stanley Kubrick) as a visionary, which enables him to make bilious mega-budget juvenilia like -- you know.

j blount (papa la bas), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 18:59 (fifteen years ago) link

the boondocks series on bareback mountain was funny

j blount (papa la bas), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:02 (fifteen years ago) link

quite a number of gay critics don't like Brokeback

Morbs appears to be correct, at least for this guy.

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:06 (fifteen years ago) link

i found this movie's performances cartoonish and affected.

howell huser (chaki), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:09 (fifteen years ago) link

chaki, it's called "camp."

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:11 (fifteen years ago) link

ok then i found it campy. but not in a good way.

howell huser (chaki), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:12 (fifteen years ago) link

The posts imply that Ehrenstein is one of dem self-hatin' queers.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:31 (fifteen years ago) link

This movie was great, deal with it. UR all ghey.

Drew Daniel (Drew Daniel), Saturday, 24 December 2005 19:58 (fifteen years ago) link

Some relevant comments from the 2005 film thread:

I only saw one of those VV picks (Brokeback Mountain) and thought it was pretty bad.
-- n/a (nu...), December 23rd, 2005 1:54 PM. (Nick A.) (later)

Though I'd like to see most of them.
-- n/a (nu...), December 23rd, 2005 1:58 PM. (Nick A.) (later)

Wait, why am I posting here?
-- n/a (nu...), December 23rd, 2005 1:58 PM. (Nick A.) (later)

I guess mainly to say: Brokeback Mountain = NOT THAT GOOD.
-- n/a (nu...), December 23rd, 2005 1:59 PM. (Nick A.) (later)


I guess mainly to say: Brokeback Mountain = NOT THAT GOOD.
Why didn't you say so when I asked everyone (in Chicago) what they thought? I still really want to see it.

-- jaymc (jmcunnin...), December 23rd, 2005 2:11 PM. (jaymc) (later)

Mainly because I didn't want to offend my friends on that thread who loved it and also because in the week since I've seen it I've moved gradually from "It was OK, kinda boring but some good acting" to "Wait, that was a pretty sucky movie, huh?" I think before long, I'm going to be all-out hating on it, that's usually how these things work for me.
-- n/a (nu...), December 23rd, 2005 3:35 PM. (Nick A.) (later)

So what you're saying is, you hate fags.
-- jaymc (jmcunnin...), December 23rd, 2005 3:37 PM. (jaymc) (later)

I hang out with you.
-- n/a (nu...), December 23rd, 2005 3:40 PM. (Nick A.) (later)

I think it's the opposite, I'm so gay-tolerant (YAY ME!) that just a movie being about gay people isn't enough to make it "daring" or "fascinating" for me. There didn't seem to be much point to the movie other than HERE ARE SOME SEMIFAMOUS HUNKY DUDES PRETENDING TO DO EACH OTHER IN THE BUTT, which basically makes it mainstream gay porn but not much more in itself. The story was predictable and dull, Ledger was good but Gyllenhaal was pretty bad, the scenery was nice I guess.
-- n/a (nu...), December 23rd, 2005 3:46 PM. (Nick A.) (later)

It wasn't even good gay porn: too many tits.
-- n/a (nu...), December 23rd, 2005 3:47 PM. (Nick A.) (later)

Jake's tits or the cows'?
-- Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (wooderso...), December 23rd, 2005 3:49 PM. (miloaukerman) (later)

Princess Diary's tits, Dawson's Creek's tits.
-- n/a (nu...), December 23rd, 2005 4:34 PM. (Nick A.) (later)

POW - I'M THERE
-- j blount (jamesbloun...), December 24th, 2005 2:31 AM. (papa la bas) (later)

Hathaway is actually pretty good in this, considering she has to play a pretty young cowgal as well as a wealthy, manipulative wife straight out of Dallas. As a whole, the aging among the characters in the film was rather unconvincing: I cringed as Heath Ledger's daughter skyrocketed through adolescence while Ledger himself looked the same.
-- jaymc (jmcunnin...), December 24th, 2005 10:35 AM. (jaymc) (later)

Hathaway is actually pretty good in this, considering she has to play a pretty young cowgal as well as a wealthy, manipulative wife straight out of Dallas. As a whole, the aging among the characters in the film was rather unconvincing: I cringed as Heath Ledger's daughter skyrocketed through adolescence while Ledger himself looked the same.
-- jaymc (jmcunnin...), December 24th, 2005 10:35 AM. (jaymc) (later)

I agree with the second part of this, but thought Hathaway was too cartoony-stereotypey. I thought the cute one from Dawson's Creek was better.

-- n/a (nu...), December 24th, 2005 12:23 PM. (Nick A.) (later)

Actually, the whole Gylenhaal plotline post-butt sex is pretty fucking ridiculous exaggerated redneck family drama, like Raising Arizona but "serious."
-- n/a (nu...), December 24th, 2005 12:32 PM. (Nick A.) (later)

n/a (Nick A.), Sunday, 25 December 2005 03:49 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm already embarassed for saying this: I'm so gay-tolerant (YAY ME!) that just a movie being about gay people isn't enough to make it "daring" or "fascinating" for me. I was just trying to say that I felt like the movie was coasting on its controversy, but it didn't seem that controversial to me and so I found it lacking.

n/a (Nick A.), Sunday, 25 December 2005 03:50 (fifteen years ago) link

The three movies both Owen and Lisa have on their EW top tens: Munich, King Kong and Brokeback Mountain.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Sunday, 25 December 2005 04:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Actually, the whole Gylenhaal plotline post-butt sex is pretty fucking ridiculous exaggerated redneck family drama, like Raising Arizona but "serious."

mostly agreed, that plotline didn't go much of anywhere but otherwise i thought this was pretty great.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Sunday, 25 December 2005 06:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Jonathan Rosenbaum:

"this is the kind of tasteful tearjerker that's often overrated and smothered with prizes because it flatters our tolerance and sensitivity. Lee focuses on the men's wasted lives and the heartbreak of their spouses and other relatives, but the movie makes one hanker for the sort of unabashed queer stories found outside the mainstream."

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 25 December 2005 13:07 (fifteen years ago) link

I was very moved despite having serious problems with Lee's fascination with repression; I just wrote a review with this thesis.

Actually, I liked Gyllenhaal much more than Ledger. For once he acts like a sex symbol, putting those blue eyes to good use.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Sunday, 25 December 2005 14:22 (fifteen years ago) link

And, no, the film isn't "controversial," unless we mean in that Oscar bait sort of way.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Sunday, 25 December 2005 14:24 (fifteen years ago) link

It isn't controversial to whom? When I said it wasn't controversial, I meant to me personally, but your phrasing sounds like you're saying it's not controversial at all, or that controversy isn't part of its intent.

n/a (Nick A.), Sunday, 25 December 2005 14:43 (fifteen years ago) link

It's definitely the film's intention to be controversial, and watching Heath Ledger ride Jake Gyllenhaal bareback will likely cause some people to squirm, but the film unconsciously reassures their prejudices: two queers can't live together cuz they ain't normal and their lives are sad, so let's watch this movie as our good deed of the year.

A more legitimately controversial film would have shown Ennis and Jack having fun fooling around whenever they got away to Brokeback Mountain, but perhaps Lee thought this would have violated Proulx's intentions.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Sunday, 25 December 2005 15:00 (fifteen years ago) link

No, dude, independent films are those black and white hippie movies. They're always about gay cowboys eating pudding.

ESTEBAN BUTTEZ~!!! (ESTEBAN BUTTEZ~!!!), Sunday, 25 December 2005 15:15 (fifteen years ago) link

i just found out that I had the definition of bareback wrong all these years.

ShawShank Rambo Connection (Carey), Sunday, 25 December 2005 15:22 (fifteen years ago) link

i guess that is why all my college papers did not make sense.

ShawShank Rambo Connection (Carey), Sunday, 25 December 2005 15:23 (fifteen years ago) link

I was positively bored the whole time. Nearly fell asleep. It's just not compelling enough...and downright seemed to be hitting some of the worst notes of Giant along the way, no less.

The best part of the movie (for me) was recognizing that the Mexican prostitute was played by the director of photography (Rodrigo Prieto).

Eh, Sunday, 25 December 2005 15:47 (fifteen years ago) link

the ending was so lovely: the oblique framing, everything...

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Monday, 26 December 2005 01:41 (fifteen years ago) link

Also, it was the end.

n/a (Nick A.), Monday, 26 December 2005 01:42 (fifteen years ago) link

DID I MENTION I DIDN'T LIKE THIS MOVIE LOL

n/a (Nick A.), Monday, 26 December 2005 01:43 (fifteen years ago) link

dude, it's christmas. show some love for drunken buttsex movies.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Monday, 26 December 2005 01:45 (fifteen years ago) link

p.s. are you guys in chicago?

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Monday, 26 December 2005 01:45 (fifteen years ago) link

I am in Virginia, I'll be back Tues. Sarah isn't getting back from France until Weds. night. I think John and some other CHILXors might be around though. How long are you going to be in town?

n/a (Nick A.), Monday, 26 December 2005 01:47 (fifteen years ago) link

another two weeks, i think

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Monday, 26 December 2005 01:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh, OK, great. This weekend's going to be a little crazy, we're playing shows on the 30th and 31st, but we should hang out sometime after that.

n/a (Nick A.), Monday, 26 December 2005 01:50 (fifteen years ago) link

So what's the consensus?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes, they were definitely gay.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:28 (fifteen years ago) link

Your review was great, A.S.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:28 (fifteen years ago) link

Predictably, I am going to question whether either of them was actually gay.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:32 (fifteen years ago) link

this is the kind of tasteful tearjerker that's often overrated and smothered with prizes because it flatters our tolerance and sensitivity

So it's the Guess Who's Coming To Dinner of 2005, then.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:33 (fifteen years ago) link

thanks, John! have you seen it yet?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:33 (fifteen years ago) link

well, it seems obvious to me that Gyllenhaal is the gay one.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Yup, I saw it last Friday, right after I finished my Christmas shopping. Yeah, you're right, Jack is probably gay: the Mexico scene of courses reinforces this. But I was the one who argued against Chris Cooper's character being gay in American Beauty long after it became apparent that he obviously was (but that was just me wishing the film was more ambiguous than it actually was).

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:37 (fifteen years ago) link

King Kong was the gay one.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:38 (fifteen years ago) link

So it's the Guess Who's Coming To Dinner of 2005, then.

A suspicion that's haunted me since I saw the film; but it's much too cold and spare.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:39 (fifteen years ago) link

King Kong was the gay one.

You great feeb, it was Aslan.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:39 (fifteen years ago) link

Yup, I saw it last Friday, right after I finished my Christmas shopping. Yeah, you're right, Jack is probably gay: the Mexico scene of courses reinforces this.

Don't forget he also cruises Ennis a few minutes into the film.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, you mentioned that ("this will do"), but I honestly don't remember it that clearly. And he does make the first move in the tent.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Also: I'm getting a bit weary of the Heath Ledger award drumbeat, especially when Gyllenhaal is really the heart of the movie. His delivery of his last monologue is the most powerful acting he's ever done.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:42 (fifteen years ago) link

I can't agree with you there, unfortunately. He was fine for the first half of the film, but I found him as a bitter middle-aged man a bit unconvincing: I kept looking at him searchingly but all I saw was Jake Gyllenhaal with a ridiculous 'stache.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:46 (fifteen years ago) link

Gyllenhaal has such bizarre, oversized features. Were I homosexual, he would not be my premier candidate for intercourse.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:48 (fifteen years ago) link

I love the 'stache! I dunno...he seemed more comfortable with the stolidity of movement that's part of being middle-aged. And in the scene in which he answers Ennis' question about whether he's been with other women, he answers with an economy of gesture/bitterness that surprised me (it helps that his response is a lie: he's actually boning the ranch hand, not the ranch hand's wife).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Don't get me wrong, I still think he's hot.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:49 (fifteen years ago) link

nah

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:49 (fifteen years ago) link

I got bored. I really liked the short story though.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:55 (fifteen years ago) link

It's only now that I've noticed his hotness since his other movies have been mostly appalling.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:56 (fifteen years ago) link

I gotta say I'm not interested in this movie at all, and am surprised much of mainstream America is. I can see gay cowboys walking down the street any day of the week, and have found Ang Lee to be a pretty unreliable and unforgiveably mawkish director - the combo sounds boring and, er, flaccid...

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:56 (fifteen years ago) link

I can see gay cowboys walking down the street any day of the week

I forgot you lived in Miami.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:57 (fifteen years ago) link

Unfortunately the combo in the movie is (boring and) flaccid too.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:58 (fifteen years ago) link

"I forgot you lived in Miami."

close - San Francisco.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 29 December 2005 23:58 (fifteen years ago) link

I forgot you lived in Daly City.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:02 (fifteen years ago) link

Soto's the one who lives in Miami!

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:03 (fifteen years ago) link

The best gay cowboys ever were in that one scene in Collateral.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:04 (fifteen years ago) link

It's pretty much been all downhill for gay cowboys since that moment on.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:04 (fifteen years ago) link

Soto's the one who lives in Miami!

I forgot you lived in Rockford.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:05 (fifteen years ago) link

My cousin lives in Miami and he thinks that San Francisco is Miami's polar opposite.

What a bunch of crap.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:07 (fifteen years ago) link

I love cuban breakfasts though. We need more of those.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:08 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm also an admirer of Morris Lapidus.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:08 (fifteen years ago) link

and Trick Daddy, of course.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:10 (fifteen years ago) link

and the early 90s Dolphins color scheme.

And some bits of Scarface.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:11 (fifteen years ago) link

The scarred bits, right?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:19 (fifteen years ago) link

man I wish I knew a decent Cuban place in SF - the best ones I've eaten at were in LA...

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:19 (fifteen years ago) link

The closest thing to gay cowboys we got in Miami walk the streets on Halloween.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 30 December 2005 00:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Gyllenhaal has such bizarre, oversized features.

Aw yeah.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Friday, 30 December 2005 01:19 (fifteen years ago) link

"guess who's coming to dinner" really isn't as bad as ppl say it is.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Friday, 30 December 2005 03:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Except Tracy makes me cry in the last scene -- cuz he's talking about him & Hepburn in real life -- and this one kept my eyes dry. (It's more like the tragic sodomite Same Time Next Year.)

Lotsa dull dull domestic melodrama, and there's hardly any carnality (or eroticism) in it after the spit-lube. The way the next-to-last scene with the daughter panders to the hetero 'mainstream' made me kinda ill. Bet the Best Picture Oscar, and I wonder if Heath will keep up the Novocaine Mouth in his acceptance speech.

Boys with that brand of bizarre, oversized features can crawl in my tent too.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 31 December 2005 20:26 (fifteen years ago) link

The way the next-to-last scene with the daughter panders to the hetero 'mainstream' made me kinda ill

Wow. I know the scene is not in the story, but any scene as well-played as that one (Kate Mara gives the film's least heralded good performance) works just fine.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 31 December 2005 20:53 (fifteen years ago) link

I also thought Shouty Jake (ie, the last monologue) was not particularly successful.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 January 2006 14:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Soto, can i read yr review.
I just sent a discussion of this and mr and mrs smith to jump cut in montreal.

anthony easton (anthony), Monday, 2 January 2006 14:20 (fifteen years ago) link

Dr Morbius plainly hates good acting.

Anthony: you got mail.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 2 January 2006 14:38 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't think this was a gay film at all. It was a conventional "women's picture". It has the same appeal to the same audience as A River Runs Through It, The Horse Whisperer etc etc. It's all about hunky, tough yet sensitive guys who don't say much. The buttsex angle is something of a red herring.

Compare/contrast slash fiction, written and read almost exclusively by heterosexual women.

dream logic, Monday, 2 January 2006 14:38 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't think this was a gay film at all. It was a conventional "women's picture".

I agree, but a rather cold one. It reminded a bit of a Douglas Sirk picture: kitsch redeemed thanks to the director's tonal control.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 2 January 2006 14:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Here are two statements that I did not understand!

Apparently Michelle Williams may be 'acting' off the set much like Katie Holmes, IF you know what I mean...

-- Dr Morbius (wjwe...), November 10th, 2005.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You guys realize if there's any pudding in this film, it'll be the strawman indie film as outlined by Cartman in South Park?
-- mike h. (m...), November 10th, 2005.

Can anyone translate, or explain?


the pinefox, Monday, 2 January 2006 14:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Maybe the interesting thing is the way the gayness otherwise lets the film totally off the hook, and allows the leads to be in every other way conventional when it comes to gender role models. It'd be hard to imagine a movie these days where the leads were such conservative unreconstructed "real men", and yet where the target audience was "liberal" rather than "red state".

dream logic, Monday, 2 January 2006 14:52 (fifteen years ago) link

Ultimately, what this film lets women do is pull off a Houdini trick where they can fantasise about "real men", while not having to buy into everything else that goes with the "real man" ethos, because of the gayness of it.

dream logic, Monday, 2 January 2006 14:58 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh man, if only Ang Lee had half of Sirk's passion (or looniness).

xpost
Unsubsantiated rumor: MW and HL's coupling (and child) is a front for his gay/bisexuality.

South Park's Cartman once defined 'independent film' as movies about gay cowboys eating pudding.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 January 2006 15:15 (fifteen years ago) link

But they do eat a lot of beans.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 2 January 2006 15:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Thanks, Dr Morbius - now I understand, at least more than I did.

People are so often unwilling to explain things these days.

the bellefox, Monday, 2 January 2006 15:45 (fifteen years ago) link

I like your review too, Alfred, esp the puke-Proust line. You do pick a considerable number of flaws for an A-, but I guess the virtues carried more weight for you than me. I'd have preferred the spare, 95-minute film this could have been ... because the female characters AREN'T IMPORTANT. The McMurtrys are guilty of major bloat by adaptation.

(I saw a ref to Ang Lee referring to The Last Picture Show as a different kind of male-male romance that inspired him, so our Jeff Bridges-Dennis Quaid fantasy version could be within reach. You get the time machine, I'll work on convincing Proulx to write it when we get to 1979.)

Nude Jack washing Ennis' shirt by the river is one of the most erotic scene in the film (and Most Likely to Freeze Frame).

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 January 2006 16:04 (fifteen years ago) link

It took my second viewing to realize it was indeed Ennis' shirt that Jack was watching.

My Fave Erotic Moment: Jack, quietly licking his lips and barely able to keep his hands off Ennis, during his surprise visit after learning about the divorce -- more evidence that Hot Jake was as much up to the physical acting challenges as Ledger.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 2 January 2006 16:11 (fifteen years ago) link

because the female characters AREN'T IMPORTANT

They are, to contrast marriage, babies, the hearth, all the domestic shit that in the film's ideology make men less manly, and the homoerotic romance of wide open spaces, mountains, rivers and the world of "real men".

jz, Monday, 2 January 2006 16:20 (fifteen years ago) link

the wives are vital!! they probelmatize a competely queer reading, they hetreosexualise the discourse.

(Am will now shit down my throat_)

anthony easton (anthony), Monday, 2 January 2006 16:29 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm not surprised that it's not showing in Tupelo, but apparently it's not even showing in Memphis yet.

truck-patch pixel farmer (Rock Hardy), Monday, 2 January 2006 16:30 (fifteen years ago) link

jz -- yeah, sort of, but I didn't say they shouldn't be there -- but doubling or tripling their presence compared to the story was done for the reason, I suspect, reflected in James Schamus' pronouncement to Ang Lee that straight women were the target audience.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 January 2006 16:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, you're probably right. And so is Schamus, the target is clearly straight women since it's a rather conservative romance, once you take out the gay element. It's the traditional sort of love-across the barriers genre, but where those barriers are usually class or colour or nationality, here it's gender. But the film is ultimately problematic for the female viewer because it's asking viewers to buy into a conservative vision of homosexuality, more current in the male gay world of the forties or fifties, where women are seen as the competition or the enemy, femininity is not valued, and the idealised world of pure masculinity is one in which women don't have a role to play.

jz, Monday, 2 January 2006 16:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Saw it yesterday and was dissappointed.

Miss Misery xox (MissMiseryTX), Monday, 2 January 2006 17:00 (fifteen years ago) link

the wives are vital!! they probelmatize a competely queer reading, they hetreosexualise the discourse.

if they're so vital, then their parts could have been written as more than blank stereotypes. there was so little to them that i just found them distracting. michelle williams got a little more to work with and did fairly well, but anne hathaway had about 20 minutes of screen time total and could barely act her way through what few scenes she had.

lauren (laurenp), Monday, 2 January 2006 17:26 (fifteen years ago) link

Hathaway has even muddied the denouement for some folks, who are not sure if her robotic phone recitation is the character or her.

Bloggerific WFMU DJ Mark Allen's take (scroll to 12/14) -- has anybody ever heard "stemmin' the rose" before btw?:

http://www.markallencam.com/toptenoftheweek.html


"In their first encounter in the tent, with all the spastic pushing, slap-punching, violent face-butting and pants-ripping, Ledger and Gyllenhaal display the intimacy of a pair of drunken paraplegics fighting over the last belt buckle at a Western Wear closing sale."

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 January 2006 18:16 (fifteen years ago) link

anne hathaway had about 20 minutes of screen time total and could barely act her way through what few scenes she had.

This is, of course, quite incorrect.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 2 January 2006 20:03 (fifteen years ago) link

Cowboys Are My Weakness

By LARRY DAVID
Published: January 1, 2006

SOMEBODY had to write this, and it might as well be me. I haven't seen "Brokeback Mountain," nor do I have any intention of seeing it. In fact, cowboys would have to lasso me, drag me into the theater and tie me to the seat, and even then I would make every effort to close my eyes and cover my ears.

And I love gay people. Hey, I've got gay acquaintances. Good acquaintances, who know they can call me anytime if they had my phone number. I'm for gay marriage, gay divorce, gay this and gay that. I just don't want to watch two straight men, alone on the prairie, fall in love and kiss and hug and hold hands and whatnot. That's all.

Is that so terrible? Does that mean I'm homophobic? And if I am, well, then that's too bad. Because you can call me any name you want, but I'm still not going to that movie.

To my surprise, I have some straight friends who've not only seen the movie but liked it. "One of the best love stories ever," one gushed. Another went on, "Oh, my God, you completely forget that it's two men. You in particular will love it."

"Why me?"

"You just will, trust me."

But I don't trust him. If two cowboys, male icons who are 100 percent all-man, can succumb, what chance to do I have, half- to a quarter of a man, depending on whom I'm with at the time? I'm a very susceptible person, easily influenced, a natural-born follower with no sales-resistance. When I walk into a store, clerks wrestle one another trying to get to me first. My wife won't let me watch infomercials because of all the junk I've ordered that's now piled up in the garage. My medicine cabinet is filled with vitamins and bald cures.

So who's to say I won't become enamored with the whole gay business? Let's face it, there is some appeal there. I know I've always gotten along great with men. I never once paced in my room rehearsing what to say before asking a guy if he wanted to go to the movies. And I generally don't pay for men, which of course is their most appealing attribute.

And gay guys always seem like they're having a great time. At the Christmas party I went to, they were the only ones who sang. Boy that looked like fun. I would love to sing, but this weighty, self-conscious heterosexuality I'm saddled with won't permit it.

I just know if I saw that movie, the voice inside my head that delights in torturing me would have a field day. "You like those cowboys, don't you? They're kind of cute. Go ahead, admit it, they're cute. You can't fool me, gay man. Go ahead, stop fighting it. You're gay! You're gay!"

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

Larry David appears in the HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

I GUARONTEE ::cajun voice:: (Adrian Langston), Monday, 2 January 2006 20:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Hathaway has even muddied the denouement for some folks, who are not sure if her robotic phone recitation is the character or her.

Stephanie Zancharek, whose negative review I otherwise accept, remarked that Anne Hathaway was poorly directed -- a ridiculous assertion.

Mark Allen writes:

In a heartbreaking scene where Lureen [Anne Hathaway] is telling Ennis an obviously made-up story of how her husband died, she's shown reciting the tall tale over the phone in a bored monotone, perched in a gorgeous all-white living room, dripping in silver, turquoise and platinum mile-high hair... any look of emotion on her face obscured by mountains of Mary Kay.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 2 January 2006 20:39 (fifteen years ago) link

I did not have that big a problem with A.H., just the role. I couldn't imagine there's any mistaking the intent of the phone scene, but one look at some gay discussion boards reveals exactly what decades of Television Brain Rot can cost some folks.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 January 2006 20:47 (fifteen years ago) link

Care to post a link to one of those threads, good doctor?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 2 January 2006 21:00 (fifteen years ago) link

Eh, you'd hafta slog through too much vapidity -- I wouldn't recommend it! Like, gay sports fans?

http://www.outsports.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=002660


(the later pages, obv)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 January 2006 21:14 (fifteen years ago) link

Wow. Some of those posts are wretched; I had to smoke a cigarette after reading them.

I read the Ioannis Mookas article you posted. It made several good-but-predictable points ("Is it me, or is there not something inherently masochistic in gays obediently lining up to throw our mythic disposable income at a movie whose stars assiduously deny their own gayness, as well as their characters’?") and a few ridiculous ones (giving your money to the Evil Media Conglomerate NBC Universal; guess I should stop buying major-label albums too.).

None of the film's more fervent dismissals are as perceptive as the guarded raves in the Voice, Slate, and Salon.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 2 January 2006 21:48 (fifteen years ago) link

The guarded rave... hmmm.

Yeah, I grok the quixotic nature of the anti-GE screed, but it makes marginally more sense in the context of this REVOLUTIONARY film! And all the purty shots of pollutant-free Wyoming (Alberta).

Good spotting of DP Rodrigo Prieto in the hustler alley upthread.

Nice late bit by Roberta Maxwell as Jack's mom. Tho the dad's "and there was this OTHER fella" -- maybe the most withering line in Proulx -- loses most of its sting cuz we've SEEN the other fella already.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 January 2006 21:59 (fifteen years ago) link

The mom was wonderful; those scenes are the ones that best showcase Lee's rigid formalism. The suppression of emotion, the spare dialogue, how Lee includes no more than two actors per frame -- almost Bressonian.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 2 January 2006 22:26 (fifteen years ago) link

Hathaway has even muddied the denouement for some folks, who are not sure if her robotic phone recitation is the character or her.

leaving aside the issue of whether or not i'm "quite incorrect" in my dislike of anne hathaway, this seemed to be the case amongst the audience the other day. it was a sold-out showing, and from what i overheard the main topic of exit discussion was what the telephone scene actually meant. i'm also assuming that not all of these people were drooling idiots incapable of picking up on the subtleties of the plot, and that either her performance or the direction led to some confusion.

lauren (laurenp), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 19:49 (fifteen years ago) link

I was being tongue-in-cheek, Lauren, but it seemed quite clear that she was lying on the phone.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 20:18 (fifteen years ago) link

It wasn't really clear to me. I wasn't sure if the flashback of him being beaten was just for our benefit or it was her memory.

I don't know, overall it seemed poorly written or poorly portrayed. I can't put my finger on it.

Miss Misery xox (MissMiseryTX), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 20:23 (fifteen years ago) link

The murder scene seems to spring from Ennis' perspective. I can't recall now whether the wife's voice is the primary clue in Proulx, but Ennis immediately tells himself Jack was killed. It seemed ambiguous on the page, but the subsequent behavior of the parents (in both media) and the fact that when such things are literalized onscreen they become 'truer' makes it irrefutable.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 20:35 (fifteen years ago) link

If anything, it's clearer on the page: No, he thought, they got him with the tire iron.

I'm not saying that Jack was indeed beaten to death; since the scene is definitely shot from Ennis' point of view, it's subjective. But Lureen's reaction (and how Hathaway intoned the lines) sure as hell suggested that she was lying about something.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 20:41 (fifteen years ago) link

I agree.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 20:43 (fifteen years ago) link

(It was the main topic of conversation after the screening I saw, too: a sweet-looking young man in a group of male friends seemed quite confused.)

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 20:45 (fifteen years ago) link

btw, Alfred, your leadoff post -- did your critic friend hallucinate those "extended and graphic male-male sex scenes (PLURAL)" we so badly needed?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 20:47 (fifteen years ago) link

I told her she was full of shit!

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 20:48 (fifteen years ago) link

****SPOILERS**** (i hear that in a missy elliott "quiiiiiiet!!" voice)

the wives are vital!! they probelmatize a competely queer reading, they hetreosexualise the discourse.

i think the word "heterosexualise" is a little silly, but you're right, they complicate the film, although a lot of people felt like the film doesn't show much (enough) sympathy with the michelle williams character. in a way her and heath's divorce, like jake's death, seem to invest the narrative with a certain degree of "realistic" chance or randomness but also serve as a kind of escape for the screenwriters who are able to deal only superficially with some of the most knotty issues that a story like this could potentially raise.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:11 (fifteen years ago) link

****MORE SPOILERS Y'ALL****

the weird last scene w/anne hathaway just amplified the ambiguity of the "flashback" to gyllenhaal's death. the robotic way hathaway recites the circumstances of gylenhaal's death could lead to a number of irreconciliable interpretations. i don't know if it was *designed* that way or if the screenwriters and director weren't seeking that kind of ambiguity. in any event i'm not sure what the ambiguity (intended or not) adds to the film.

i thought hathaway was just fine. anyway i was too distracted in the earlier scenes by her RED HAT. yow.

i still think the last shot was lovely.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:15 (fifteen years ago) link

it seemed quite clear that she was lying on the phone.

actually i agree, but i think that in the context of an overall robotic performance in an underwritten role it becomes ambiguous in a way not perhaps intended.


lauren (laurenp), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:42 (fifteen years ago) link

But earlier she was a perky/sassy 'robot'! She even smirks at the ass-rippin' Jack gives her pop in that heavyhanded Thanksgiving scene.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:47 (fifteen years ago) link

i think the word "heterosexualise" is a little silly, but you're right, they complicate the film, although a lot of people felt like the film doesn't show much (enough) sympathy with the michelle williams character

I was rooting for her to leave Ennis! The film would rightly be dismissed as Guess Who's Coming To Dinner if the wives had been shrewish harridans. In fact, all the women are sympathetically written and acted (even though Lureen's increasingly ridiculous hair-do's are a bit much).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:49 (fifteen years ago) link

look these doods just had no chem

howell huser (chaki), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:49 (fifteen years ago) link

Anne Hathaway's first appearance is the film's second most erotic encounter.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:50 (fifteen years ago) link

re. hathaway

yeah her character was kind of ... inconsistent.

don't know if that means: complexity or incoherence.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:50 (fifteen years ago) link

xpost

the RED HAT was definitely erotic

http://www.co.lubbock.tx.us/HR/Halloween/1_Halloween-Red-Hat-Lady-20.jpg

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:51 (fifteen years ago) link

She's certainly aged better than Jake and Heath!

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:52 (fifteen years ago) link

huser, expert on "dude chem." Actually they struck me as better fuckbuds than lovers.

A.H. should've had a peroxided mustache.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:53 (fifteen years ago) link

on screen chem is on screen chem no matter what the sex

howell huser (chaki), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:56 (fifteen years ago) link

on screen chem

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00008438V.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 21:56 (fifteen years ago) link

But earlier she was a perky/sassy 'robot'! She even smirks at the ass-rippin' Jack gives her pop in that heavyhanded Thanksgiving scene.

Now this may be the most hetero-pandering scene in the movie. Judging from the audience's reaction (everyone applauded), it had its intended effect, although Lee is too tasteful a director to film a scene like this with intentions this crass.

(hmm...maybe he could use more crassness like this)

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 22:46 (fifteen years ago) link

that scene led nowhere. jake stands up for himself, wins respect of wife...or...possibly not. nevermind.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 22:48 (fifteen years ago) link

It's stupid.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 23:33 (fifteen years ago) link

One of the films biggest weakness (other than the lame ass ending) is actually showing the Jack side-story.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 23:35 (fifteen years ago) link

The Gyllenhaal thread is certainly showing lots of Jack's sides.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 16:52 (fifteen years ago) link

chaki otm upthread.

Lurleen looked fantastic in the beginning when she was barrel-racing. But the later perioxide look was horrid. maybe that's why jack started going to prostitutes.

Miss Misery xox (MissMiseryTX), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 16:56 (fifteen years ago) link

She looked like Stevie Nicks.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 16:59 (fifteen years ago) link

A friend just sent this. Shallow, but has a few yuks:

Who's Afraid of Riding 'Brokeback'?

BY JIM EMERSON
January 3, 2006

"Whoa, Nelly!" It seems that "Brokeback Mountain" has set off a tizzy of squeamish homosexual panic that's rippling across the nation! From critics to pundits to stand-up comics making sophomoric puns -- everybody's cracking the same lame and uncomfortable "gay cowboy" jokes over and over, but for different reasons, and I'm trying to keep track of it all. Let's see, over here we have those (mostly straight male critics) who think it's "not gay enough" (whatever that means) and might alienate its "core audience." And over here are those (mostly gay activists) who resent that the leads are ostensibly straight actors instead of gay ones.

And over here are some Kinsey 1-6 men and women wiping their eyes and noses on their sleeves. I don't think any of this other stuff would even be brought up now if "Brokeback Mountain" hadn't turned out to be such a darn good movie. And it's a Western, you know.

To me, what's been fascinating are the conflicted reactions of those who either do or do not want to see the movie in the first place: They're "afraid" to see it because of what it might reveal (to themselves or others) about their own sexuality; or they don't want to see it because they think it's a Hollywood plot to ram a "gay agenda" down America's collective throat; or they feel guilty about not wanting to see it because they're not homophobic, but they just don't want to watch two guys in love (even though they do like Westerns); or they want to go but they can't take a (female heterosexual) date (what would they talk about afterwards?) and they don't want to go by themselves or with another guy; or they want to wait until it's out on DVD because they don't want to see it, or be seen with it, in public....

Let's take a look at some examples of "Brokebackophilia" and "Brokebackophobia":

1) Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Heath? Bill O'Reilly (who amazingly thinks that "Spin" and "Talking Points" are two different things) told Michael Medved and Jeannie Wolf that he wasn't going to see it because he was "afraid." Of what, he didn't say, but it was apparently supposed to be a joke about his wooziness when it comes to... what? Horsies? Marlboro Men? Sheep? I dunno. So, then Larry "Not That There's Anything Wrong With That" David wrote a satirical op-ed in the New York Times in which he made fun of people like Bill O'Reilly (and himself), trying to find excuses for why he said he didn't want to see the movie:

I'm for gay marriage, gay divorce, gay this and gay that. I just don't want to watch two straight men, alone on the prairie, fall in love and kiss and hug and hold hands and whatnot. That's all.

Is that so terrible? Does that mean I'm homophobic? And if I am, well, then that's too bad. Because you can call me any name you want, but I'm still not going to that movie.

To my surprise, I have some straight friends who've not only seen the movie but liked it. "One of the best love stories ever," one gushed. Another went on, "Oh, my God, you completely forget that it's two men...." [...]

If two cowboys, male icons who are 100 percent all-man, can succumb, what chance to do I have, half- to a quarter of a man, depending on whom I'm with at the time? I'm a very susceptible person, easily influenced, a natural-born follower with no sales-resistance.
Fox's John "War on Christmas" Gibson (the guy with the biggest, gayest neo-Liberace helmut-pompadour blonde dye job you've ever seen) has announced again and again that he isn't going to see "the gay cowboy movie" (ha ha!) either, and was glad that Larry David, uh, "rode to [his] rescue." Funny guy. Funny ha-ha, I mean.

To me, this is the funniest part of the whole homosexual-panic reaction to "Brokeback Mountain" -- not just that seeing it or not seeing it is seen as a kind of statement, but that it's necessary for people to make a statement about seeing it or not seeing it. Some people not only feel defensive about not wanting to see it, but feel compelled to come out and announce that they don't want to see it. Does that mean they're really homophobic, or latent queer, or right-wing fundamentalists or all of the above? I "came out" recently about my (initially) unconscious resistance to seeing "King Kong" (it has to do with the 3-hour running time and my fear of feeling bad when they kill the big, sweet, furry galoot -- I don't like to see even CGI animals get hurt), but since when do people have to feel so guilty or conflicted about not wanting to see a movie? As it happens, Larry David's straight friends are right: Part of what's so good about "Brokeback Mountain" is precisely that it's a great movie love story and that you don't even think about playing stupid, reductive identity politics with the characters' lives.

(Anybody who thinks that "straight" and "gay" are permanent or exclusive binary options, or comprehensive definitions of human sexuality, will probably be surprised or confused by the movie anyway, because it doesn't make an issue of "gay" or "straight" identity or behavior. It's just a movie about the lives of these two guys who meet and work together and develop a friendship with benefits at a crucial time in their lives -- and, as with a lot of male friendships, that early on-the-job bonding becomes a life-long relationship. And, every once in a while, Jack and Ennis have sex.)

My friend John, whom I've known (entirely platonically!) for almost 30 years and who now lives with his wife Mary in Los Angeles, told me recently about a male friend of his who wanted to go see "Brokeback Mountain" but didn't know how. He knew he couldn't take a date. He didn't want to go by himself -- or with another guy (how would that look? he obsessed). So, John came up with the perfect solution: He invited his friend to accompany him and Mary.

"Great!" said the friend. "But if Mary cancels, I'm not going."

John, who's in the music industry, said: "This is the perfect DVD movie. It could be huge."

2) "Not gay enough" or "too gay"? "Brokeback Mountain" -- like "Munich," another one of 2005's best movies -- does not paint its characters in solid black-and-white. But that's exactly what worries some, who have been trying to predict whether (supposedly straight, "mainstream") audiences will find it "too gay" and be turned off, or whether (supposedly gay, activist) audiences will find it "not gay enough" (in a political sense) and be turned off.

In his "Straight dudes' guide to 'Brokeback,' " David White at MSNBC offers some advice to those who are worried about the "too gay" part:
You kind of have no idea how important it is for you to shut up. But it’s crucial. I was recently at a press screening for another movie and I overheard four guys in the theater lobby talking about “Brokeback.” They were resolute in their refusal to go see it and they couldn’t stop loudly one-upping each other about how they had no interest, were not “curious,” and were, in the words of the loudest guy in the group, “straight as that wall over there.” Oh, the wall with poster for the Big Gay Cowboy Movie on it? That straight wall? Well here’s something that everyone else now knows but that guy: he’s probably gay. Being silent marks you as too cool to care about how other men see you. It means you’re comfortable and not freaked by your own naked shadow. Did Steve McQueen go around squawking about how straight-as-a-wall he was? No, he didn’t. He was too busy being stoic and manly.
And besides:
It’s about 130 minutes long and 129 of them are about Men Not Having Sex.
And:
Dude, it's a western.... And the script was adapted by none other than Total Dude Larry McMurtry. That guy is the coolest western writer in the country. He wrote “Lonesome Dove.” You love “Lonesome Dove.” In fact, the only problem with remembering that it’s a western is having to ignore the fact that most westerns are about 1000 percent gay. If you think I’m making that up, just go watch “Red River” again.
I would add that "Brokeback Mountain" isn't even 10 percent as gay as "Top Gun" or "Jarhead," and that the man-on-man contact in both those films is much heavier and more explicit than any "stemming the rose" in "Brokeback."

Back in September, David Poland, over at The Hot Button, made a prediction after seeing "Brokeback Mountain" in the mountains of Colorado at the Telluride Film Festival:
I still think that there could be some backlash against the film since it depicts gay men (presumably, though one of the two men is clearly a happily active bi-sexual and the other seems okay with married life though obsessed with the other man, though not men in general) as unable to move forward, suppressed by society and the threat of anti-gay rage rearing its head. It's hard to imagine Larry Kramer or Andrew Sullivan going for the politics of this film.

On the flip side, I didn't find a gay man at Telluride who saw the film and was not a fan, including some very, very smart, fully out, sharp-tongued guys. [...]

In so many ways, "Brokeback Mountain" is not inherently political. It is a very old-fashioned romance....
More recently, in the Village Voice year-end movie poll, critic Steve Erickson said:
It's no surprise that a "Brokeback" backlash is coming, but the form it's taking is odd: straight male critics complaining it's not gay enough. They think a gay film has to prove — or at least aspire to — its outlaw authenticity. "Brokeback" is not just another story of tragic, helpless victims. Repression, especially the internalized variety, is the clear villain here. It comes in many forms: Straight people claiming the authority to determine queer legitimacy and then fetishizing it is one.
... while another critic, Nathan Lee, wrote:
If I hear one more straight critic complain that "Brokeback Mountain" isn't particularly gay, I'm gonna spit on my hand, lube up my ----, and ---- him in the ----. I'm only kissing if he looks like Heath Ledger, though.
Only Lee didn't use all those little dashes.

So, you may be shocked to learn that, despite what you may have been led to believe, "Brokeback Mountain" is not, in fact, all things to all people. I know, it's a wild concept. The movie tells a small-scale, narrowly delineated story, specific to these individual characters in their time and place, that makes no overt political claims -- except, natch, that it's part of a Hollywood conspiracy to promote a "pro-gay" agenda. It's also not particularly gay, although there's some of that in it.

Which brings me to my favorite "review" of "Brokeback Mountain" over at Red State Update. In a variation on SCTV's "Farm Film Report" with Billy Sol Hurok (Joe Flaherty) and Big Jim McBob (John Candy), Jackie Brole and Dunlap (played by Nashville comics Travis and Jonathan) discuss that new "King Kong" movie everybody's been talkin' about (the new one, not the old black-and-white one), and how it's nice to enjoy a good Western. What I think is particularly great about this hilariously inarticulate discussion -- which is sort of the whole "Brokeback" tizzy in a nutsack -- is that it's not just another stupid "gay cowboy" joke, but is more about the perceptions of moviegoers than it is about the movie itself.(Thanks to readers who sent in this link.)

3) "Is it breakthrough enough"? Finally, and perhaps most curious of all, is a commentary by my former Los Angeles Film Critics Association colleague David Ehrenstein, who points out that "Brokeback Mountain" is not a gay breakthrough like some are saying because it was preceded by many much gayer movies, and that those who say it's some kind of "gay breakthrough" are wrong because the movie is not what they say it is -- i.e., a "gay breakthrough" movie. Then he kind of bashes the movie for not being the very thing that he says it isn't:
Heath Ledger’s faithful Ennis Del Mar waits for Jake Gyllenhaal’s straying Jack Twist and his “fishing trip” invites just as Irene Dunne pined away for a “drop-in” from her married lover, John Boles, in 1932’s "Back Street." But we’re not supposed to speak of such things, living as we do in what Gore Vidal calls “The United States of Amnesia.” We’re instead encouraged to ignore the precedents shattered by three decades of truly groundbreaking queer films — with "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (1971) leading a pack that also includes "My Beautiful Laundrette" (1985), "Parting Glances" (1986), Todd Haynes’ "Poison" (1991) and "Velvet Goldmine" (1998), Gus Van Sant’s "Mala Noche" (1985) and "My Own Private Idaho" (1991), "Savage Nights" (1992), "The Long Day Closes" (1992), "Wild Reeds" (1994), "Urbania" (2000), "Les Passagers" (1999), Patrice Chereau’s "L’Homme Blesse" (1983) and "Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train" (1998), "Kinsey" (2004), and, just this year, "Tropical Malady" and "Mysterious Skin." No, what’s really supposed to be important is the saddle-packing same-sex equivalent of "Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner."

Newsweek’s Smith is simply agog at how “Gyllenhaal and Ledger don’t dodge it. The kissing and the sex scenes are fierce and full-blooded. But if the actors were taking a risk, they sure don’t seem to think so.” Goodness, you’d swear the thing starred Tom Cruise and Kevin Spacey.

And what about gay actors playing gay roles? Is it beyond their ken? Would they be open to accusations of “simply being themselves” rather than “really acting”? In a marvelously irreverent article published in The Guardian called “Gay for Today,” writer Philip Hensher put it best: “There are no gay actors — or at least, there weren’t until Nathan Lane, to everyone’s utter incredulity, came out. Of course, there were gay actors in America’s past — James Dean, Cary Grant, Dirk Bogarde, Rock Hudson, Danny Kaye. Plenty of them, in fact. But, for whatever reason, there’s hardly a single gay actor of recognizable stature working in Hollywood. An incredible fact.”
Maybe I missed the part where "Brokeback Mountain" announced it was a "gay breakthrough." (Oh, the marketers are also being criticized for downplaying the gayness -- even though there may not be enough -- in trying to reach a "mainstream" audience.) I agree with David that all the swoony talk about how "brave" this solidly classical movie is -- or the actors are -- is sheer sheep dung. But "Brokeback Mountain" is no pedantic liberal thesis movie like "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." And it's not the movie's fault that some ignorami are writing about it as if it were. (David: Think "All That Heaven Allows" or "Ali -- Fear Eats the Soul," in the guise of a traditional, sexually and emotionally repressed Western. Is there any other kind -- "Johnny Guitar" excepted? I mean, while we're citing Todd Haynes and Gus van Sant, shouldn't we mention Douglas Sirk and R.W. Fassbinder and Howard Hawks and John Ford -- "Two Rode Together," indeed! -- too?)

As for the "gay actor" question, I look at it this way: We all know there are a lot more gay actors playing straight parts than straight actors playing gay parts. The big difference is that the gay actors pretend that not all of what they do is acting.

Hensher's catty comments are so disingenuous he reminds me of Austin Powers: "Yeah, and I can't believe Liberace was gay. I mean, women loved him! I didn't see that one coming." Surely there's no doubt that are at least as many high-profile gay (or Kinsey 1+) actors working in Hollywood as there've ever been. And just like those Hensher mentions from the past, most of them -- with the notable exception of "Lord of the Rings"/"X-Men" icon, Sir Ian McKellen -- are not "out" to the general public. But everybody in the movie biz seems to know who they are. Or, at least, they've heard some pretty good rumors.

Whether these actors want to officially come out on the job or not is up to them. I'd like to think it wouldn't hurt their careers at all, but I'm not going to blame them for shutting up if they think it would. Or if they just don't want to deal with the particular kind of media attention they'd be inviting. And, again, that's hardly the fault of "Brokeback Mountain" or Ang Lee or Heath Ledger or Jake Gyllenhaal. Don't hate them because they're pretty!

So, there you go. It's completely up to you if you want to see or skip the first sort-of gay but maybe not gay enough cowboy love story Western picture show. Just don't assume it's what anybody else tells you it is. Or isn't. You know what "assume" does...

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 5 January 2006 17:32 (fifteen years ago) link

I didn't think twice about going to see it alone. But then I go to see most movies alone, and I'm Kinsey 1+.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 5 January 2006 17:38 (fifteen years ago) link

Same here (but re the Kinsey scale you'll have to remind me how it works).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 5 January 2006 17:42 (fifteen years ago) link

0 is exclusively straight, 6 is exclusively gay.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 5 January 2006 17:46 (fifteen years ago) link

if "Brokeback Mountain" hadn't turned out to be such a darn good movie. And it's a Western, you know.

No, and no.

A Western by definition is not centered solely on a romance. A manhunt, a cattle drive, defeating the railroad baron ... In fact, the romance usually is soured by/interferes with this objective. But cuz BBM has the right hats and scenes at rodeos, got-damn, it must be a Western.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:21 (fifteen years ago) link

what definition?

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Mine, obviously. But I'm trying to think of a Western that centers solely on a man-woman romance. Duel in the Sun? Lots of other stuff there, starting with race.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Rancho Notorious?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:30 (fifteen years ago) link

i think there's a good claim to be made that the "Western" as we understand it (as it was made from the 1930s to the 1960s roughly) does not really explain or include "brokeback mountain" -- but i just wanted to note that "by definition" is a bit of a weaselly phrase.

i do think the sort of pat critical pronouncement that "it's a western" is one of those mildly "shocking" statements that doesn't really hold water. so i'm basically agreeing with you.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:36 (fifteen years ago) link

the western typically has a lot to do with civilization vs. the wilds, west/east, good/evil, etc. even if those dualities are confused/scuttled they remain the foundation for most of the films we think of as "WEsterns." so that would disallow Brokeback Mountain.

more to the point, what PURPOSE does calling this film a Western serve? not a very interesting one to my mind. yes, it's about the West. yes, it's about ranch hands in big hats. but it otherwise doesn't engage (critically or otherwise) with the "Western" syntax.... which is not a criticism.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:38 (fifteen years ago) link


OK. It's just that I notice critics who call it a Western would do the same for City Slickers, probably.

Rancho Notorious: But she made the wules on that wanch! Very political! Plus it has manhunt / suspense / climactic shootout elements, doesn't it? (It's been years.)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:39 (fifteen years ago) link

I was recently at a press screening for another movie and I overheard four guys in the theater lobby talking about “Brokeback.” They were resolute in their refusal to go see it and they couldn’t stop loudly one-upping each other about how they had no interest, were not “curious,” and were, in the words of the loudest guy in the group, “straight as that wall over there.” Oh, the wall with poster for the Big Gay Cowboy Movie on it? That straight wall? Well here’s something that everyone else now knows but that guy: he’s probably gay. Being silent marks you as too cool to care about how other men see you. It means you’re comfortable and not freaked by your own naked shadow. Did Steve McQueen go around squawking about how straight-as-a-wall he was? No, he didn’t. He was too busy being stoic and manly.

This is brilliant.

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Well, it has a "Western" milieu, but I'm with Amateurist in that it doesn't deal derive any themes from the tradition of American Westerns. If anything, it's descended from the unrequited gay teen love British movies of the 90s. (Not to slight Proulx's story, but hey.)

elmo, patron saint of nausea (allocryptic), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:45 (fifteen years ago) link

Ya think? I'd say much more from early 20th century romance novels and movies about lovers who can't get together, usually for reasons of class (like what David Ehrenstein identified in that column that got him tons of gay hate mail).

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:48 (fifteen years ago) link

The Proulx story, in form and execution, has more in common with the Western than the film.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:56 (fifteen years ago) link

I'd say much more from early 20th century romance novels and movies about lovers who can't get together, usually for reasons of class

or like every melodrama ever made for that matter

(not a bad thing!!)

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 6 January 2006 08:53 (fifteen years ago) link

i just found out that I had the definition of bareback wrong all these years.

-- ShawShank Rambo Connection

what did you think it meant?

kyle (akmonday), Sunday, 8 January 2006 15:54 (fifteen years ago) link

i thought this was pretty great after initially being suspicious of it, probably because i like the story a fair bit. I'm not sure if it was because it won me round but the second half seems much better than the first and packs quite a punch - i had a huge lump in my throat for the last 10 minutes.

the first half played out like a silent movie, if there had been no dialogue or sound you would have been able to follow the action quite closely, partly becasue the camera lingers so long on the charaters faces and because of how conventional Ang Lee's language is (i mean this in a good way). Also it has lots of those kinds of shots that act as foreshadowing devices ( As soon as Anne Hathaway's red hat comes off you know Jack is going to mary her) or to fill in for action off camera (shot of exterior of tent/ shot of clouda passing across the moon/ shot of jack and ennis holding hands etc), or which are just cliche'd shots used well (the rear view mirror as jack drives away from ennis).

another thing about the first half of the movie is that it doesn't communicate any overhelming passion or joy or even, apart from a brief scene witnessed by the boss, any fun between the men so that you are, to an extent, left wondering why the romance kicks off in the first place and why ennis, in particular, is so keen to revisit it 4 years later. i think you can look at that as a strength or a weakeness. it's possibly a strength in that the film maker is trying to communicate that there's degree of nostalgia (for simpler times without the commitment of wives and children to look after) that pulls the men back together.


The Performaces are all pretty good, especially Heath Ledger (to my amazement), Michelle Williams and Roberta Maxwell, incredibly moving in those brief scenes as Jack's Mother. Anna Hathaway isn't so much bad as miscast. Here's Annie Proulx's hilarious appraisal of Heath Ledger's Performance:

"Heath Ledger erased the image I had when I wrote it. He was so visceral. How did this actor get inside my head so well? He understood more about the character than I did. This isn't nice for a 70-year-old woman to say, but it was a skullfuck."

Skullfuck!

the film gets much stronger once it opens out to include other charaters. i thought the scenes with both Ennis's daughter and his new waitress girlfriend worked particularly well andit would have been nice to see more of them but, since Proulx herself says to little of them it, at least, stays true to her story.

Of course the key to Ennis's love for jack is that he never really appreciates the man until he's gone. there's a hint of this with the final scene at the lake but the film packs quite a punch in the beautifully judged scene where Ennis finds the shirts in Jack's room. i had to fight back the tears at this point. The final scene and the shot afteR Jack's daughter leaves the trailer are almost unbearably moving.

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 8 January 2006 16:25 (fifteen years ago) link

what happened to Ennis' other daughter? Are we to assume (as I did) that they both know about him and the other one doesn't approve?

kyle (akmonday), Sunday, 8 January 2006 16:53 (fifteen years ago) link

the first half played out like a silent movie, if there had been no dialogue or sound you would have been able to follow the action quite closely

The movie has been discussed so much that we've almost overlooked what it does superlatively well, of which that first scene is a fine example. It's pretty clear that Jack is cruising Ennis; what's remarkable is that Lee lets the scene play. It's been a long time since a mainstream film eschewed dialogue for cinematography, body language, and the sheer gorgeousness of the actors.

another thing about the first half of the movie is that it doesn't communicate any overhelming passion or joy or even, apart from a brief scene witnessed by the boss, any fun between the men so that you are, to an extent, left wondering why the romance kicks off in the first place and why ennis, in particular, is so keen to revisit it 4 years later.

During their idyll on Brokeback Mountain there are hints. Ennis gets upset when Aguirre calls them back a few weeks early. Their goodbye is very well acted: watch how Gyllenhaal tries to stay non-chalant and fails miserably.

Jack, the one most likely to live on Castro Street, seeks him out on a hunch. His moneyed married life was going nowhere; he takes a chance and sends a postcard to the last guy with whom he had any fun (it's clear he's interested in other men besides Ennis), with no hope that Ennis will respond.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Sunday, 8 January 2006 22:00 (fifteen years ago) link

or like every melodrama ever made for that matter

(not a bad thing!!)

Nah, of all that genres that live on, I'm most ready to bury this one.

Sarah Schulman from Slate's year-in-culture summary:


Brokeback opened the door to a far more complex look at how homophobia destroys people's lives, the consequences of cruelty on gay people's emotional stability, and how familial homophobia is the place where much of this is enforced. Where the movie fell short was in the acknowledgement of gay subculture and rebellion. It seems unlikely to me that Jack Twist would have missed the existence of the gay revolution. All he had to do was turn on the television or go to church to hear about Anita Bryant and Gay Liberation in Dade County, or stumble onto the Gay Rodeo circuit, or go to a dentist's office to see Leonard Matlovich on the cover of Time magazine.

http://www.slate.com/id/2133842

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 9 January 2006 14:39 (fifteen years ago) link

It seems unlikely to me that Jack Twist would have missed the existence of the gay revolution.

Of course he didn't. Check out his sideburns and 'stache!

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 9 January 2006 17:34 (fifteen years ago) link

loved it

cozen (Cozen), Thursday, 12 January 2006 13:38 (fifteen years ago) link

as did my friend

said the music jarred a little in places tho; which I didn't notice

cozen (Cozen), Thursday, 12 January 2006 13:44 (fifteen years ago) link

what's you love, cozen?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 12 January 2006 14:33 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't like talking about love

cozen (Cozen), Thursday, 12 January 2006 14:45 (fifteen years ago) link

"I'm probably not much fun anyway"

"Ennis, girls don't fall in love with fun"

Alba (Alba), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:30 (fifteen years ago) link

http://www.lynedoch.plus.com/lc_brokeback.jpg

Alba (Alba), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:44 (fifteen years ago) link

I liked the sheep then the movie

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:46 (fifteen years ago) link

I hate that "fun" line.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:48 (fifteen years ago) link

it was fine

"I wish I knew how to quit you" was a little wishy-washier and whatever heath was saying, around that time, too, wasn't great but oh well

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 01:02 (fifteen years ago) link

See, I hated the "I wish I knew how to quit you" sounded mawkish in the trailer (complete with different take by Jake) but sounded tough, bitter, and rueful in the context of Jack's kiss-off to Ennis.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 01:17 (fifteen years ago) link

*I hated HOW

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 01:25 (fifteen years ago) link

OTM. in the trailer it sounds terrible. almost put me off.

jed_ (jed), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 01:28 (fifteen years ago) link

i finally saw this... i thought it was great. the last shot (& music cue) was wonderful.

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 02:06 (fifteen years ago) link

"high-altitude fucks" rang badly, otherwise i thought the writing was very well pitched, getting a lot from very little.

geoff (gcannon), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 02:14 (fifteen years ago) link

skullfuck

jed_ (jed), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 02:18 (fifteen years ago) link

"high altitude fucks" was the one doleful reminder that the first third of the movie was supposed to indulge us with lots of Jake-and-Heath ass shots which, alas, didn't happen.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 02:39 (fifteen years ago) link

the last shot (& music cue) was wonderful.

totally

adamrl (nordicskilla), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 04:12 (fifteen years ago) link

I wasn't sure about it until the last scenes with Alma Jr. and Jack's parents, but damn that was pretty amazing.

There were problems - neither wife had enough screentime to be either really good or really bad (though MW's eyes/reaction shots when she first sees Jack and Ennis were fantastic), and that same guitar line that played whenever they were together got annoying fast, but the strings that blended into white noise at other times were a nice touch.

In a way, I guess all the stuff upthread about it catering to hetero audiences and not being all that radical in its depiction of homosexuality, etc. is right, but I think that's because the gayness (as promoted) was a red herring. I saw a movie about longing and repression and being stuck in the same damn place your entire life, unable to save yourself or make a better life.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 04:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Can someone remind me of the last shot? Put a spoiler on it if you have to. I tend to forget these things sometimes.

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 06:28 (fifteen years ago) link

(According to my recollection):

The last shot: after Ennis buttons up Jack's shirt he looks at a postcard of Brokeback Mountain, mumbling "Jack, I swear..." then the camera pans away to the open window.

It is devastating. He's still keeping the love of his life in the closet.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 14:12 (fifteen years ago) link

From Towleroad:


Last night's Tonight Show appearance by Heath Ledger was fairly remarkable, because Ledger and Leno managed to talk for a solid 15 minutes, much of it about Ang Lee and Brokeback, and never mention the word gay or anything approximating it.

Ledger: "I just looked at it as an incredible opportunity to play this, you know...complex, lonely figure..."

The omission seemed fairly obvious to me...


http://towleroad.typepad.com/towleroad/2006/01/talk_about_brok.html

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Anne Hathaway is my newest pointless Hollywood crush.

adamrl (nordicskilla), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:24 (fifteen years ago) link

don't know if the window's open or not but out of it is a pale yellow field and a strip of pale blue sky and, maybe, a bit of a pale dusty road

crosspost

nick and I were sure we recognised her from something else but imdb says she hasn't been in anything I'd have seen

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:26 (fifteen years ago) link

Not fans of the Princess Diaries, I take it.

See Havoc, in which she plays a brazen teenage strumpet.

adamrl (nordicskilla), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:27 (fifteen years ago) link

embarrassingly I don't quite understand the final line. I swear what? It could mean a lot of things. If that's the point then I guess I do understand it. But I thought maybe I missed something it was referring to, specifically.

kyle (akmonday), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:27 (fifteen years ago) link


Last night's Tonight Show appearance by Heath Ledger was fairly remarkable, because Ledger and Leno managed to talk for a solid 15 minutes, much of it about Ang Lee and Brokeback, and never mention the word gay or anything approximating it.

the movie goes for a solid two hours without mentioning the word gay!

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:31 (fifteen years ago) link

It's just "Jack, I swear..." It's straight from the story. The ambiguity makes more sense in the story.

S1ocki:

"You know I ain't no queer."
"Me neither."

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:33 (fifteen years ago) link

--- SPOILER --- SPOILER --- SPOILER ---


When Jack's mother helps Ennis put Jack's shirt in the bag, does she put Jack's slip Jack's ashes in there too? I know there was a moment between Ennis and Jack's mom, but I didn't quite see / don't remember what exactly happened.

If so, perhaps Ennis in the last scene is swearing he will scatter Jack's ashes on Brokeback... even though it may be a while, what with his daughter wedding and his history of letting jack down, etc.? I dunno.

elmo, patron saint of nausea (allocryptic), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:37 (fifteen years ago) link

the movie goes for a solid two hours without mentioning the word gay!

But Jay and Heath didn't even mention "stemmin the rose"! (and presumably they're not closeted 1960s sheep herders)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:38 (fifteen years ago) link

I saw the interview. How uncomfortable: Jay Leno's relentless mugging and obsequiousness vs Ledger's nervousness.

Compare his interview to Gyllenhaal's last week, in which the gay stuff was NOT ignored and Gyllenhaal was as open and coltish as Jack Twist. Maybe cuz he's more at ease in the spotlight.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:38 (fifteen years ago) link

When Jack's mother helps Ennis put Jack's shirt in the bag, does she put Jack's slip Jack's ashes in there too? I know there was a moment between Ennis and Jack's mom, but I didn't quite see / don't remember what exactly happened.

If so, perhaps Ennis in the last scene is swearing he will scatter Jack's ashes on Brokeback... even though it may be a while, what with his daughter wedding and his history of letting jack down, etc.? I dunno.

Nope. It's ambiguous. Again, the story (and I paraphrase): Ennis mumbles, "Jack, I swear" even though Ennis is not the swearing kind and Jack had never asked him to swear anything.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:43 (fifteen years ago) link

all i gotta say is JAKE GLYENHAAL IS FUCKING OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD *HOT*

killy (baby lenin pin), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:46 (fifteen years ago) link

We all agree with you there.

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:48 (fifteen years ago) link

no

adamrl (nordicskilla), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:49 (fifteen years ago) link

every woman I know would like to disagree with you

kyle (akmonday), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:55 (fifteen years ago) link

i love that line, the last line. it doesn't have to refer spefically to any particular oath that ennis is swearing... it's just this awful expression of... inexpressiveness...

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 21:30 (fifteen years ago) link

every woman I know would like to disagree with you

you're being sarcastic, right? those huge, close-up shots of his face on the big screen... holy god damn i'll break his somethin'

killy (baby lenin pin), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 21:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Jake Gyllenhaal - C or D?

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 21:41 (fifteen years ago) link

"Gun's goin' off!"

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 21:43 (fifteen years ago) link

I thought "I swear" was said with bemusement thinking about Twist and what could have been, but maybe that's just me reading into it as a (kind-of) southerner.

I saw a minute or two of the Ledger interview - I think he was still in-character from the junkie movie he's doing. What little I saw consisted of him refusing to make eye contact with Leno.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 21:47 (fifteen years ago) link

I would never make eye contact with Jay Leno. He is a sad, broken man.

elmo, patron saint of nausea (allocryptic), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 21:49 (fifteen years ago) link

Jake Gyllenhaal - C or D?

-- jaymc (jmcunnin...), January 18th, 2006. (tracklink)


duh... thanks a lot, though, that's the hottest thread ever

killy (baby lenin pin), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 21:57 (fifteen years ago) link

It's now the #1 movie in the country:

http://boxofficemojo.com/daily

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 19 January 2006 02:44 (fifteen years ago) link

this was great.

"hetero-pandering" is such a cynical phrase.

mark p (Mark P), Sunday, 22 January 2006 02:36 (fifteen years ago) link

I was about to revive this.

Was dragged to see this for a second time with a straight friend swayed by the publicity. A lot of my objections now seem trivial. I'm more impressed now by Heath Ledger's great physical performance; so few actors these days know how to move in character. By the time Jack Twist delivers his excoriating final monologue Ennis has for all intents and purposes shriveled, a smoking and drinking waste of a man. All those scenes of Ennis hunched over at a bar are quietly and insistently convincing.

The Thanksgiving scenes - in which Jack and Ennis try to convince the audience that they're Real Men besides being fags - are the only hetero-pandering moments.

And the score is wonderful.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Sunday, 22 January 2006 03:11 (fifteen years ago) link

Some remarks from an article by The Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern yesterday. Nothing profound, and sometimes silly (Sydney Pollack's remarks on Ang Lee sound like he's describing Charlie Chan), but nice evocations of some of the better scenes.

The Director's Fingerprints by Joe Morgenstern

since you have to be a subscriber to read the article on internet, I copy and paste the key points:

Pinning down who did exactly what can be hard even for someone who's been an intimate part of the process. "Ang Lee has a way of letting the film unfold itself," says Sydney Pollack, a top-flight director in his own right who was the executive producer of "Sense and Sensibility." "He's like a Zen presence on the set. He has a way of tapping the energy that already exists in writers and actors and other people working for him, of perfectly mixing it so that he doesn't ever appear to have his hands all over it. Yet every movie he's ever done bears his stamp quite clearly."

All of which goes back to the original question: How do we as spectators see that stamp? Where do we find the direction? Clues vary from film to film, but, as a case in point, I've picked a few from Ang Lee's most recent film, "Brokeback Mountain." They're nothing more than clues, since I'm a spectator too -- I wasn't on the set to watch him work -- but they may give some sense of the director's sensibility.

The opening shot bespeaks both immensity and simplicity -- a far-off trailer truck, announced by two notes on a guitar, traversing a vast mountain landscape at night.

The early sequences -- the two cowboys, Jack and Ennis, moving sheep through the mountains -- are photographed lyrically, but again the shots are strikingly simple. When the men speak haltingly of themselves, their scenes are paced somewhere between leisurely and slow. At first I found the pace trying, then came to recognize it as a sign of the director's trust in his audience's willingness to stay with the story as it unfolds.

Heath Ledger's Ennis -- hooded, laconic, recessive -- is a radical departure from the actor's previous work. Does that mean the decisive influence was directorial? Not necessarily, but at a minimum the director was hospitable to his co-star's performance.

The first leaps in time -- suddenly Ennis is married, and then, just as suddenly, the father of two children -- are so abrupt as to make you wonder if the projectionist switched the reels. But they're evidence of the director's daring; time will not be wasted on tidy transitions.

The film looks spare throughout -- plain buildings and plain rooms to go with the plainspoken protagonists. That's the province of the production designer, to be sure, but the consistency of style, both physical and visual, suggests a strong directorial influence as well.

There's enormous power in the long, almost silent passage when, and after, Ennis's wife discovers her husband in a passionate embrace with Jack. Michelle Williams created the performance, but Ang Lee -- and his editor -- constructed the sequence in a clear-eyed way that shows the actress's work to stunning advantage.

A phone call, near the end, brings Ennis important news about Jack from Jack's wife, Lureen. (I'm avoiding specifics for those who haven't yet seen the film.) Another director might have played most of the scene on Ennis's face, since the news affects him most directly. Ang Lee chose to give much greater prominence to Lureen, who, thanks to Anne Hathaway's acting, tells an enthralling tale beneath the camera's steady gaze.

These discrete, somewhat abstract observations can't begin to convey the totality of the film. Taken together, though, they reflect some of the qualities that inform the film -- physical beauty, clarity, confident pace, firm though delicate control. If there's a single word for what connects these various qualities, it's direction.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Sunday, 22 January 2006 14:12 (fifteen years ago) link

Nobody told me about the Gene Shalit controversy.

(He's since apologized, but here's an excerpt of his original review:

The sheep do nothing special as they bleet around the bush, but Jack and Ennis do do something special. They have sex. Jack, who strikes me as a sexual predator, tracks Ennis down and coaxes him into sporadic trysts. But sporadic isn’t frequent enough for Jack. He wants Ennis full time! He whines, he pleads, he shouts that when they’re apart, he’s desolated. Jack can’t absorb Ennis’ implied response: better desolate than never! Heath Ledger’s performance under Ang Lee’s direction is outstanding, and Brokeback does have a few dramatic peaks. But this may be because its unconventional theme is outside the buns, it is being wildly overpraised. Not by me!)

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 24 January 2006 16:10 (fifteen years ago) link

"outside the buns"!

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 24 January 2006 16:14 (fifteen years ago) link

I think the cast is on Oprah tomorrow.

http://towleroad.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/marlboro_towleroad_1.jpg

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 January 2006 21:53 (fifteen years ago) link

THAT IS CLASSIC

jed_ (jed), Thursday, 26 January 2006 21:58 (fifteen years ago) link

It would be remiss of me if I didn't mention the unspeakable gorgeousness of Gilly in those "Oprah" clips.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 26 January 2006 22:01 (fifteen years ago) link

lol

phantasy bear (nordicskilla), Thursday, 26 January 2006 22:01 (fifteen years ago) link

http://www.defamer.com/hollywood/graystokemoutain.jpg

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 26 January 2006 22:03 (fifteen years ago) link

not as good

phantasy bear (nordicskilla), Thursday, 26 January 2006 22:05 (fifteen years ago) link

"Back off, muscle boy! Or I'll open your drawbridge!"

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 26 January 2006 22:11 (fifteen years ago) link

My fave moment of the Okrafest (besides OH JAKE, YOU DO THAT COLTISH GIGGLE SO NICELY) was when Anne Hathaway and the audience showed thenselves to be smarter than Okra re the phone scene.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 29 January 2006 18:54 (fifteen years ago) link

And Gilly knows the difference between charm and smarm. He gives showbiz kids a good name.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Sunday, 29 January 2006 23:50 (fifteen years ago) link

The whole schmooze-a-rama of "Let's confirm H & J's heterosexuality nonstop" made me more than a wee bit nauseated tho. "I understand your favorite scene was mounting Anne!" "Yes, Okra! Some cowboys enjoy oysters!"

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 30 January 2006 14:15 (fifteen years ago) link

there's definite chemistry between the boys though. It ain't a one-shot thing they got goin' on.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 30 January 2006 15:10 (fifteen years ago) link

Perhaps one of the days they "didn't get along" was when Michelle moved into Heath's trailer.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 30 January 2006 15:28 (fifteen years ago) link

Michelle Williams is either a much better actress than we've reckoned or a woman without guile. She not only escaped unscathed from Okra's net of personal questions and syrupy praise, but her genuinely humbled/crumpled expression after Ledger's sop to the audience ("She's the perfect mom!") moved me almost as much as her Alma was supposed to.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 30 January 2006 15:38 (fifteen years ago) link

Ever see Me without You? She's amazingly good in it.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 30 January 2006 15:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Stanley Kauffman's review in The New Republic:

Ang Lee continues to astonish. In 1995, when his best-known film was Eat Drink Man Woman, set in his native Taiwan, the producers of Sense and Sensibility tapped him to direct their picture: an act of perception, of courage, for which all of us owe them thanks. Lee proceeded--incredibly--to make the best of the Jane Austen films. He then went on to make five more pictures, among which were two ultra-American ones, The Ice Storm, about Connecticut suburbanites, and Ride With the Devil, about the Civil War.

Both of those films, whatever their other qualities, were made with societal comprehension. The fact that Lee was educated in theater and film at American universities must of course have much to do with his American ease. Now he shows it again in Brokeback Mountain, which deals with the American West in the twentieth century, and now we owe even more thanks to the producers who launched him on his unique career. (One of those producers worked on this new picture.)

The screenplay by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, based on a story by Annie Proulx, is about two cowboys who are lovers. In 1963 in Wyoming, two ranch hands named Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist are hired to spend the winter tending a thousand sheep up on Brokeback Mountain. (Shepherds though they are, through much of the film they call each other "cowboy," and we do see them later with cattle.) Ennis and Jack had not known each other previously, and they don't spend a lot of time together now. Ennis sleeps somewhere off near the sheep, and Jack bunks in a pup tent. One inclement night, however, they share the tent. There has not been the slightest hint of physical attraction between them, nor is there now as they bed down together. During the night, however, they find themselves--the phrase is apt--having sex.

In the morning they are their customary laconic selves as they go about their jobs, but they are both marked for life--by love. They have sex together again up in the mountains. Later on, through the years, they continue to meet as often as they can, even though in time both of them marry. The film traces their torment when separated, their happiness at reunions, and their near-pride in their private selves. Their marriages are not blissful--Ennis's wife indeed has seen the two men kissing--but they seem to accept marital trouble as part of the world's harassment of their truth.

The delicacy and pain and almost unbearable joy of the pair, though given to us through the actors, began with Lee, I believe--his vision of Ennis and Jack. He apparently sees their relationship as double. One part is the basic human lot, their immersion in a general current of emotional need that seems to flood around all men and women, that looks for reification, for person and place, in one or another sort of gender relationship. The second part is more specific: the morning after their first experience, Ennis and Jack virtually decide that they must be in love. They specify to each other that they are not "queer," but the condition that allows them to be themselves without shame is to believe that they are in love. This is a matter far from fakery. They are as truly in love as two people can be, but they are grateful for it because this spiritual union licenses them to continue their occasional beddings, and helps to justify each man to himself.

Their story does not finish as they might have wished: it couldn't, given the world in which they live. But their relationship from beginning to end has a finespun texture that is, I'd guess, the result of Lee's vision. His treatment of their love is so affirmed yet gentle that it seems, more than the story, the purpose for which he made the film.

The landscape in which most of it takes place is majestic, thrilling. It was actually shot in the Canadian Rockies, and the cinematographer, Rodrigo Prieto, presents the scenic marvels to us like resplendent gifts. The interweaving of the grand landscape with the intimate story has a peculiar synesthetic effect: it almost transmutes into music, Beethoven perhaps, in which great chords shape the cosmos through which a poignant lyrical theme winds.

Brokeback Mountain does not contain the slightest suggestion that its purpose is to chronicle a case or a social problem. (It has provoked a blizzard of articles on the subject of cowboy homosexuality, most of them paying little attention to the film's art.) It simply treasures two human beings who, unlikely as we may have thought it for these men, find themselves fixed in a discomfiting yet thorough passion. They inhabit a world that vaunts macho masculinity; nonetheless they seem secretly fortified by their fate.

The two leading actors are superb. Merely to remember their performances is to be moved again. Ennis is played by Heath Ledger, an Australian who has mastered western accent and bearing. He gives Ennis a solidity through which his new experience shivers like a crack through a rock. (An extrinsic fact to whet appetite: Ledger has just appeared in a film as Casanova.) It seems possible that, even allowing for the messiness of almost any acting career, Ledger may be on his way to the heights. Jack is Jake Gyllenhaal, who, in an odd way, has been slipping quietly into prominence. His performances in Proof and Jarhead hardly went unnoticed, but his Jack makes us realize that we have been watching the emergence of something more than a usable young leading man. As Jack, he creates a dogged sensitivity, a man who has not lived by emotional finesse but now finds himself capable of it and will not relinquish it.

Lee's part in these performances? In the diary that Emma Thompson kept while making Sense and Sensibility, she wrote: "I am constantly astounded by Ang--his taste is consummate. It sometimes takes a while to work out exactly what he wants but it's always something subtler." It seems highly likely that Ledger and Gyllenhaal could say the same.

So in all the tumult about this film, the eruption of its subject into wide attention and the consequent revelations about cowboys' lives in the past, let us--without forgetting the American sources of the screenplay--acknowledge the anomaly that the director is Chinese. Where his mind and imagination will take Lee next I do not yet know, but I certainly want to follow.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 30 January 2006 17:49 (fifteen years ago) link

I saw this on Friday, and let me just say: their jeans were way too baggy and pre-finished (a process which did not exist at the time).

Hello, jeans in the 60s were butt-tight!

Go to your local vintage store and try on a pair of 60s jeans if you don't believe me.

Ico Comogene (Steve Shasta), Monday, 30 January 2006 19:26 (fifteen years ago) link

Ever see Me without You? She's amazingly good in it.

Holy shit, SOMEONE ELSE HAS SEEN IT.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Monday, 30 January 2006 19:38 (fifteen years ago) link

A none-too-impressive Washington Post column, more heterocentric than anything in the film. Choice excerpt:

The movie also misses the deepest joy of family, which is that sense of connection to the great wheel of life. Giving birth to, educating and loving a kid are among the profound joys of human existence. "Brokeback Mountain" cannot begin to imagine such a thing; that reality simply is not on its radar, and if you looked at the story from another vantage -- the children's -- it would be a different tale altogether: about greedy, selfish, undisciplined homosexuals who took out a contract in the heterosexual world, and abandoned it. They weren't true men; they failed at the man's one sacred duty on Earth, which is to provide.

Having babies is universally accepted as a "profound joy"?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/01/AR2006020102477.html

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 2 February 2006 14:31 (fifteen years ago) link

I wonder how that reviewer feels about literary characters like, say, Anna Karenina or Emma Bovary.

elmo, patron saint of nausea (allocryptic), Thursday, 2 February 2006 14:54 (fifteen years ago) link

All the parents I know look profoundly joyful at all times. (And dammit, I like my friends' kids. Mostly.)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 February 2006 14:58 (fifteen years ago) link

I'd get a joy more profound in eating Pop-Tarts but that's just me.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 2 February 2006 15:45 (fifteen years ago) link

The happiest image in the film, and the most poignant, is Ennis and Jack, off by their lonesome, pulling off their clothes and leaping off a cliff into the placid, welcoming waters below. Realistically, it's a river; metaphorically, it's the great river of homosexuality, and safe and free immersion in it is utterly joyful to them.

...emphasis mine.

I'm sorry... huh?

elmo, patron saint of nausea (allocryptic), Thursday, 2 February 2006 15:57 (fifteen years ago) link

You can get scars from eating Pop Tarts, too. Let's name the great river of homosexuality!

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 February 2006 16:03 (fifteen years ago) link

The River Sodom.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 2 February 2006 16:08 (fifteen years ago) link

surely now that people have seen "Brokeback Mountain", they are no longer anticipating it?

DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 2 February 2006 16:12 (fifteen years ago) link

http://www.aleka.org/phoenix/pictures/rivsig2.jpg

xpost

Stephen X (Stephen X), Thursday, 2 February 2006 16:12 (fifteen years ago) link

surely now that people have seen "Brokeback Mountain", they are no longer anticipating it?

THOSE RED STATE CONSERVATIVES ARE RESISTING THE RIVER SODOM AS IT OVERFLOWS ITS BANKS.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 2 February 2006 16:39 (fifteen years ago) link

(enter "finger in the dyke" joke here)

elmo, patron saint of nausea (allocryptic), Thursday, 2 February 2006 16:40 (fifteen years ago) link


aping Tom of Finland...


http://www.queerty.com/queer/brokeback-art-s.jpg

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 February 2006 16:43 (fifteen years ago) link

I finally found a copy of the Proulx book and read the short story - the worst moment in the movie (Jack Nasty!) is actually in the story! How did that make it through countless script revisions, editing, etc.?

(OTOH, the best scene - Ennis flipping Alma over to give 'er the Old Jack Twist is also in the book, so it all balances out)

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Thursday, 2 February 2006 20:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Jeez, 'Jack Nasty' ain't anywhere as bad as that Thanksgiving scene. (On Okra, Gyllenhaal said they gave him a hat w/ JACK NASTY on it.)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 February 2006 20:24 (fifteen years ago) link

I thought the 'Jack Nasty' comment was in the Thanksgiving sequence?

elmo, patron saint of nausea (allocryptic), Thursday, 2 February 2006 20:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I think he means the Jake G/Hathaway Thanksgiving specifically. Which wasn't great, but didn't make the audience laugh like JACK NASTY.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Thursday, 2 February 2006 21:13 (fifteen years ago) link

It's kind of an intentionally funny line, I think.

Yeah, the Twist Thanksgiving with the TV set.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 February 2006 21:23 (fifteen years ago) link

Heh. The two times I saw the film no one laughed at "Jack Nasty," but EVERYONE applauded udring the Thanksgiving scene, which to me is the weakest scene. All it does is show heteros that BUTTBOYS CAN STAND UP TO THEIR FATHERS-IN-LAW, THEREFORE THEY'RE REAL MEN.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 2 February 2006 22:38 (fifteen years ago) link

In the "Oprah" episode, Gyllie's imitation of Michelle Williams' delivery of the Jack Nasty line was priceless.

And I agree with Anne Hathaway: she admitted that they were all surprised when Williams found the one correct way to say the line without laughing.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 2 February 2006 22:39 (fifteen years ago) link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfODSPIYwpQ

A BOLD QUAHOG (ex machina), Thursday, 2 February 2006 22:40 (fifteen years ago) link

They should have dubbed in the "I wish I knew how to quit you!"

The Gillie Thanksgiving scene was ruined by his facial expression. Jaw set, narrowed eyes, thin mouth does not equal backbone, it equals petulant child mad at daddy. (Which is actually more accurate as to the content of the scene, but not what they wanted to portray, I think)

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Friday, 3 February 2006 02:57 (fifteen years ago) link

Did you like the story, Erick? How'd the two compare?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 3 February 2006 03:51 (fifteen years ago) link

Daniel Mendelsohn, reminding people that THESE ARE TWO GAY DUDES, THANKS.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18712

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Sunday, 5 February 2006 19:01 (fifteen years ago) link

Brokeback to the Future

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 8 February 2006 17:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Ha, I just saw that the other day. Pretty funny.

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 8 February 2006 17:21 (fifteen years ago) link

From
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1710876,00.html

Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly (Fond of Each Other), is a story of forbidden love in small town Texas, written 25 years ago by the improbably named Ned Sublette. "Now a small town don't like it when somebody falls between sexes," runs the first verse, "No, a small town don't like it when a cowboy has feelings for men."

Awright, this song comes out of the closet with Willie Nelson!

Melinda Mess-injure, Thursday, 16 February 2006 03:20 (fifteen years ago) link

ILM has made note:

Willie Nelson gay cowboy valentine OMG WTF!!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 16 February 2006 03:21 (fifteen years ago) link

It's pretty funny.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 16 February 2006 03:46 (fifteen years ago) link

Whoops, well blame the search function! I did a message search for "Ned Sublette" and it came up wiff nuffink.

Melinda Mess-injure, Thursday, 16 February 2006 05:42 (fifteen years ago) link

embarrassingly I don't quite understand the final line. I swear what? It could mean a lot of things. If that's the point then I guess I do understand it. But I thought maybe I missed something it was referring to, specifically.

i didn't take it to mean anything, or rather, it's a thought that isn't completed aloud (maybe not even internally) and that the audience isn't privy to. HOWEVER, the way he says it has a rueful quality which testifies to his continuing to think of jack. i dunno, have you ever spoken aloud to a loved one who's died? me, i tend to sort of choke on desperation and futility before i finish a sentence. which when portrayed on screen is some kind of moving.

as for the visual quality of that last shot, i don't really know how to explain its effect but i think the oblique framing was an interesting choice. somehow seemed less maudlin than if the postcard were frame center. also evoked a certain naivete which comes across in amateur photographs which i feel is powerful (à la found magazine). but i think i'd need to spend more time than i have right now to articulate that well.

i think this movie had a fair number of problems but did a lot of things very well.

anyone who holds its popularity or critical success against it is being silly. and david ehrenstein is ridiculous.... he seems to be always applying some stonewall-era notion of "gay consciousness" to the contemporary scene. he's always trying to impishly "out" people or castigate them for naivete in denying that certain attributes *are* "gay" (as though anything could be unproblematically "gay"). actually it's the impishness that bothers me most. it's as though he's continually trying to shock people into a realization they'd made a few decades back. (he writes to an educated/liberal audience as though they're jack twist's dad. i always end up feeling patronized.)

amateurist0, Thursday, 16 February 2006 07:16 (fifteen years ago) link

i keep coming back to this movie, now seen it three times. i know how flawed it is, but it worked like an axe to the heart, i cant criticise it (because the issues of this film are too intertwined with the issues in my life.)

that said, remember that the whole film is framed obliquey, and the last shot is an acknowledgement, and i keep thinking that the man-on-man fucking is a mcguffin, to the films larger themes (ie the decimation that unexpected desire can cause, ideas of masculinty and honour, concepts of duty, and what the implications of derlicting that duty is, and larger, more formal working thru of isolation, landscape and comfort, and i think that it is one of 6 of 7 movies that talk about the current crisis of male heterosexuality)

anthony easton (anthony), Thursday, 16 February 2006 08:00 (fifteen years ago) link

know how flawed it is, but it worked like an axe to the heart

I agree; it's partly why I keep reviving the thread. It depends on to what extent one accepts the film's rather bleak vision.


he writes to an educated/liberal audience as though they're jack twist's dad

wow. OTM.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 16 February 2006 12:16 (fifteen years ago) link

Will fit grandly into the Best Picture trad of Out of Africa, The English Patient and other shiny, plodding tragic romances. Only this one is Culturally Significant.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 16 February 2006 14:10 (fifteen years ago) link

but Crash is more Culturally Significant! Everyone comes out of the theater exhilirated to learn that We're All Racists Inside!

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 16 February 2006 16:59 (fifteen years ago) link

i know how flawed it is, but it worked like an axe to the heart

yeah, what anthony said, basically.

reading the entirety of this mammoth thread, it was surprising to see that a lot of the lines or scenes most heavily criticised were taken verbatim from the book (which i read about a year ago) - "jack nasty", "i swear", even lureen's 'robotic' phone scene. the film is incredibly faithful to the source material. (apart, possibly, from making jack and ennis so hott, but i ain't complaining about that, in fact i have a full-on j gyllenhaal crush now. despite the bad tache!)

The Lex (The Lex), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:47 (fifteen years ago) link

There's a lot of alternative-universe fiction floating around on cyberspace in which the writers imagine Ennis and Jack's sex lives on and post-Brokeback. My biggest complaint remains Lee's (and McMurtry-Ossama's) reluctance to include any sex between the pair as they age – something that Proulx didn't elide (in the short story they fuck on the evening before their final argument in front of the fire).

The film's emphasis on what Morbius called the dull domestic melodrama comes scarily close to fetishizing the repression; I said "scarily close," but in my opinion it never falls over the cliff, in large part thanks to the exemplary casting (I've always thought Heath and Gyllie seemed more game than the script and Ang Lee permitted) and the material's natural terseness.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:08 (fifteen years ago) link

links?

anthony easton (anthony), Friday, 17 February 2006 00:20 (fifteen years ago) link

I read most of the chapters yesterday evening. Within its limitations it's fairly well-done; the writer's done a good job of approximating how Ennis and Jack would talk to each other.

http://community.livejournal.com/wranglers/631500.html

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 17 February 2006 01:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Now we know it's a phenomenon:

ihttp://destinationdaniel.smugmug.com/gallery/1213678/1/56764738

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 22 February 2006 16:33 (fifteen years ago) link

I wonder which Fassbinder film would adapt most easily to Legos ... In a Year of 13 Moons?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 22 February 2006 19:01 (fifteen years ago) link

Jonathan Rosenbaum (in his review of a Naruse film):


Some lives are full of misery, but this doesn't mean movies that reflect them are automatically more truthful. If the shepherds played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal had sustained a happy, loving relationship over several decades in spite of everything, Brokeback Mountain might have been truly daring -- and it wouldn't have been less believable. The impulse to privilege the dark is hardly new; in prerevolutionary Russian cinema, tragic plots ending in suicide were so common and popular that some Hollywood imports with happier endings were revised to make them more "commercial." I would argue that a certain complacency surrounds some of these doom-ridden scenarios, especially ones that suggest social change is impossible -- a vested interest in the status quo, even conservatism, seems to lurk behind the apparent apoliticism.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 March 2006 18:21 (fifteen years ago) link

Well, yes, he's got a point. Despair is often the hallowed ground tread upon by adolescents; it's why I have little patience for Joy Division these days and prefer New Order. To make serenity (especially earned serenity) compelling is the last hurdle an artist faces.

But Rosenbaum's ire is misplaced. While I'll agree that showing Ennis and Jack having middleaged sex or living in Frisco would have been more revolutionary, it would've been a different movie altogether, and not Annie Proulx's short story.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 2 March 2006 18:26 (fifteen years ago) link

it would also have been a really uneventful and boring movie

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 2 March 2006 18:28 (fifteen years ago) link

"daring" shouldn't neccessarily take precedence over making a movie, you know, a good movie

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 2 March 2006 18:29 (fifteen years ago) link

But the challenge of making it an effective, "happy" drama of love would've been greater.

The tragic appeal is clearly what made it "makeable" enough to be the multiplex landmark; Twist's doom IS the political message.

If I'd read the Proulx story at the time it was published in the New Yorker, I think I'd have forgotten it in a month.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 March 2006 18:35 (fifteen years ago) link

can you think of a happy het love movie you might compare the alternate brokeback to?

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 2 March 2006 18:39 (fifteen years ago) link

Paul Cox's Innocence? (Transgressive b/c it's about OLD PEOPLE)

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 2 March 2006 18:42 (fifteen years ago) link

(Actually, I don't know. I never even saw that movie.)

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 2 March 2006 18:44 (fifteen years ago) link

The Big Sleep?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 2 March 2006 18:44 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm trying to think of ANY movie about a couple living together happily and uneventfully... even in romcoms they have trouble hooking up for 99% of the movie!

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 2 March 2006 18:46 (fifteen years ago) link

Let's say I agree with Morbius but he's criticizing the wrong movie. It's unfair to criticize a work for art for what it doesn't do; you can only criticize the results. I mean, The Great Gatsby would have been a more devastating critique of American shallowness had Jay Gatsby survived and married fellow airhead Daisy Buchanan, but, sheesh, the existing denouement is chilling and rather beautifully done.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 2 March 2006 18:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, Sydney Pollack made the point about movie romances working only when the couple doesn't get together. (Which is my criticism of BBM: it's The Way We Were with a climactic murder, and Jake doesn't have as many big scenes as Streisand.)

Of course, the parting doesn't always have to be fatal, eg Casablanca. Jack could've gone to law school, then to work for Lambda.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 March 2006 19:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Miami's premier gay bar is called Twist...

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 2 March 2006 20:02 (fifteen years ago) link

Michael Bronski in the Boston Phoenix:

"Except for their long-running argument about getting their own ranch, we have almost no sense of what brings them together and sustains them as a loving couple. [The movie's] valorization of gay love is predicated on making that love socially and physically invisible.

"...The men are beautiful, the passions run high, the sex isn’t obvious, and no one is happy in the end. It’s the perfect unhappy Hollywood homosexual fantasy for people who’ve been disillusioned by the traditional happy Hollywood heterosexual fantasy."

http://thephoenix.com/article_ektid5416.aspx

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 3 March 2006 16:59 (fifteen years ago) link

people seem to be forgetting that there's a long line of unhappy h'wood het fantasies... perhaps not as common these days, tho

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 3 March 2006 17:19 (fifteen years ago) link

But that's what Morbius' linked article argues: that Brokeback is another in a long line of "perfect unhappy Hollywood homosexual" fantasies.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 3 March 2006 17:21 (fifteen years ago) link

I just saw it on Sunday, and it totally killed me, I laughed, I cried, h8ers h8, etc. The hurt that their secrecy caused really wrecked me.

RoxyMuzak© (roxymuzak), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 16:47 (fifteen years ago) link

Gore Vidal, on Brokeback:

The interview's most shocking admission? He's an Academy member. He also really dug Capote:

I liked it, I’m a great fan of Ang Lee. He did the best Civil War movie ever made, called “Ride With The Devil.” And it was really, really good. Lee had an extraordinary feeling, for somebody from Taiwan, for the American Civil War. It was just fascinating. So I was eager to see the movie about the two sheepherders, actually is what they are, they’re not cowboys. You can see there’s not a cow in the movie, just a lot of sheep. You can see how the two sheepherders might get tired of the sheep and begin to look to each other, as a kind of variation on a theme. I liked it, I thought it was quite moving, obviously thematically it’s important to do a picture like that about two ordinary men, seized at a time in which all this is forbidden and so on.

It would have been nice, at the same time, if…it would have been better had they started with Kinsey, which was practically erased by the Academy, to which, alas, I belong. I thought that was a terrible error, because it was the best movie of last year, and informative and instructive: You learned a lot about the nature of human sexuality, that there isn’t just one good team and one bad team and one healthy team and one sick team. It’s not that at all.

Sex is a continuum. You go through different phases along life’s way … and if you don’t, you’ve been sort of cheated.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 9 March 2006 17:08 (fifteen years ago) link

They weren't kidding. Here's the full-page ad going into tomorrow's Variety:

http://davecullen.com/brokebackmountain/img/ad-final.jpg

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 9 March 2006 20:01 (fifteen years ago) link

OK I've gotta be honest. That really, really, really offends me. Do you know how much it costs to run a full color full page print ad in a major magazine? A not insignificant amount. Would it really have been unfeasible to have sent the $10k these people raised in honor of BBM to, I dunno, a GLB organization? Like, support reality? Yeah, yeah I know, people can donate money to more than one place but do you really think they are?

End of annoyance.

Allyzay Rofflesberger (allyzay), Thursday, 9 March 2006 20:23 (fifteen years ago) link

But who's to say these guys aren't also donating to a GLB organization?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 9 March 2006 22:03 (fifteen years ago) link

No one is to say that, my point is that I think it's pretty sad to not have donated THIS money to one (either "as well" or "instead")

It's just really really pathetic, though at least they aren't calling out any of the other movies in their ad so they're being class about it.

Allyzay Rofflesberger (allyzay), Thursday, 9 March 2006 22:16 (fifteen years ago) link

Of the millions of gay men and women in the United States, you'd think that at least one would be a graphic designer.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Thursday, 9 March 2006 23:04 (fifteen years ago) link

the impt thing vidal said there, is that the sex is a continum--i keep coming back to two scenes in the movie--the back seat of the car with anne hathaway and the ass fucking with michelle williams...and both of those have a sort of awkard, misdirected fumbling...

i keep thinking that jack and ennis have no idea how to deal with sex, that they let everything fall apart because they have no idea how to channel/funnel the long, slow, eating away that desire can do to a person (both each other, and their wives, and for ennis the girl in the bar)

life in the middle of the fly over is lonely, my father and his father didnt talk about anything, and that code of masculine silence, and the belief that duty to the land/work goes above all else is central to the film (which is why randy qauids charchter is pissed--nto because they are fags, but b/c they are fucking one one is supposed to be tending the sheep.)

there is no denial to pointing out that this movie is not about gay people, because sexual identity didnt have any cohesion in the west at all until lets say the early 70s, and violations of gender were alot more dangerous because they meant work didnt get done...

the gay cowboy thing is a mcguffin. this film may be a radical film not for the sodomy, but because its the first film in recent memory that hollywood understood what the fuck it meant to be RURAL, YOU KNOW LIKE NOT FROM NEW YORK OR LA, and currently not part of la or new york, remember, it ended almost in 1990, its current in destablizing the red state/blue state shit that we have to constantly go thru (its also why prolux is so impt, and canadian writers like valgardsen and
sinclair ross were too)

(patricia nell warren, whos amazing book the front runner, will be finally made because this thing made bank, makes similar points in her recently published essays.

is this opinon so out there, so strange, that it doesnt make sense, am i seeing a different movie?

anthony easton (anthony), Friday, 10 March 2006 11:23 (fifteen years ago) link

http://www.outsports.com/history/gaycowboys.htm
heres warrens essay

anthony easton (anthony), Friday, 10 March 2006 11:25 (fifteen years ago) link

The Front Runner is soggy wish-fullfillment, though. No way is it comparable to the BBM short story.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 10 March 2006 13:40 (fifteen years ago) link

though at least they aren't calling out any of the other movies in their ad

Everyone KNOWS which one they're silently calling out.

Today's big NY Times movie ad features big smiling Jake & Heath pics. "It's the FEELGOOD Doomed Fags Tragedy of the Year!"

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 10 March 2006 14:14 (fifteen years ago) link

Jim Emerson posted the ad story in his blog:

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=SCANNERS

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 10 March 2006 14:23 (fifteen years ago) link

Annie Proulx published this rant in The Guardian. Although she's right to skewer the air of self-congratulation it seems sour and misbegotten, especially the unnecessary jab at Three 6 Mafia:

Annie Proulx on how her Brokeback Oscar hopes were dashed by Crash

On the sidewalk stood hordes of the righteous, some leaning forward like wind-bent grasses, the better to deliver their imprecations against gays and fags to the open windows of the limos - the windows open by order of the security people - creeping toward the Kodak Theater for the 78th Academy Awards. Others held up sturdy, professionally crafted signs expressing the same hatred.
The red carpet in front of the theatre was larger than the Red Sea. Inside, we climbed grand staircases designed for showing off dresses. The circular levels filled with men in black, the women mostly in pale, frothy gowns. Sequins, diamonds, glass beads, trade beads sparkled like the interior of a salt mine. More exquisite dresses appeared every moment, some made from six yards of taffeta, and many with sweeping trains that demanded vigilance from strolling attendees lest they step on a mermaid's tail. There was one man in a kilt - there is always one at award ceremonies - perhaps a professional roving Scot hired to give colour to the otherwise monotone showing of clustered males. Larry McMurtry defied the dress code by wearing his usual jeans and cowboy boots.

The people connected with Brokeback Mountain, including me, hoped that, having been nominated for eight Academy awards, it would get Best Picture as it had at the funny, lively Independent Spirit awards the day before. (If you are looking for smart judging based on merit, skip the Academy Awards next year and pay attention to the Independent Spirit choices.) We should have known conservative heffalump academy voters would have rather different ideas of what was stirring contemporary culture. Roughly 6,000 film industry voters, most in the Los Angeles area, many living cloistered lives behind wrought-iron gates or in deluxe rest-homes, out of touch not only with the shifting larger culture and the yeasty ferment that is America these days, but also out of touch with their own segregated city, decide which films are good. And rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash - excuse me - Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline. Next year we can look to the awards for controversial themes on the punishment of adulterers with a branding iron in the shape of the letter A, runaway slaves, and the debate over free silver.

After a good deal of standing around admiring dresses and sucking up champagne, people obeyed the stentorian countdown commands to get in their seats as "the show" was about to begin. There were orders to clap and the audience obediently clapped. From the first there was an atmosphere of insufferable self-importance emanating from "the show" which, as the audience was reminded several times, was televised and being watched by billions of people all over the world. Those lucky watchers could get up any time they wished and do something worthwhile, like go to the bathroom. As in everything related to public extravaganzas, a certain soda pop figured prominently. There were montages, artfully meshed clips of films of yesteryear, live acts by Famous Talent, smart-ass jokes by Jon Stewart who was witty and quick, too witty, too quick, too eastern perhaps for the somewhat dim LA crowd. Both beautiful and household-name movie stars announced various prizes. None of the acting awards came Brokeback's way, you betcha. The prize, as expected, went to Philip Seymour Hoff-man for his brilliant portrayal of Capote, but in the months preceding the awards thing, there has been little discussion of acting styles and various approaches to character development by this year's nominees. Hollywood loves mimicry, the conversion of a film actor into the spittin' image of a once-living celeb. But which takes more skill, acting a person who strolled the boulevard a few decades ago and who left behind tapes, film, photographs, voice recordings and friends with strong memories, or the construction of characters from imagination and a few cold words on the page? I don't know. The subject never comes up. Cheers to David Strathairn, Joaquin Phoenix and Hoffman, but what about actors who start in the dark?

Everyone thanked their dear old mums, scout troop leaders, kids and consorts. More commercials, more quick wit, more clapping, beads of sweat, Stewart maybe wondering what evil star had lighted his way to this labour. Despite the technical expertise and flawlessly sleek set evocative of 1930s musicals, despite Dolly Parton whooping it up and Itzhak Perlman blending all the theme music into a single performance (he represented "culchah"), there was a kind of provincial flavour to the proceedings reminiscent of a small-town talent-show night. Clapping wildly for bad stuff enhances this. There came an atrocious act from Hustle and Flow, Three 6 Mafia's violent rendition of "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp", a favourite with the audience who knew what it knew and liked. This was a big winner, a bushel of the magic gold-coated gelded godlings going to the rap group.

The hours sped by on wings of boiler plate. Brokeback's first award was to Argentinean Gustavo Santaolalla for the film's plangent and evocative score. Later came the expected award for screenplay adaptation to Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, and only a short time later the director's award to Ang Lee. And that was it, three awards, putting it on equal footing with King Kong. When Jack Nicholson said best picture went to Crash, there was a gasp of shock, and then applause from many - the choice was a hit with the home team since the film is set in Los Angeles. It was a safe pick of "controversial film" for the heffalumps.

After three-and-a-half hours of butt-numbing sitting we stumbled away, down the magnificent staircases, and across the red carpet. In the distance men were shouting out limousine numbers, "406 . . . 27 . . . 921 . . . 62" and it seemed someone should yell "Bingo!" It was now dark, or as dark as it gets in the City of Angels. As we waited for our number to be called we could see the enormous lighted marquee across the street announcing that the "2006 Academy Award for Best Picture had gone to Crash". The red carpet now had taken on a different hue, a purple tinge.

The source of the colour was not far away. Down the street, spreading its baleful light everywhere, hung a gigantic, vertical, electric-blue neon sign spelling out S C I E N T O L O G Y.

"Seven oh six," bawled the limo announcer's voice. Bingo.

For those who call this little piece a Sour Grapes Rant, play it as it lays.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 11 March 2006 15:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Fuck her.

Dan (Seriously) Perry (Dan Perry), Saturday, 11 March 2006 18:30 (fifteen years ago) link

Is she saying that the Best Picture Award was stolen by SCIENTOLOGISTS?

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Saturday, 11 March 2006 19:47 (fifteen years ago) link

its a really quite decent peice of sour grape writing, like the oscar essay in esquire from about 1990

anthony easton (anthony), Sunday, 12 March 2006 00:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Her contention that Hoffman's turn is easier than Ledger's really bothers me, though. Only someone who knows shit about how acting works would claim that "mimicry" is less than "invention." As if there was a difference.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Sunday, 12 March 2006 01:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Agreed. And Capote is a better film than Brokeback Mountain all around really, though I do like both (and Crash too, for that matter!).

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 12 March 2006 04:09 (fifteen years ago) link

finney, i dont think as an englishmen, you are allowed to have an opinon on three of the most american movies of all time

anthony easton (anthony), Sunday, 12 March 2006 04:26 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't think finney is an englishman

RJG (RJG), Sunday, 12 March 2006 04:33 (fifteen years ago) link

he's not

j blount (papa la bas), Sunday, 12 March 2006 06:04 (fifteen years ago) link

discus

j blount (papa la bas), Sunday, 12 March 2006 06:04 (fifteen years ago) link

then i apologize.

anthony easton (anthony), Sunday, 12 March 2006 06:29 (fifteen years ago) link

actually i shouldnt be on this thread, i think emotionally im too close.

anthony easton (anthony), Sunday, 12 March 2006 06:41 (fifteen years ago) link

I am Australian so I'm probably allowed even less of an opinion (at least the English ruled America for a while), if such things matter at all.

I'm not dissing Brokeback Mountain, it's still my second favourite film of, oh, the last twelve months or so. When did Hotel Rwanda come out? (Don Cheadle was better in that than Crash).

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 12 March 2006 06:57 (fifteen years ago) link

anthony i really liked your post abt brokeback and i agree with you.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Sunday, 12 March 2006 07:25 (fifteen years ago) link

thank you, wow!

anthony easton (anthony), Sunday, 12 March 2006 07:53 (fifteen years ago) link

I would not be surprised if "Hotel Rwanda" was better than every movie mentioned on this thread.

Dan (Easily My Favorite Movie Of The 2000s) Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 13 March 2006 05:36 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't know if it's my favourite film of the 2000s (haven't really thought about that) but I loved it deeply. I found Crash very powerful in a few specific moments, but Hotel Rwanda was like a sustained two hour punch to the gut.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 13 March 2006 08:13 (fifteen years ago) link

Hotel Rwanda is great, yes.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 13 March 2006 12:06 (fifteen years ago) link

Seems like Randy Quaid's actin' like mean ol' Joe Aguirre:

Randy Quaid Sues Over 'Brokeback'
Actor claims producers defrauded him

TMZ obtained a copy of the lawsuit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming producers falsely represented the movie to him as "a low-budget, art house film, with no prospect of making any money." Quaid claims the representations were a ruse from the beginning. 'Brokeback' has grossed around $160 million.

Quaid's suit claims that in 2004, he met with director Ang Lee, who offered him the role of Joe Aguirre. The suit alleges that Lee told Quaid: "We can't pay anything, we have very little money, everyone is making a sacrifice to make this film."

The suit does not specifically state how much Quaid made, but it does claim that the defendants "were engaged in a 'movie laundering' scheme designed to obtain the services of talent such as Randy Quaid on economically unfavorable art film terms..."

The suit asks for $10 million in damages as well as punitive damages. It also seeks "restitution for all ill-gotten gains."

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 24 March 2006 17:31 (fifteen years ago) link

Sounds like balls defined. "talent such as Randy Quaid..." Like other mid-80s SNL cast members?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 24 March 2006 17:54 (fifteen years ago) link

A testy exchange in the letters page between producer James Schamus and Daniel Mendelsohn in the last New York Review of Books. Mendelsohn had attacked BBM's promoters for obscuring its queerdom. Schamus coyly denies it:

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 6 April 2006 18:20 (fifteen years ago) link

Andrew Holleran on Brokeback:

http://glreview.com/13.2-holleran.php

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 14:16 (fifteen years ago) link

what that quaid article doesnt mention is that this trick already worked on him once with national lampoon's vegas vacation

--++-++, Tuesday, 18 April 2006 14:55 (fifteen years ago) link

two years pass...

Brokeback The Opera.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Monday, 9 June 2008 15:28 (twelve years ago) link

we await the "Jack Nasty" aria.

Dr Morbius, Monday, 9 June 2008 15:51 (twelve years ago) link

nine months pass...

I don't get this movie. The desire between the two beefy lunks at the centre seemed totally phoney. Unbelievable. Non-existent. It just wasn't there.

And jeezus, the whole thing is about 2.5 hrs long, to tell a non-story.

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 March 2009 00:34 (twelve years ago) link

Egad, this thread. I'm spouting nonsense all over it.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 29 March 2009 00:38 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

this was on TV last night and I finally sat through it and it was garbage. I hate you Ang Lee. The end.

modern eunuch-like crooning (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 16:59 (eleven years ago) link

we don't see enough of Gylly's arse.

also Rosenbaum OTM way upthread

xp

modern eunuch-like crooning (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 17:00 (eleven years ago) link

my wife cried at the end though (she professed to being bored with the rest of the film)

modern eunuch-like crooning (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 17:05 (eleven years ago) link

Well, you have to see this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3fiHumNOm0

SourPatchCorpse, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 23:12 (eleven years ago) link

It is a little slow, but its beautifully shot. Can't agree that it would be complete garbage.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 7 April 2010 00:29 (eleven years ago) link

I recently watched this movie again and it's totally awesome and classic all around.

Matt Armstrong, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 01:44 (eleven years ago) link

It is a little slow, but its beautifully shot

Beautiful widescreen nature shots are always beautiful.

It's all downhill after the first tent fuck.

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 April 2010 01:50 (eleven years ago) link

ain't that always the way...

Matt Armstrong, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 01:51 (eleven years ago) link

I love widescreen outdoor nature shots too but there was nothing particularly interesting about these, sorry.

modern eunuch-like crooning (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 7 April 2010 03:54 (eleven years ago) link

It's not just those though. I really like the way a majority of the scenes are framed. I haven't watched it in a long time so I'm having trouble bringing up specific examples, but I just really loved the way the whole film looked.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 7 April 2010 04:01 (eleven years ago) link

my reaction was the opposite, really.

Gyllenhaal was pretty good tho. shouty monologue at the end was a bit much. but he aged the character in a believable way (stunt mustache!)

modern eunuch-like crooning (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 7 April 2010 04:04 (eleven years ago) link

two months pass...

i dunno if anyone has mentioned this but the thing that pissed me off abt this movie was that first sex scene. I mean, we're supposed to believe that these guys start barebackin it with a little spit for lube and that he gets it in that easy and that gyllenhaal is bottoming for the first time and that he actually enjoys it. at least enough to do it again. That shit would be fn sore, even a little "whoa man, take it easy" and i might buy it.

plax (ico), Saturday, 19 June 2010 00:42 (ten years ago) link

are we so sure that it's gyllenhall's first time?

and maybe it hurts but he doesn't want it to stop so he shuts up about it

(the spit detail is hot imo- i'll take it over realism)

twice boiled cabbage is death, Saturday, 19 June 2010 01:55 (ten years ago) link

I got the impression that this wasn't jack twist's first rodeo, so to speak.

Matt Armstrong, Saturday, 19 June 2010 02:00 (ten years ago) link

yeah, where wd u get that idea, esp as he goes cruisin in Mexico when Ennis is unavailable.

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 19 June 2010 02:06 (ten years ago) link

The story makes it clear that Jack's been twistin' before Ennis.

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 19 June 2010 02:20 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

this movie

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 25 February 2012 03:32 (nine years ago) link

Seems like Randy Quaid's actin' like mean ol' Joe Aguirre:
Randy Quaid Sues Over 'Brokeback'
Actor claims producers defrauded him

TMZ obtained a copy of the lawsuit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming producers falsely represented the movie to him as "a low-budget, art house film, with no prospect of making any money." Quaid claims the representations were a ruse from the beginning. 'Brokeback' has grossed around $160 million.

Quaid's suit claims that in 2004, he met with director Ang Lee, who offered him the role of Joe Aguirre. The suit alleges that Lee told Quaid: "We can't pay anything, we have very little money, everyone is making a sacrifice to make this film."

The suit does not specifically state how much Quaid made, but it does claim that the defendants "were engaged in a 'movie laundering' scheme designed to obtain the services of talent such as Randy Quaid on economically unfavorable art film terms..."

The suit asks for $10 million in damages as well as punitive damages. It also seeks "restitution for all ill-gotten gains."

― Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto)

foreshadowing of crazy?

omar little, Saturday, 25 February 2012 04:05 (nine years ago) link

Guessing Randy would love to work under economically unfavorable art film terms now

da croupier, Saturday, 25 February 2012 04:20 (nine years ago) link

lol that randy quaid screenshot

it took me a while to see this, but i thought it was a pip

RudolfHitlerFtw (Hungry4Ass), Sunday, 26 February 2012 02:57 (nine years ago) link

i guess the ending was a little 'tragic homo' but i thought it was great anyway

RudolfHitlerFtw (Hungry4Ass), Sunday, 26 February 2012 02:58 (nine years ago) link


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