I'm mad busy today but I of course find a minute to blahg.
Tonight I saw Brokeback Mountain to further support the Gay Agend--I mean, because I heard it was really good. Well despite my trepidation over a movie whose themes are "gay" and "cowboys", I absolutely loved it. It should be called Heartbreak Mountain. *tear*
Jake Gyllenhal and Heath Ledger do some great acting in this film, as do the supporting characters. The cinemetography is wonderful. The direction is excellent. It is all around good and worthy of all the praise for it that's been buzzing around.
Here are some questions and comments I have on Brokeback .
I read in a (positive) review of the film that it denies its characters flaws. I'll agree with that. For one thing, it is difficult to say that they were just two gay cowboys in love with society against them, when there are real live human beings--their wives and children--involved. One of the scenes that evoked laughter from the audience I was in was when Ennis's wife secretly witnesses him passionately kissing Jack Twist. She withholds this knowledge throughout the movie, and rather than being a kind of chuckle-at-the-scandal moment, it should be heartbreaking from her perspective. Not to tell anyone how they should feel or anything...
Additionally, not to buy into this whole notion of gay-equals-lust, but there are moments when we are lead to believe that sex is a big part of why they have their rendevouz on Brokeback Mountain. When there are to be long months between their next meeting, Jack gets a male hooker in Mexico, and later alludes to this fact to Ennis, he justifies this by saying that Ennis is never around and he has to get his fill (so to speak) somewhere. He needed something to tie him over. Is romance (for hetero or homo) a factor of sex? In other words, can there be romantic feelings and romantic love without the sexual? (Personally, I think there can but this is rare and I am no measure of such a thing actually existing.)
It is interesting to note that when Jack lies to Ennis, saying that he is fucking around with the foreman's daughter (which of course means he's cheating on his wife and Ennis), Ennis doesn't seem to care and makes a joke about it. But after Jack's death, Ennis figures out from Jack's parents that the "foreman's daughter" was really a man and he is heartbroken even more. I think this is a realistic aspect of gay life in the closet, where gay men will tell their closeted partners that whatever they do outside of their relationship as fine as long as it's not with other men.
When Jack's wife describes the tire accident that she says killed him, and Ennis imagines a murder scene...what are we to believe about what happened? I think that the tire explosion was a cover story that the wife's family made up because the truth was too embarassing to them, and that they all figured out the truth because Jack was more casual about being seen with both Ennis and his new lover than Ennis was. Further, when Jack went back to the ranch that time years before and the head-honcho told him that he didn't have work for him because he knew he and Ennis were being fruity on the hill, I don't think we were to expect so much from that man that he wouldn't have spread the word about Jack. (Further, Ennis talked about how he always felt like people's knowing eyes were all over him.) In the earlier scene when Ennis flashed back to his father taking him and his brother to see the body of the man killed for being gay, he says, for all he knows his dad could have been the one to do it. Which in my opinion was forshadowing the fact that Jack's father in law was behind his murder, at least indirectly, as he always hated him--and was verbally castrated at the Thanksgiving dinner when Jack stood his ground against the mean old man--and being a gay wife cheater would be even more reason. All this and Jack's wife's attitude towards the whole thing on the phone with Ennis was emotional but distant -- like she was trying to be over it because the truth about Jack's life hurt her so much but she of course was deeply, deeply saddened by the whole thing. Maybe she even knew her dad did it -- which is more painful because she felt especially fond of Jack when he stood up to her dad.
At any rate, I think this movie is a masterpiece, and has many layers and levels to dig through. I might see it again. Which is rare.