Skip to comments.Gay viewers' take on "Brokeback": It's really just a simple love story
Posted on 12/23/2005 5:39:51 PM PST by presidio9
When word got around among gay people that Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, hunky Hollywood hotties du jour, were set to play ranch hands who fall in love in the idyllic mountains of Wyoming, there was a certain giddiness: Tight Levi's galore! The homoerotic Abercrombie & Fitch catalog writ large! A mainstream, romantic, holigay cowboy movie!
Then a herd mentality started to sink in, like a gay church praying at the altar of "Brokeback Mountain." There's a countdown on Gay.com ("It's finally here!"), E-vites are landing in in-boxes ("Let's watch it together!"), and blogs are keeping tabs on the film's awards, including seven Golden Globe nominations the most of any film this year. The message is: If you're a self-respecting homosexual, you had better see this film, pronto.
Yet what's most surprising about "Brokeback" is that it's not a gay film. Not in the way gay films, especially those about gay men, usually are.
This is not a film about gay men and AIDS, à la "Philadelphia," which won Tom Hanks an Oscar, or "Love! Valour! Compassion!," the film version of the Terrence McNally play. It's neither comedic nor campy, nothing like "In & Out" or "The Birdcage." It's no "Kiss Me, Guido" or "Trick" or "The Broken Hearts Club," all set in big cities, with stereotypical gay characters a thespian with the perfectly decorated Greenwich Village apartment, a West Hollywood muscle queen hooked on drugs trapped in flamboyantly worn-out narratives.
Based on a spare short story by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Annie Proulx and directed by Taiwanese American Ang Lee ("Sense and Sensibility," "The Ice Storm," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), it tells the story of Jack Twist (Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Ledger), two vagabonds whose lifelong affair begins in Brokeback Mountain on a chilly night in 1963.
They part ways, marry women who don't know their secret and have children, only to reunite four years later with a deep, fiery, longing kiss that is arguably the most passionate man-on-man kiss to have been put on screen.
"Theirs is a story of a love that was repressed," Lee, who is married and has two kids, says in an interview. "That's really what drew me to the story."
Year after year, spanning two decades, Jack and Ennis reunite at Brokeback Mountain, frustrated, scared, still in love and giving new meaning to "goin' fishin'," the excuse they tell their wives.
There is one sex scene in the movie, which Lee describes as "animalistic," "spontaneous" and "aggressive"; it stands in stark contrast to the kissing scene, which is meant to be "sexy." If you don't buy that kiss, Lee adds, then you won't buy the love affair.
"It's not about sex"
The film's old-fashioned romanticism wasn't what some early viewers had expected. "It doesn't fit into the current gay culture as we know it. It's not about sex; I was actually surprised that there wasn't that much sex in it," says Jonathan Rosales, 21, a recent graduate of the University of Southern California who saw "Brokeback" in Los Angeles.
Joseph Wiedman, a 31-year-old lawyer who saw the film in San Francisco, adds, "The big thing is: The movie is really well done and really accessible, for gays and straights. It's not preachy, as one of my friends pointed out, and not at all political. It's very personal."
"Brokeback" pushes the boundaries on two fronts: It's a Hollywood romance, but with gay men; it's a gay film, but with broader, more universal themes.
"They can call it whatever they want to call it; just don't call it a 'gay cowboy love story.' That's upsetting to me," says Paul Pecoriano, 35, an actor and waiter in Manhattan.
"It's a love story, period," says Pecoriano.
Why publicize this crap?
It maybe a different movie if there was only kissing but most reviews and articles don't reveal there is explicit anal sex.
I gotta disagree, I saw the trailer for Tristan and Isolde, that is a love story. Brokeback Mountain is exactly what it's intials are, B.M.
No, he has been in several enjoyable movies since then. But his last film that lives up to his earlier work is Heat. Which is one of my all time faves. He should team up with Michael Mann more often.
There. Fixed it.
Wait, that didn't work.
Hmm. My wife and I only paid $7, so I guess we're up a buck.
love lust story starring two etcs...
They should of billed it two men in love with there sheep. Would of made an interesting love seen, they could of show a threeway, LOL.
The movie's great. It's a drama about an aspect of the human experience which is, like it or not, real. Everybody walking out of the theater when I saw it was crying or stunned--old people, young people, straight couples, gay couples. It's about loss and regret and the choices we make which spread ripples of unhappiness through our lives and the lives of people raound us. Has anybody else who has posted on this thread seen it? It's a masterpiece which is going to be seen and talked about, which is going to move people to tears for many many years after we are all gone. I think that I can be a conservative and support small government, a strong defense policy and the power of the free market without losing the ability to be moved by a work of art like Brokeback Mountain. It's also, by the way, going to be a huge hit, way beyond the gay audience. It has already posted the highest per-screen averages of any movie ever, including in places like Plano, Texas. In terms of profitablility--it cost 13 million to make--it will be more successful than King Kong, which cost 207 million. Okay, now you can all shoot me.
Yes. I need to learn html. I can do three things, and crossing out isn't one of them. I thought I could invent it as I go along. Wrong.
What are you - a sleeper homosexual agenda promoting troll?
For crossing out, do this < s > without the spaces.
Yup, he's a sleeper pro-homosexual agenda troll. Check out his in forum comments since his signup date. Nothing conservative about his comments a-tall.
sorry I left out the dreaded "agenda promoting."
Heat stunk, and Pacino didn't help it. I enjoy his early work, but face it. He's been a has-been for 20 years.
Is that why it is already burning out?
Yeah, it's not a gay film. The Aviator is not about Howard Hughes either, it's about airplanes.
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