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Brokeback Mountain: a Beautifully Made Disappointment

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:47 am - December 17, 2005.
Filed under: Gay America,Movies/Film & TV

As I mentioned in my previous post, I just returned from seeing Brokeback Mountain. Perhaps had the hype not been so great (and I had not expected that much), I might have enjoyed the flick more.

First, let me say that there is much to commend in this film. It almost goes without saying that the direction was superb. Ang Lee beautifully portrays human passions and complicated emotional situations visually, a skill essential to conveying the intensity of the taciturn Ennis Del Mar (played to perfection by Heath Ledger). Lee also does a great job of bringing out the tensions (sexual and otherwise) in a number of awkward encounters. In addition, as writer Lydia Marcus put it in her review on Planeout, Lee “gets across the painful message of just how hard it was — and I’m sure still is for many — being gay in the middle of Americana.

The shots of the Wyoming wilderness (well, actually Alberta) were beautiful and some of the performances, notably Ledger’s were outstanding. I believed that he had fallen for Jake Gyllenhaal‘s Jack Twist and that his character, aged with his makeup. Not only that; he did a great job of showing his character’s conflict as he recognized the reality and endurance of his feelings for Jack.

I wish I could say Jake showed a similar emotional shift. At times when he professed his love for Ennis, it seemed that he was like so many men we all have met, just using a romantic line in order to bed the object of his desire.

Playing Ennis’ wife, Michelle Williams also delivers an impressive performance. And the film had its tender moments. But, the pace of the film was glacial, particularly the opening third. Had I not known in advance this was a love story, I wouldn’t have figured out what was going on.

I was most convinced that Heath’s Ennis was in love when he was waiting for Jack’s arrival — or suffering from his absence. Indeed, it wasn’t until he was alone (after their first summer together) that I understood his emotion. That’s not to say I didn’t believe him when he was on screen together with Jake: I just didn’t believe the feeling was mutual. In his scenes together with Jake, he was more convincing as the film progressed.

While this film has been greatly hyped and while many have hoped that with an “A list” director and two “A list” stars, this film about gay love might have crossed over to straight audiences, outside of cities like New York and LA, I don’t think many straight people will go out to see it. I continue to hope that Hollywood will one day produce gay film that will appeal to straight audiences. But, despite its many good qualities, Brokeback Mountain is not that film.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

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99 Comments

  1. Will ever be possible to market a “gay” film to a “straight” audience?

    Comment by Chad — December 17, 2005 @ 3:16 am - December 17, 2005

  2. Good question, Chad!

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — December 17, 2005 @ 3:17 am - December 17, 2005

  3. As I recall, To Wong Foo was.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 17, 2005 @ 7:15 am - December 17, 2005

  4. BTW, I’m thinking this is one of those films that folks will go watch just because they think they are supposed to.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 17, 2005 @ 7:31 am - December 17, 2005

  5. If a gay themed film could be made in which the gay characters are not also caricatures (like the Village People or drag queens) then maybe a bridge to the mainstream could be accomplished.

    I haven’t seen the movie and was suspicious of it from the first time I heard about it. I’ll probably see it out of curiosity. But I doubt I will relate to it much and doubt even more that straight people will.

    And here’s a question for all of you – Why the name “Brokeback”? Does that sound uncomfortably close to “bareback” to anybody else? It seems rather tasteless to me.

    Comment by Dave — December 17, 2005 @ 12:21 pm - December 17, 2005

  6. I think that’s what the mountain really was called.

    Comment by Hello Moto — December 17, 2005 @ 12:22 pm - December 17, 2005

  7. But was there any actual consumption of pudding?

    Comment by V the K — December 17, 2005 @ 12:29 pm - December 17, 2005

  8. Could be wrong but I think it’s based on some writer’s novella that she wrote either before, or without being aware of, bareback.

    I’m no cowboy but “brokeback” could refer to a run-down or wounded type of animal. Metaphor for where the characters end up?

    Comment by Calarato — December 17, 2005 @ 12:31 pm - December 17, 2005

  9. The problem with any gay film is that gay people often give it an impossible agenda to meet. Gay people always want a film that will somehow convince suburban and rural Americans to accept and support gay and lesbian people. It’s not going to happen. A film may give someone “food for thought” on the issue, but it can’t change people’s minds. And there are many, many Americans who will always be prejudiced toward gay and lesbian people. Hell, there are even gay people who are prejudiced toward gay people.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — December 17, 2005 @ 2:09 pm - December 17, 2005

  10. Interesting insight, Patrick (Gryph).

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — December 17, 2005 @ 2:17 pm - December 17, 2005

  11. “…I’m thinking this is one of those films that folks will go watch just because they think they are supposed to.”

    It’s almost like a command.

    Some funny things along the way: the week “Narnia” opened (aired the 7th, I think) Charlie Rose did a long interview with Ang Lee. Like everybody else, I was curious and hoped the director would say something to further attract my interest. What he said was mostly cotton candy. But I remember this brief exchange (quoted, no doubt imperfectly, from memory):

    Ang: “…So when we came to the sex scene–”

    Charlie: “Now that’s the key to the whole movie, isn’t it?”

    Ang: “It’s the key to the whole movie, and it was so beautiful…And you know, I could see it a lot closer than you can on the screen, because I’m down there with my camera (Lee frames hands like camera)–and it was so beautiful…”

    Charlie: “Yeah. Anyway. So the whole significance of the film is their relationship which is secret…”

    And then I saw this on the Fox website a few days ago:

    “Most of the women I know in the entertainment press cannot stop raving to me about ‘Brokeback Mountain.’

    ‘It’s so sensitive,’ one said. ‘I cried,’ several others have said.

    So far, no straight men have reported back about the movie.”

    Then:

    “But gay friends, of course, love it, love it, love it. It’s won both the New York and Los Angeles film-critics associations’ prizes, and now has seven Golden Globe nominations as well.”

    So we love it love it love it, do we? Well, I haven’t seen it yet. I won’t until the 30th, when I see it on my partner’s birthday. But our schoolteacher film critics command me to see it. I will love it, because I am gay and sensitive (after all, I just want to make love to some lonely cowboy from the confines of my closet).

    Meanwhile, Boi From Troy worries about The Black Hat.

    Sometimes I wonder what’s worse: demonisation, which comes with wondrous powers of corruption, or angelisation,
    which comes with superior gifts of “sensitivity”.

    Maybe we can have it both ways. But that would just about make us human, wouldn’t it?

    Comment by Anthony — December 17, 2005 @ 2:22 pm - December 17, 2005

  12. Why the name Brokeback? Maybe because later in the film the lives of the characters are broken and they wish they could go back to the mountain?

    What someone reads into a name tells more about the reader than the name. Take Nurse Ratched for example, one of the best names in English literature. Does that sound to you like wretched, hatchet, ratchet, or rat sh*t?

    Why the name Jake Gyllenhaal? Doesn’t that sound uncomfortably close to willinghole? And doesn’t Heath Ledger sound uncomfortably close to Heath Lecher? Surely they could have cast actors without such uncomfortably suggestive names.

    Comment by Conservative Guy — December 17, 2005 @ 3:49 pm - December 17, 2005

  13. Willing hole……..hahahahaha. That was funny.

    Comment by Michael — December 17, 2005 @ 5:25 pm - December 17, 2005

  14. Maybe a movie about gay man/men thats doesn’t include love, sex or sexual inuendos, drag-tv or any unusual life styles. But focuses on a normal male who behaves like so many other men. Someone like me. 🙂

    Comment by ernest squire — December 17, 2005 @ 6:17 pm - December 17, 2005

  15. -Gay people always want a film that will somehow convince suburban and rural Americans to accept and support gay and lesbian people.-

    There are a lot of people in the suburbs who support gay people. Even some rural people. And a lot of gays who live in the suburbs and in rural areas. There are also many anti-gay people who live in cities. The picture is more complex than saying that people in the suburbs and rural areas who will never like us.

    As for any “command” to see this film, I don’t see one. People have free will. If they don’t want to see it, they don’t have to see it. I don’t know why anyone is upset that a lot of gays are excited about the film. The film presents gay men and gay relationships in a way that is totally different from any of the rigid stereotypes we have seen of ourselves on “Queer Eye” or “Will & Grace”.

    It’s interesting to me that so many gay conservatives always talk about how liberals/leftists are so out there and make it impossible for America to take us seriously…and then this film comes out and suddenly the new line is that America will never take us seriously anyway.

    Comment by Carl — December 17, 2005 @ 6:51 pm - December 17, 2005

  16. Oops, I meant liberal/leftist gays.

    Speaking of that issue, I hope that this site is going to mention LCR telling other gay groups to not rush to judgment on Alito.

    Comment by Carl — December 17, 2005 @ 6:52 pm - December 17, 2005

  17. When asked to comment about critical response to his film, the director replied that he was “Angry.” Although, later, they figured out he was just saying his name.

    Comment by V the K — December 17, 2005 @ 7:01 pm - December 17, 2005

  18. #12
    Doesn’t that sound uncomfortably close to willinghole?

    Or gaping hole.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 17, 2005 @ 8:01 pm - December 17, 2005

  19. 15: Amen! Although I’m a big ol’ liberal; this is the type of movie about a gay relationship i’ve been waiting on for many years. No drag queens, no mincing sidekicks, no entertainment industry types, no L.A or NYC, no mention of diseases, no unexplained sources of income that allow them to live some fabulous lifestyle where money is never a concern.

    A simple, straightforward story of 2 regular guys who love each other, what their love means to them and the obstacles they face (but not necessarily overcome). You can’t talk much about this movie without giving away some key points, but the story/direction/acting mix together to take a lot of very simple, basic themes and elements and end up bringing out some powerful emotions that apply to everyone, straight or gay.

    I sincerely hope that this film gains the attention it truly deserves and will bring in people who normally wouldn’t see a “gay” film. This film brings all the elements of a hollywood love story without the the fluff and nonsense we’ve seen in other romance films over the years – just the same feelings that real people experience.

    Check out brokebackmountain.com and click on “share your story”. It’s astounding what people have written…..especially a large number who talk about how they were in similar situations in their lives. Some of the comments were based solely on seeing the trailer.

    Comment by Kevin — December 17, 2005 @ 9:52 pm - December 17, 2005

  20. Thanks, Kevin. I feel like this movie has gotten so much hype that some people now think it makes them look “cool” if they put the movie down. I had thought that gay conservatives would have more good things to say about this film than they have, since it eschews so many ugly gay stereotypes. I guess since gay organizations have supported the film, some gay conservatives think it’s their duty to downplay the movie.

    Comment by Carl — December 17, 2005 @ 10:30 pm - December 17, 2005

  21. Or, maybe the movie just isn’t as good as the hype.

    Comment by V the K — December 17, 2005 @ 10:55 pm - December 17, 2005

  22. Since Hollywood seems to be cribbing their movie ideas from South Park (In addition to Backdoor Mount’em, there’s also a movie, The Ringer about a non-handicapped guy entering the Special Olympics), I guess the next blockbuster will be about two Canadian guys who fart on each each other and use the F word.

    Comment by V the K — December 17, 2005 @ 11:08 pm - December 17, 2005

  23. 7, 21, 22: Have you seen the film? I’ve seen it and it’s one of the few films in existence that far exceeds any of its hype/publicity. Perhaps we should research and see if the author of the original story, Annie Proulx (an award winning, serious author of many stories about the west who wrote this short story in 1997) got her ideas from South Park. I kinda doubt it.

    It’s a bit sad you find it necessary to knock something (with a bit of nasty glee it appears) that succeeds admirably in portraying love between 2 men.

    Comment by Kevin — December 18, 2005 @ 12:22 am - December 18, 2005

  24. -Or, maybe the movie just isn’t as good as the hype.-

    Some of the gay conservatives putting the film down haven’t even seen the film.

    No movie is as good as the hype, V the K. Philadelphia was, to me, a terrible film. Yet that doesn’t mean I can deny that the movie did move a lot of people. This film represents an enormous opportunity to show something different.

    Even if the movie is not perfect, with all the time that is spent here and elsewhere complaining about gay leftists/liberals and their stereotypes and the negative images they present to America, and all the rest, I did think there would be some kind of a note of this movie showing a view of gay men that you normally don’t get in Hollywood. Instead, there was this review, which said the film was a disappointment, and then the posting a few days ago that laughed at a bunch of tired old cliches used about a very limited subset of gay men. I get the feeling that some gays here or elsewhere would rather put the movie down because they think that makes them different or unique, when in reality, there are many, many people out there who want this film to fail and will call this film a failure even if the film was #1 at the box office for months. Or maybe it’s easier to just live in a world where the only gay images are “Queer Eye” or “Will & Grace”. It’s certainly easier for straight people. Personally I’ve never seen myself in anything on those shows, or QAF. I did identify with David from “Six Feet Under” sometimes.

    Have you seen the film? What did you think?

    Comment by Carl — December 18, 2005 @ 12:58 am - December 18, 2005

  25. In #15
    As for any “command” to see this film, I don’t see one. People have free will. If they don’t want to see it, they don’t have to see it

    But if you say you don’t want to see a gay cowboy movie you are automatically labeled a homophobe by many gay people.

    Comment by John — December 18, 2005 @ 1:02 am - December 18, 2005

  26. Kevin, #23, I would appreciate your response to this comment. I haven’t seen the film because it has not yet reached any theater near me. But some close friends who are straight — a married couple — saw it. Both enjoyed it and consider it among the best movies they’ve seen in recent years. It is her reaction to which I’d like you to respond. She said she entered the theater expecting to see a gay film. After seeing it, she considered it a love story not a gay film.

    GayPatriotWest, you’re welcome to chime in on this, too. Is her reaction likely to be typical?

    Comment by Jack Allen — December 18, 2005 @ 1:33 am - December 18, 2005

  27. #23
    It’s a bit sad you find it necessary to knock something (with a bit of nasty glee it appears) that succeeds admirably in portraying love between 2 men.

    Ahh. So we should all share your opinion and damn our own, right?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 18, 2005 @ 1:37 am - December 18, 2005

  28. #23

    Further, that’s a tad arrogant of you, ain’t it?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 18, 2005 @ 1:39 am - December 18, 2005

  29. -But if you say you don’t want to see a gay cowboy movie you are automatically labeled a homophobe by many gay people. –

    That may be true, but how is that a “command”, as someone called it? All you have to do is tell them to go screw themselves, and walk away. They aren’t going to force you to see the film.

    Shouldn’t the film be judged on its own merits, not on what other gays say?

    Comment by Carl — December 18, 2005 @ 1:52 am - December 18, 2005

  30. And, just to add to this, how many of you here have been called homophobes by gay men or lesbians who wanted you to see the film? How many of you have actually seen gays or lesbians calling people homophobes if those people said they didn’t want to see the movie?

    I find the whole “gay cowboy movie” label simplistic anyway. If you go up to someone and use that term, then no wonder they might not have the best reaction.

    Comment by Carl — December 18, 2005 @ 1:55 am - December 18, 2005

  31. Some of us don’t think this film succeeds all that admirably in portraying love between two men. And after seeing the film, we say as much in our posts.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — December 18, 2005 @ 1:56 am - December 18, 2005

  32. I don’t think that Ang Lee, et al closely affiliated with the film has an “agenda” per se — but the hype from ‘the industry’ is over the top and the film now has acquired an agenda. The film critic from one of the NYC papers was quoted on Drudge saying (paraphrasing here) that this movie is an opportunity for the overwhelmingly liberal entertainment industry to stick a finger in the eye of Red America…especially after Kerry lost, and 11 states passed anti-gay marriage bills last November.

    So, now, liberal Hollywood sees this as their opportunity to tell the rest of the country to F*ck off. Of course, with movie attendance already down 10+percent — the viewing public will eventually win out, by staying home. I think Red State America is sick of Hollywood because of politics, and primarily sh*tty product, and will not take kindly to this movie being shoved their throats.

    Comment by Jay — December 18, 2005 @ 3:00 am - December 18, 2005

  33. -Some of us don’t think this film succeeds all that admirably in portraying love between two men. And after seeing the film, we say as much in our posts. –

    Yet many of the comments in this post and on other sites come from people who have not even seen the film. Or people who talk more about Hollywood and their ‘agenda’ than about anything which was in the film. Or who seem to resent the idea that a lot of gays think the film is important. The film itself is an afterthought. The idea seems to be, ‘People want me to like this film – I’ll show them!’

    -The film critic from one of the NYC papers was quoted on Drudge saying (paraphrasing here) that this movie is an opportunity for the overwhelmingly liberal entertainment industry to stick a finger in the eye of Red America…-

    And of course Drudge is always the most reliable source. Even if he was, the critic is only one opinion, and that opinion rests on the assumption that Hollywood has a big history of presenting gay films and pushing those on America.

    Hollywood is not exactly that fond of presenting gay characters or romance between two men. In Hollywood, money is the #1 factor. Why do you think it took almost 10 years for Ang Lee to find someone who would even finance the film? If this movie succeeds it will be in spite of Hollywood.

    -I think Red State America is sick of Hollywood because of politics, and primarily sh*tty product, and will not take kindly to this movie being shoved their throats.-

    Yet Red State America has no problem flocking to Narnia, which is distributed by huge Hollywood powerhouses like Disney.

    There are plenty of gays who live in Red State America – many of the people who denounce liberals work and live beside gays. Are you saying that the mere fact that a Hollywood film acknowledges the existence of love between 2 men is a horrible affront to red states? This movie does not advocate same-sex marriage, or bash Republicans, or tell people to become athiests. The film merely shows the lives of 2 men who are in love. If Red State America is that horrified by this image, then that does mean no gays should ever even attempt to come out or try to live honest lives in a red state?

    This is just more of what bothers me about so much of the criticism of this film. People do not focus on the film itself. They focus on an ‘agenda’. An ‘agenda’ that is brought up far more often by people who dislike the film than those who wanted to see the movie. Any film which dares to feature gay characters could be seen as having an agenda.

    I wish that I saw this brutal Hollywood agenda in favor of gay rights. All I see is a sneering disdain from the media, with supposed liberals like Maureen Dowd saying that the characters in the movie would now frequent bathrooms, or that they should be in, ‘The Good, The Bad and the Bad Hair Day’. Or supposed comedians like Leno and Letterman indulging in sad stereotypes (which were reprinted here if anyone hasn’t heard them a million times before).

    It seems to me that this film has been inspiring the public and breaking box office records for a limited release film in spite of a condescending attitude from the press and from many in Hollywood. This is the first film in over 10 years to be in the box office top 10 even though it isn’t even in 100 theaters. That isn’t Hollywood arm-twisting gone wild, that is genuine success. Of course the film is not going to be a huge success in Virginia Beach or in Tuscaloosa, but it will probably have more success in red states than you think. A lot of people have been waiting a long, long time to see something beyond gays as interior decorators or drag queens.

    Comment by Carl — December 18, 2005 @ 3:35 am - December 18, 2005

  34. On the question of whether or not a gay film can ever be marketed to a straight audience… I think so, but not a film that prominently features gay sex. A lot of people—most people, I think—are open minded about GLBT issues. They might not support legal recognition of same-sex marriage, but they might support pretty much everything else the GLBT community ostensibly wants. However, I think most people are turned off by gay sex. They may not be bothered that consenting adults are doing it in their own bedrooms, but it’s not something they’d find entertaining enough to pay money to see. A lot of straight people are entertained by movies that feature heterosexual sex because, well, they’re straight, and what they see is more pleasurable for them to watch. Also, a lot of straight people don’t want to watch sex of any kind in any form of media. These include not just puritanical conservative Christians but also ordinary Americans, politically and religiously ambivalent, who believe our entertainment should be less sexual rather than more. I have not seen the movie, so I can’t fairly judge it, but I think Ang Lee’s comments about how beautiful the gay sex content was are not going to resonate with the vast majority of Americans. Trying to convince Americans that gay sex is something they should want to watch, it would seem to me, is a waste of time that is more likely to backfire than benefit the GLBT community.

    Comment by cme — December 18, 2005 @ 4:03 am - December 18, 2005

  35. You have a good point, cme, but I think most of the people who go to see this movie will probably know in advance that the film has sex scenes between men. I think that a lot of people out there who are generally tolerant of gays would be willing to see the film and then just suffer through or avoid the parts that have sex, since they are not that graphic or extended. Most of the people who would be deeply offended by this are not going to see the movie anyway.

    I read somewhere that the film is selling more tickets than King Kong at a theater in Plano, Texas.

    Comment by Carl — December 18, 2005 @ 4:37 am - December 18, 2005

  36. 28: No, it’s not arrogant. If you’ve seen it, then fine, you can have your own opinion, which I see people have done here in an intelligent, thoughtful way.

    I asked if VtheK had seen the film and I don’t see an answer on that one yet. From his comments, I suspect he has not seen it, which is my issue. His are the comments that are arrogant, consisting of:
    #7 – a sophmoric sexual innuendo
    #17 – A nice little racial epithet.
    #22 – False suppositions

    Over on the movie website, imdb.com, there have been 3500 votes on the movie. 2500 give it a 10, but interestingly 485 (the next number down) give it a low rating of 1. I found that a bit skewed until I looked at the comments – People who gave it high marks were pretty unanimous in their praise. from the few who gave it a one and actually commented on it, 1/2 of them had not seen the film and simply said it was awful because Hollywood just should not be have made this film at all, one saying that real cowboys were only Clint and The Duke.

    Comment by Kevin — December 18, 2005 @ 7:55 am - December 18, 2005

  37. Will it ever be possible to market a “gay” film to a “straight” audience?

    So nobody here remembers Tom Hanks in Philadelphia? Love, relationships, family acceptance, …. no charactures here, except maybe the evil conservatives from the law firm.

    And this film was doomed on several levels. Straight love-story films that make it big, for the most part, are romantic comedies (When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, One Fine Day) OR have truly bankable stars – Sleepless in Seatle.

    Angst-ridden stories of impossible love (which this appears to be – I haven’t seen it – this one is for the DVD) never make it big, and rarely get out of the film festival circuit. Unlesss it is Shaekespeare – and then even Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes can’t always make it a big hit.

    In terms of “people wanting to see sex scenes..” if you look closely at which movies have made money this year, and which have not, you will find G and PG-13 movies. Look at the last few years, and you will find the same thing. From Harry Potter, to Spiderman to the Incredibles you have movies aimed mostly at young kids, with something for the adults. Very few R movies have made much money in the last few years – take a walk around your local video rental store and count up all of the Zombie movies on the “new release shelf” for example. The exceptions like Sin City only work when the writing, directing, and acting are top notch.

    Comment by Zendo Deb — December 18, 2005 @ 8:12 am - December 18, 2005

  38. #26: From my own experience, the people I’ve spoken with and the responses I see online, the reaction of the woman you’ve spoken with is pretty consistent. Even the original posting from GayPatriotWest, commends it in the areas that most are commending it for. I think it’s themes of passion, love, longing, loss have been presented in a base, raw, emotional way that has never been portrayed in any film before it.

    I’ve become very curious to see how the movie does at the box office and, more interestingly, when it comes out on DVD. The many posts I’ve seen (most at the brokebackmountain website) were clearly made by people who are not “out”. I’m guessing that these are not the people who are going to flock to the local cineplex to see it where friends and family might see them going in. One person even mentioned driving several hours to a big city so he could see it anonymously though, bringing back memories of my latter teen years, having grown up in a small, conversative town. With the anonymity of ordering on the internet, I suspect this film will be huge when the DVD comes out.

    Comment by Kevin — December 18, 2005 @ 8:22 am - December 18, 2005

  39. 34: Well, let’s be clear that when you talk about gay sex, you mean sex between 2 guys. Sex between 2 women is regarded with the highest titilation among “straight” men, and from what I understand, there isn’t a “straight” porn film out there that doesn’t portray at least one scene of “girl-on-girl action”. Also, there appears to a good segment of the porn industry that is a niche market for “girl only sex”, yet it is marketed squarely for straight men

    Comment by Kevin — December 18, 2005 @ 8:41 am - December 18, 2005

  40. Say Carl!
    Could you possibly narrow down your long winded bloviations?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 18, 2005 @ 9:05 am - December 18, 2005

  41. I asked if VtheK had seen the film and I don’t see an answer on that one yet.

    You still haven’t answered the pudding consumption question. Can we thereby surmise that you haven’t seen it either?

    Cheers!

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 18, 2005 @ 9:08 am - December 18, 2005

  42. Angst-ridden stories of impossible love (which this appears to be – I haven’t seen it – this one is for the DVD) never make it big, and rarely get out of the film festival circuit.

    I am a straight woman (in general my movies are those that I can take my kids to). I appreciate a good love story, but I like my love stories to have happy endings-a lot of films that have critical acclaim, but have crappy sad endings, don’t appeal to me. I have the impression that this film doesn’t really end happy for either of the main characters. I can’t say that this makes me want to spend $10 to go see the film, on top of hiring a sitter for the kids.

    I do think you can make movies about gay people that appeal to straight people, although I do agree with an earlier post on the issue of sex. In general I am not keen on movies filled with sex of any kind (I tend to avoid R rated films for this reason), and I am also not overly impressed with movies filled with sexual inuendo either. Give a movie with characters that fall in love, and where the main topic is the development of the relationship, and not the sex, and I will enjoy it. But you better give it a happy ending.

    Comment by Just Me — December 18, 2005 @ 9:51 am - December 18, 2005

  43. 41: I’d like an explanation of why you and he are just such out and out mean nasty, people. Check my posts pal; yes I have seen it.

    Comment by Kevin — December 18, 2005 @ 10:00 am - December 18, 2005

  44. Have I seen the movie? Hell, no. I don’t go to movies in general, especially art house movies. I got burned by enough of those in college. The only movies I’ve seen in a theater this year are Star Wars: ROTS, The 40 Year Old Virgin and Serenity, the latter two of which were awesome. None of my comments are predicated on having seen it, since I have only been making fun of the hype, making the connection to South Park (without which, there would be much less to make fun of), and offering an alternative to Carl’s suggestion that people only dislike the movie out of coolness, or because the VRWC told them too.

    And considering Kevin made a name for himself on this forum with the statement that people on this weblog supported “a group of people who would be perfectly happy to see us exterminated,” one would think he would be a bit more circumspect about accusing others of making unfair criticisms.

    Yes, I was aware the movie was based on a novella by E. Annie Proulx, who also wrote a boring, overhyped novel, The Shipping News. (I don’t got go movies, but I am a voracious reader, even of crap.) Perhaps, GPW and others who think the film has fallen short in capturing the emotional dynamic of a male homoerotic relationship may want to consider that the story comes from the imagination of a woman, with a screenplay by a heterosexual male Larry McMurtry and another female, Diane Ossana.

    And if my comments gave Kevin the vapors, Lordy, Lordy, he doesn’t get out much, does he?

    Comment by V the K — December 18, 2005 @ 11:10 am - December 18, 2005

  45. Oh, and I only saw 40YOV because I was getting new tires put on my pick-up and needed to kill time. Damn funny movie though.

    Comment by V the K — December 18, 2005 @ 11:13 am - December 18, 2005

  46. #22 – False suppositions

    Must resist urge to make more sophomoric innuendo…

    In the meantime, I’m still trying to find that word in the dictionary. Maybe he meant to say “assumptions”?

    suppositions… in-u-endo… assumptions…

    Oh, never mind. I better quit while I’m ahead.

    Anyway, I saw the movie last night and it was great.

    My only annoyance it was hard for me to understand the thick regional accent, and also my friend and I both thought the ending was somewhat predictable.

    Comment by Frank IBC — December 18, 2005 @ 11:13 am - December 18, 2005

  47. This is actually the first movie I’ve seen in a theater all year. I wasn’t impressed by this summer’s crop of movies – all sequels and re-makes.

    Comment by Frank IBC — December 18, 2005 @ 11:14 am - December 18, 2005

  48. Er, “pudding”?

    Comment by Frank IBC — December 18, 2005 @ 11:18 am - December 18, 2005

  49. Without adding much of my 2 cents to the vortex here (though I will say simply that I am a righty homo and I saw this film twice and love it), I wanna tell GPW he’s wrong about Jack’s attitude and MO: “I wish I could say Jake showed a similar emotional shift. At times when he professed his love for Ennis, it seemed that he was like so many men we all have met, just using a romantic line in order to bed the object of his desire.” Not so. When Ennis sent word of his divorce, Jack drove 1400 miles to meet him and start off together. It was Ennis who, always, said no.

    Comment by EssEm — December 18, 2005 @ 11:24 am - December 18, 2005

  50. “Independent films are those black and white hippy movies. They’re always about gay cowboys eating pudding.” – Eric Cartman, South Park.

    BTW, I went to E Annie Prouxl’s website to see what gay insight she may have brought to the story. Nada, but it’s tough to read her comments about BM and her other works without the words “Pretentious Git” coming to mind.

    Comment by V the K — December 18, 2005 @ 11:26 am - December 18, 2005

  51. What I want to know is where in Wyoming Jack managed to find someone to wax his eyebrows.

    A more serious question – I don’t know much about the history of Wyoming, but I was surprised to see so many Spanish surnames for the characters, particularly Ennis’, which was “Del Mar”.

    V the K –

    BM

    Ewwwww!!!!!

    There is a town in Nevada called Battle Mountain. The town’s skyline is dominated by a large water tower with the letters “BM”.

    Nope, no pudding… just a lot of pork and beans. And fudge.

    Comment by Frank IBC — December 18, 2005 @ 11:34 am - December 18, 2005

  52. I felt kinda sorry for them in the first “scene”, given that they didn’t have any lube with them.

    Comment by Frank IBC — December 18, 2005 @ 11:36 am - December 18, 2005

  53. the story comes from the imagination of a woman, with a screenplay by a heterosexual male Larry McMurtry and another female, Diane Ossana.

    Hmmmpf. Next you’re going to suggest that girl-on-girl pr0n written and directed by men fails to capture the realities of lesbian romance.

    Comment by Frank IBC — December 18, 2005 @ 11:43 am - December 18, 2005

  54. #53 — Frank, you sophomoric boor. I totally bought into the emotional authenticity of Bumpin’ Donuts.

    Comment by V the K — December 18, 2005 @ 12:12 pm - December 18, 2005

  55. Here’s another gay review of Brokeback:

    “…some gay men are reveling in watching heterosexual males squirm at the prospect of two gay cowboys leaving the horses to the stables and riding each other instead.”

    http://malcontent.typepad.com/malcontent/2005/12/redefining_homo.html#more

    Comment by Anthony — December 18, 2005 @ 12:51 pm - December 18, 2005

  56. I haven’t seen the movie but have read most of the comments above. Am I to understand that BM is yet another depiction of gay sex equaling anal sex? And without lube no less? Please give me a break! The presumption that we all fit into top or bottom labels only reinforces stereotypes.

    Comment by Devon — December 18, 2005 @ 1:41 pm - December 18, 2005

  57. The presumption that we all fit into top or bottom labels only reinforces stereotypes.

    Top: “I’m a top.”

    Bottom: “I’m, uh… versatile.”

    Comment by Frank IBC — December 18, 2005 @ 2:23 pm - December 18, 2005

  58. Hollywood wasted its acceptable gay movie card with Alexander.

    Comment by Hello Moto — December 18, 2005 @ 2:26 pm - December 18, 2005

  59. First off, I disagree with those that require a happy ending for their love stories. The most moving and memorable screen romances always end with the couple apart; Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, Now Voyager, Summertime and Brief Encounter to name just a few (ok, ok…and Titanic).

    As for BM (hee hee) my problem with it is (SPOILER ALERT) that ultimately the two men are portrayed as victims. According to this film (and many other victim-centric films like it) no happiness can come from being gay and eventually you pay the price by dying for it. Nothing groundbreaking there. Give me Making Love (now over twenty years old, by the way) where good drama springs from a gay storyline without anyone having to die in the end. Plus it has a theme song by Roberta Flack

    Comment by Andre — December 18, 2005 @ 2:43 pm - December 18, 2005

  60. SPOILER ALERT!!!

    SPOILER ALERT!!!

    SPOILER ALERT!!!

    I figured that at least one of the pair was going to die from AIDS or a bashing. Yep, I was right.

    Comment by Frank IBC — December 18, 2005 @ 3:36 pm - December 18, 2005

  61. Actually, Carl in #33, I’m not sure you’re right that this is the “first film in over 10 years to be in the box office top 10 even though it isn’t even in 100 theaters.”

    It’ll be interesting to see the film’s staying power. While most gay men I have talked to like the film more than I did, a number found it deeply affecting. It hit home for Malcontent as it did for one film buff with whom I saw the 1933 King Kong last night.

    And EssEm in #49, yes, Jack did drive 1400 miles to meet Ennis when he learned of Ennis’ divorce. But, I’m not wrong here because while the scene was written to show that love, I just didn’t believe that Jake conveyed his feelings. To be sure, the closest I came to believing Jack’s love was the scene in the car when he was headed back to Texas (after Ennis rebuffed him to spend time with his daughters).

    It would be nice if this film holds up at the box office because it would show that there is an audience for gay films. While I never warmed to Jake Gyllenhaal’s Jack (well, except the scene when he is washing his clothes in the stream), I’m sure Heath Ledger’s performance resonates with anybody who has ever loved and lost. There is a tragic aspect to it that brings out the universality of our longing to connect.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — December 18, 2005 @ 3:57 pm - December 18, 2005

  62. #60, So Frank, were those the only cliches, or were there more? Was there, for example, a gruff but tender gym teacher?

    Comment by V the K — December 18, 2005 @ 3:57 pm - December 18, 2005

  63. With all the sheep in that movie, I’m amazed that the phrase “sheep marriage” didn’t occur to me once.

    Comment by Frank IBC — December 18, 2005 @ 4:58 pm - December 18, 2005

  64. 56: Ain’t much when you’re alone together stuck up on a mountain top….

    Comment by Kevin — December 18, 2005 @ 5:14 pm - December 18, 2005

  65. 44: Then perhaps you should quit while you’re behind and cease commenting on a movie that you haven’t seen (and sounds like you have no intention of seeing). You’re no better than all the homophobes out there who have denounced it without even seeing it.

    Comment by Kevin — December 18, 2005 @ 5:28 pm - December 18, 2005

  66. Kev, please point to which of my comments passes judgment on the content of the movie. Thank you.

    You’re no better than all the homophobes out there who have denounced it without even seeing it.

    Or guys who claim Republicans are out to exterminate them.

    Comment by V the K — December 18, 2005 @ 5:45 pm - December 18, 2005

  67. -And this film was doomed on several levels. Straight love-story films that make it big, for the most part, are romantic comedies (When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, One Fine Day) OR have truly bankable stars – Sleepless in Seatle.-

    It’s interesting that you already describe the film as ‘doomed’ when the film was only supposed to be an arthouse project to begin with, and in limited release, has done extraordinarly well. This reminds me of the people who say that the movie is a failure because it isn’t doing as well as Narnia, when 1 film isn’t in 100 theaters and the other is in thousands and thousands.


    Actually, Carl in #33, I’m not sure you’re right that this is the “first film in over 10 years to be in the box office top 10 even though it isn’t even in 100 theaters.” ‘

    If I’m wrong, then someone can feel free to correct me. But I haven’t heard of any film in recent years to start out with such a limited release and do such huge business.

    -Hollywood wasted its acceptable gay movie card with Alexander.-

    That was not a gay film. They played down any gay content and played up the straight relationships between characters, even though the lead character wore a Shirley Temple wig. And that movie stunk from the beginning anyway.

    -Say Carl!
    Could you possibly narrow down your long winded bloviations? –

    Sorry, I didn’t realize you needed to make more pudding jokes. Forgive me.

    Comment by Carl — December 18, 2005 @ 6:38 pm - December 18, 2005

  68. By the way, forum lefties, note that in #44 I answered a direct question without evasion or weaseling. Learn from my example. That is all.

    Although my answer was not entirely correct. I had forgotten about taking my son to see Transporter 2. But, I think everyone can understand how I could have forgotten that movie.

    Comment by V the K — December 18, 2005 @ 6:44 pm - December 18, 2005

  69. Carl, there are a number of limited release movies which have done quite well (in terms 0f box office position) especially when, as this year, the overall box office has been slack.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — December 18, 2005 @ 6:52 pm - December 18, 2005

  70. -Carl, there are a number of limited release movies which have done quite well (in terms 0f box office position) especially when, as this year, the overall box office has been slack. –

    They’ve done quite well, but how many films in less than 100 theaters have been in the top 10?

    The film, even with its very limited release, has made nearly $4,000,000. That’s an amazing accomplishment.

    Comment by Carl — December 18, 2005 @ 8:50 pm - December 18, 2005

  71. 70: 69 screens and a take of $2.4 mil for the weekend ($34,782 per screen); compared to $50.1 mil for Kong on over 3500 screens ($14,000 per screen). Not too shabby.

    Comment by Kevin — December 19, 2005 @ 12:50 am - December 19, 2005

  72. GayPatriotWest – I thought you might want to see some of this.

    “Ang Lee-helmed short story adaptation is the first film since 1995 to break into the top 10 while in fewer than 100 locations. Cume is $3.3 million.”

    and

    “As expected, best perfs came in more liberal cities, including Toronto, New York and L.A., where the film’s best per play takes reached over $70,000.

    However, “Brokeback”‘s best per play takes in other cities included an estimated $56,000 at a theater in Atlanta, $50,000 in Phoenix, $49,000 in Houston, $35,000 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and $33,000 in St. Louis. In some of those cities, it was playing on only one screen.”

    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117934870?categoryid=1236&cs=1&s=h&p=0

    Comment by Carl — December 19, 2005 @ 1:43 am - December 19, 2005

  73. I got an idea
    if you wanna see it, see it
    if you don’t, don’t

    I’m a “camp follower” (a female with a gay male best friend) and even I felt being “shoved” to watch this film. But we live in a time of real division – I’m Right, You’re Wrong nonsense.

    does anyone remember the film “Maurice?” That was pre-Brokeback Moutain

    Comment by Rachel — December 19, 2005 @ 8:37 am - December 19, 2005

  74. Saw the movie — sex scenes? It was suggestive but NO sex scenes – damm you can see more on a episode of Desperate Housewives…but we’re used to having heterosexual sex shoved down our throats on a daily basis. It was not a “Gay Cowboy Movie” as much as it was a study of society, forbidden love, angst……So they kissed — ohh big deal….boy you peo[ple here at Gay Patriot will do anything to put yourselves down..to make the Conservatives feel better! 2006 dem or lib partys!

    Comment by JRC — December 19, 2005 @ 9:19 am - December 19, 2005

  75. I’m a “camp follower” (a female with a gay male best friend) and even I felt being “shoved” to watch this film. But we live in a time of real division – I’m Right, You’re Wrong nonsense.

    does anyone remember the film “Maurice?” That was pre-Brokeback Moutain –

    Maurice is one of my favorite films, especially the ending. I really felt a connection to the Maurice character, even though many critics said the lead character was too “boring”. That is easily the best gay-themed film I’ve ever seen.

    I’m sorry if you feel people are pressuring you to see the film. All I would suggest is if they are, then there’s probably a good reason. If the film was a big disappointment, then it would still get some diehards into the theater, but not the type of word-of-mouth that seems to be going on. Of course it isn’t going to be the greatest movie ever, or anything close, but I think it’s going to be pretty good. More than anything else I’m just glad to see a semi-major film acknowledge that gays actually have romantic feelings and longings.

    Comment by Carl — December 19, 2005 @ 11:04 am - December 19, 2005

  76. Maurice was a great flic, with a beautiful score.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — December 19, 2005 @ 1:15 pm - December 19, 2005

  77. Debbie Schlussel had a negative reaction to this film as well. Which reminds me that she is the ideal “conservative” diva you were looking for earlier.

    Comment by anon — December 19, 2005 @ 2:23 pm - December 19, 2005

  78. Nope, no pudding… just a lot of pork and beans. And fudge.

    Freshly packed, no less!

    Hi to Frank and V the K — I haven’t seen the movie, but read the short story a week ago when it was available online at newyorker.com. You two will not be surprised to learn that I was kinda ticked off by how the short story portrayed the very first sexual encounter between the two men:

    [Ennis] staggered under canvas, pulled his boots off, snored on the ground cloth for a while, woke Jack with the clacking of his jaw.

    “Jesus Christ, quit hammerin and get over here. Bedroll’s big enough,” said Jack in an irritable sleep-clogged voice. It was big enough, warm enough, and in a little while they deepened their intimacy considerably. Ennis ran full throttle on all roads whether fence mending or money spending, and he wanted none of it when Jack seized his left hand and brought it to his erect cock. Ennis jerked his hand away as though he’d touched fire, got to his knees, unbuckled his belt, shoved his pants down, hauled Jack onto all fours, and, with the help of the clear slick and a little spit, entered him, nothing he’d done before but no instruction manual needed. They went at it in silence except for a few sharp intakes of breath and Jack’s choked “Gun’s goin off,” then out, down, and asleep.

    So, two guys who are newbies to the whole M2M thing just take the plunge into anal sex by sheer instinct (“no manual needed”) and manage to do it with just precum and spit. Yeah, that’s believeable. And god knows barebacking hasn’t been glamorized enough.

    The other thing that bothered me about the short story is that the first sex scene came out of nowhere — i.e.,Proulx barely even hints that the two young men are secretly yearning for each other. Where’s the sexual tension, the frustration of feeling desire and not being able to express it, the secret delight in staring at another man’s handsomeness combined with the dread that he’ll catch you staring?

    Comment by Throbert McGee — December 19, 2005 @ 3:12 pm - December 19, 2005

  79. By the way, I would recommend adding Yossi and Jagger to your Netflix queue. It’s about a decidedly non-stereotypical male couple: two IDF men on a remote military outpost along the Israel/Lebanon border. The emotional costs of the closet are dramatized in a very effective way, and it also examines the clash between gay identity and military culture beyond the DADT debate that we’re familiar with in the States. (The older of the two guys aspires to make a career of the military, and knows that his promotion opportunities will be extremely limited if he comes out, even though there’s no formal ban on gays in the Israeli military.)

    Comment by Throbert McGee — December 19, 2005 @ 3:31 pm - December 19, 2005

  80. Throbert –

    I rented Yossi & Jagger a few months ago. It’s a great movie and I recommend it.

    Both the guys are HOT.

    Is anyone familiar with the fudge store in Harborplace, where you get to see them making the fudge – the staff does a song&dance routine as they make the product.

    I call them “The Fudgepackers”. {giggle}

    SPOILER ALERT!!!

    The movie didn’t even include spit. Ouch. 🙁

    In the movie, Ennis didn’t take any initiative at all – basically Jack raped himself – the ultimate greedy bottom.

    Comment by Frank IBC — December 19, 2005 @ 3:56 pm - December 19, 2005

  81. Frank IBC:

    Ennis didn’t take any initiative at all – basically Jack raped himself – the ultimate greedy bottom.

    Okay, I’m trying to figure out the mechanics of that. You mean Jack was nimble, Jack was quick, Jack sat down on the candlestick?

    Comment by Throbert McGee — December 19, 2005 @ 5:13 pm - December 19, 2005

  82. LOL

    Comment by Calarato — December 19, 2005 @ 5:16 pm - December 19, 2005

  83. Oh, right, that gets an LOL, but Bumpin’ Donuts? Nada.

    Comment by V the K — December 19, 2005 @ 5:30 pm - December 19, 2005

  84. My goodness – I thought it was the big screen version of Bonanza (hot cowboys living out in the wilderness – and a Chinese cook to boot!) Pity they couldn’t find gay actors to play gay characters for authenticity, but I guess Nathan Lane was busy promoting the Producers and Tom Cruise didn’t want to ruin the wedding night surprise for his fiancée.

    Anyhow, I did see Ang Lee on Charlie Rose, and he strikes me as the type to keep all the good out-takes for himself and short change the DVD. Can anyone spell T-R-O-L-L? Pity, they didn’t just throw caution to the wind tell the MPAA to go to hell and show it all. I mean, if I had to see Colin Ferrell’s little dick, or Bruce Willis’s little willy why not get the full monty from Jake and Heath? They can even use CGI if they’d like – I am paying nine bucks to see this movie and I can only take so many mountains before I start wishing Julie Andrews and the Von Trapps would come tramping over the top singing their little hearts out.

    As for the story, it sounds a lot like “The Bridges of Madison County” meets “Torch Song Trilogy”– with Heath doing Meryl’s bad accent and Jake wearing Clint’s bad gingham shirts – with Harvey Firestein growling he “just wants to be hugged!” in the background.

    But I suppose I should be grateful to Hollywood, for at least attempting to show gay characters that aren’t serial killers, drug addicts, hustlers or hags – like they really are in Hollywood. Yeah, gay cowboys played by overwrought straight actors who think it’s courageous and ground breaking to kiss another man full on the mouth – apparently they’ve never been to Splash Bar or the Eagle during happy hour.

    Comment by Vera Charles — December 19, 2005 @ 5:56 pm - December 19, 2005

  85. Maurice is one of my favorite films, especially the ending.

    I credit Maurice, the movie, for teaching me how to pronounce “Featherstonehaugh.” (I’d read the book before seeing the movie, and one of Maurice’s school mates has that famously overspelled surname.)

    Come to think of it, the movie also taught me that the British “Maurice” rhymes with “chorus,” not with “police.”

    Comment by Throbert McGee — December 19, 2005 @ 6:04 pm - December 19, 2005

  86. I loved Maurice, especially when he’d make that giant martini appear out of thin air.

    Comment by Andre — December 19, 2005 @ 6:19 pm - December 19, 2005

  87. Which of the characters was Fanshaw, again? I forget.

    Comment by Calarato — December 19, 2005 @ 7:23 pm - December 19, 2005

  88. 74: Yeah, but the passion in those kisses? whew. Not to mention the other physicality between the 2 – whether it was kissing, playing, fighting, trying to push away. The scene where the 2 are simply standing, Ennis behind Jack with his arm held tightly around Jack what a moment. You may get big boobs and tight muscle shirts on Desperate Housewives, but that can’t take the place of real passion.

    Comment by Kevin — December 19, 2005 @ 9:13 pm - December 19, 2005

  89. I thought Debbie said she didn’t even see the film, because there were too many people in line. I think she also tried to blame movies like that for why Hollywood has had less box office success, even though I can’t think of any films in recent years that had gay romances. It sounds to me like she was biased against the movie based on her own attitudes about gays or gay relationships.

    So, two guys who are newbies to the whole M2M thing just take the plunge into anal sex by sheer instinct (”no manual needed”) and manage to do it with just precum and spit. Yeah, that’s believeable. And god knows barebacking hasn’t been glamorized enough. –

    I didn’t realize there was a big safe sex campaign going on in 1963. People who bareback in 2005 are going to do so whether or not they see it in a movie. That’s like saying that people won’t kill anyone if all movies stop showing murder.

    A lot of people think Jack wasn’t a virgin the first time he was with Ennis, although I don’t know if the movie ever suggests that or not.

    Comment by Carl — December 19, 2005 @ 10:26 pm - December 19, 2005

  90. #88 For once I agree with Kevin. There’s a lot more passion in that simply standing behind scene than there is in any macro shot from gay porn.

    Comment by Conservative Guy — December 19, 2005 @ 10:37 pm - December 19, 2005

  91. I had no idea that my post (#32) would be the equivalent of pissing in Carl’s (post #33) Wheaties — but there it is.

    Carl, as typical for a liberal, ignored my argument that those “in the (entertainment) industry,” but not directly affiliated with the film would use the film as a vehicle to forward their agenda — whatever that may be…though obviously gay marriage would be the cause du jour.

    Instead Carl chose to belittle people like me who might see the film being used for those with bigger agendas…yes, just like poor ol’ Cindy Sheehan, who was simply an anguished mother, overtaken by the grief of the death of her son. Sure, she had an army of hundreds helping her (including Fenton Communications, the public relations firm for Moveon.org and a bevy of willing liberal members of the media), but she was never far from message (thank you Fenton), despite whatever the actual truth surrounding her was.

    Back to my point — bottom line…the film WILL NOT be used by those, not affiliated with the endeavor to forward an agenda…IT ALREADY IS.
    Case in point, Frank Rich of Pravda, er, excuse me, THE New York Times proclaimed in his article of last Sunday…

    (‘Brokeback Mountain’) is “all the more subversive for having no overt politics, is a rebuke and antidote” to opposition to gay marriage.

    You can claim purity all you want Carl, but you are being used.

    Joyeux Noel.

    Comment by Jay — December 20, 2005 @ 2:56 am - December 20, 2005

  92. I’m wondering, since most money from movies is in merchandising, will there be a Burger King tie-in? Maybe a combo meal, hot beef with special sauce served between two hard buns. Will there be Brokeback Mountain action figures? Will they be inflatable?

    Comment by V the K — December 20, 2005 @ 8:13 am - December 20, 2005

  93. -Carl, as typical for a liberal,-

    Sorry, not a liberal. Never have been. You are assuming I’m a liberal because I don’t go along with your idea that this movie is some kind of evil Hollywood propaganda against the red states.


    Instead Carl chose to belittle people like me who might see the film being used for those with bigger agendas…yes, just like poor ol’ Cindy Sheehan, –

    I didn’t belittle you. I belittled your conspiracy theory. If you look at the people who were behind Cindy Sheehan, those who initially supported her, many were from radical, extremist groups. Unless you’re telling me that Ang Lee is a radical extremist, then I don’t see the similarity. Hollywood runs away from most pro-gay ideas or themes. This fantasy that Hollywood is full of homosexual propaganda is bizarre to me when Hollywood does not have even one successful openly gay leading man or woman.


    Case in point, Frank Rich of Pravda, er, excuse me, THE New York Times proclaimed in his article of last Sunday…-

    So does that mean March of the Penguins or Chronicles of Narnia are evil propaganda, since they were both praised by conservative organizations?

    -You can claim purity all you want Carl, but you are being used.-

    If you mean ‘used’ in the sense of wanting to support a film that shows gay men as more than mincing drag queens, then that’s fine by me.

    Comment by Carl — December 20, 2005 @ 1:32 pm - December 20, 2005

  94. I have to now say that I firmly disagree with Gaypatriotwest’s final sentence in the original posting and I think this film could be the one to appeal to the masses. I saw this film only a week ago and the response I’ve seen to it is nothing short of seismic (well, at least for a small budgeted film). Reaction (both by critics and the public) has been overwhelming more positive for this more than any movie this year, the box office appears to be poised to skyrocket, the producers are emboldened now to open in it in more cities faster than planned and they intend to do so in more conservative markets as well.

    Below is a link to an imdb.com poster on the film and how it changed his perceptions of gays as a conservative christian. I’m heartened when I see something like this film can change people’s attitudes for the bettter.

    http://imdb.com/title/tt0388795/board/thread/31985351?d=31985351#31985351

    Comment by Kevin — December 23, 2005 @ 12:04 am - December 23, 2005

  95. I just saw the film yesterday with my partner. I thought it was an excellent film, and see that it can appeal to straight audiences, in general, excepting those with the irrational hangups with homosexuality. Most of the audience were older straight couples. And the theatre, although small with about 100 seats was filled for a 3:00 showing. Time will tell if it will have the success that has been hyped for the movie and that is deserved. It does deserve all the accolades it has received, and may be the movie that GPW doesn’t think it will be. We’ll see.

    #31 GPW I don’t think the point of the film was to “[succeed] all that admirably in portraying love between two men.” I think it succeeded in showing why the love between Ennis and Jack didn’t succeed was because of the obstacles that prevented them from succeeding (but would have under more tolerable circumstances). And I think it also succeeds in showing that many of these obstacles still exist today. For example, gay people still get married so they can unhappily be part of the straight world. I do agree with you regarding Ledger and Gylenhaal. Despite Jake being the one who was more serious about the relationship than Ennis, Ledger did a more convincing job of his love for Jake.

    Comment by Pat — December 23, 2005 @ 10:12 am - December 23, 2005

  96. Good points, Pat. I think the Ledger character represents so many of the different agonies that gay men go through.

    Comment by Carl — December 24, 2005 @ 2:02 pm - December 24, 2005

  97. I haven’t seen the film yet, but will, because I have to. My wife’s first husband is gay and so she feels the need to see it. I doubt that she will find the answers she seeks, but she needs to try. I would too, if I were in the same position as her. I expect to be a little uncomfortable with the intimate scenes between the two leads, but not intolerably so. There will be many more such films and tv shows and that the newness will wear off. Still, they will continue to be gay films rather than films that have gay characters in leading roles. That is, until someone like Bill Cosby comes along. Cosby doesn’t do black comedy. His comedy is universal. It speaks to everyone. Movies that have that kind of universal appeal will come, but not until a lot of good gay films are made. Until then, the gayness of the characters will be part of the message.

    Comment by Richard of Oregon — January 9, 2006 @ 11:11 pm - January 9, 2006

  98. Well said, Richard of Oregon. Some people say that Brokeback is a gay film with a universal message. But, you’re right, we need gay flicks where the characters’ sexuality is tangential to the story.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 10, 2006 @ 1:39 am - January 10, 2006

  99. spoiler

    no one died from a bashing, look at the movie again!

    Comment by Stephen Reeves — January 13, 2006 @ 1:59 pm - January 13, 2006

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