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One Last Brokeback Post

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 2:36 pm - January 15, 2006.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

Mind if I chime in about Brokeback Mountain? Seems everybody’s had their moment on it, and I finally saw it last week on a break from skiing, so here’s a quick note:

As many have already said, the star of this movie for me was the scenery. Being from out West, I was taken immediately by the grandness of the cinematography and beautiful backdrop for this love story. After that I liked the sheep. The way they moved like a river of wool through the mountain valleys must have been quite a trick to choreograph. Sure, Heath was alright, Jake was alright (although I liked him much more in Jarhead), but I’ve never been much for mushy love stories (even when tinged with two hot guys going at it).

Then there’s Gene Shalit. Wow, how the “Community” has gone after him. Big-shot Colorado Gay Society Guy Tim Gill has posted Shalit’s groveling reply to critics which has received mixed results from those commenting. So he called Jack a “sexual predator”. Yikes. Certainly the connotation of a trench-coat-wearing, panel-van-driving pervert who stalks children’s playgrounds isn’t what Gene could have meant. But I can definitely see how super-sensitive victim-baiters in the Gay Left could have seen it that way and seized on it for publicity’s sake. Gene was right to apologize for a bad choice of words, but seeing the firestorm coming from the “Community” kind of makes me laugh. Have they grown so bored with arguing with James Dobson and Pat Robertson they’ve now got to pick on Gene Shalit? That’s like right-wingers boycotting Disney because they offer same-sex partner benefits to their employees. To all, I say, get a life.

And in defense of Gene Shalit, it’s certainly not deniable that Jack’s character is a predatory one. Think about it: After that first summer on Brokeback, he initiates every communication, he’s the one who drives all the way from Texas to Wyoming, he’s the one who is constantly harping on Ennis to leave his wife and run away with him so they can have their own ranch. He’s the one who goes to Old Mexico and then hooks up with that other rancher (and even suggests the same living arrangement to him). And in the end we’re led to believe that it was perhaps his carelessness with his cravings that leads to his outing and violent demise (and NO I’m NOT “blaming the victim” or excusing his murder, and anyway it’s a movie, lighten up). Not a “sexual predator”, but definitely does sound predatory. Yes, there are emotions involved too, between those guys, but you don’t have to deny those feelings to admit that Jack was predatory.

At the end, unfortunately, a yawner. Good story, good flick, beautiful backdrop, but not nearly worth all the hype. I think I’ll go see an ape movie to cleanse my palate.

In Memoriam Shelley Winters

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:45 am - January 15, 2006.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

When I was a kid one of my favorite movies was The Poseidon Adventure. So much did I enjoy the flick that whenever my school took us to concerts at Cincinnati’s Music Hall, I used to imagine what would happen if the hall would flip over as did the S.S. Poseidon in that 1970s film. Where would I end up? How would I escape?

Would a nice Jewish grandmother risk her life to save me as Shelley Winters‘ Belle Rosen swam to help save the passengers who were trying to escape with her? Winters’ Rosen suffered a heart attack and died for her efforts. The boy who accompanied her survived. And Winters earned her fourth Oscar nod.

Twenty-four years after Belle Rosen died, the world has lost the great actress who put so much panache into that character’s dying words. With great sadness, I report that Ms. Wintersdied yesterday. She was 85.

Only long after first seeing this great lady in The Poseidon Adventure would I learn that Shelley Winters was one of the most gifted actresses of the silver screen, delivering, over the years, an incredible number of outstanding performances, winning Oscars for her roles in A Patch of Blue and The Diary of Anne Frank. Her performance as an isolated and frightened young woman in A Place in the Sun, for which she was nominated for an Oscar, was simply heart-breaking.

She demonstrated her talent in wide range of roles. From that sensitive and spurned factory worker in Place in the Sun to the harridan of a mother in A Patch of Blue, she showed a talent that few screen stars had equaled before — or since.

Because many of her films are on DVD, though Shelley Winters has passed, we will long be able to witness (and delight in) the excellence of her craft. And I will always appreciate how one of her great performances so fueled my childhood imagination.

The world has lost a legend, but is grateful for what she left behind.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest):