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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.



  1. -To all, I say, get a life.-

    Most of the “gay left” stopped talking about this days or weeks ago. The people who keep bringing this up are the people who say Shalit’s remarks aren’t a big deal.

    Comment by Carl — January 15, 2006 @ 3:55 pm - January 15, 2006

  2. Predator is still a strong term for Jack, he was the dominant one, and was in love with Ennis.I suppose we could call any dominant character in a love story a predator.
    It is not too certain how Jack died, Ennis imagined he was killed, because that is how he thought it would end, if they came out, but we do not know for sure.

    It was good to see two guys together without the requisite drag queens,fag hags or wise cracking sissy characters such as that character in “Will and Grace”.

    It has hit a very emotional spot with rural gays and older ones,who can identify with the emotions that they went through especially Ennis, who just could not cope with his feelings.

    Comment by Stephen Reeves — January 15, 2006 @ 4:32 pm - January 15, 2006

  3. Not that I had any intention of seeing the movie, but …

    If you’re going to reveal the ending, I suggest you start your post with something along the lines of …


    Comment by Julie the Jarhead — January 15, 2006 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2006

  4. Pursuiung someone for romance — someone who wants it himself but can’t bring himself to break free of fear — makes you a predator?

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 15, 2006 @ 7:47 pm - January 15, 2006

  5. As a gay man who saw the movie, and with further contemplation, I agree with Mr. Shalit’s characterization. I am also a gay man with many unrealized emotional expectations. After all , unrequited love is the only love that lasts.

    With the Rodeo Clown, I thought I was watching a pickup scene from “Looking for Mr. Goodbar”.

    Here in Dallas , right now, we have 6 gay murders that all seem to be connected in the last few years. Promiscuous gay men who picked up the wrong man it is presumed. There is an assumption among many heterosexuals that we are promiscous, and the sadness felt by many of our straight friends is that we seem to have such a hard time pairing.
    So what if heterosexual pairing leaves much to be desired. Look at Branjolie.
    If we get out of fiction and into the real world, friendship is the love that lasts a life time.

    Comment by Shrubstex — January 15, 2006 @ 9:36 pm - January 15, 2006

  6. -There is an assumption among many heterosexuals that we are promiscous, and the sadness felt by many of our straight friends is that we seem to have such a hard time pairing.-

    Being promiscuous isn’t the same as having a hard time finding a permanent partner. Unless their friend has a new man in his bed every night, someone who feels pity for gays because they assume all gays are all promiscuous sees their gay friend as a bad stereotype, not a human being.

    Comment by Carl — January 15, 2006 @ 10:43 pm - January 15, 2006

  7. After that I liked the sheep.

    TMI, Bubba. 😉

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 16, 2006 @ 1:38 am - January 16, 2006

  8. #1 – Now that is blaming the victim.

    Comment by Calarato — January 16, 2006 @ 2:19 am - January 16, 2006

  9. #2 – Jack was emotionally manipulative, needy (all concerned for himself), and had trouble hearing Ennis’ “no” to Jack’s lifestyle requests. I agree Jack was no predator; that being the wrong word. I use “borderline stalker”.

    Comment by Calarato — January 16, 2006 @ 2:21 am - January 16, 2006

  10. Ennis wanted it both ways. He wanted to sleep with Jack, and be near him, yet he wanted his own life and family. He encouraged Jack for decades. If he really meant no, he should have stopped mumbling maybe under every other breath.

    Comment by Carl — January 16, 2006 @ 7:10 am - January 16, 2006

  11. When did Jack have trouble hearing no? It seemed to me that Jack always met Ennis under Ennis’s terms. Jack did want a more meaningful relationship. So a couple of times, he does ask Ennis if they could have a real relationship. Everytime he said no, Jack accepted it. I don’t see how asking again in the future could be construed as even a borderline stalker. (In the post, I don’t see how Jack is constantly harping with Ennis to leave his wife, since they are only together a couple of times a year.) Jack is obviously hoping Ennis changes his mind as they mature, and as things get more tolerant. But Jack accepts no each time along the way. Jack does go to Mexico, and does apparently shack up with another guy, so calling him a cheater or promiscuous may be appropriate.

    As for the post, all I can say is if the behavior by Jack is “predatory,” then just about every normal person I know is “predatory.” I have no problem with the term, and I might have enjoyed the movie even if Jack was predatory. Perhaps future movies will have predatory gay characters, showing we can be just as bad as straights. But I didn’t see anything remotely predatory in this movie.

    Comment by Pat — January 16, 2006 @ 8:43 am - January 16, 2006

  12. As I watched this movie I’m watching my life on the screen. I know its just a movie but this is a real story for most gay guys. This is exactly my life except mine happened in Alaska in the summer of 1996. I think its funny that movie theaters will not play the movie because of the gay theme. Today on Martin Luther King Day 2006 we still deal with discrimination. Funny!

    Comment by Chris — January 16, 2006 @ 10:57 am - January 16, 2006

  13. “I think its funny that movie theaters will not play the movie because of the gay theme.”

    Considering the mobs that are swarming to see this movie, all across the country, I bet more and more theatres are going to start showing it as soon as they can get a copy. Money talks louder than boycott threats. Speaking of which, does anyone else hear that dog that isn’t barking? Where is James Dobson’s prophetic voice on this major moral issue confronting America?

    Comment by Jim — January 16, 2006 @ 11:53 am - January 16, 2006

  14. Actually, if you read the review linked from the Focus on the Family site, there’s a very good reason Dobson is being relatively quiet; the film portrays a message that he wants people to see.

    Usually it’s a negative thing when people give in to the societal norms around them and give up on their dreams, refuse to step across racial divides, etc. But here, Ennis’ reluctance to live with Jack is a good example of how established—biblical—morality within a culture can help people make right decisions. It could be argued that Ennis’ reluctance is rooted in mortal fear. After all, he did witness the aftermath of a hate crime when he was a boy. But there’s more to it than that. The social pressure he feels to marry a woman isn’t shown to be directed at him maliciously or aggressively. (And it isn’t even a pressure so strong that it keeps him from repeatedly having sex with Jack.)

    In an interview with Plugged In Online, Caleb H. Price, a social research analyst on homosexuality and gender for Focus on the Family, identified several other ways the film, sometimes unwittingly, hints at the dangers of homosexuality. “Contrary to the nearly ubiquitous modern portrayals of homosexuality, in Brokeback Mountain the lifestyle is neither glamorous nor normal and healthy,” he said. “We see that each character had root causes to his same-sex attraction. And then we see their God-given desires to be affirmed by members of the same sex met in sinful, ungodly ways. We see the soul ties that come along with carnal relations and the ensuing devastation to wives and marriages when the forbidden fruit is eaten. Also, the film clearly depicts the homosexuality of the characters as bondage. In one scene Jack exclaims profound exasperation that he and Ennis are not able to ‘quit’ each other. One can’t help but wonder what their respective lives might have been like had they poured their energy and attention into their wives, families and careers instead of homosexuality.”

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 16, 2006 @ 1:30 pm - January 16, 2006

  15. FF’s review obviously has a great deal of wishful thinking in it (“We see that each character had root causes to his same-sex attraction” – errrr, no actually, no such thing is even suggested in the movie)…. but still, they’re onto something.

    As a film-making, gay-liberal friend of mine recently put it: “I can’t think of a better commercial for why gays should go to the Religious Right’s ex-gay camps, than Brokeback Mountain. It’s a very negative portrayal of our lives and relationships. I don’t know why the gay groups think it’s wonderful.”

    Comment by Calarato — January 16, 2006 @ 5:10 pm - January 16, 2006

  16. 14. This review points out an on-going, complete fallacy about having same sex feelings: That if you “work hard enough” on a relationship wih the opposite sex, then the gay feelings will disappear. It also uses innuendo and lies (that snarky comment about Jack marrying Lureen and having a baby but “not necessarily in that order”. Something not even mentioned, hinted at or alluded to anywhere in the movie)

    I read the review and found it interesting that in the ‘spiritual content’ section, they neglect to mention that at one point Ennis says he’s “sending up a prayer to heaven”. he claims it’s thanking God that Jack didn’t bring the harmonica. I think he’s actually thanking God for reuniting him with his one true love. Is the writer afraid to admit that Ennis could believe that God might have had something to do with bringing he and Jack back together again?

    oops – Golden Globe for Best Screenplay….yeah.

    I have to say, I’ve read a few of these so-called christian reviews and they spend an awful lot of space detailing the exact sexual content (they get even that wrong – the 2 of them sure as heck Someone here is protesting a wee-bit too much. Interesting though that these reviews seem to force themselves to take time to praise the general, overall quality of the movie.

    15: I’ve heard a couple of people in the entertainment busienss make similar comments. I keep in mind that in the end it’s just a movie and the hall mark of a tragic romantic film is that there is always some force that keeps the 2 characters from being “together forever” In addition, there is always something good that comes about in the end because of it.

    Comment by Kevin — January 16, 2006 @ 9:45 pm - January 16, 2006

  17. Let me get this straight…you’re all STILL spending all this time and energy going on about a movie. Is that right? Just a movie? C’mon people.

    Comment by glisteny — January 17, 2006 @ 12:15 am - January 17, 2006

  18. #12 – Chris – So, you mean you broke up a family where young children were at stake?

    I hope not. I don’t assume it. (Rather, I assume that your comment “just like my life” was exaggeration.) But if it is true, then somebody would have to say it: Shame on you.

    Comment by Calarato — January 17, 2006 @ 2:45 am - January 17, 2006

  19. Yeah, in the end it is just a movie, but the story and characters in it are much more real than in any kind of romance film every produced. Devoid of burning plantations, backdrops of war and sinking ocean liners, this film is completely accessible to just about anyone who sees it. It seems that its emotional power is in the simplicity of the story. Not only was I surprised by the emotional response I had to this movie, I’m completely astounded by the response it is slowly gaining across the country. People are finding bits of their own lives in all parts of this film, the most intense seems to be anyone who has had one true love in their life and lost that love. For me, this wasn’t a film that couldn’t live up to it’s hype – it has far surpassed any hype that could be heaped onto it.

    Comment by Kevin — January 17, 2006 @ 2:58 am - January 17, 2006

  20. #11 – “When did Jack have trouble hearing no?” – Pat, you are talking about Brokeback Mountain, right? The whole movie is basically Jack hoping, or “behaviorally asking”, for something he’ll never get – then blaming Ennis when, sure enough, Jack doesn’t get it.

    Comment by Calarato — January 17, 2006 @ 5:43 am - January 17, 2006

  21. Calarato. Yep, I saw the movie, and willing to concede that we saw things differently. Not sure what you mean by blaming Ennis, but Jack was disappointed when the answer was not the one he wanted. NORMAL behavior to me. Despite that, he still met up with Ennis over the 20 year span on Ennis’s terms.

    NDT, as far as Focus on the Family, I still won’t drink drain cleaner if they come up against it. But if they say the sun is going to rise in the east tomorrow, I’ll admit to checking to make sure it does. What bilge they come up with. But I guess there are people that actually believe their crap.

    #17 You are still commenting on those of us discussing a movie that most of us saw and enjoyed and that you took painstaking care to explain why you aren’t going to see it. Is that right?

    Comment by Pat — January 19, 2006 @ 10:54 pm - January 19, 2006

  22. heh heh….ya know, I think Brokeback Mountain could also attain the distinction of being the film to be condemned by the most number of people who have never seen it.

    Comment by Kevin — January 22, 2006 @ 1:44 am - January 22, 2006

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