Brokeback Mountain

The NY Observer recently reviewed Brokeback Mountain and are very positive about it. Quick summary is that it is a love story about two cowboys set in the 1950s. View the Brokeback Mountain trailer here. Lots of talk about Oscar potential. Nice little quote:

Brokeback Mountain declares that boy-on-boy is the new girl-on-girl.

The reviewer also mentions the fact that some men will probably walk from the show, though everyone going to it is bound to know it is as “that gay cowboy story”. Reminds me of when I went to see Cronenberg’s Crash and a few people walked out when *that scene* happened.

It’ll be interesting to see how many men will be in the audience to see this and of them how many will be straight and how many will walk. From what the reviewer says this movie is probably going to be marketed to the Oprah demographic so women and gay men I guess. I’d be interested to see a mainstream gay movie for a change that doesn’t involve drag or the main characters dying from AIDS, though it appears that one guy still cheats on his wife. Ah well, guess you can’t have it all!

11 Responses to “Brokeback Mountain”

  1. Rick says:

    Well, both of the guys “cheat” on their wives. with each other. However as the years unwind one of the guys strays out of the otherwise “closed loop” relationship.

  2. Sinéad says:

    I’m looking forward to this as I adored the book. Proulx is such a fantastic writer and while it’s certainly a story of two gay men, she makes you forget about gender. Very quickly it just becomes a love story, about the universal ideal of falling in love with a soulmate.

  3. Anovus says:

    I realize that this film is based on a story written by heterosexuals; HOWEVER….it epitomizes certain realities I saw in the gay scene.
    One is the desire for a straight or “straight acting� man. To have two good-looking, masculine cowboys falling in love is virtually every gay man’s ultimate fantasy. It’s their alienation from and ambivalence towards their own masculinity that I believe drives gay men to find completion in other men. This film represents a fantasy which will pull strongly on that deep need for completion.
    Evidence of gay men’s desire for completing or connecting with their lost or unaffirmed masculinity is evident throughout the gay scene. Just look at a local gay newspaper or look at the iconography adorning the walls of many gay bars and baths: drawings or photographs of hyper-masculine images. These include bulging bodybuilders, policemen, men in leather, and, yes, cowboys. There is a sense of almost reverent worship toward these images of the macho male.
    Look at a few gay male personal ad web sites. You’ll see 90% of the men listing themselves under names like, “Truck Driving Stud,� or “Muscle Jock.� These are all attempts to portray a false masculine self that was never nurtured and possibly attacked in their childhood.
    The need for this completion is so intense that men will risk their lives to achieve it symbolically in sexually acts. Hundreds of thousands have died doing so. There is a compulsion about it that is neither healthy nor freeing.
    I’ve been there. I’ve gotten out. Thank God.
    I’m saddened that a film has been produced that will continue to fuel empty fantasies that don’t ultimately fulfill nor complete a person but lead to emptiness and compulsion.

  4. Jonathan says:

    In response to Anovus’s diatribe, and in particular his/her comment, “It’s their alienation from, and ambivalence towards, their own masculinity that I believe drives gay men to find completion in other men”, I can tell you that, as a gay man, I feel in no way alienated from, nor ambivalent towards, my own masculinity. I find it inordinately patronising that you feel qualified to make a series of blately uninformed, ignorant and homophobic remarks about gay men, particularly as (and I’m guessing here) you are probably ‘straight’ and have never read a single text on the psychology of sexuality. I believe the reason this film sends a shiver up your spine is because it threatens you and your bigoted notions about gay men. The amazing thing about “Brokeback Mountain” is its willingness to make that threat, directly and overtly. These are not cute gays, funny gays, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” gays. These are “cowboys,” and there is no figure in American lore more iconically male. Believe it or not, men DO fall in love with other men. Yes, we also have sex with other men. Some of us even have multiple partners! However, some of us find true love, just like some heterosexuals do. In that respect, “Brokeback Mountain” might be the most frightening movie ever made for people like you.

  5. Patrick says:

    I’ve stumbled on this blog and have only read two entries; Anovus Dec13th and Jonathon 12th Jan. Both extremely interesting. I’ve seen Brokeback Mountain three times – just had to. I plan to see it again and in due course will buy the DVD. I listed a review on Yahoo Movies under “High Altitude Heartbreak” 18th Feb. however none of what I wrote is what I really want to say – simply too scared. I’m in my mid fifties, happily married with four adult children, none of my friends know I’m more gay than straight. So in effect I’ve spent my entire life being daily re-programmed. If you can think of a more exquisite torture let me know. A little bit of you dies every day.

  6. Anovus says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    It’s usually only truth, or at least elements of it, that gets one upset.

    My remarks are neither uninformed nor ignorant. I lived in, and survived, the gay scene in Hollywood and San Francisco in the 70’s.

    I’m also familiar with a plethora of research from peer reviewed psychology journals on the subject of homosexuality. I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in professional counseling.

    I am neither frightened of Brokeback Mountain nor does it send “shivers up my spine.”

    I’d respond further to your post, but there is little to say. You did not address the substance (or what you might perceive to be the lack of it) in my posting. You merely went on a rather out-of-control tirade while labeling me with knee-jerk, gay-affirmative epithets.

    I’d be happy to dialogue in the future. But give me something to work with.

  7. Hi,
    I watched the film for the first time last night, and as a gay English male,
    I found it fantastic, It actually made me look at my own life and my loves, which I did. I feel a little fed up, that I have not found passion like that.
    I can hear you all saying “it is a film”, but it really took me by suprise and i can not get it out of my head.
    I am a very down to earth guy, and a little like a jock,, I think that is the american expression. So have had to use my masculine side to protect myself. Hense why i can relate to the film.
    It has never changed and I do not need cowboys to make my fantasys, Anovous thanks for your, i am still in closet comment.
    I loved your come back Jonathon and agree with you completely.
    Patrick i only send my thoughts to you and hope you will one day find the courage to be yourself.
    For the first time i have watched a gay romance that made me feel like i have a place on this earth, apart from wanting to crawl under a rock.
    Gay men can love, can feel passion in a healthy normal way. I am 30, and i am looking forward to my life more now this film has touched me.

  8. Anovus says:

    Two men have sex with each other. It is their first time to have sex with another man. They fall in love.
    For the next 20 years, they never have sex with ANY other men (as far as we know in the story). They remain faithful to each other (other than their relationship with their wives) and ONLY want each other.

    I can’t think of a single gay man I’ve known fitting this description.

    Does anyone out there know a man who is gay and has had sex with only ONE man? While this anomoly may exist, any instance of it would be extremely unusual.

    This story feeds fantasies but has little to do with the reality of the vast majority of gay men.

  9. Patrick says:

    On reading ANOVUS 3rd April I was caught off guard for a moment. Allow me to un-tweak the spin you have given the narrative. Firstly, I doubt if it was Jack Twist’s first time and Ennis by his own declaration, only lacked opportunity. Neither had reached 19 years of age and some of us are late starters! Jack Twist filled some of the “gaps” with Mexico and the bearded husband of the motor mouth blonde whose name I cant recall. Ennis by nature was more introverted than Jack and despite his many outbusts of rage I dont see these as reflecting a hateful and agressive nature. He lived in more fear of violence from the outside world than Jack. In part by his childhood experience and judging by Jack’s unhappy ending, perhaps with good reason.

    Surely most feature films feed a desire for fantasy and or romance, and we’d be that much worse off without it. I dont mean to sound so defensive, but I love this film and it had a more profound affect on me than any other gay related one I have ever seen.

  10. Anovus says:

    Since my posting, I have had others inform me of my misconceptions about the characters in certain respects. I stand corrected.

    I guess I am partial to films that reflect reality, hard or otherwise, rather than encourage futility fueled by fantasies.

    If Jack and Ennis had left their wives and moved in together, even in a supportive non-homophobic culture, here is what very possibly could have happened:

    Within a year the passion of the romance would have sizzled. One or both would have started to have sex with other men. This would have resulted in huge fights.

    Possibly they would then agree to an open relationship in which they would be free to have sex with whoever they want as much as they want as long as the other didn’t know about it.

    Their own sex life would fizzle to nothing unless they invited in a 3rd party for a 3-way.

    Unfortuately, this is the pattern that I have seen with every long-term gay coupleI have known and been involved with. and there have been many. I have many friends who have conferred with me on this.

  11. Patrick says:

    ANOVUS, My reason for clicking this Blog in the first instance was to get the last drop of therapy from Brokeback Mountain. Younger viewers who gew up in the permissive and often destructive recent decades invariably cannot ( or dont choose to ) understand how repressed being Gay was back in 1960. Civil & Church marriage along with civil statute are all in place as much to stop humans from running wild. Your example that Jack & Ennis would have fizzled out unless a “three-way” was their lifestyle! what are you saying? that most hetro relationships are by definition incapabale of evolving and deepening and only avoid “three-ways” because the church & state wont entertain it? Its true lots of marriages are on auto-pilot but lots are not. Your description of inevitable loss of fizz leading to infedelity is more to do with granting oneself opportunity in the “because I’m worth it” mindset. Surely most hetro relationships lose some of the initial buzz only to move to various new levels where both parties have worked at making it work, as against browsing the porn channels, night clubs or even the postman. Why are you so hung up on reality – do you really live your life without romance, (which by defintition is about as unreal as one can get) In teh emantime I’m off to buy the BBM DVD – Now Jack where have you been?