jaragon

"Brokeback Mountain" (2005)

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It's really hard to see this film now - Heath Ledger is so amazingly good and painfully real- his tragic death was a real loss to film acting. And he was robbed of a best actor Oscar.

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Have you checked out the user comments for the film on the TCM database page? Some people really disliked it. Though I think if someone has such a strong negative reaction, it might be due to the subject matter-- not actually the film itself, because it's a beautifully made picture.

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I'm sure there are many people who are turned off by the gay love story which is unfortunate because it is a beautifully crafted movie.   This homophobic reaction is probably why the film did not win the best picture Oscar which instead went for the over rated melodramatic "Crash" which is now where near the same level. 

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I'm sure there are many people who are turned off by the gay love story which is unfortunate because it is a beautifully crafted movie.   This homophobic reaction is probably why the film did not win the best picture Oscar which instead went for the over rated melodramatic "Crash" which is now where near the same level. 

I liked CRASH, but that's because I am a fan of interwoven stories that show how members of a larger community interact. Do I think CRASH was deserving of the best picture Oscar? No. You're right, that honor should have gone to BROKEBACK. 

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"Brokeback Mountain" was definitely robbed of three Oscars - for Best Picture and Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

 

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Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar, a genuinely tragic love story.

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Some added thoughts on "Brokeback Mountain" - it was a huge critical and commercial success - it was made for $14 million and made $178.1 million.

 

Besides its' three Academy Awards, it won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay Awards at the BAFTA Awards (the British Academy Film Awards)  and The Best Picture and Best Director Awards at The Golden Globes.

 

It also ranks 13th among the highest-grossing romance films of all time.

 

15Brokeback-Mountain.jpg

 

A loss so deep that mere words wouldn't be adequate.

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"Brokeback Mountain" was definitely robbed of three Oscars - for Best Picture and Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

 

 

Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar, a genuinely tragic love story.

 

I admit I felt Brokeback Mountain wasn't very progressive.   Yea,  I understood the setting and the time period depicted in the film and why that would 'motivate' two gay men to marry women and have sexual relationships with them,  but to me that just re-enforced the bogus stereotyped heterosexual  theme that gay men are not really gay (or they wouldn't have sex with women),  that they cant be trusted (lie to their partner and cheap on them) and that this type of relationship just leads to pain for everyone in their circle.

 

But I guess a story about two guys who know they are gay since they were teens,  fall in love with each other and go on to build a strong relationship wouldn't have been dramatic enough.   

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Ray,

 

I love the scene of him clutching the shirt, though I felt Heath hammed it up in a Rod Steiger or Marlon Brando sort of way. It's still a great moment in the story and it shows us the anguish experienced at the loss of a soulmate. 

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I admit I felt Brokeback Mountain wasn't very progressive.   Yea,  I understood the setting and the time period depicted in the film and why that would 'motivate' two gay men to marry women and have sexual relationships with them,  but to me that just re-enforced the bogus stereotyped heterosexual  theme that gay men are not really gay (or they wouldn't have sex with women),  that they cant be trusted (lie to their partner and cheap on them) and that this type of relationship just leads to pain for everyone in their circle.

 

But I guess a story about two guys who know they are gay since they were teens,  fall in love with each other and go on to build a strong relationship wouldn't have been dramatic enough.   

I have a feeling that "Making Love" from 1982 might be more your type of "gay movie".

 

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I admit I felt Brokeback Mountain wasn't very progressive.   Yea,  I understood the setting and the time period depicted in the film and why that would 'motivate' two gay men to marry women and have sexual relationships with them,  but to me that just re-enforced the bogus stereotyped heterosexual  theme that gay men are not really gay (or they wouldn't have sex with women),  that they cant be trusted (lie to their partner and cheap on them) and that this type of relationship just leads to pain for everyone in their circle.

 

But I guess a story about two guys who know they are gay since they were teens,  fall in love with each other and go on to build a strong relationship wouldn't have been dramatic enough.   

I respect your opinion, but I think a movie which looks as honestly at the conflicted feelings of these men as this movie did IS progressive. As you mentioned, they first met in 1963, at a time when even most men who had exclusively or predominantly gay sex didn't yet own the term "gay", let alone all the other poor isolated men who were mystified by and ashamed of their feelings and didn't even know anyone else to compare themselves to. This film simply cannot be talked about in today's terms of what it means to be "gay". I don't think the movie reinforces the stereotypes you mentioned; I think it looks at them in context in a very clear-eyed way and slowly unravels them. It's not so much that a straighforward love story wouldn't have been dramatic enough. An open romance between persons of the same sex set in the 1960's would have been unrealistic, and Brokeback Mountain clearly shows why.

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I respect your opinion, but I think a movie which looks as honestly at the conflicted feelings of these men as this movie did IS progressive. As you mentioned, they first met in 1963, at a time when even most men who had exclusively or predominantly gay sex didn't yet own the term "gay", let alone all the other poor isolated men who were mystified by and ashamed of their feelings and didn't even know anyone else to compare themselves to. This film simply cannot be talked about in today's terms of what it means to be "gay". I don't think the movie reinforces the stereotypes you mentioned; I think it looks at them in context in a very clear-eyed way and slowly unravels them. It's not so much that a straighforward love story wouldn't have been dramatic enough. An open romance between persons of the same sex set in the 1960's would have been unrealistic, and Brokeback Mountain clearly shows why.

It will be interesting to read James' reply when he returns to the thread.

 

In the meantime, though, doesn't it seem like the filmmakers set the story in the 60s for two reasons-- first, because it's easy to romanticise the past; and second, because it would be distanced from the present day where some modern audiences might take exception to the subject matter. Plus, if it is set in the 60s, then that also makes it seem like these types of affairs went on for years and nobody talked about it (which would be true). 

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I respect your opinion, but I think a movie which looks as honestly at the conflicted feelings of these men as this movie did IS progressive. As you mentioned, they first met in 1963, at a time when even most men who had exclusively or predominantly gay sex didn't yet own the term "gay", let alone all the other poor isolated men who were mystified by and ashamed of their feelings and didn't even know anyone else to compare themselves to. This film simply cannot be talked about in today's terms of what it means to be "gay". I don't think the movie reinforces the stereotypes you mentioned; I think it looks at them in context in a very clear-eyed way and slowly unravels them. It's not so much that a straighforward love story wouldn't have been dramatic enough. An open romance between persons of the same sex set in the 1960's would have been unrealistic, and Brokeback Mountain clearly shows why.

 

I wasn't clear enough.   Based on discussions I had with homophobic folks back when the film was released ,  in their mind it did reinforce the negative stereotypes I mentioned.   e.g. some would say 'well I would never have sex with a man even if you put a gun to my head,  so the fact those guys had sex with a women tells me they weren't really gay or born gay but only were hoodwinked into believe they are gay'  or 'all they cared about was themselves and their own sexuality ,,, see I told you they were selfish and don't care who they hurt in order to express themselves'.

 

I guess my overall point was that the movie was only groundbreaking to those that had very false assumptions about gays in the year the film was released.    But hey,  this type of film needed to be made so that the gay themed films and TV shows made after this could be made and accepted (at least mostly) by so called mainstream American.

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I wasn't clear enough.   Based on discussions I had with homophobic folks back when the film was released ,  in their mind it did reinforce the negative stereotypes I mentioned.   e.g. some would say 'well I would never have sex with a man even if you put a gun to my head,  so the fact those guys had sex with a women tells me they weren't really gay or born gay but only were hoodwinked into believe they are gay'  or 'all they cared about was themselves and their own sexuality ,,, see I told you they were selfish and don't care who they hurt in order to express themselves'.

 

I guess my overall point was that the movie was only groundbreaking to those that had very false assumptions about gays in the year the film was released.    But hey,  this type of film needed to be made so that the gay themed films and TV shows made after this could be made and accepted (at least mostly) by so called mainstream American.

Thanks for elaboraing, james, and I can see how this movie may have given new fuel to homophobic people who now had specific rather than merely general examples to point to. What I think Ang Lee did so brilliantly was to look at these characters in all the messy confusion of their lives and follow them as they tried, with varying degrees of determination and success, to extricate themselves. People who were predisposed to be dubious about the motives of gay people and the legitimacy of gay lives probably saw only the mess, not the frustrating struggle of Ennis and Jack to find their moments in the sun.

 

I also want to go back to the idea that this movie was only groundbreaking to persons who were unfamiliar with gay people. I was finishing up high school in 1963 and was already very aware of the wall of silence gay people needed to construct around themselves, even though I wasn't yet sexually active. This film, made nearly 50 years later, did more by far to chip away at that wall than any previous mainstream movie. There's nothing like the power of example and Brokeback Mountain brilliantly evoked the broken lives under societal homophobia. I honestly believe that this movie uniquely refreshed the discussion of gay issues in this country and helped pave the way for the changes we've seen in the last decade. Groundbreaking by any standard. 

 

Again, james, thanks for being such a reliable straight ally and showing the power of example in your own life.

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It will be interesting to read James' reply when he returns to the thread.

 

In the meantime, though, doesn't it seem like the filmmakers set the story in the 60s for two reasons-- first, because it's easy to romanticise the past; and second, because it would be distanced from the present day where some modern audiences might take exception to the subject matter. Plus, if it is set in the 60s, then that also makes it seem like these types of affairs went on for years and nobody talked about it (which would be true). 

The movie followed the setting and time period of the story on which it was based, but I think you're right that it reflects a conscious choice. I suppose you could say it's a cheat, but the chosen time period offers a cleaner slate on which to tell the story; in other words, the homophobia stands out in sharper relief and the silence surrounding same-sex sexual activity is almost complete. After Stonewall, the silence was broken. It's interesting that the story moved forward into the 1970's and it seems that Jack did grow bolder in some of his choices, which unfortunately may have contributed to his death. By the end of the story we do see some glimmers of hope, though. The most moving moment for me was when Ennis came downstairs in Jack's parents' house clutching the shirts in a paper bag. Jack's mother briefly checked to make sure that her husband hadn't noticed, then nodded subtly to Ennis. The look of meek gratitude on Ennis' face as he returned her nod and quickly slunk out was heartbreaking. The need for such strong emotions to be contained and silenced is at the heart of the movie, but the mother's quiet ackowledgement spoke volumes.

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Thanks for elaboraing, james, and I can see how this movie may have given new fuel to homophobic people who now had specific rather than merely general examples to point to. What I think Ang Lee did so brilliantly was to look at these characters in all the messy confusion of their lives and follow them as they tried, with varying degrees of determination and success, to extricate themselves. People who were predisposed to be dubious about the motives of gay people and the legitimacy of gay lives probably saw only the mess, not the frustrating struggle of Ennis and Jack to find their moments in the sun.

 

I also want to go back to the idea that this movie was only groundbreaking to persons who were unfamiliar with gay people. I was finishing up high school in 1963 and was already very aware of the wall of silence gay people needed to construct around themselves, even though I wasn't yet sexually active. This film, made nearly 50 years later, did more by far to chip away at that wall than any previous mainstream movie. There's nothing like the power of example and Brokeback Mountain brilliantly evoked the broken lives under societal homophobia. I honestly believe that this movie uniquely refreshed the discussion of gay issues in this country and helped pave the way for the changes we've seen in the last decade. Groundbreaking by any standard. 

 

Again, james, thanks for being such a reliable straight ally and showing the power of example in your own life.

Personally, I don't think BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN went far enough. Probably when there is another 'groundbreaking' film in this regard twenty years from now, BROKEBACK will seem quaint and relatively unsophisticated though well-intentioned. We have to put it into the context of the times in which it was made, not necessarily the time in which it was set. 

 

As for the wall of silence, that is always going to exist. Because there are always going to be people who have degrees of self-loathing and shame, about a variety of things, regardless of how liberated the rest of society may seem. These are always in the end personal struggles and personal journeys that usually take many years for the individual. I am sure very few people who watched BROKEBACK could exactly relate to the main characters whose backgrounds and specific circumstances are rather unique. They are not cookie cutter gay characters and the viewers are not cookie cutter gay stereotypes themselves. When we watch a film like this, as we do with any film, we extract bits and pieces that might apply to our own lives in a broader universal sense.

 

As for the main characters extricating themselves from a messy straight-identified life, the reverse can be said about people who are not really gay but others may think are gay. They could have just as much struggle extricating themselves from a gay-identified existence and reclaiming their lives as heterosexuals. I am only saying this to point out how we often have two sides of one coin to look at with regards to these on-going issues. 

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The movie followed the setting and time period of the story on which it was based, but I think you're right that it reflects a conscious choice. I suppose you could say it's a cheat, but the chosen time period offers a cleaner slate on which to tell the story; in other words, the homophobia stands out in sharper relief...

But I think that makes the story, in some ways, a bit cliched. It would have been more challenging if they didn't set it in such a 'wholesome' era. The story would be much more interesting in my opinion if it played out against a more ambiguous but still conflicted society.

 

Like I would have preferred this story be told in the vein of EYES WIDE SHUT, where you have people who are sexually adventurous and in a clique where experimentation is encouraged, but then we get two men who become soulmates. Juxtaposing their real feelings against a backdrop of morally gray social and sexual activity would have been less predictable and less cliched.

 

So in this regard, I cannot call BROKEBACK a full-on masterpiece. It is quite brilliant but it relies on the filmmakers' preconceived notions about certain belief systems without making those systems flexible or three-dimensional in the way Kubrick's film does. I don't want to get into an argument about Film X versus Film Y, but I am just saying that the main love story between the two characters in BROKEBACK could have been told differently, and perhaps even better, in another genre or time period.

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But I think that makes the story, in some ways, a bit cliched. It would have been more challenging if they didn't set it in such a 'wholesome' era. The story would be much more interesting in my opinion if it played out against a more ambiguous but still conflicted society.

 

Like I would have preferred this story be told in the vein of EYES WIDE SHUT, where you have people who are sexually adventurous and in a clique where experimentation is encouraged, but then we get two men who become soulmates. Juxtaposing their real feelings against a backdrop of morally gray social and sexual activity would have been less predictable and less cliched.

 

So in this regard, I cannot call BROKEBACK a full-on masterpiece. It is quite brilliant but it relies on the filmmakers' preconceived notions about certain belief systems without making those systems flexible or three-dimensional in the way Kubrick's film does. I don't want to get into an argument about Film X versus Film Y, but I am just saying that the main love story between the two characters in BROKEBACK could have been told differently, and perhaps even better, in another genre or time period.

I'd be interested in seeing that movie, but for me Brokeback Mountain still stands as the major accomplishment it was.  As for the era being "wholesome", it was pretty dark, way darker than Beach Party movies would lead us to believe. A president had been assasinated, the country was already in a clandestine (for the moment) war, and society was basically defined by its inattention to its own ills, homophobia included.  I get what you're saying about an element of contrivance but, for me, the story of Ennis and Jack plays out beautifully and it's really their ignorance of their own potential and of what future history might hold for them which makes it so tragic. Maybe, two decades later they would have met up at some isolated gay bar on the prairie and had less grief about their relationship, but that's speculation and shouldn't detract from the story we have before us.

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I wasn't clear enough.   Based on discussions I had with homophobic folks back when the film was released ,  in their mind it did reinforce the negative stereotypes I mentioned.   e.g. some would say 'well I would never have sex with a man even if you put a gun to my head,  so the fact those guys had sex with a women tells me they weren't really gay or born gay but only were hoodwinked into believe they are gay'  or 'all they cared about was themselves and their own sexuality ,,, see I told you they were selfish and don't care who they hurt in order to express themselves'.

 

I guess my overall point was that the movie was only groundbreaking to those that had very false assumptions about gays in the year the film was released.    But hey,  this type of film needed to be made so that the gay themed films and TV shows made after this could be made and accepted (at least mostly) by so called mainstream American.

 

A couple interesting things worth adding here...

 

I saw this in a theater in early 2006 before the Oscars, along with all of the other Best Pic nominees. There was a very annoying lady sitting behind me who kept voicing her "opinions" throughout and it was obvious that the ONLY reason she attended was to see "what all of the fuss was about". When the infamous Tent Scene came up... which, mind you, did not show you The Act but simply insinuated what was going on with the noises... she had PLENTY to say. She actually seemed concerned for the actors (still realizing they were more likely faking it for the camera than actually doing it) and that there is no way any respectable performer would do something that disgusting in a movie. I think she walked out of the theater as soon as the kissing scenes appeared (since it suddenly got quiet), despite both actors being fully clothed doing it. Of course, had this involved a man and a woman, she would have stayed and enjoyed it.

 

Looking back, this is a very... cautious film and I would agree that they are holding back more than they need to just to get people like that particular lady to at least sit through half of it. Amusingly, the only nudity we see is a fleeting skinnydip scene that showed a lot less than, say, the two-decades older British ROOM WITH A VIEW and GALLIPOLI, the latter featuring a famous-later-for-his-often-homophobic-remarks Mel Gibson having no issue at all bathing with his comrades au natural.

 

I also think society goes through changes in tolerance versus intolerance and, lets face it, the era of the Bush Administration was a backward period following the (very slightly) more enlightened 1990s (a.k.a. the decade when Ellen "coming out" was No Big Deal). And we may still go backwards again... since, right now, eight GOP candidates have a "defense of the First Amendment" law they want to pass that will allow employers and businesses to discriminate in accordance to their personal "beliefs". Although the primary target is gay couples, which the GOP has never been shy about in their hatred for (and some like Ted Cruz simply come straight to the point), such laws will also allow businesses to discriminate against, say, Jews and Muslims (if the Christian owners fear them), interracial couples and even... as in the case of a hotel... unmarried heterosexual couples from getting a room together if the owners don't approve. (Not that it stopped so many registering on-the-sly as "Mr. and Mrs." throughout this past century... ha ha!)

 

Recently I had a conversation with a Vietnam vet who's life wasn't too-too different from the Brokeback storyline. Everybody was forced to marry a woman whether they wanted to or not. After he divorced (and, yes, they had kids) and later started a relationship with a man, he got fired from his job when somebody "outed" him... even though the job in question had nothing to do with his private life. Yet in the 1980s, you could do that sort of thing by law... and apparently you still can if certain conservative politicians get what they want.

 

Let's face it. America is still not any more comfortable with the issue of race than "orientations" (cue the reason why CRASH was still a valid contender as Best Pic that year). Otherwise there would be no reason for "Black Lives Matters" demonstrators. It is a fact proven in early 2016 statistics that you will likely get a higher speeding ticket from a police officer if your skin tone is darker than him or her. This is the way it is in America whether we acknowledge it or not.

 

I do think Brokeback is a film that TCM probably can show with limited fuss as long as it airs late in the evening. Another TCM-worthy effort, also reserved for 2AM... after the kiddies are in bed, that I consider a much better effort is the somewhat more provocative (i.e. more nudity, kissing and simulated sex scenes that still involve ONE heterosexual actor doing things that the lady I mentioned above would CERTAINLY never sit through) is Andrew Haigh's WEEKEND. There is plenty of interesting dialogue in that one that shows how difficult, even in 2010 "more liberal than America" Britain, for relationships like this to succeed successfully in a still "hetero-normal" thinking society. I also find the characters much more interesting than in the older film. For example, one will not commit in a relationship because his last longterm one involved his partner getting beaten and he still can't admit that is the psychological reason up front.

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Thanks for elaboraing, james, and I can see how this movie may have given new fuel to homophobic people who now had specific rather than merely general examples to point to. What I think Ang Lee did so brilliantly was to look at these characters in all the messy confusion of their lives and follow them as they tried, with varying degrees of determination and success, to extricate themselves. People who were predisposed to be dubious about the motives of gay people and the legitimacy of gay lives probably saw only the mess, not the frustrating struggle of Ennis and Jack to find their moments in the sun.

 

I also want to go back to the idea that this movie was only groundbreaking to persons who were unfamiliar with gay people. I was finishing up high school in 1963 and was already very aware of the wall of silence gay people needed to construct around themselves, even though I wasn't yet sexually active. This film, made nearly 50 years later, did more by far to chip away at that wall than any previous mainstream movie. There's nothing like the power of example and Brokeback Mountain brilliantly evoked the broken lives under societal homophobia. I honestly believe that this movie uniquely refreshed the discussion of gay issues in this country and helped pave the way for the changes we've seen in the last decade. Groundbreaking by any standard. 

 

Again, james, thanks for being such a reliable straight ally and showing the power of example in your own life.

 

I saw the movie Victim with Dirk Bogarde for the first time around a year or so ago.    To me that movie,  released in 1961 was groundbreaking.     I was really surprised this frank and open of a movie was released in Britain in the early 60s.   Due to the Production Code Victim wasn't shown in the USA but that ban was lifted shortly after 1962 (partly due to the mainstream release of Suddenly Last Summer with such stars as Hepburn, Taylor and Clift in 1959,  where the topic is obvious to all but the clueless but still 'hidden').

 

I do understand the points you're making here with regards to Brokeback Mountain.    If I have any disappointments they are more with the fact it took until the 21st Century for a major US Studio to make a mainstream movie like that one.    

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I'd be interested in seeing that movie, but for me Brokeback Mountain still stands as the major accomplishment it was.  As for the era being "wholesome", it was pretty dark, way darker than Beach Party movies would lead us to believe. A president had been assasinated, the country was already in a clandestine (for the moment) war, and society was basically defined by its inattention to its own ills, homophobia included.  I get what you're saying about an element of contrivance but, for me, the story of Ennis and Jack plays out beautifully and it's really their ignorance of their own potential and of what future history might hold for them which makes it so tragic. Maybe, two decades later they would have met up at some isolated gay bar on the prairie and had less grief about their relationship, but that's speculation and shouldn't detract from the story we have before us.

I love BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. It's a solid, well-made film. But I feel you are overstating its significance. Unfortunately, it is not every gay man's manifesto. In fact, I would venture to say that some gay men who watched the film possibly did not even like it (imagine that). 

 

In the mid-90s, when PHILADELPHIA came out and Tom Hanks earned an Oscar for playing an openly gay men, there was a huge brouhaha over it. But the film eventually receded from view. People hardly even mention it now. Look at the threads on this board. In all this time, there has not been one thread created about PHILADELPHIA and how ground-breaking it was. We may reach a point where BROKEBACK fades from view too, and is replaced by another gay vehicle that the liberal public and Oscar voters rally round. 

 

Also, I am going to agree with James that VICTIM truly was groundbreaking. And so is MILK, in my opinion, because it brings a gay civil rights leader's assassination into the mainstream. But a film like BROKEBACK is a little too fictionalised and good as it may be, it may not hold up in the long run. VICTIM had many fictional elements, but it was really a political statement about a law that needed to change. PHILADELPHIA examined laws in America about people with HIV (which could potentially include non-gays). MILK was a document about social change and violence against homosexuals. But BROKEBACK does not have any of that going for it. The fact that it's a melodrama (romance story) almost works against it on some level.

 

I can see why people enjoy BROKEBACK, and I certainly do. But in the overall scheme of things, I feel it lacks the power to make society better for the gay community. It is also a stretch, as has been suggested in earlier posts, that it led directly to the Supreme Court's decision to legalise gay marriage. No. A romance about two male cowboys did not do that. Sorry. Political and civil rights activists who labored for decades brought about that change.

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If Brokeback Mountain was a romance, it was one of the rockiest ones I've ever seen. Personally, I think reducing it to that level trivializes the movie unmercifully. I think it WAS a statement piece, but one which made it's statements subtly, by inference and by not stating the obvious. I don't think it's necessary to compare it only to other "gay" films; it can stand on its own.  Maybe you're right that history will see it mostly as the cause celebre it was at the time of its release and that it will gradually fade from favor. It would be regrettable to me to see that happen, but I suppose unkinder things have happened in film history. Each of the films you mentioned is admirable in its own way, including Philadelphia. Movie history is always still being written, so who knows how each will rank when more time has passed. I remember my friends and I being stunned at the time that a mainstream film as frank as A Death in Venice could have been made, yet it gets little attention today. Anyway, we all have our own individual passions for particular films and may that never change.

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As I said in an earlier post, "Brokeback Mountain" ranks 13th among the highest-grossing romance films of all time.

 

I do think that it is regarded much more as a "romance film" than as an overtly-political statement.

 

I credit that over-all perception to the highly sensitive direction and the overwhelming persuasiveness of Heath Legder and Jake Gyllenhaal.

 

At the end of the film, you, as a viewer, are simply crushed.

 

To this day, the Wyoming Travel Bureau gets requests to visit "Brokeback Mountain", which, of course, does not exist.

 

Brokeback-Mountain-Production-Stills-mov

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As I said in an earlier post, "Brokeback Mountain" ranks 13th among the highest-grossing romance films of all time.

 

I do think that it is regarded much more as a "romance film" than as an overtly-political statement.

 

I credit that over-all perception to the highly sensitive direction and the overwhelming persuasiveness of Heath Legder and Jake Gyllenhaal,

 

At the end of the film, you, as a viewer, are simply crushed. .

 

To this day, the Wyoming Travel Bureau gets requests to visit "Brokeback Mountain", which, of course, does not exist.

Exactly. It is a romance drama. And usually melodramas (like comedies) have a hard time being taken seriously, when they could very well have containing within them very serious social messages. It is also a neo-western to some extent, and this fact is reinforced by its writing (Larry McMurtry has written many western-themed stories). But I honestly think its release was blown up by the liberal media because they wanted a film about gay characters in the mainstream. And I don't fault them for that, but it also gives the film a lot to live up to critically and it does not always succeed there. Its breathtaking cinematography, perceptive writing, sensitive performances and Lee's direction are what make it a solid film. But it could have been a story about aliens falling in love or gangsters falling in love and still have such merit.

 

As a movie advancing the cause of civil rights for gays, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN falls flat. And to be fair, I don't think that was ever its intention. We don't have to compare it to other gay cinema or to other mainstream cinema to realise it is a niche-marketed story whose major aim is to entertain and on a minor level to be provocative. It is not a heady political or grand social statement at all, and for people to try to raise it up to that level just seems like a waste of time, to be honest. 

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In some ways "Brokeback Mountain " is a great film of persuasion like it's predecessor "Victim"- and this gay romantic drama western probably had something to do with changing many peoples attitude about gay marriage.  It also reaches such a wide audience because the screenwriters wisely augmented the role of the women in the story.  I think that's one of the reasons the film found an audience beyond the gay cinema ghetto. 

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In some ways "Brokeback Mountain " is a great film of persuasion like it's predecessor "Victim"- and this gay romantic drama western probably had something to do with changing many peoples attitude about gay marriage.  It also reaches such a wide audience because the screenwriters wisely augmented the role of the women in the story.  I think that's one of the reasons the film found an audience beyond the gay cinema ghetto. 

I agree...while the women are presented to some degree as stereotypes, at least they are prominently featured and I think that is to the film's overall credit. 

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