Sunday, January 22, 2006

Brokeback Mountain

I want to pose a question about a scene in Brokeback Mountain, but to avoid spoilers (it's not much of one, actually), I'll pose it in a comment to this post.

32 Comments:

Blogger Andrew said...

So, the scene where Ennis and Jack are reunited after four years and their passion overcomes them and they kiss violently, and Alma sees them and turns away in shock. Did people find this scene comic? I saw the movie in two different theaters and in both places the audience laughed. Though when you think about it, it's actually incredibly tragic. Is there something about the way the scene was played that makes it funny? is it just the shock of it?

1/22/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Hooker said...

I don't remember anyone laughing. I got a horrible tight "oh, no" feeling in my gut when I knew they were going to get caught. If I had to guess, I'd say that the "oooh, you're gonna get caught" could strike someone as funny, at least for a moment, until the full import of what it meant in the context of the movie struck home.

1/23/2006 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger graefix said...

Maybe it was nervous laughter? No one laughed where I saw it, but I could hear people (including myself) drawing in a breath. I thought that was a really tense moment.

1/24/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Yea, I guess it must have been nervous laughter...

1/25/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No it was not nervous laughter, it was simply reaction to the weak point in the plot: it is entirely unbelievable that Ennis would kiss in front of his house, let alone in public.

3/14/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger djw said...

I agree with anonymous. I didn't buy the scene at all.

3/15/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger driftwood said...

No, not at all.

This movie is about the psychological corrosion of a life lived in the gay closet. In fact, two actual closets figure at key moments in the film. Read Daniel Mendelsohn’s excellent review in the Feb 23 New York Review of Books for more on this.

In the scene in question here, Ennis is not out in the open in front of his house but instead is in a narrow walkway that is closed on three sides. So the one time in his life when his passion gets the upper hand over his fearful caution, it destroys his wife’s faith in their marriage. That walkway was not quite a closet since it lacks a door. Even though he eventually all but collapses emotionally, not even Ennis can keep himself so closeted that nobody ever sees in.

3/18/2006 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Yea, I have to say I don't think the scene was unbelievable. The whole point is that at that moment their passion - after 4 years - overwhelmed their good sense (though not enough for them to kiss literally in public, only in the walkway).

The scene in Annie Proulx's story, which is slightly different:

A hot jolt scalded Ennis and he was out on the landing pulling the door closed behind him. Jack took the stairs two and two. They seized each other by the shoulders, hugged mightily, squeezing the breath out of each other, saying, son of a bitch, son of a bitch, then, and easily as the right key turns the lock tumblers, their mouths came together, and hard, Jack's big teeth bringing blood, his hat falling to the floor, stubble rasping, wet saliva welling, and the door opening and Alma looking out for a few seconds at Ennis's straining shoulders and shutting the door again and still they clinched, pressing chest and groin and thigh and leg together, treading on each other's toes until they pulled apart to breathe and Ennis, not big on endearments, said what he said to his horses and daughters, little darlin.

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Anonymous h miracle said...

This movie was beautifully show but I there was little character development. They talked so little that I felt no real connection between them except for the sex.

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I didn't buy that scene either. If you want to see a great movie about a gay couple that will make you laugh heartily and care about the two men, watch "I Love You Phillip Morris" - based on a true story, too!

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Anonymous Alex Dumpfree said...

I don't buy the"nervous laughter theory."The cops sound like they r not amused either.They must have been thinking "what's wrong with this guy?

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