Brokeback Mountain

Discuss your favourite films.
Luke
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Brokeback Mountain

Unread postby Luke » Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:01 pm

There has been such a media blitz about this movie as well. I think that God's hand is in this movie as well. From what clips I have seen and from what I have been reading about it, a person can come away from watching this movie with a feeling that there has to be a better love than the ones shown. The ones shown leave one empty and unsatisfied.

Any thoughts from you guys on what the Lord may be doing through these movies being shown this month?

Luke

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brokeback mountain - wondering what's redemptive

Unread postby Newsfeeder » Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:43 pm

caught my first film of 2006 on friday - brokeback mountain which is being talked about as a gay cowboy film. the cinema was packed out (though it doesn't seem to be on in loads of cinemas). the film is really a tragic love story. two young guys who spend the summer looking after sheep in the mountains develop a relationship. but they both see it as a fling rather than that they are gay. the film then follows their relationship over the years as they both get married and try and maintain their relationship on occasional get togethers back in the mountains.

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Unread postby musicmonkey » Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:13 am

Mark Steyn on Brokeback Mountain wrote:I like Ms Proulx's books not because of the characters or the plots but because she's spent much of her life roaming the same turf I have - Vermont, Quebec, Newfoundland - and she's got a tremendous ability to capture the essence of the land, and in particular the way a harsh land shapes the character of its people. She began writing fiction in the Seventies, for Gray's Sporting Journal, which wanted hunting stories about men called Zack, and she co-founded a local newspaper in my part of the world called Behind The Times ("All The News That's Kept Till Now"), and in both she did a better job than most liberal progressive artsy types do of accepting country folk as they are. "I lean toward realism, not myth," she says.

But when you take a short story and make a movie of it realism turns all mythic. For a start, Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar become two rising male stars - Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger. You get a big orchestral score and tag lines on the posters ("Love Is A Force Of Nature") and, though the western literary tradition is not just Zane Grey and Bret Harte but also Willa Cather, when you put your fellows up on screen in cowboy hats on horses against the big sky of Wyoming, it looks far more explicitly like a gay take on the manliest of Hollywood genres: Queer Eye For The Straight-Shootin' Guy. . . .

And from that point on the film settles down into not so much a "gay western" but a gay version of Same Time Next Year: the kids get older, the Sixties become the Seventies, Ennis divorces, Jack grows a moustache, but they still go up the hill thrice a year for "a couple of high-altitude f*cks", as he puts it. Which, to be honest, is a better summation of their relationship than "Love Is A Force Of Nature".

In fact, across two-and-a-quarter hours, there's not a lot of evidence of "love", as opposed to a much-needed sexual release. For its urban audiences, Brokeback is a new wrinkle on one of the oldest gay fantasies: the masculine man who likes sex with men. So it's a gay love story with ungaylike protagonists - Straight Eye For The Queer Guy. In the distaff answer to lezzie porn for het men, for the gals it's a gabby chick flick with uncommunicative tough guys.

But by the end of a bleak portrait of failed lonely lives, with one of the lads cheating on the other with ranch-managers and Mexican rent-boys, you're not even sure how gay-friendly the thing is: are the men bad uninterested parents because society's forced them to live a lie or because they're the sad self-destructive prisoners of their sexual appetites? And, if it's such a "bold" "courageous" "ground-breaking" film, isn't it a little ridiculous that a gay male love story has Miss [Williams] and Miss Hathaway both baring their breasts with straight abandon while Messrs Ledger and Gyllenhaal's penises remain discreetly tucked away? Instinctively, Ang Lee seems to understand that even this film's audience wants to keep some things closeted.

Luke
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Agood assessment

Unread postby Luke » Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:39 am

Sitting here early in the a.m. thinking about lots of things. I read this response to a previous question and it gives a great insight into this movie.
Jesus desires truth in the innermost parts (depths) of our being, for then we will come to know wisdom. I have met and spoken to some men who have had those Broke Back Mt experiences and it is very unsettling. To spend the rest of your lives haunted by that memory of that "perfect " love and that one time experience he wants to be repeated.

Why? Love is not lust, plain and simple. Sex is not just a physical act such as eating or driving a car. Having sex with someone is, to Jesus, so much more. It takes on an intangible quality of giving part of yourself to another person and that is on the spiritual level. Something of your very self is given to that other person during that time you become one and to so many that wonderful sharing has been lowered to nothing more than the exchange of body fluids!

There is so much deception out there, so many wrong ideas, so much following of some fantasies and not enough truth telling in the innermost part of our lives. Plain and simple-we humans do not want to face up to the truth about ourselves. These two men in the movie wasted so many years of their lives in a lonely pursuit of something that never satisfied.

I wonder what God has intended to do with this movie? How many of the people who view the movie will come away unsettled with that nagging sense of emptiness again and start looking for love again in their lives? Maybe this is another opportunity for us Christians to reach out in love and give directions to where that LOVE can be found (instead of always giving the negative response)

Luke

johnUK

BROCKBACK MOUNTAIN my review from John in the UK

Unread postby johnUK » Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:25 am

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

SPOILER ALERT

I have just been to see the film "Brokeback Mountain" and have found to be both a very moving and disturbing film. Moving in that I can understand and identify with the two guy's desire for male intimacy, and disturbing since it shows the destructiveness of entering into a close friendship with male sex as a factor, since it ultimately destroys the very intimacy that it was thought to nurture. The film also demonstrates the "seeds" of homosexual tendencies and the desire for male affection in the background of the two men. Instead of finding male intimacy, closeness and affection that may have sustained them thought out their lives they discovered a driving force that lead to anger, dissention, deception in marriage, marital breakdown and ultimately death. It could have been different with out the sex factor; they could have been close affectionate, affirming, supportive buddies whose love for one another could have made them better men, husbands and fathers.

The film opens with the depiction of two men looking down and obviously lacking confidence in their manhood, ability to connect with other men and very much isolated. They shuffle into the ranch manager's office and accept what ever job is on offer. They are thrown together and from that point they are bound to connect with one another for better or worse. The seeds of their past now begin to grow and their desperate need for affection will ultimately find expression. Ennis Del Mar comes from a dysfunctional separated family background where he was forced to make his own path. Jack Twist comes from a family where his father is cold, legalistic, controlling and not interested in the needs of those around him. We visit Jack's parents at the end of the film and find the home devoid of colour, love and emotion. Jacks bedroom was kept the same as when he was a boy and was cold, functional and barren. His father had no interest in the desires of his son, and he not only kept his son separate from him but drained and deprived his wife of any love and emotion that a mother should receive. He would not even fulfil the desire of his dead son to have his ashes scattered where he wished them to be!

Thus the two men deprived of male affection and warmth as young men had deep within them a desperate need for male affirmation, warmth, acceptance and love. Under such circumstances the two men go out to "Brokeback Mountain" and begin to look after sheep. Initially they are distant to one anther not knowing what the other requires of them and not knowing how to illicit friendship from the other. However gradually they soften to one another and due to the fact that they are camped down together in the cold, one invites the other to share a tent to keep warm. The proximity of the two men cuddling together for warmth awakens a desire for comfort of one for the other, and after an initial shocked response to what is happening, very quickly they seize the moment and are over taken not with a reasoned desire for close intimate male affection but by a deep anger from the past which finds its expression in sexual lust and desire. Without thinking, the warmth of close mutual comfort in the cold is exchanged for lustful penetrative sex, and so they sow the seeds of destruction of their own friendship and the relationships they would form in the future. The great sadness of this situation is that they had actually found in themselves a love which would have sustained their desire for male love, in which they where so deficient. If they could have articulated this desire and not confused it with sexual expression they would have found in themselves life time cleaving buddies that would have made them better men, husbands and fathers. As it was they started on the wrong path and sacrificed the fulfilment they might have had.

Both men married and during their marriages deceived their wives about their true relationship with the other. This lead to guilt about their activities which forced them apart and led to anger both with one another and towards their families. Ennis' wife divorced him due to his unreasonable behaviour. Interestingly (or shall I say tragically) Jack's father-in-law was no substitute for his unloving father. His father-in-law continually undermined his confidence in his ability as a head of his family and as a man. Jack was so desperate for affirming love that he continually challenged Ennis to commit to a deeper relationship and to set up a ranch together, but Ennis, driven with guilt and torn by his family commitments held back from any further contact with Jack other that a few weekends each year of affection and sex. Jack was driven to distraction by his own inner needs, his love of Ennis, the impossible situation each of them was in and that their friendship was replaced by weekends of love, lust and anger. He was so despairing that frequently he would seek the comfort of male prostitutes in Mexico.

Lessons from this film are that we are products of our past for better or worse and we have to acknowledge our deep inner needs and not suppress them. They won't go away! Christ calls us to wash one another's feet and we may find that we can be the means of grace to another brother in his need and receive from another that which we need. We are not called to endure a loveless life, isolated in our misery. We may or may not marry but our wives may not fully meet the emotional needs of our heart. We may find that part of our heart needs another man to satisfy our emptiness within. If we find another man with whom we resonate and we share a heart-felt desire for close-connecting, we have to reason that friendship out and dialogue. If we don't share our needs and understand where we are both coming from and what our boundaries should be, we may find ourselves giving in to needs and desires that have interpreted themselves as sexual needs but are in fact deep cries for acceptance, affirmation and brotherly love.

I have just started reading Max Lucado's book, "Travelling Light". I can see immediate
parallels in that both men heaped up "baggage" onto themselves in the nature of guilt, anger and futility in their relationship. This was so unnecessary but it was the fact that inappropriate sex in their friendship weighted them down like a ton of bricks and crushed the life out of their true love for one another, and for that matter, the love they had for any one else.

I personally identify with Ennis and Jack in their search for male closeness and affinity. I also understand that our desire for affection and brotherly love can become confused with sexual desire, and this can occur from a very early age. Where that comes from I don't know but it is very real. I also have a deep desire to have a close, brotherly love, a cleaving love where appropriate closeness, affection and touch are found. In order to get the balance right it is most important that the centre of our lives and relationships are firmly planted in God and his will for us. With God in the centre we can explore other friendships and relationship with a freedom and be kept safe, though always on guard lest the devil find a foothold. I also believe God leads us to other people so that we might help them and they help us in the light of lessons we have both learned from the past. We are on a journey together and if we find a fellow traveller to support us and for us to support them we are so much the richer.


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