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Old 12-15-2005, 02:23 PM   #91
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
Let's just cut to the chase:

Do Heath & Jake's characters say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays"????


the question answers itself.

if they truly loved Jesus enough to battle against the satanic forces of secular humanism by saying "Merry Christmas" then they wouldn't be gay now would they?


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Old 12-16-2005, 08:18 AM   #92
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By Ty Burr, Globe Staff | December 16, 2005

Yes, it's the gay cowboy movie. Get over it.

The reason to see Ang Lee's ''Brokeback Mountain," and see it you should, isn't its hot-button topicality or its cultural cachet but simply that it's a very good movie, with a staggeringly fine performance by Heath Ledger.

At the same time, ''Brokeback" has already become the default ''best picture" in a weak year -- the one film that critics' groups and awards organizations can come to consensus on -- and that's overselling it a little. It's an Ang Lee movie: a chamber drama about inarticulate desires from one of the cooler and smarter customers currently working. The intimacy just happens to unfold against an epic Marlboro Man landscape (breathtakingly shot by Rodrigo Prieto), in ways that bring tragedy to the surface while keeping the audience at a certain remove.

''Brokeback Mountain" is based on the 1996 short story by Annie Proulx, and the script by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana honorably expands on the writer's weathered prose. In the summer of 1963, two hard-luck young ranch hands named Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) sign up to work a flock of sheep in the high country of Wyoming; one is assigned to stay at base camp while the other baby-sits the sheep higher up -- it's Forest Service land, but rancher Randy Quaid is tired of having his stock picked off by coyotes.

Jack is a rodeo wannabe, just shy of a clown; Ennis is a taciturn piece of work engaged to a small-town girl named Alma (Michelle Williams). What happens between the two men builds slowly, then explodes, after which they retire to opposite corners. Their rough, impulsive coupling could have been a fight. It almost is. Lee films it with the studied frankness of a boxing match or a nature documentary.

The two share a blissful summer -- again, never speaking of what's happening between them because, as Ennis insists, ''I ain't no queer" -- and then return to ''normal" lives. Ennis marries Alma and has a couple of kids, while Jack hooks up with a rodeo-riding daddy's girl (Anne Hathaway, defiantly kicking over the traces of ''The Princess Diaries"). That retreating idyll looms larger and larger for both men -- the one true moment of human connection that neither can fully grasp or let go. They begin to take biannual ''fishing trips" up in the mountains.

''Brokeback" proceeds to edge forward over the course of two decades: children grow, wrinkles appear, the gulf between husbands and wives widens. The film quietly acknowledges an entire subculture of men who keep their sexuality (gay, bi, whatever) tucked carefully away while toeing a straight line. The perils of straying off that line are manifestly clear, even without Ennis's anecdote about the fate of a ranching ''couple" he knew in his childhood.

The film asks a lot of an audience -- not that cowboys might have physical feelings for each other but the more prosaic business of watching young actors age with the aid of make-up. Gyllenhaal and Hathaway get the short end of the stick; you're painfully aware they're 20-something stars wearing middle-aged hair. Gyllenhaal also plays the more callow of the two men, and, coincidentally or not, his performance doesn't dig as deep as you want it to.

But maybe anyone would look thin next to Ledger's Ennis Del Mar. The actor hunches over and pulls his emotions under his canvas coat; he doesn't age so much as slowly cave in. That's fitting: Ennis is both ennobled and shamed by feelings he doesn't possess words to describe. ''This thing we have" is the closest he comes, and yet it's the only real part of his life, despite the damage left in its wake. Ledger turns the classic iconography of the Western male -- a cowboy hat pulled low, a measured drawl that says no more than it absolutely has to -- into protective coloring. The genius of the performance is in how little he shows and how much he suggests.

The third sharp point of the movie's triangle is Williams as Alma, whose youth and spiritedness slowly drain away in the face of an infidelity she can't encompass. There's a beautiful low-rent weariness to the performance -- like something out of an Edward Hopper painting -- and with any justice this long-underrated actress will finally get some mainstream recognition.

''Brokeback" may be too polished for some people, too elegantly dispassionate in its study of choked passion. Its final image insists rather bluntly on the closets we build for ourselves. The movie sticks with you, though, as does its belief that love is more important than gender or culture or anything -- that it's important enough to be treasured in secret if necessary. Lee stays true to the cowboy stoicism of Proulx's final lines: ''Nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it." That's the tragedy here, and the strength.
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Old 12-16-2005, 03:07 PM   #93
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here are some *fascinating* reviews of the film from Christian magazines ... i've excerpted the parts that deal explicitly with homosexuality, and not the plot summaries themselves, while leaving in each critic's summation on the film:

[q]"Brokeback Mountain" (Focus), the much publicized "gay cowboy love story" adapted from a New Yorker magazine piece by Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Proulx, arrives at last, and the film itself -- a serious contemplation of loneliness and connection -- belies the glib description.

[...]

As the Catholic Church makes a distinction between homosexual orientation and activity, Ennis and Jack's continuing physical relationship is morally problematic.

The adulterous nature of their affair is another hot-button issue. But the pain Jack and Ennis cause their families is not whitewashed. (The women are played with tremendous sympathy, not as shrill harridans.) It's the emotional honesty of the story overall, and the portrayal of an unresolved relationship -- which, by the way, ends in tragedy -- that seems paramount

[...]

Looked at from the point of view of the need for love which everyone feels but few people can articulate, the plight of these guys is easy to understand while their way of dealing with it is likely to surprise and shock an audience.

Except for the initial sex scene, and brief bedroom encounters between the men and their (bare breasted) wives, there's no sexually related nudity. Some outdoor shots of the men washing themselves and skinny-dipping are side-view, long-shot or out-of-focus images.

While the actions taken by Ennis and Jack cannot be endorsed, the universal themes of love and loss ring true.

The film contains tacit approval of same-sex relationships, adultery, two brief sex scenes without nudity, partial and shadowy brief nudity elsewhere, other implied sexual situations, profanity, rough and crude expressions, alcohol and brief drug use, brief violent images, a gruesome description of a murder, and some domestic violence.

Originally rated L (limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling), "Brokeback Mountain" has been reclassified O -- morally offensive -- by the USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting. This has been done because the serious weight of the L rating -- which restricts films in that category to those who can assess, from a Catholic perspective, the moral issues raised by a movie -- is, unfortunately, misunderstood by many. Because there are some in this instance who are using the L rating to make it appear the church's -- or the USCCB's -- position on homosexuality is ambiguous, the classification has been revised specifically to address its moral content. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/movies/05mv682.htm

[/q]



and then there's this one:

[q]Editor's note: This film depicts a homosexual relationship, and includes a graphic sex scene between the two men. After much discussion, Christianity Today Movies has decided to review the film despite its controversial subject matter. It has been nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards and will certainly be an Oscar contender. The film is a hot topic of conversation around the nation, and we'd be remiss to simply ignore it. Part of our mission statement is "to inform and equip Christian moviegoers to make discerning choices" about what films you'll watch—or won't watch. And this review, just like all of our reviews, certainly accomplishes that. As for the 3-star rating, that is only in reference to the quality of the filmmaking, the acting, the cinematography, etc. It is not a "recommendation" to see the film, nor is it a rating of the "moral acceptability" of the subject matter.

[...]

But despite the intimacy these two want to share, there's a certain formalism between Jack and Ennis that stems from their seeming inability to admit, even to each other, who each of them is. A conversation late in the movie includes Jack referencing an affair he's supposedly having with a ranch foreman's wife when the audience knows that the affair is actually with the foreman himself. Ennis, in return, goes into a homophobic rage when Jack lets on that he goes down to Mexico for gay sex. It's likely the result of a number of factors, but both men are deeply unsettled by their homosexuality.

[...]

But for all the potential messiness of a story about two married men who carry on an affair with each other, the movie maintains an emotional distance from its subject by focusing almost exclusively on the men involved, both of whom are characters trying to stuff their emotions to one extent or another. Brokeback Mountain creates vast plains of space for the audience to interpret Jack and Ennis' actions and the hopes and fears that motivate them. It's quite possible that no matter what the viewer believes about homosexuality, he or she will be able to read their own stance on the issue into this story.

The film has already earned seven nominations for the Golden Globes, and multiple Oscar nominations are all but certain to follow. Ledger and Williams—who both earned Globes noms—especially stand out, both conveying reams of emotion with dialogue that probably only covers a few pages. But as much as Brokeback Mountain is being touted as a groundbreaking movie for its depictions of homosexuality, it is populated with people with conventional attitudes about homosexuality. And though it's presented as a story of thwarted love—of ache and longing and regrets—it's also ultimately a story about the relationships that shape us … for better and for worse.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/mov...tain.html#talk

[/q]



the same site has the following discussion questions:

[q]1. The tagline for Brokeback Mountain is, "Love is a force of nature." Do you agree? Do we get to choose whom we fall in love with? Do we get to choose our sexual orientation? Why or why not?

2. Scripture says homosexual sex is sinful (Lev. 18:22, 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11). How should the church engage those who hold different beliefs about homosexuality? Should Christians expect all people to be heterosexuals? Why or why not? What does this mean for how Christians should treat gays?

3. Ennis' parents died when he was young. Do you think the loneliness he experienced as a child played into his attraction to Jack? If yes, how so? When he got married, why didn't Alma's love satisfy his need for companionship?

4. Do Ennis and Jack love each other because they're gay, or are they gay because they love each other? Explain. Had they never met, do you think one or both of them would have happily lived a heterosexual life? Why or why not? What does that say about the nature of sexual orientation?

5. Ennis and Jack determine that their bond is no one else's business. Can love—gay or straight—stay secret and be and/or remain healthy? Why or why not?

6. How should Christians approach films that depict gay relationships? What, if anything, can we learn from such movies? About the gay culture? About ourselves?
[/q]
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Old 12-17-2005, 08:05 PM   #94
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I'm sorry, and some here may get pissed, but I'm just so tired of Christians "discussing" homosexuality. It's as if gays and lesbians are from a different planet and they need to decide whether to let them integrate into humanity. It's just so fucking tiresome to see people's lives discussed and debated.

Get over it.
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Old 12-17-2005, 09:18 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
I'm sorry, and some here may get pissed, but I'm just so tired of Christians "discussing" homosexuality. It's as if gays and lesbians are from a different planet and they need to decide whether to let them integrate into humanity. It's just so fucking tiresome to see people's lives discussed and debated.

Get over it.
. Hear, hear.

Angela
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Old 12-18-2005, 02:56 AM   #96
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:55 AM   #97
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seeing it tonight after work

with the BF



at the Dupont cinemas, it's been playing every hour, on the hour, and every single show was sold out yesterday. i'm hoping demand on a Monday night won't be as strong, however there's a good chance we won't even be able to get tickets. but we've resolved to see it only with each other -- see? gay couples are capable of committing to *some* things -- so if we can't fit it in tonight, it will have to be in the new year.

which would make me

but i'm willing to wait, for Heath, the BF, and Jake.






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Old 12-19-2005, 10:26 AM   #98
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Hope you guys can get tickets, Irvine-enjoy the show if you do get a chance to go .

Angela
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:49 AM   #99
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irvine really needs to talk.

it's very late and i don't have time for a long post, but it's gorgeous, entrancing, and starts out slowly but then builds to such an absorbing, devastating ending, that i can't think of too much that i've seen in recent cinema that matches the film's cumulative power. yes, of course i'm the ideal audience, but it's such a subtle, almost sublime experience that anyone can and will be taken in my it's themes of love, loss, and loneliness.

heath ledger, in particular, is amazing.

there's much to say, but not right now.
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Old 12-20-2005, 02:53 AM   #100
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glad you enjoyed it

i plan on seeing the film this week
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:31 AM   #101
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Contractually I am obliged to always refer to him as 'Australia's Heath Ledger'... didn't care for him in Ned Kelly, but this other movie should be interesting, maybe I'll see it on tv one of these decades.
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:08 AM   #102
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Contractually I am obliged to always refer to him as 'Australia's Heath Ledger'...
^

Awaiting more from Irvine...

And I don't understand why it hasn't opened yet in my city, you know, the one with the largest gay and lesbian population per capita in the country next to San Francisco.
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Old 12-20-2005, 09:42 AM   #103
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folks, i don't totally know what to say.

after i posted last night, i sat in the dark and listened to an REM mix i had made for the BF, the final songs being "nightswimming," "find the river," and then "electrolyte."

i don't want to give anything away, as some of the film does turn on some surprises, but it's not like there's a twist ending. there's so much space and silence in the movie, the first 30 minutes are a bit odd, a bit slow, lots of silence, and the rapturous Wyoming/Canadian Rockies scenery. yes, there is a sex scene, but it's probably about as tasteful as one could imagine without sacraficing lust, and the other love scenes are about intimacy, not lust.

"Australia's Heath Ledger" (who's name, when i speak it in real life, i can only pronounce with a poorly affected Aussie accent) says so much with so little, he inhabits the character and disappears completely, in the way Sean Penn might once have before he became really showy. i'd also say that this was a better performance than Phillip Seymour Hoffman in "Capote," and i was blown away by PSH. what's amazing is how much is said through gesture and expression as opposed to dialogue. these are two hardened, masculine men, humbled by a lack of education and real opportunity, and have been taught that self expression is better achieved through action rather than dialogue. both are verbally inequipped to understand what's happening to them, and so it's the body language that speaks volumes, as well as Ang Lee's subtle but effective direction, setting up a million-and-one little shifts of camera that elucidate the silent dynamic of unspoken messages sent, either consciously or unconsciously, between the two characters.

pretty much, it all sneaks up on you. you don't see it coming until it kicks you in the gut, but it's all earned, there's nothing cheap or manipulative about anything that happens, and there's no stupid surprise twist, it's that events unfold in an utterly natural way and afterwards you realize that you didn't quite see it coming but that it couldn't have ended in any other way.

i also have to add that, aside from Jake and "Australia's Heath Ledger," the two women -- Michelle Williams and whatserface -- are equally good.

it's interesting ... the film is about homosexuality, but it uses homosexuality as a means of exploring universal truths about the choices we make, the situations we find ourselves in, how we do the best with what we have -- there's a line that sums up much of the film which is, "if you can't fix it, you've got to sand it" -- how no one is ever entirely at fault for anything, and it ultimately reaffirms the human need to love and to be loved. it's not a gay film in that it's about gay characters, gay life, the "gay condition" we might call it; in fact, the word "gay" wasn't part of the vernacular in the early 1960s; rather, it views homosexuality as another means by which human beings can love one another and forge meaningful, intimate connections that become our only defense and shelter against the big, bad, wide, amoral world (symbolized by the beauty of Brokeback Mountain), and when love -- any kind of love -- is thwarted and destroyed by circumstance beyond anyone's control, it's a tragedy, whether it's the Montagues and the Capulets, an Israeli and a Palestinian, or two beautiful cowboys.

i do have a complaint or two, but i'll get to that in a little while.

need coffee.
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Old 12-20-2005, 10:21 AM   #104
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I cant wait to watch this movie
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Old 12-20-2005, 10:24 AM   #105
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i should add that the movie doesn't exactly cure cancer or solve the Israeli/Palestinian problem.

it is still a movie.

but i had a very powerful reaction to it, and even if not everyone feels it as viscerally as i did, i do think there's so much quality filmmaking and acting on display that anyone can understand it as a "film of quality."
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