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BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN => The Film & Book => Topic started by: Dave Cullen on January 04, 2006, 01:34:31 AM

Title: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dave Cullen on January 04, 2006, 01:34:31 AM
Ah, now we cut to the quick.

And I know some of you are going to hate me for pitting two wonderful artists from different fields against each other. Well, nobody has to lose or attack each other, but I do think it's an interesting question of what each uniquely brought to the table.

Please dive in and argue away for each, or for both if you please. I thought they were both amazing. But I do have a favorite.

And I know the question is open to massive interpretation. You define "better" any way you please. Which achievement impressed you more?
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: PetterG on January 04, 2006, 02:03:20 AM
Is Your intension that we should compare the whole film vs. the whole book?
or
are we supposed to discuss single scenes?
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: PetterG on January 04, 2006, 02:12:11 AM
I will not wait for Daves answer so I start here and now:

the reunion after 4 years:
I don't like the 'smashing into walls' in the movie. In the book the kiss just happen, it isn't the same 'planning' as when E checks around and then goes 'out of sight' to violently kiss J, and I think thats more 'realistic'.

They haven't seen each other for a very long time and they have no intension to be that romantic, it was just two old friends, but without any planning and without anyone really knowing whats happening - they kiss each other.

Maybe it is the very romantic Petter who is talking here...
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Diego on January 04, 2006, 02:22:11 AM
I can't decide.

I always seem to go for the book because it is usually ten times better, but this one left me scratching my head.. the book has a way of telling you how they felt,the love they had for each other and what they really thought. One exaple of something i felt was better in the book was Ennis's visit to jack's room and finding the shirts. The way it's described just tears me up every time. I was leaning towards the book a little. But then again the Film captures some of the moments from the book and makes them ten times more intense. Like Jack and Almas Kitchen Confrontation. I dint realize how heated the fiight actually was until i saw the film. good stuff.

I for once, am happy i cant decide between the two. So i chose "equal".
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dathan on January 04, 2006, 02:27:23 AM
Yeah Peter that seemed somewhat reckless and  immature to act so wildly after 4 years but they do get worked up in the book just not bouncing off the walls.

I'm not sure, with the written word we can visualize as we please but the movie that is hard evidence somewhat cut and dry.  I would have liked to have seen more in the beginning of their physical relationship to convince me they were really in a "euphoric" state on the mountain.  I think thats just my needy gay thing.  I know I am not going to go to the movies and see Heath Ledger laying spread eagle "spent and wet" but I can hope.  So the book is much better at enabling my freedom of vision.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: PetterG on January 04, 2006, 02:48:54 AM
Yeah Peter that seemed somewhat reckless and  immature to act so wildly after 4 years but they do get worked up in the book just not bouncing off the walls.

I'm not sure, with the written word we can visualize as we please but the movie that is hard evidence somewhat cut and dry.  I would have liked to have seen more in the beginning of their physical relationship to convince me they were really in a "euphoric" state on the mountain.  I think thats just my needy gay thing.  I know I am not going to go to the movies and see Heath Ledger laying spread eagle "spent and wet" but I can hope.  So the book is much better at enabling my freedom of vision.
But in the book it isn't anything of that 'euphorism' - it's says 'the sex continued the rest of the summer' - very short and without any tender feelings at all in fact.

I agree that a book give us more freedom to 'convert' the text into an idea within our mind.

A very common comment is that a movie is 'shorter/simpler' than a book, it is more nuances and details in the book - but in this case it isn't so - some things are even more detailed in the movie - Carissa eg or their (E&J) last discussion.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: peteinportland on January 04, 2006, 05:02:58 AM
This was a short story written by one woman. Very powerful and incredible reading.

The film packs as much of a wallop (or more) and involves the work of many artists.

Annie P voted for the film, and I do too.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lauren on January 04, 2006, 07:27:03 AM


Peteinportland: I agree. I love the film and the book.

In responding to the above posts, I love the film's reunion kiss after four years, and it matches the book's intensity of that moment. Neither of them can contain themselves --it's been four years and it must have seemed an eternity when they finally saw each other. Lustful and intense. Absolutely perfect the way it is.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: dkellergrl2001 on January 04, 2006, 09:27:18 AM
I voted for both the book and the film adaptation.  I loved the sparceness and simplicity of Annie's story and I equally loved the "fleshed out" collaboration of Ang Lee and everyone involved for bringing the short story to "life".
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Cat on January 04, 2006, 09:42:36 AM
Petter, I agree with you. The reunion scene is my favorite in the movie, however the way it was described in the book, they are so overcome they begin kissing IN FRONT of Alma. It's twilight and I guess Ennis has some vague hope she didn't really see them, but he knows she did. In the movie, she catches them from a window and Ennis is trying to hide what's going on.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Scott88 on January 04, 2006, 09:46:00 AM
Quote
In the movie, she catches them from a window and Ennis is trying to hide what's going on.

But is Ennis trying to hide what's going from Alma specifically?  He quickly looks around and brings Jack 'round the corner so that no passerbys could catch a glimpse, but in terms of Alma?  He starts passionately making out with Jack in an alleyway that is directly visible from the front door of their home.  IMO, the fact that he does this (i.e., doesn't prevent Alma from inadvertently discovering them) shows just overcome with emotion Ennis was in that moment.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: DaveinPhilly on January 04, 2006, 09:46:43 AM
Apples and Oranges, Dave...

The adaptation is superb and faithful to an extraordinary degree, but no written book can give the visual sweep and sound of a film.

The short story is terse and clear, but still packs a whollop in terms of emotion.

The film is truly beautiful in every way.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Cat on January 04, 2006, 09:50:09 AM
Quote
In the movie, she catches them from a window and Ennis is trying to hide what's going on.

But is Ennis trying to hide what's going from Alma specifically?  He quickly looks around and brings Jack 'round the corner so that no passerbys could catch a glimpse, but in terms of Alma?  He starts passionately making out with Jack in an alleyway that is directly visible from the front door of their home.  IMO, the fact that he does this (i.e., doesn't prevent Alma from inadvertently discovering them) shows just overcome with emotion Ennis was in that moment.

That's true, but it's still not quite comparable to going at it right away on the front stoop and not even making a small attempt to hide things, like he does in the movie. In the book it's funny because after she catches them, Ennis says "I haven't seen Jack in four years." And the text says AS IF IT WERE A REASON. Having him say that in the film would have brought a big laugh.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: PetterG on January 04, 2006, 09:54:42 AM
  He quickly looks around and brings Jack 'round the corner' ... shows just overcome with emotion Ennis was in that moment
it is exactly this which makes me dislike this scene - he is 'planning' when he looks around and moves 'round the corner' - in the middle of this scene, so full of passion he keeps his head cool and calculating - it isn't like that in the book

btw - this is the only situation (I think) where Ennis is 'leading', or top if You prefer that tem  ;)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Cat on January 04, 2006, 10:48:11 AM
I guess it would have been hard to believe that he would start macking right in front of his wife, given his uptight inclinations. It's one thing to write it in a book, another to have the visual. Plus the visual of him doing this probably would have taken away a lot of sympathy for him, esp with a more mainstream audience. "Look at the cad! He tongues his boyfriend IN FRONT of his wife and doesn't care!"  :D
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Nado on January 04, 2006, 11:12:03 AM
I usually get a bigger rise in the pants with literary books than I do with their cinematographic counterparts but for BBM, the film was much more orgasmic!  :D

BBM was my opportunity to go to a real cineplex and not some cheesy gay-friendly arthouse  - and experience a really wonderful Hollywood, Oscar-contending gay drama on the big screen! How often do we gay men get to do that??? And its just incredibly exhilirating to be able to completely relate to an onscreen romance that isn't physically alien!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Scott88 on January 04, 2006, 11:44:57 AM
I though the reunion scene was executed perfectly in the film.  The euphoria and passion Ennis felt for Jack was *abundantly* clear (I love how Heath literally beamed on the stairwell), and yet it would have struck a false note had Ennis started making out in the middle of the parking lot, for any and all neighbors to see.  No way, not with his paranoia and deep-seated fears. 

What Lee did was strike a perfect balance:  Have Ennis direct Jack to the doorway to prevent them being "outed" in public, but nonetheless having Ennis so carried away in the heat of the moment that he doesn't seem to consider at all how easily Alma could discover them. (I mean, all she did had to do was open the front door.  And that's exactly what happened.)

Plus, Ennis leading Jack around the corner only takes a second, and when you see Ennis literally shove him up against the wall -- well, it still manages to leave me breathless, lol.  Unquestionably the most passionate scene in the film.

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dave Cullen on January 04, 2006, 12:11:16 PM
Is Your intension that we should compare the whole film vs. the whole book?
or
are we supposed to discuss single scenes?

Either one. I'd start with them as a whole, but you don't have to.

And if you're really going to get into it, some scene-for-scene is prolly a great idea.

But you're way ahead of me.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Carissa on January 04, 2006, 01:55:46 PM
I voted for the film.  Although I loved the story, I loved the glances that Jack steals at Ennis, I loved seeing Ennis' reaction to Jack's advances, and whoa, that kiss after 4 years...I need a cold shower.  ;)  The story is amazing in conveying such broad and rich emotions into a story that is so sparse and simple.  But the way the movie shows those simple and sparse words coming to life is breathtaking.  I think that Larry and Dianna did such a phenomenal job adapting the story to the screenplay.  They truly did bring the story to life.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mary on January 04, 2006, 03:34:48 PM
The book by (a very small) nose.

Some of this may have to do with having read the book first. So my in initial emotional reaction was to the written word.
The other factor being I read a lot, and tend, in general, to prefer books to films

I will say that this film is the best adaptation of a book or story I have ever seen. (which given the fact that I don't see a lot of films may not be saying much)
It is the first film I've ever seen 5 times (and counting) in the theater.
(But I've read the story even more.)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kumari on January 04, 2006, 05:36:26 PM
You get what you need by going back and forth between the two.
The story feeds you more specific "proof" about Ennis' passion for Jack. The film gives you the visual emotional payoff that you need to withstand the story's tragic moments. Watching Jack lean back into Ennis' embrace by the fire saying "Mmmm..." with his eyes closed and his mind at peace reminds us all that no drug, no sexual experience, and no amount of money can match that feeling, the feeling of loving and being loved in the same moment.That's why Jack craves it for the rest of his life.
I felt like the story does a better job of making me feel Ennis' devotion to Jack, while the film better depicts his sorrow.
Dammit, I still haven't answered the question!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jack on January 04, 2006, 06:05:31 PM
i knew this would come up sooner or later...

i voted equal, which is unheard of for me.

i normally much prefer the written work, although rarely, jaws for example, a really crappy book becomes a knockout movie.

in this case, the story, to me, is flawless.  it is the single best piece of short fiction i have ever read, perhaps even the best of all formats, and, believe me, i have been reading since i was 4.  i have read me some BOOKS.  every word, every description, every motivation, every evocation, even the dialect writing (and i hate dialect, can't enjoy huck finn because of it), it all rings crystal true.

there are more flaws in the movie, some jangle, others minor irritations; but, the quality of the screenplay, the casting, the acting, the cinematography, the score, the set dressing, the costuming, and the guiding hand of a genius director add up to something the like of which i have never seen before, and don't expect to see again soon.  and i never even got to the subject matter, can you believe that?!

a masterpiece in both vernaculars!

jack
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Pierre on January 04, 2006, 07:09:20 PM
Ok i'm torn...
I read the story after the film and adore them both.

I love the book, because it gives more of a narration behind so much of the unspoken aspects. Though minor very helpful. I'ts essential in trying to figure out some of the unanswered thought in your mind.

I love the film, becuase it allows me to see these characters along with all their minor nuances you can't capture in a short story. As well as the visuals which i wouldn't be able to paint, not being from the midwest. Also i was allowed to feel so much, in glances and breathes.

Rarely do these 2 formats compliment eachother so well , but it definitely worked in this instance.

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lynn on January 04, 2006, 07:23:33 PM
The "language" of the film was easier for me to read: the visual image, the soundtrack, the overall "feel". The story was difficult -- I had to read passages over and over again to undertand and see what Annie was saying. But still, the emotional impact came through clearly.

I can't think of a movie adaptation as faithful to the orignal story. They are intertwined, and one enhances the other. I recuse myself!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andyincolorado on January 04, 2006, 08:35:31 PM
I find it interesting that BOTH short story AND the film screenplay use the same 'description' for when Ennis and Jack begin to kiss after reuniting 4 years later:

"Then, as easily as the right key turns the lock tumblers, their mouths came together.'

I think Larry and Diana thought that description too good in the story to not include in their screenplay even though it wasn't dialogue.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kumari on January 04, 2006, 09:38:13 PM
Yes, I also noticed that there was much of Proulx's original language in the script.
I imagined the actors reading the screenplay and paying attention to the tone of the story.
I think including so much of the original wording was respectful, wise, and it paid off.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: TulseyJoe on January 05, 2006, 08:06:20 AM
I find it interesting that BOTH short story AND the film screenplay use the same 'description' for when Ennis and Jack begin to kiss after reuniting 4 years later:

"Then, as easily as the right key turns the lock tumblers, their mouths came together.'

I think Larry and Diana thought that description too good in the story to not include in their screenplay even though it wasn't dialogue.


I will be seeing the movie tomorrow at Tulsa's Southroads 20 theater. I haven't seen it done with a movie before; but, I think that subtitles as a narrative with a DVD version would be interesting. One could watch it with out the subtitles first and then read the subtitles the 2nd time around. The subtitles based on the short story narrative would not have the spoken dialog in it. It could be like a closed caption thing with the narrative, when it was a particular character thinking, showing up close to the one who had the thoughts.

I have directed a "theatre of the mind" production where there was no action; but, it was sort of like being in a radio studio where actors were just reading a script. It was interesting how 4 teenagers, having speaking parts (with an adult doing the narrative), could make one think that there was a large crowd of people sometimes making noises in the background.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Zudos on January 05, 2006, 11:26:08 AM
It really has to be equal...

Rarely will a film live up to the book - Take for instance The Shipping News (Also by Proulx) - I read this book whilst on holiday in Fuerte Ventura, and found it amazing, haunting, developmental and tragic all at the same time - rushed home and purchased the DVD - to be greatly disappointed...

This film however, captures the essence of the books themes of missed opprtunities and fear of 'anti establishment' perfectly... The only addition is the scene with the daughter asking Ennis to give her away... Everything else is perfectly captured, especially the reunion scene and the electricity of that kiss... Also Ennis' instant vivid thoughts that Jack was killed when this was not necessarily so...

A great effort, and well deserving of multiple Oscars - Thought that JG is as deserving if not more so than HL...   
 

Title: Both perfect
Post by: Cambridge on January 06, 2006, 08:57:54 AM
There's the old joke about the Polish starlet who went to Hollywood and knew she'd have to sleep around to get good roles. So she slept with the writers.

They get the least respect in la-la land; at first because the moguls couldn't read (Sam Goldwyn could hardly talk, for that matter. Louis B. Mayer had been a scrap metal dealer. Harry Cohn was a thug. Irving Thalberg - who could read - died young) and now because the suits don't care: whatever makes money gets made and what makes money, by and large, is pitched to 15 year old boys. Subtlety, restraint, reflection and nuance are not markedly apparent in the 15 year olds I know. And they wonder why nobody goes to the movies anymore.

The story and the film are both flawless. Tribute, I'd say, to three great writers. If - God forbid - any of them, or Ang Lee, should die tomorrow, I suspect this would be considered their masterpiece. 

This in no way diminishes anyone else's work. Ang Lee's vision and - it seems - everything anyone else contributed to the final film was done with skill and sensitivity for the material. But they had a superb foundation on which to build. Without one you can make something beautiful, but it won't last. I suspect Brokeback will be with us for a long, long, time.

There's an economy of dialogue that allows the reader/viewer to get inside the scenes in a way that fuller descriptions would inhibit. That's Proulx's gift and she was fortunate the story was first found - and then written for the screen - by Dianna Ossana and Larry McMurty who believed in it so much as to buy the rights with their own money. And whose perfect read on what she was saying allowed them the confidence to open up the story which in turn makes the movie the damn near perfect film I think it to be.

The absence of scenes and characters from the story found in the film - but not in the original story - does not diminish its impact but rather intensifies it. I'm happy to have the source material and have re-read the complete short story three times (this week) since seeing the film. Each time has revealed something new to me, or caused me to re-think a previous conclusion.

It's more than mere good writing, or only a great movie: Brokeback transcends those categories. It's art.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: larry67 on January 06, 2006, 01:59:00 PM
I voted for the film.

I will repeat again that this film unfolds just like Ozu's "Tokyo story".  Both films tell a seemingly simple story (but lots of people can relate to), both films get better and better with repeated viewings. Even the heartbreaking ending is kind of similar: "Life is disappointing, isn't it?"  In both cases, the movies delivered a strong, universal messege: to know how to love (your SO/parents/people) and to be tolerant and let people be what they want to be.

And kudos to Ang and his cast in paying special attention to those little details that make the movie so powerful.  The one that really got me badly was the last scene where we saw Ennis's shirt over Jack's jacket.  The order was reversed in the previous shirt scene during Ennis's visit to Jack's parents.  An essay can be written just for that little detail. And how about that glance of Jack over Ennis's campfire early in the film?

In all, Ang and his crew turned a beautiful short story into a masterpiece.  As such, I voted for the movie.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dave Cullen on January 07, 2006, 08:51:28 AM
You get what you need by going back and forth between the two.
The story feeds you more specific "proof" about Ennis' passion for Jack. The film gives you the visual emotional payoff that you need to withstand the story's tragic moments. . . I felt like the story does a better job of making me feel Ennis' devotion to Jack, while the film better depicts his sorrow.

Wow. What an insightful analysis.

The single biggest thing the film did better for me was to make me empathize more with Ennis. The visualization of him and all the complexity of the pain, anguish and inner turmoil Heath conveyed allowed me to finally accept his decision. Forgive him, essentially. I was so frustrated/mad at him after the book, but when the film was over, I understood. I didn't blame him any more.

So I guess the book was a bit sparse in character development, compared to what the film conveyed. Similarly with Jack, though to a lesser degree perhaps. But in the film Jake conveyed his giddy zest for life so much more. That might actually be a change in character from the book, I'd have to go back yet again. But he is so full of energy, happiness, joy in the film--I feel him so much more strongly as an individual, and like him so much more.
Title: Re: Both perfect
Post by: Dave Cullen on January 07, 2006, 09:01:25 AM
I really liked what you had to say, Cambridge, except for these two parts:

The absence of scenes and characters from the story found in the film - but not in the original story - does not diminish its impact but rather intensifies it.

Maybe you didn't mean that literally, but were responding to a previous person who said there were no additions.

There were quite a few. The women went from nearly invisible in the book to real characters, through several scenes. And the pivotal second-night tent scene--my favorite in either version--was created by Ang Lee.

It's more than mere good writing, or only a great movie: Brokeback transcends those categories. It's art.

Maybe I'm just quibbling with the wording, but that suggests writing and movies are not normally art. Ouch.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: aceygirl on January 07, 2006, 12:31:20 PM
I love both (don't that sound bi of me) but almost see the book and movie as two separate entities in my mind--almost as if they were stories about two different sets of cowboys! For example, in the book, Jack is described as short and buck-toothed. Neither seem to come off as particularly handsome. I loved imagining what they looked like in the book--kinda homely, tough boys who fall in love.

But in the movie, well, Jake sure isn't buck-toothed and short--he's HOT. And I can't object to hotties like Jake and Heath making some steam.

Some of the descriptions in the book are sublime but can't by nature be used in the movie; i.e. Ennis "...felt he could paw the white out of the moon" because he was having such a good time with Jack.

On the other hand, the screenwriters added some fabulous touches -- the "no more beans" leading to Ennis dutifully telling the grocery guy, "I'm sick of beans"--how sweet! It's an almost domestic touch showing that Ennis is trying to accommodate Jack's tastes (or shares them). Even though it means ordering soup--which Ennis "doesn't eat."

I could go on and on but won't. Geez, BBM almost makes me miss my days as an English major writing essays! (Almost).



Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ImEnnisShesJack on January 07, 2006, 08:48:39 PM
Yes, I also noticed that there was much of Proulx's original language in the script.
I imagined the actors reading the screenplay and paying attention to the tone of the story.
I think including so much of the original wording was respectful, wise, and it paid off.

which means the dialect coach deserves some kudos as well.  It is no easy task to a) write in dialect and then 2) write a script from dialect and then thirdly, to direct/act in dialect without having a story come off as cartoonish or have the characters come off as buffoonish.

I just got the short story and story-to-script today.  I'm going to go read them tonight......
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Nicole on January 08, 2006, 08:00:53 AM
That is a really tough choice. REALLY!!

I loved both. I think the book is outstanding in that it is beautiful prose and it describes the moments perfectly without using a ton of words.

The movie is gorgeous. The scenery is just breathtaking when they're up in the mountains and the way it was filmed made it a masterpiece. I love the fact that they incorporated humor into the mix, it adds A LOT to the story (the juxtaposition of comedy and tragedy). And the acting was just superb.

Tough choice, Dave. Not fair.  ;)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: khal on January 08, 2006, 02:12:00 PM
I loved the movie, but liked the book better.  I saw the movie first, then read the book, then saw the movie a couple of more times.  Some of the things that were in the book that I would have like to have been shown or brought out better in the film were:

1. How good Ennis felt being up on the mountain with Jack prior to their having sex.

2. How bad he felt when he was riding down off the mountain.

3. The description of how he felt when he got the dry heaves after Jack and him split after the summer.

4. Ennis not telling Jack in the Motel room about the dry heaves and how he had figured out that the reason was that he should never had let Jack get out of his sights.

5. Ennis talking to Jack about wondering about being gay, and how he had "wrung it out a hundered times" thinking about Jack.

6. Ennis wearing his best shirt and taking the day off on the day that Jack was to arrive after 4 years.

7. Why the flashback scene, where Ennis embraces Jack from behind and gently rocks him while humming to hiim, was so important to Jack.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: aceygirl on January 08, 2006, 04:02:43 PM
Another thing I realized I like about the book...it actually has more descriptions of the sexual relationship than is shown in the movie. The description of Jack and Ennis talking about their kids while getting ready to have sex is just fabulous. Imagine, child discussion as foreplay. More than the sex, it shows that they are all but a married couple, able to talk together about anything while retaining that sexual passion.

If there was just one minor quibble with the movie plot, I guess it would be that I wish they'd shown just one more intimation of their physical relationship near the end. The scene showing Ennis holding Jack as they sleep together for the last time is sweet, but devoid of passion.

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mary on January 08, 2006, 10:27:09 PM
Another thing I realized I like about the book...it actually has more descriptions of the sexual relationship than is shown in the movie. The description of Jack and Ennis talking about their kids while getting ready to have sex is just fabulous. Imagine, child discussion as foreplay. More than the sex, it shows that they are all but a married couple, able to talk together about anything while retaining that sexual passion.

If there was just one minor quibble with the movie plot, I guess it would be that I wish they'd shown just one more intimation of their physical relationship near the end. The scene showing Ennis holding Jack as they sleep together for the last time is sweet, but devoid of passion.


I'd agree aceygirl, even the beginning of that scene where Ennis puts his arm around Jack and pulls him close would have made me happy, would have shown more passion that the arm draped over him as they slept
Title: Re: Both perfect
Post by: Cambridge on January 09, 2006, 03:24:55 PM

Maybe I'm just quibbling

You are, but it's sweet of you to notice.  :-*

1: The additions - particularly the women - not in the short story but created for the film (roundabout way I said it, granted) make the story (as told on film) a better film. The short story is what it is: terrific. The film is what is: terrific, and a better film for the addiitons.   

2: There's art and then there's "art". It was a great story (evidenced by the awards and recognition it got long before they made the movie) and while there are any number of good movies, I just can't think of any, lately, that come close to the perfection that BBM is on the screen. This is one for the ages and I expect - when all's said and done - it'll be on the shortlist of the greatest films of all time. 



Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sotoalf on January 09, 2006, 03:33:00 PM
I loved the movie, but liked the book better.  I saw the movie first, then read the book, then saw the movie a couple of more times.  Some of the things that were in the book that I would have like to have been shown or brought out better in the film were:

1. How good Ennis felt being up on the mountain with Jack prior to their having sex.

2. How bad he felt when he was riding down off the mountain.

3. The description of how he felt when he got the dry heaves after Jack and him split after the summer.

4. Ennis not telling Jack in the Motel room about the dry heaves and how he had figured out that the reason was that he should never had let Jack get out of his sights.

5. Ennis talking to Jack about wondering about being gay, and how he had "wrung it out a hundered times" thinking about Jack.

6. Ennis wearing his best shirt and taking the day off on the day that Jack was to arrive after 4 years.

7. Why the flashback scene, where Ennis embraces Jack from behind and gently rocks him while humming to hiim, was so important to Jack.

Most of your objections are good ones; I agree with # 4. This was a mistake. McMurtry and Ossana, in turning Ennis into a repressed husk of man, went too far in that scene. As a result, the tension builds in a predictable fashion until the confrontation scene in 1983, for which McMurry and Ossana write lines for Ennis ("Why don't you quit me?" etc) that are not only NOT in the story, but rather stale ones. It's a testament to how good Ledger is that, despite these mistakes, his performance is never one-note.

As for #7...I dunno, I read the story years before watching the film and forgot this scene, so when I watched it I understood what Jack Twist was thinking: this hug on Brokeback Mountain was the only moment of unadulterated happiness Jack and Ennis have ever known.
but the movie addresses them in visual terms. It's obvious, for example, that Ennis takes the day off work on the day Jack arrives.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: blairski on January 10, 2006, 01:00:53 AM
This is a great list, Khal, thanks.  Other things I wish were in the movie:

Conversations on topics other than bitching about beans.  The story lists a whole bunch of topics that you never see them discussing.  It would have been great to see their friendship develop more before the physical relationship started.

Jack not telling Ennis in the motel room that they had been spotted by Aguirre (or did he?  I'm pretty sure he didn't but I can't remember)

The story implies there was some physical activity between them before Jack pulls Ennis' hand over, in the first night together in the tent. 

The story clearly states that their trips were all over the West, and that they never returned to Brokeback, but I think the implication for a viewer who hasn't read the story is that they return to Brokeback all the time.  Do others agree?

But although there are a few places I wish the screenplay was more faithful to the story, I am awed by what the screenwriters  added.  They did such an amazing job of building additional characters that were only hints in the book, of adding additional scenes.  Just brilliant. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: M. Alexander on January 10, 2006, 11:49:55 AM
Blairski and khal, I agree with both of you and want to add I wish I could have heard / seen Jack sayin' in the tent that first night: "gun's goin' OFF".. Whoo boy! :-*

It is so tought to decide which works better. You can't. Both works are sublime in their own right. It must be so thrilling for Annie Proulx see her work come to life so magnificently onto the screen. Particularly after "Shipping News".

I have to go on a trip now and don't know if I'll have access to a computer to follow this wonderful discussion. I so enjoy hearing each and every one of you all. I really feel as if I'm meeting people around the world - Sweden, Australia, U.K., all over the States. Talk about great therapy! What a wonderful bunch of people.

Can't wait to jump back in.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: aceygirl on January 10, 2006, 02:06:24 PM
This is a great list, Khal, thanks.  Other things I wish were in the movie:

Conversations on topics other than bitching about beans.  The story lists a whole bunch of topics that you never see them discussing.  It would have been great to see their friendship develop more before the physical relationship started.

The story clearly states that their trips were all over the West, and that they never returned to Brokeback, but I think the implication for a viewer who hasn't read the story is that they return to Brokeback all the time.  Do others agree?



True. While I loved the beans-and-harmonica thing, it should've added to, not replaced, the camaraderie they built up that is described in the book (talking about submarines, jobs, etc.; "respecting each other's opinion"). Heath and Jake do an amazing job of building an on-screen chemistry despite this lack. And then again, BBM has more of a buildup than most Hollywood romances--which typically consist of a few sultry gazes and banter, then bed, and then happily ever after.

I thought they returned to BBM all the time in the movie. But when I think about it either-or, to me it doesn't matter. BBM is a symbol and no matter what part of "out in the middle of nowhere" they go to be together, it's BBM.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: PetterG on January 10, 2006, 02:41:41 PM
BBM is a symbol and no matter what part of "out in the middle of nowhere" they go to be together, it's BBM.
I agree that BBM is a symbol so when they 'never returned to BBM', I understood it as: they never came back to that idyllic again, never really had that 'honeymoon' feeling as they had their first summer on BBM.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: David on January 10, 2006, 06:38:13 PM
You get what you need by going back and forth between the two.
The story feeds you more specific "proof" about Ennis' passion for Jack. The film gives you the visual emotional payoff that you need to withstand the story's tragic moments. . . I felt like the story does a better job of making me feel Ennis' devotion to Jack, while the film better depicts his sorrow.

Wow. What an insightful analysis.

The single biggest thing the film did better for me was to make me empathize more with Ennis. The visualization of him and all the complexity of the pain, anguish and inner turmoil Heath conveyed allowed me to finally accept his decision. Forgive him, essentially. I was so frustrated/mad at him after the book, but when the film was over, I understood. I didn't blame him any more.

So I guess the book was a bit sparse in character development, compared to what the film conveyed. Similarly with Jack, though to a lesser degree perhaps. But in the film Jake conveyed his giddy zest for life so much more. That might actually be a change in character from the book, I'd have to go back yet again. But he is so full of energy, happiness, joy in the film--I feel him so much more strongly as an individual, and like him so much more.

Dave, I have to say I kind of agree with one reviewer who found Jack off-putting. He was a loser and not good at much. If that is the way Jake and Ang decided to play him, it is brilliant. However, he sure loved Ennis and there are many things about the way Jake played Jack that endeared him to me.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: David on January 10, 2006, 06:46:05 PM
Another thing I realized I like about the book...it actually has more descriptions of the sexual relationship than is shown in the movie. The description of Jack and Ennis talking about their kids while getting ready to have sex is just fabulous. Imagine, child discussion as foreplay. More than the sex, it shows that they are all but a married couple, able to talk together about anything while retaining that sexual passion.

If there was just one minor quibble with the movie plot, I guess it would be that I wish they'd shown just one more intimation of their physical relationship near the end. The scene showing Ennis holding Jack as they sleep together for the last time is sweet, but devoid of passion.



One thing I thought was neat was that the movie ended their last scene in the tent (where they had been physical with one another) with Ennis' arm draped over Jack echoing the first scene in the tent (when they had sex) where it all began when Jack took Ennis' arm and "draped" (pulled) it over him. Something that the movie added but that wasn't in the book. I liked it.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jim ... on January 11, 2006, 09:13:07 AM

I re-read Proulx's short story last night and it has prompted me to ask this question.  I apologize if this has already been talked about earlier ....

She writes, in her last paragraph, referring to Ennis:

   "There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if                   
     you  can't fix it you've got to stand it".

I think "what he knew" and "what he tried to believe" could be interpreted in many ways ...

     he knew-Jack was the real love of his life
     tried to believe-that perhaps he might find another somehow in the future

     he knew- he was the one that prevented them from having a life together
     tried to believe- that it wouldn't have been possible ... given societies attitudes at the time

     he knew- he was somehow responsible for Jacks death
     tried to believe- he could not have prevented it

     he knew- he was gay and physically attracted to men
     tried to believe- it was only with Jack .... and could never feel those attractions again

     he knew- that he caused Jack so much pain in resisting a life together
     tried to believe- that the time and moments they shared together was enough for Jack

There are so many more possibilities that I could come up with. I'd love to hear how you all interpret what Annie has written.

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: aceygirl on January 11, 2006, 10:02:22 AM
In reading the book multiple times I keep coming to new interpretations...

i.e. when Ennis in the motel room tells jack "I sure wrung it out a hundred times (sic) thinking about you"--I first thought he was talking about mentally trying to figure out why he kept thinking about Jack even though he doesn't think about doing it with other guys.

Then I thought..."wrung it out"-as in the physical sense? He er, pleasured himself a hundred times thinking about Jack?  ;D

Brings a whole new meaning to "Jack-ing off" !!

I wish that line had been in the movie, along with the following question to jack as to whether he did it with other guys. But again, I realize the interpretation of Ennis in the movie might not have allowed for such open questioning. It just that it in the book conveys to me that  Ennis really does acknowledge openly, in words, his romantic feelings for Jack.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: happycamper on January 11, 2006, 10:08:25 AM
i.e. when Ennis in the motel room tells jack "I sure wrung it out a hundred times (sic) thinking about you"--I first thought he was talking about mentally trying to figure out why he kept thinking about Jack even though he doesn't think about doing it with other guys.

Then I thought..."wrung it out"-as in the physical sense? He er, pleasured himself a hundred times thinking about Jack?  ;D

Brings a whole new meaning to "Jack-ing off" !!

I wish that line had been in the movie, along with the following question to jack as to whether he did it with other guys. But again, I realize the interpretation of Ennis in the movie might not have allowed for such open questioning. It just that it in the book conveys to me that  Ennis really does acknowledge openly, in words, his romantic feelings for Jack.

I wondered about this. Where did he find the time or privacy to wring it out after he was married? Makes me think he was pleasuring himself thinking of Jack during those weeks (months?) leading up to his wedding. And yet he went ahead with the marriage... (if only)

I agree that the movie would have been much improved by adding at least one of these open, unequivocal declarations of feeling by Ennis.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sotoalf on January 11, 2006, 10:17:15 AM
In reading the book multiple times I keep coming to new interpretations...

i.e. when Ennis in the motel room tells jack "I sure wrung it out a hundred times (sic) thinking about you"--I first thought he was talking about mentally trying to figure out why he kept thinking about Jack even though he doesn't think about doing it with other guys.

Then I thought..."wrung it out"-as in the physical sense? He er, pleasured himself a hundred times thinking about Jack?  ;D

Brings a whole new meaning to "Jack-ing off" !!

I wish that line had been in the movie, along with the following question to jack as to whether he did it with other guys. But again, I realize the interpretation of Ennis in the movie might not have allowed for such open questioning. It just that it in the book conveys to me that  Ennis really does acknowledge openly, in words, his romantic feelings for Jack.

Yeah, he meant masturbation. And there's plenty of places a guy can find to wring it out away from his wife. Let's not forget all those odd jobs he took  ;)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jack on January 11, 2006, 11:53:42 AM
i.e. when Ennis in the motel room tells jack "I sure wrung it out a hundred times (sic) thinking about you"--I first thought he was talking about mentally trying to figure out why he kept thinking about Jack even though he doesn't think about doing it with other guys.

Then I thought..."wrung it out"-as in the physical sense? He er, pleasured himself a hundred times thinking about Jack?  ;D

Brings a whole new meaning to "Jack-ing off" !!


watch it there, sis   ;)

jack N. off
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wjp58 on January 11, 2006, 12:57:30 PM
I think both are very successful in their respective media.

I read the story first. I dabble in short story writing, and the hardest part is usually coming up with an ending.  So I was just bowled over that Proulx's ending was so powerful, so memorable and so poignant.

The movie is faithful in tone and spirit of the story, and the translation from one medium to the other is successful, thanks in great part to the screenwriters.  There is not a word of dialogue that does not ring true.  This is probably easier to do when adapting a short story, as opposed to a novel.  With a novel you have to cut back and simplify, instead of expand and fill in.  More characters can be upgraded to three dimensions (here especially, the wives) instead of vice versa. And of course Hollywood often goes much further than that in dumbing down novels, which is why I never watch movies adapted from novels I liked.  Also, the reader has more time and energy invested in a novel, and therefore is more likely to be dissappointed or upset when the movie doesn't look or sound the way he or she imagined it.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wjp58 on January 11, 2006, 01:32:52 PM
One scene added for the movie, not in the story, is the Alma Jr. wedding announcement near the end.

This is Hollywood, I think, stepping in to make the ending a little less sad.  Ennis will never have another "love", but at least he will have some love, some human connection, thanks to his daughter.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Scott88 on January 11, 2006, 02:24:25 PM
I don't think this was Hollywood stepping in.  This was McMurty & Ossana informing us, in yet another way, of Ennis's acknowledgement of the love he and Jack shared by contrasting their relationship with his (heterosexual) daughter's decision to get married. 

For me, one of the most poignant moments in the entire film is when Ennis asks his daughter, "Does he love you?"  Its significance cannot be overstated, IMO. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wjp58 on January 11, 2006, 04:23:56 PM
I don't think this was Hollywood stepping in.  This was McMurty & Ossana informing us, in yet another way, of Ennis's acknowledgement of the love he and Jack shared by contrasting their relationship with his (heterosexual) daughter's decision to get married. 


That could be.  I need to reread the story.  I only read it once, and on the internet.  I think I don't read as carefully in that mode.  Its more like ... yeah yeah, got it, check, scroll down.  Not conducive to lingering, slowly rereading a nice turn of phrase.  From looking at some of the "favorite lines" people have quoted from the story, I can tell I missed a bit.

But Proulx's ending .... jeeez.  I can't get over it.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: scot5636 on January 11, 2006, 06:42:00 PM
Anyone know where I can get my hands on a copy of the story in Los Angeles?  I'm on the waiting list at the library and at Barnes & Noble, Different Light is sold out, and it's even on backorder at Amazon.  I saw the movie for the third time today, but i really want to see what the story has to say.  If you know of a bookstore in LA that has it in stock, please let me know.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: David on January 11, 2006, 06:48:13 PM
Anyone know where I can get my hands on a copy of the story in Los Angeles?  I'm on the waiting list at the library and at Barnes & Noble, Different Light is sold out, and it's even on backorder at Amazon.  I saw the movie for the third time today, but i really want to see what the story has to say.  If you know of a bookstore in LA that has it in stock, please let me know.

To tide you over in the meantime, try http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:3747qJa8Mz0J:angelasolis.ph/inarage/images/brokeback_mountain.pdf+%22brokeback+mountain%22+pdf&hl=en for the story in PDF online.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: scot5636 on January 11, 2006, 07:12:42 PM
A million thanks, David.  I've been aching to read this since I walked out of the theater the first time.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lena on January 11, 2006, 07:21:23 PM
another thought on the "what he knew and what he tried to believe":
what he knew - that jack was killed by the tire iron (hate crime)
what he tried to believe - that it was an accident, as lureen claimed
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: aceygirl on January 12, 2006, 08:01:42 AM
I don't think this was Hollywood stepping in.  This was McMurty & Ossana informing us, in yet another way, of Ennis's acknowledgement of the love he and Jack shared by contrasting their relationship with his (heterosexual) daughter's decision to get married. 


That could be.  I need to reread the story.  I only read it once, and on the internet.  I think I don't read as carefully in that mode.  Its more like ... yeah yeah, got it, check, scroll down.  Not conducive to lingering, slowly rereading a nice turn of phrase.  From looking at some of the "favorite lines" people have quoted from the story, I can tell I missed a bit.

But Proulx's ending .... jeeez.  I can't get over it.

Yes, another different-yet-just-as-good difference from book to movie, IMO. I love the way the book ends; all in Ennis' head especially with that last "gotta stand it" thought. But the movie scene with Alma Jr. really gives Heath the actor the chance to convey the contrast of asking his 19-year-old daughter the only question that matters: "Does he love you?" and then acknowledging with just three words that this was the only thing that ultimatley was left  for himself: Jack loved him.

In the book, actually, it starts off with Ennis living with his married daughter, so we know he is not totally alone.

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: happycamper on January 13, 2006, 04:13:20 AM
I really like the scene in the book where Ennis and Jack are talking about their families and then "start up" with each other. In the movie all of the dialog is about their relationship which serves to move the plot forward, but this scene in the book shows how they have settled into a comfortable kind of mature relationship as compared with their younger passions.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: bonnie on January 13, 2006, 04:22:30 AM
I usually refuse to see movies based on stories/novels I've read, since they are usually butchered.
However, in this case, I saw the movie FIRST, then read the short story.
While I liked the story, and loved seeing how much was directly translated on screen, including a
lot of dialog, the story hardly hit me at all emotionally.
Did anyone else have this reaction? I tend to think that since the film hit me so hard, there wasn't much reaction left in me for the book.
 ???
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wjp58 on January 13, 2006, 07:36:02 AM
Bonnie:

I think you're right.

I read the story first, but on the New Yorker website and very quickly (I was at the office).  I missed a lot (more on that in a minute).  But even so, many of the scenes were incredibly strong and the ending, especially the shirts, hit me like a ton of bricks. I had  to see the movie.  With some reservations, because I also usually hate what Hollywood does to good literature (but I love McMurtry so there was hope).

Well, of course, the movie was another ton of bricks, and  I somehow ended up on this website, and read some things others had posted about the story, and realized I had to read it the right way.

Which I did last night.  I was struck by several things.  One, that the movie was SO true to the spirit and just about everything else in the story.  Did Proulx have some kind of contractual power over the script?  Two, that the book was more explicit in terms of the same sex "coupling" than the movie.  And then one thing not in the movie (unless in some symbolic way that went by me) --  and how could I have not noticed this in the first reading? -- Jack's father pissing on him when he was a little kid.  Pissing on him!

I think both are very successful in their own respective media. I can't choose one or the other as "better."
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wjp58 on January 13, 2006, 08:54:51 AM
One other thing.

At the beginning of the story.  The italicized part where we see Ennis years later about to leave his latest trailer.  I could swear that was NOT in the story when I first read it in The New Yorker.  Am I losing my mind?  Anybody?

I had two thoughts about that part.  In terms of craft I didn't like it.  But in terms of these characters that I have come to care so much about, I did.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mary on January 13, 2006, 09:10:08 AM
One other thing.

At the beginning of the story.  The italicized part where we see Ennis years later about to leave his latest trailer.  I could swear that was NOT in the story when I first read it in The New Yorker.  Am I losing my mind?  Anybody?

I had two thoughts about that part.  In terms of craft I didn't like it.  But in terms of these characters that I have come to care so much about, I did.

You are correct, the it  italicized part was not in the New Yorker version.  As I recall the editors at the New Yorker didn't like it.  But Annie added it back when the story was published in Close Range.  I happen to love that part - if for no other reason than the fact that it has transformed the word 'suffused' for me.  Previously it was a word I would have used/thought seldom.  Now it's one of my favorite words.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wjp58 on January 13, 2006, 09:25:09 AM
Mary:

Thanks for clarifying that.  A small bit of my sanity restored.

And "suffused" really is a pretty good word.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Constans on January 13, 2006, 04:03:47 PM
I'm surprised how hard it has been for me to answer the initial question - I though it would be the story all the way.  Like several people in this thread, taking their cue from Khai, I regretted the downplaying of the physical side of their relationship in the second part of the film - they didn't even need to provide another sex scene, just some of the dialogue from the motel scene and the final meeting ('That's one a the two things i need right now') - loosing this seems needlessly coy.

Yet, I also remember moments in the film that pointed up things I had actually missed in the story, or else really wanted to know more about:  the scenes following Ennis's divorce, for example - an almost maddening throwaway line in the story in the film given the treatment it surely necessitated as one of the turning points in their relationship.  Then there are the tiny little images or cinematic moves - Jack cleaning himself and his clothes in preparation for what he hopes will be their second night together;  the wonderful scene when the 'perfect moment' flashback moved from the young Jack gazing adoringly  after the departing Ennis to the haunted and desperate face of the older Jack, watching Ennis leave in very different circumstances.  Heartrending.

So, I'm going for equal.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: patroclus on January 13, 2006, 04:53:22 PM
'what he knew and what he tried to believe' - I just read that as sheer grief. He knew Jack was dead, it was over... but kept luxuriating in the feelings and fantasies and dreams of him being still with him, like in the first paragraph - 'suffused with pleasure'. Like anyone bereaved...

That's how I understood that part of the end
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: bbbmedia on January 17, 2006, 05:02:21 PM
I voted for the book for 2 reasons

1) I know how to read

2) I absolutely hated Cassie. In the story, Ennis has one line about "putting the blocks" on some woman. The movie inflates that one line into 3 scenes that slow down the story and add nothing to our knowledge about Ennis

INMOHO 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kappadappa on January 17, 2006, 11:28:35 PM
Jack cleaning himself and his clothes in preparation for what he hopes will be their second night together

It's so interesting how people can view things in different ways.  To me, it seemed like he was trying to wash away his shame at what they had done.

On a side note, this is one scene that gives me a continuity problem.  How do his clothes dry so fast?  It's obviously chilly up there, as Jack shivers in the stream, so they can't dry very quickly.  Did I miss something?  I'm sure I could conjure up some justification in my mind, but it did bug me.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mary on January 17, 2006, 11:31:39 PM
On a side note, this is one scene that gives me a continuity problem.  How do his clothes dry so fast?  It's obviously chilly up there, as Jack shivers in the stream, so they can't dry very quickly.  Did I miss something?  I'm sure I could conjure up some justification in my mind, but it did bug me.

My take: It's the constant wind Annie writes about anf the long days of sunshine
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wjp58 on January 18, 2006, 07:50:57 AM
And the low humidity. ;)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: desperadum on January 18, 2006, 07:12:42 PM
I don't know if this has been discussed before, but there were a few differences in the story and the book that I found interesting. The smallest were the name changes - Francine to Jennifer, Bill to Monroe. Pretty insignificant. One thing that struck me, though, was the stronger sexual current in the story as it progressed. During one of their "fishing" forays, Jack opens a bottle of whiskey, takes a slug, and says something like "That's one of two things I need right about now." I don't have the book in front of me at this moment, but more significantly, on their last trip together, there's a scene where they're talking about their families, and as they do so they're touching each other - Jack puts his hands between Ennis's legs, Ennis unbuttons Jack's shirt - and ultimately they "roll into the dirt" at which point Proulx writes about the "brilliant charge" of their infrequent couplings being accompanied by the spectre of time flying by. The time passage is achieved by the river rushing past, in several of these scenes, but I'm wondering if the filmmakers' choice not to emphasize the purely sexual aspect of their relationship after the hotel scene (other than a couple of references by Jack)was an artistic one, or if they (the writers, Ang Lee) felt they'd done that, and that anything further would be superluous and/or make the film less palatable for wider audiences. Has this come up in any interviews or any other material out there I might not have read?
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: anzacbat on January 18, 2006, 08:24:11 PM
I just purchased the audiobook from ITunes - read by Campbell Scott.  So far, its pretty nicely read.  Some rather immature reviews on their feedback site, but I gather its probably from kids, as I think ITunes is geared to youngsters.  Or at least I hope they're from kids!  If you're interested, check it out on the ITunes website.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: daannzzz on January 19, 2006, 01:02:31 PM
After having seen the movie 3 times I purchased "Close Range" as I want to read the other stories as well. I read "Brokeback Mountain"  last night. I thought the film was better. Generally I prefer a novel of a movie as there is usually more to the story. Since this was a short story there was less to the story, though there were a few items in there that were not in the film. The story was much more spare than I expected in the way it is told though  there is lots going on and lots to think about. What I did like about the book was the motel scene. I really enjoyed that they talked a lot about it all at one time instead of spread out over the years but I can appreciate that McMurtry and Ossana were able to utilize that conversation the way they did. I think the thing that I found most fascinating was that, for me personally, Ennis in the short story is different. I liked that he seemed more talkative and a hair more open. I really liked that he acknowledged to himself, even though it took him a year to put it all together, what his feelings for Jack meant. I think he knew exactly what it meant and had accepted it, inside.I also appreciated the last sex scene they had in that it really did show how the passion had not died down whereas in the film it feels like the passion may have mellowed a bit. However I think the screenplay and direction and performace of by Heath Ledger in the film was the right way to go for the vision that Ang Lee had.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: crcj on January 21, 2006, 07:55:22 AM
I read the short story about a year ago.  It is a quick read, but was powerful.  I was emotionally very struck, but (like in the movie) the heart of the emotional hit comes in the closing sequences -- the postcard being returned, the phone call, the parents' ranch, the end.  It took me awhile to recover, and that (frankly) was the one thing that lingered most about the story.

I went to see the movie a week ago and was even more moved by seeing the visual representation.  I love to read, but visual cues are very powerful for me.  (I read an interview with Annie where she says she had finally managed to put Ennis and Jack to rest about 6 months after publishing the story in The New Yorker.  When they screened the movie for her, she said it all came rushing back and they were immediately back in her head in a powerful way.)  I have spent the past 9 days reeling a little and trying to understand my personal connection to the movie.

Last night, in preparation for a second viewing of the movie tonight, I re-read the story.  I was surprised by some of my reactions.  It was not as emotionally moving this time.  In the end, the story is a very direct telling of the most basic plot points from the movie.  The two storytelling mechanisms are very true to each other.  But (largely by requirement) the movie extrapolates a lot of the story.  The Cassie scenes are a line in the story.  Most of Jack's family life is drawn from small mentions in the story.  Jack driving to Wyoming after the divorce is sort of a one-line afterthought in the book.  The end of the story was still powerful, of course.  But I felt sort of like "okay, this is not quite how I reacted the first time."

I also had a very different reaction to the characters.  Ennis is more open and human in the story.  As people have pointed out elsewhere, he is more verbal in connecting with Jack.  When they are in the motel upon their reunion he tells him how much he missed Jack over the four years.  That he had sort of given up on ever seeing him again.  And most importantly, that he had taken a year to figure out that he "never should have let you out of my sight."  That may not have rang so true in the movie, but would have been a beautiful line of dialogue to include in the movie to help show how Ennis really did feel connected to Jack.

Jack was also less appealing to me in the story.  In the movie, Jake nails exactly how I want to think about Jack.  The subtle ways he tries to pry the lid off Ennis' resolve about being together.  The softer and more loveable ways he displays his emotions.  In the story, he is a bit more detached actually.  He has missed Ennis, but that has not kept him from sowing his oats all over.  He seems less a romantic character, and I got less a sense of his yearning for Ennis.

So, I love both, but will always find the movie version more in line with what I want the story to be.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: DaveL on January 21, 2006, 02:09:33 PM
bbbmedia, desperadum, I largely agree.  I know the screenwriters have "needs".  The Cassie episode arguably changes the entire sense of Ennis' character.  In the book it is suggested the "woman in Riverton" and the "rancher's wife" are among the " lies" they tell each other by the campfire the third night of the final trip.  The heavy stuff comes in the trailhead parking lot confrontation at the end of that trip, and all the pretense to heterosexual conquests and keeping up the macho front are abandoned.  I've argued before that both E and J are faithful to each other during the 17 years, and the references they make to "Mexico" are spoken, not for their truth, but to provoke each other and test the limits of the relationship.  At the  parting, she states, they "torqued things back to almost where they had been...Nothing ended, nothing begun, nothing resolved.....And maybe, he thought, they'd never got  much further than that. Let be. let be."

The insertion of "Cassie" and "Randall"  create distortion of the characters of E and J, and are not just "extra scenes".  In a sense I've felt they diminish or at least blur the characters of E and J in the book.

And of course the film's ending is much "happier" than the book's.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Scott88 on January 21, 2006, 02:43:34 PM
Quote
The insertion of "Cassie" and "Randall"  create distortion of the characters of E and J, and are not just "extra scenes".

I would beg to differ and argue the screenplay's treatment is fully consistent with the story.  IMHO, they are distortions only if one subscribes to a reading of the text that necessitates some very improbable conclusions.  For instance, one would have to believe in the remarkable coincedence of both Jack and Jack's father, separately and at different points, "lying" about an affair with a ranch neighbor.  I simply don't buy that, nor do think Annie would expect us to.  The congruence of their stories is her way of confirming the truth the the story.

What Annie was getting at with the mention of these other affairs was the notion that Jack and Ennis were attempting to either cope with the unsatisfactory nature of their arrangement -- the pain, desperation and longing of being away from each other for 50 weeks of the year -- or, in Jack's case, potentially attempting to move on after so much heartache and disappointment.  This doesn't take away from their deep love in the slightest, as the final confrontation makes clear that their entire lives have revolved around each other.  They are spiritually and emotionally intertwined, despite the difficulties that life has imposed upon them. 

To make all of these other affairs "lies" would essentially gut Jack's speech to Ennis, where he lays his heart bare about how his love & longing for Ennis has caused him so much heartbreak and pain, and why it's led him to do things in spite of himself to abate the pain and loneliness.

IMO, the fact that Annie Proulx has given her whole-hearted approval of the film suggests that she felt the filmmakers faithfully adapted her story to the screen.  She may have minor quibbles, of course, but from interviews I've gotten the sense that she feels the basic elements of the story have been translated in a manner that she feels is respectful to her novella.

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Jakeforever on January 23, 2006, 05:47:34 AM
In the book, Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar were really rather dull guys, and their family lives, when they were in the movie's flatlands (which was most of the time), were drearily miserable in predictable ways. Proulx merely touched contrastingly on that aspect of their existence and kept the focus on their increasingly tormented romance. She was a realist, not much interested in the glories of mountainous landscapes.

Ang Lee, on the other hand, is a romantic, and his realizations of the high country where the cowboys meet and fall in love have a transformative effect on the story. He makes you really believe those rough guys might just possibly achieve passion and tenderness in those breathtaking locales...

The book was better because of Proulx's simple, almost distant manner in which she proclaims the opinion that misfortune is not the exclusive concern of the affected.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wjp58 on January 23, 2006, 08:53:15 AM
Jakeforever --

I voted for "equal", partly because the two have become fused in my mind, but I agree with you about the romanticism.  I think of the "second night in the tent" scene.  Annie had no "second night" per se.  Just "they both knew how it would be from then on ..." (not necessarily quoting verbatim here).  More realistic for two 19-year olds.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: patroclus on January 23, 2006, 04:51:55 PM


And the last couple of paragraphs in the book get me everytime - "the pillow sometimes wet, sometimes the sheets." and "but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it." Technically brilliant writing (look at the positioning of those "sometimes") and emotionally gut wrenching.

Thanks for this. I've just noticed what Annie P says about what the relationship gave to Ennis 'the old sense of joy and release'. She's referring here to the sex between them. And that is really startling, putting 'joy and release' into the same sentence at Ennis! I don't think the movie really shows us this about the relationship because it won't follow through on the sexual passion. They end up a sort of good pals, not lovers. The movie only really shows us Ennis's joy in the reunion scene and maybe the motel. Thanks for making me re-read the end to see this for the first time.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: trcarr on January 23, 2006, 09:00:48 PM
Film or Book -- which was better?  Always a tough question when comparing two things that attain excellence within their own totally different realms.

It's rather like being forced to choose between Mozart or Monet;  Frank Lloyd Wright vs. Maria Callas; a perfect diamond or a gorgeous sunset.

So I dodged this (fanciful but meaningless) comparison and voted for an emphatic EQUAL.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on January 23, 2006, 11:56:53 PM
And the last couple of paragraphs in the book get me everytime - "the pillow sometimes wet, sometimes the sheets." and "but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it." Technically brilliant writing (look at the positioning of those "sometimes") [...]
The writing is just sheer pleasure, page after page.    Another example -- after waiting all day for his old friend, Ennis gets his first look at Jack in four years, and "A hot jolt scalded Ennis."  "Hot Jolt."  Like a pair of hard heartbeats in double-time.  Proulx is just a master.

Quote
[...] and emotionally gut wrenching.

She doesn't manipulate us or get maudlin, but she doesn't pull any punches either.

Dal
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Chance on January 24, 2006, 07:12:28 AM
The majesty of Annie Prouix's measured words has been equalled by the vision that Ang Lee brought to it.
One feeds into the other. Much thanks to McMurtry and Osanna who maintained the true quality of Ms Prouix's writing but expanded upon it to make the story move across the screen.

I have read the story half a dozen times. And seen the movie on 3 occasions.  Each journey to each space - book or theatre - paragraph or page - have become integrated. So that when I see the film, I think of Ms Prouix's words about the motel room that " stank of semen and smoke and sweat and whiskey, of old carpet and sour hay, saddle leather, shit and cheap soap."

And when I see Ennis in the film - at last alone with the Brokeback Mountain postcard and his beloved's shirt mingled with his, I hear within me the lines from the printed page, "Around that time Jack began to appear in his dreams, Jack as he had first seen him, curly-headed and smiling and bucktoothed, talking about getting up off his pockets and into the control zone, but the can of beans with the spoon handle jutting out and balanced on the log was there as well, in a cartoon shape and lurid colors that gave the dreams a flavor of comic obscenity. The spoon handle was the kind that could be used as a tire iron. And he would wake sometimes in grief, sometimes with the old sense of joy and release; the pillow sometimes wet, sometimes the sheets."

Both are brilliant. Film & Movie. It's a tie.


Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: helen_uk on January 24, 2006, 08:34:49 AM
Have to say the story left me completely unmoved, so the movie wins out for me.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kappadappa on January 24, 2006, 09:35:30 AM
The majesty of Annie Prouix's measured words has been equalled by the vision that Ang Lee brought to it.
One feeds into the other. Much thanks to McMurtry and Osanna who maintained the true quality of Ms Prouix's writing but expanded upon it to make the story move across the screen.

I have read the story half a dozen times. And seen the movie on 3 occasions.  Each journey to each space - book or theatre - paragraph or page - have become integrated. So that when I see the film, I think of Ms Prouix's words about the motel room that " stank of semen and smoke and sweat and whiskey, of old carpet and sour hay, saddle leather, shit and cheap soap."

And when I see Ennis in the film - at last alone with the Brokeback Mountain postcard and his beloved's shirt mingled with his, I hear within me the lines from the printed page, "Around that time Jack began to appear in his dreams, Jack as he had first seen him, curly-headed and smiling and bucktoothed, talking about getting up off his pockets and into the control zone, but the can of beans with the spoon handle jutting out and balanced on the log was there as well, in a cartoon shape and lurid colors that gave the dreams a flavor of comic obscenity. The spoon handle was the kind that could be used as a tire iron. And he would wake sometimes in grief, sometimes with the old sense of joy and release; the pillow sometimes wet, sometimes the sheets."

Both are brilliant. Film & Movie. It's a tie.

I couldn't have said it better myself.  I completely agree.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lola on January 24, 2006, 11:42:16 AM
http://pviktor.co.uk/p_viktor_/files/brokeback_mountain.pdf

Sorry I just read that and it left me totally cold!   :-\
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: garyd on January 24, 2006, 12:27:19 PM
I believe the film is truly a masterpiece with not one false scene and incredibly faithful to the short story.  It is absolutely a triumph as a cinematic adaptation of a literary masterwork.  That being said, I do question the artistic choice of Mr. McMurtry and Ms. Ossana to exclude the prologue and, in its place, write the final Alma Jr./Ennis scene.  The prologue is so important to the story in that it leaves no ambiguity as to the fate of Ennis.  He is much older, his hair has gone gray, (everywhere), he is surely clinically depressed, disheveled, urinates in the sink, warms up yesterday's coffee.  He is alone, wasting away, working at deadend jobs in an industry that is also slowly wasting away.
He has no plans for the future except to go live with Alma until he can find another job. His sole source of pleasure are the memories of his time with Jack and even those memories are only pleasurable because he has taught himself to keep them on the periphery of his consciousness. He knows that if he focuses on more than just a "panel" of those memories, the "suffusion" of pleasure will be washed away by the torment and anguish that those memories also contain.  This is how he has managed to "stand it" for all these years.
 Furthermore, the Alma Jr. scene does not satisfactorily resonate with the last lines of the short story.  The "openness" between what he knows and what he tries to believe is so important to understanding the tragedy of the story.  Ennis "knows" that he and Jack could never have created a life together.  He can give one piece of evidence after another of how impossible that would have been.  He knows that they could only exist up on Brokeback high above the eagles, the crawling car lights and the tame ranch dogs.  On the other hand, he tries desperately to believe that, if given a second chance, he swears he would have at least tried to create that life.  It might not have been as Jack described but it could not have been worse than the living hell he is now forced to endure.  That second chance, however, is just a dream, a broken dream which he is not able to fix.   Brokeback and the bigotry of the society in which they lived got them both good.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kappadappa on January 24, 2006, 01:28:07 PM
I do question the artistic choice of Mr. McMurtry and Ms. Ossana to exclude the prologue and, in its place, write the final Alma Jr./Ennis scene.

Two things here -

First, when the story was originally printed in the New Yorker, the prologue was not included.  I'm not sure why that choice was made, but it does go to show that the story still holds up without it.

Second, the prologue is crushingly beautiful on the page, but to transform it to film would be impossible.  Film lets us see people's actions and the emotions in their eyes, but not subtleties like focusing on a panel of a dream so that it does not stoke the day.  We would be left with a vision of a depressed disheveled man shuffling around and urinating in a sink, but his actions would not resonate because film can't show us his mind.  Granted, there could be a voice over or some similar device, but I can't even imagine how out of place that would seem.


I'm not sure how I feel about the Alma scene.  Part of me loves it because it allows Ennis some slight redemption in that he has learned that he needs to make time for the people most important to him.  And Alma's romance at 19 echoes Ennis's romance with Jack at 19.  But I'm not sure I fully embrace it.  It does seem a tiny bit "Hollywood."  But in the end, I'm leaning toward liking it.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: garyd on January 24, 2006, 01:36:42 PM
Kappadappa, Yes it would have been difficult.  Perhaps as the first scene with the rest of the movie as a flashback.  I don't know, I certainly do not pretend to be a screen writer.  I too, enjoy the Alma scene.  It is almost a must since the decision was made to flesh out the stories of the wives and children.  I do believe, however, that it suggests much more optimism than the story and, therefore, dilutes the tragedy in that it gives the impression that Ennis might be able to change on his own when, in fact, society as a whole must change or we will continue to tragically marginalize the Enis'/Jack's of the world. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: garyd on January 24, 2006, 06:53:22 PM
Kappadappa, I don't know.  You really need to read some of these posts regarding Ennis and what some postulate happens to him. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kappadappa on January 24, 2006, 07:34:13 PM
Kappadappa, I don't know.  You really need to read some of these posts regarding Ennis and what some postulate happens to him. 

I don't understand what you're referring to here...  ???
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: garyd on January 24, 2006, 07:46:33 PM
 Sorry,it goes back to our discussion concerning the  Alma scene and the  prologue.  I really think the movie ending leaves the viewer with a different impression than the story.  The movie allows, it appears from so many posts, that Ennis had grown to the extent that he was going to be able to have relationships or actually function in some hopeful way.  The story makes it clear, in my opinion, that the society in which he and Jack existed crushed both of them.  Somehow the movie makes some think that this was Enis' problem and that he should have been able to overcome it.  It comes accross as a love story with a  bittersweet ending rather than a tragedy of rather epic proportions. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: adamblast on January 24, 2006, 08:14:46 PM
I sorely missed having the postcard-buying scene.  But I suppose the family, having been fleshed out in the film, needed to have another scene to close out things, and it wouldn't have worked to drag things out further with both scenes following the discovery of the shirts.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kappadappa on January 24, 2006, 08:18:36 PM
Sorry,it goes back to our discussion concerning the  Alma scene and the  prologue.  I really think the movie ending leaves the viewer with a different impression than the story.  The movie allows, it appears from so many posts, that Ennis had grown to the extent that he was going to be able to have relationships or actually function in some hopeful way.  The story makes it clear, in my opinion, that the society in which he and Jack existed crushed both of them.  Somehow the movie makes some think that this was Enis' problem and that he should have been able to overcome it.  It comes accross as a love story with a  bittersweet ending rather than a tragedy of rather epic proportions. 

Gotcha.

But I didn't get that from the film ending at all.  I got that Ennis was forever crushed, in both the film and the book.

I agree that the film allows for a touch of redemption, as is the Hollywood way.  It gives the viewer an out.  But it depends on the viewer to take or not take that out.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: garyd on January 24, 2006, 08:32:26 PM
Yes, I understand your point and really do think it is thoughtful and well considered.   Still, I think it is interesting that Ms.Ossana and Mr. McMurtry went in that direction.  I can say with , well, I don't think it was the studio that demanded it.  Furthermore it opened up all this stuff about the symbolism of the the number 17 and so much other goofiness.  I think it dilutes the message that we as a society need to do all we can not to allow the marginalization of any minority.  Just read some of these very dramatic posts demonstrating the depths to which that marginalization still exists.  We straights so often say it is a new world, be yourself, come on out.  It appears we are deluding ourselves. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Chance on January 25, 2006, 04:20:50 AM
This is no love story with a bittersweet ending. This IS a tragedy of epic proportions- both in print and on screen. Which will leave Ennis incapable of moving one inch forward in his life. The postcard, the shirts - remind of what was. And his mind will fill with pictures of what could have been - even if only in secret.  And he will mourn forever the loss of his true love. And will be tantalized and then disappointed by his dreams. Dreaming the old curly-headed Jack of years gone by only to wake to the stark and bitter reality of what has taken place. And the emptiness that lies ahead.


Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Jakeforever on January 25, 2006, 04:59:45 AM
I keep wanting to contact Ennis and see how he's doing...
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: happycamper on January 25, 2006, 06:43:54 AM
I sorely missed having the postcard-buying scene.  But I suppose the family, having been fleshed out in the film, needed to have another scene to close out things, and it wouldn't have worked to drag things out further with both scenes following the discovery of the shirts.
I had wondered if the postcard at the end was the pre-reunion postcard that Jack sent Ennis and if Ennis had saved it all of those years. (The romantic in me wanted to think that.) But it wasn't. I wonder if it was the deceased postcard that came back, or if it was an actual postcard of Brokeback that Ennis went out and bought, like in the story.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wjp58 on January 25, 2006, 07:41:49 AM
This is no love story with a bittersweet ending. This IS a tragedy of epic proportions- both in print and on screen. Which will leave Ennis incapable of moving one inch forward in his life. The postcard, the shirts - remind of what was. And his mind will fill with pictures of what could have been - even if only in secret.  And he will mourn forever the loss of his true love. And will be tantalized and then disappointed by his dreams. Dreaming the old curly-headed Jack of years gone by only to wake to the stark and bitter reality of what has taken place. And the emptiness that lies ahead.




But remember, he will also be "suffused with a sense of pleasure."

The prologue makes me feel much better about Ennis's future.  Maybe not a great future by our standards, but then he wasn't the dreamer.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Chance on January 25, 2006, 08:57:50 AM


You left out a few important words that follow "suffused with a sense of pleasure"...and they are " because Jack Twist was in his dream." And at the end of the story Ms Proulx writes  that these are dreams from which "he would wake sometimes in grief, sometimes with the old sense of joy and release; the pillow sometimes wet, sometimes the sheets."

But these were dreams. It took mountains to get him to share his secret life with Jack Twist.  Do you think for a moment
he would chance this ever again?  Only in his dreams. And that's the tragedy.


Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: dementedness on January 25, 2006, 09:01:59 AM
hi! i haven't seen the film yet ... i'm still waiting for the film to be shown here in the Philippines. I wish that it will be shown here soon.

So sad ...

at least I've read the book ... it's great.

i'm dying to see the movie. i'm excited... unless, our country's conservative media regulatory board will prohibit the movie from screening here .. i wish not ...

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wjp58 on January 25, 2006, 10:19:51 AM


You left out a few important words that follow "suffused with a sense of pleasure"...and they are " because Jack Twist was in his dream." And at the end of the story Ms Proulx writes  that these are dreams from which "he would wake sometimes in grief, sometimes with the old sense of joy and release; the pillow sometimes wet, sometimes the sheets."

But these were dreams. It took mountains to get him to share his secret life with Jack Twist.  Do you think for a moment
he would chance this ever again?  Only in his dreams. And that's the tragedy.




Chronologically, the prologue scene comes last.  I interpreted it to mean that Ennis had gotten over the "grief" part, partly by controlling in his mind the sliding of the panels of the dream.  No, he wouldn't chance it again.  Plus, he swore to Jack.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jack on January 26, 2006, 02:25:51 AM
http://pviktor.co.uk/p_viktor_/files/brokeback_mountain.pdf

Sorry I just read that and it left me totally cold!   :-\
i think, lola, that may be why you come at some perceptions at a different angle than some of us.  it is really a quite different story on that screen with a lot more gaps to fill from your private self.  the movie and the story are quite inntegrated in my mind.  i also happen to be more a word person than an image person in general. 

and the sex was a lot hotter in the story.     
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jack on January 26, 2006, 02:31:12 AM
I keep wanting to contact Ennis and see how he's doing...

jake

i'm doing okay, now that i got off the sauce and started connecting to people who didn't ask me to change too fast.  and this internet thing is cool.  maybe i can find something i thought was lost forever this way.  thanks for thinking of me.

jack, <speaking in his ennis voice>
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: vertimus on January 26, 2006, 07:26:19 PM
I admit that I wasn't too impressed with the story. The screenplay and film are remarkable (and not the same entities), but the story left me cold. I know many people all over the world were deeply touched by the story itself, but for me it felt forced, flat, 'folksy in a bad way,' and artificial.

I'm simply not a fan of that kind of 'emotionally repressed on purpose' style of writing, which I think Hemingay set the standard for it. It's the high-WASP style of fiction writing, in which emotional repression is equated with good taste, the best taste, the 'only kind worth having.'  It would have been one thing for the author to allow the characters to be emotionally repressed, but I felt she was imposing that seem repression on her creation, but falsely so. Or just ineffectively.

However, I'm glad it's touched so many people and I'm glad it was created in the first place. For me, it was a case of, 'From little acorns grow...."

Peace.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Caroline on January 26, 2006, 08:49:14 PM
Good evening everyone!!
SOmeone mentioned about passing 1000 registered users in the next day or so... I am so thrilled to tell you that we passed thatmark this evening!!! We are now over one thousand in our community here in the board. It will get and busier if the "media" paying attention to us (See Impact thread) is any indication. We all need to be patient with new posters 'cause they have not had the same opportunity to "analyse" as us older posters have...

and I would like to put forward, again, a gentle reminder to all posters that when "replying" to a quote,,,, please please edit the quotes as much as possible to keep down the amount of space taken up by reposting requotes... When posting to a reply on the same page, most of us can figure out what the reply is in response to.. of course, when quoting something from a while ago, by all means quote, BUT edit, if you can, while still keeping the context of what you are responding to .. to a minimum. There is nothing so daunting as seeing 237, 238, .....300 (just exagerating here) but the space taken up can be kept to a minimum, without interfering with your post.... my thanks on behalf of all the mods, Dave, Greg and Meli.....
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Kealiikoa on January 30, 2006, 12:41:16 AM
If any of you would like me to send you the digits to BBM, drop me an email to fbelen@juno.com

I have a Word doc version and PDF version.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: 13ICried13 on January 30, 2006, 01:25:22 AM
Does anyone know where I could read the short story online? If so then please send me a message with a link! Thanks!  ;D
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: patroclus on January 30, 2006, 04:47:53 PM
Does anyone know where I could read the short story online? If so then please send me a message with a link! Thanks!  ;D

you can find it at: http://www.wesjones.com/brokeback.htm

someone reminded us on here that Annie Proulx really should be getting the royalties for creating it so if you like it's probably best to go out and buy the book of stories, Close Range, it comes from. If you can track down a copy - much in demand!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: MuscLA_1 on January 30, 2006, 06:36:48 PM
Back in late 1997, I was in a doctor's waiting room.  I was early and he was running behind, and I had a LONGASS wait.

Groaning, I pick up the New Yorker, which I never read in a waiting room because the articles and stories are just too damned long.

I note a story by Annie Proulx.  I'd gotten through "The Shipping News," my mom sent it to me, and we'd both had the same reaction.  "Not very good, who ARE these people?" but we'd both finished it.

So, here I am, trying to kill time by reading a longish story by an author I don't like in a magazine I don't like.

I know NOTHING about it.  I'm reading, thinking how beatiful the descriptions of the scenery are, and how lonely the two men are, and it's getting more interesting.

Then WHAM, Ennis is doing Jack in the tent and it just got a WHOLE hell of a lot more interesting.

Sayless to need, at this point it had my attention.  I finished the story in a rush, and when they called me, I'd been reduced to a puddle of tears.  The doctor came out, said "What's wrong?" saw me put down the New Yorker and says "Ah.  "Brokeback Mountain."  Third one this week."

I remained interested, and got "Close Range" when it came out.  I REALLY liked the addition of the prologue, especially the part about Jack appearing to him in a dream.  That got me crying all over again.

I'd always thought it would make a killer movie, "but that will never happen."  I remember thinking that Gus Van Sandt was WRONG for the movie, I just don't like his touch, and when I heard Ang Lee, Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger I let out a "Yee HA!"  Heath had sold me in his small, but powerful performance in "Monster's Ball," and I LOVE Ang Lee.  JG was a bit more of a dark horse.

I bit my nails until production was finished, knowing that this movie was so fragile that ANY serious delay would probably kill it.  Then about 6 more months till December 9th (thank God I live in LA).

So, after over 8 years of anticipation, I'm in a state of disbelief on 12/10/05 when the lights went down after way too many trailers.

OH MY GOD, IT'S ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

That disbelief that it was actually happening lead to disbelief at how good this damned film actually WAS.  I had thought that Heath Ledger would be good, but what I got was a towering, career-defining performance as good as Daniel Day Lewis' in "My Left Foot."  The additions necessary in turning a 29 page story into a feature film felt nothing other than organic, and the addition of the scene with Alma Junior planning her wedding was a masterstroke, giving Ennis even one tiny chance for redemption took just enough of the bleakness off of the film.  Glorious cinematography, great dialogue, and that "I've been kicked in the guts" emotional reaction that I got from reading the story.

The one thing that UNDERWHELMED me was JG.  I thought he was solid, but not great.

Repeat viewings have changed that view.  Jake was GREAT as Jack Twist, it was just a different take completely than I'd pictured him (and apparently as Proulx had pictured him as well).  Ledger was uber-Ennis, wringing every shred of emotion out of the text, but Jake seemed to have created something nuanced and fresh and alive.

Finally, I rated the story and the film as equals.  My one conclusion is that this is, by far, the best adaptation of any source material into a film, ever, by anyone.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: chris04seattle on February 01, 2006, 02:53:37 PM

Repeat viewings have changed that view.  Jake was GREAT as Jack Twist, it was just a different take completely than I'd pictured him (and apparently as Proulx had pictured him as well).  Ledger was uber-Ennis, wringing every shred of emotion out of the text, but Jake seemed to have created something nuanced and fresh and alive.

Finally, I rated the story and the film as equals.  My one conclusion is that this is, by far, the best adaptation of any source material into a film, ever, by anyone.

I quite agree with you MuscLA_1

It wasn't until I saw Jake the second time that I felt his powerful presence and acting in the film. 
I think all the other stuff kinda overwhelmed me.

I too rated the book & film equals since both moved me in much the same way and sure its great to visually see this story
but the actual short story holds up on its own.

Love um both  :-*
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: PALeben on February 01, 2006, 02:54:19 PM
This is my first time posting after visiting the site many times. I read the story when it first came out and it always moves me when I read it. I looked forwrd to the movie, but with a bit of apprehension. How could they possibly carry it out and do a good job while conveying the story line and emotions of the story. Although they are different in some ways, I think they did just that. I think of the movie and story as companion pieces that complement and in some ways complete each other, while forcing you to think and question even more.

I do want to comment on one posting questioned the Cassie scene and the scene with the ranch foreman. When I first read of the scenes I wondered about how they would fit into the story. After seeing the film I think that they are important. The scenes with Cassie let us know that Ennis is still trying to appear normal to the outside world. The last scene with Cassie after he had the confrontation with Jack shows that he has learned something and he is breaking it off, perhaps in part to spare her the pain he caused Alma. Watch his face and listen to his words.

As for the scene with Randall, we see Jack being cruised and offered an opening, but again, watch his face closely and listen to his words. I believe he is showing disinterest. He may have sex away from Ennis, but he isn't about to get into anything that could turn into another relationship. Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but I was intrigued and after six viewings that is the conclusion I have reached. So those scenes are, perhaps, important to the film.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: chris04seattle on February 01, 2006, 03:01:28 PM
This is my first time posting after visiting the site many times.

I do want to comment on one posting questioned the Cassie scene and the scene with the ranch foreman ...

As for the scene with Randall ...

welcome PALeben  ;D

be sure to check out the other postings that deal with specific scenes.
You should really enjoy them as much detail and ideas are expressed there and you may want to add something.

this site is exploding and I can barely keep up with all the new additions ...
explore it and enjoy   :)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: tmccoydc on February 03, 2006, 11:58:59 AM
My name is Tim...and I'm a Brokaholic.  I'll just leave it at that.  First time logging on here; first time posting anything on this site.

Regarding the discussion of the poll, Film vs. Book, Annie Proulx's essay, "Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screenplay", is absolutely amazing, with all sorts of insight about her thinking as she wrote the short story and her subsequent reflections on it, including the making of the movie.  Highly recommened read..and one that can easily be forwarded to fellow Brokaholics.

The essay is on the website of the Australian newspaper The Age at http://www.theage.com.au/news/film/more-powerful-than-my-words/2006/02/03/1138836410496.html?page=fullpage#
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: alma on February 03, 2006, 08:05:17 PM
Adding my vote that I love them equally but in different ways. The movie enabled me to move past my imagination and into the realm of real humans - touching caressing, kissing... two men. I could have read this and not seen it in my mind. Seeing it with my eyes was so different. So right and confrontational and emotional and spell-casting.

The book, though, is what I call a perfect short story. Every element is there (I teach writing and my husband is a literature professor). I have listened to it now six times and each time am blown away at how deftly Proulx uses every inch of the material to engage our symapthy, our anger, our interest... how she maximizes all that can be gotten from the setting to give us the narrative and emotional temperature of each scene.

What I love most is the way AP opens the story with the whole story in one paragraph. That's what great short story writers do. She is right in line with Eudora Welty or Flannery O'Connor here...  her characters (so vidily drawn) and the plot (so carefully constructed) have become living people for me, not just well drawn characters. And actually, that leads me back to the film. The actors have done their jobs so well as to make the book and film indistinguishable from each other in how they engage me and sustain my interest.

Brilliant writing.

Genius film making.

I always feel privileged to be around such great art.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jack on February 05, 2006, 08:27:52 AM
and i  bet great art appreciates a a well reasoned appreciation right back, alma.

jack
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ImEnnisShesJack on February 05, 2006, 10:34:50 AM

Repeat viewings have changed that view.  Jake was GREAT as Jack Twist, it was just a different take completely than I'd pictured him (and apparently as Proulx had pictured him as well).  Ledger was uber-Ennis, wringing every shred of emotion out of the text, but Jake seemed to have created something nuanced and fresh and alive.Finally, I rated the story and the film as equals.  My one conclusion is that this is, by far, the best adaptation of any source material into a film, ever, by anyone.

It wasn't until I saw Jake the second time that I felt his powerful presence and acting in the film. 
I think all the other stuff kinda overwhelmed me.  I too rated the book & film equals since both moved me in much the same way and sure its great to visually see this story but the actual short story holds up on its own.

took me two or three viewings of BBM to appreciate Jake's performance, and I like Jake.  At first I still saw all arms and legs and goofy eyebrows. too Bubble Boy - with better hair.  Then I watched a couple of fan movies showcasing Jake and BBM.  Many of Jake's scenes were played in slow motion so you could actually see the subtlety of his performance - a change in posture, a change in facial expression.  Jake is a very physical actor and I had not appreciated that until these fanflicks.  Now I'm behind him all the way for the Oscar.  I still think Heath's performance was outstanding, but in retrospect, I feel that Jake had the harder job of emoting.  He had to create the illusion of hope and possibility and love and willingness in Jack's character.  Amazing.

And I have put the book and film on equal level though I found the film first (trailer) and bought the book before I saw the film.  I have never been a big fan of the sparsely written short story, but I love the messages and the blunt, straightforward way AP tells this story.  It is through its spare words that the emotions are squeezed out of it.

I may go see it again today...
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: helen_uk on February 05, 2006, 02:34:43 PM
I wanted to go back and read the story again, but the two links on this thread have gone now...does anyone have another link that is still active?  Thanks.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Tell you what... on February 06, 2006, 12:02:44 AM
www.10percent.com has this on their site!!   April 4th!!!
(http://usera.imagecave.com/grdens/Jake/bbm-dvd01.jpg)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Tell you what... on February 06, 2006, 12:09:19 AM
I wanted to go back and read the story again, but the two links on this thread have gone now...does anyone have another link that is still active?  Thanks.

Tell you what...Go to http://community.livejournal.com/wranglers/

It says READ THE STORY up in the top Header.  You can read it there.   Gary

Also look for a story by Madlori called Human Interest.  Really good Fan Fiction about Jand E!!  15 chapters and counting...
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ehjj on February 06, 2006, 05:20:58 AM


You left out a few important words that follow "suffused with a sense of pleasure"...and they are " because Jack Twist was in his dream." And at the end of the story Ms Proulx writes  that these are dreams from which "he would wake sometimes in grief, sometimes with the old sense of joy and release; the pillow sometimes wet, sometimes the sheets."



I think the above quote from Annie is just beautiful, and a *perfect* sentence.  I had to choose the book.  First, because I read it before I saw the movie, and it's usually hard for a movie to live up to a favorite book, for me.  Secondly, and I hope this isn't blasphemy on here (<g>), but I *liked* the Ennis in the book better.  He didn't seem quite as miserable all through his life (but that didn't diminish the tragedy of what happens), and I liked that he was more communicative (e.g.,he told Jack how he felt about him in the motel after their reunion - the line about 'wringing it out').

Also, if I were truly honest, I'd have to admit that a good part of why I love the movie so much is seeing these two very beautiful, talented actors together.  Truthfully, if the actors really fit the descriptions of the characters in the book ("cave chested", "bucktoothed", etc.), I wouldn't have enjoyed the film nearly as much.  I think that although that does reflect shallowness on my part (and I hate myself for it <g>, but looking at beautiful people is one reason we go to movies, isn't it?), it also reflects the fact that the movie, though incredibly moving, isn't perfect.  I think it's just slightly slower/longer than it needs to be, for one thing. And I think that in pumping up the women's stories to appeal more to straight audiences, it lost some of the power of the sharper focus of the short story.  So, to me, the movie is wonderful, but the short story is perfect.  JMHO
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: helen_uk on February 06, 2006, 05:54:04 AM
I wanted to go back and read the story again, but the two links on this thread have gone now...does anyone have another link that is still active?  Thanks.

Tell you what...Go to http://community.livejournal.com/wranglers/

It says READ THE STORY up in the top Header.  You can read it there.   Gary

Also look for a story by Madlori called Human Interest.  Really good Fan Fiction about Jand E!!  15 chapters and counting...

Ooops - I'm in that community and never noticed there was a link to the story! Duh!  Thanks for pointing it out!  :D

I'm not too keen on that particular story, although it's well written.  There are parts about it that I enjoy, but feel that it has now crossed the line into deep deep fantasy.  Bobby suicide?  Jack/Lureen shagging? Uh uh.  *shakes head*  I preferred the more everyday stuff they were doing.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: alma on February 06, 2006, 06:22:21 AM
I think it's just slightly slower/longer than it needs to be, for one thing. And I think that in pumping up the women's stories to appeal more to straight audiences, it lost some of the power of the sharper focus of the short story.  So, to me, the movie is wonderful, but the short story is perfect.  JMHO

You know, one of the reasons that I thought the book was stronger than the film was the fact that Ennis and Jack were so ordinary llooking (especially the image of the older Ennis in the prologue). It just made the whole thing so real  - these were people who you wouldn't give a second glance to in the street and yet they shared this incredible passion.

I agree that the short story is perfect. It also gives you a much better sense of the developing relationship before the first night in the tent. I love when Ennis can't remember ever having had such a "high time" in his life and that he felt he could "paw the white out of the moon." This is missing for me in the movie.

I love having both in my head when I watcvh the movie now.

And I agree that the ordinariness of the looks of the characters is an advantage in the story and would have been a disadvantage in the film.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: PALeben on February 06, 2006, 01:02:57 PM
I also thought that the Ennis in the story is not quite as miserable, but after seeing the film several times I really started to notice that Ennis has his happy moments too. Watch when he smiles - and not just with Jack. There are times throughout the film where he seems to have some happiness.

Jake also does a wonderful job at playing Jack. I think both of them really got into the characters' skins and deserve great credit for it. I don't think either will be rewarded for their performances though.

And I stand by my previous remarks that both the film and story are great. They complement and complete each other as do Jack and Ennis.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Pierre on February 07, 2006, 11:29:28 AM
www.10percent.com has this on their site!!   April 4th!!!
(http://usera.imagecave.com/grdens/Jake/bbm-dvd01.jpg)

This would be poor judgement for Focus. Way too soon and would cut it's theater run shorter then necessary.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ToolPackinMama on February 07, 2006, 01:57:00 PM
I read the original story, and saw the movie (not in that order).  I think the movie is much better, and more important.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mary on February 07, 2006, 10:06:10 PM
took me two or three viewings of BBM to appreciate Jake's performance, and I like Jake.  At first I still saw all arms and legs and goofy eyebrows. too Bubble Boy - with better hair.  Then I watched a couple of fan movies showcasing Jake and BBM.  Many of Jake's scenes were played in slow motion so you could actually see the subtlety of his performance - a change in posture, a change in facial expression.  Jake is a very physical actor and I had not appreciated that until these fanflicks.  Now I'm behind him all the way for the Oscar.  I still think Heath's performance was outstanding, but in retrospect, I feel that Jake had the harder job of emoting.  He had to create the illusion of hope and possibility and love and willingness in Jack's character.  Amazing.

It took me a couple of viewings to appreciate Jake as well (and I had no idea who he was going into this film) and I love his performance but I still have to say that Heath as Ennis is the most amazing performance I have ever seen - to this day I still cannot fathom that it's Heath Ledger on the
screen - it's Ennis.  Amazing  OK maybe that belongs in the Heath thread  :)

But to get back on topic: Still have to say for me the book is ahead by a bit but I am have more and more troubel seperating the tow in my head - thery are so entwined in my head sometimes I can't recall which is which (and I've lent out my last copy of the book)


Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: maturben on February 09, 2006, 04:41:58 PM
Evenin', folks---I vote for equally good.  I mean after all we are comparing the written word and film.  The Scribner ppb of BBM story to screenplay has essays by Proulx, McMurtry, and Ossana.  If you haven't read them, you should.  Damn, even some of their comments made me tear up.
 
PS  some of my friends are muttering about staging an intervention for me re BBM.  To hell with 'em, I say.  These are the same ones telling me they've seen the movie more than once or want to go with me to see it again because I have "studied" it more. Thanks to all of you on this forum for providing me with the textbook.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: alma on February 12, 2006, 04:11:27 PM
Has anyone noticed the fact that Jack had been on the mountain once and this was Ennis's first time? I do think this points to Ennis being the virgin (in more ways than sexually - even in how to handle someone like Aguirre and his unreasonable demands - metaphor for the unreasonable demands of society) and Jack being the one with experience that guides him (including his greater self-awareness of being attracted to a man).

What do you think?
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: maturben on February 12, 2006, 06:35:21 PM
alma---good points!!  Even more to think about :)  Egads, my head she is shhpinning!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: downloaded1 on February 12, 2006, 08:25:17 PM
I have read the short story.
I have read the screenplay.
I have seen the movie .....uh, ....LOTS.
I think I would choose the movie as the most powerful. The visuals of it all really adds to the impact you feel.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Marge_Innavera on February 13, 2006, 06:57:28 AM
I liked the story; but the film had an element of sensuality that it lacked. And IMO the ending had more depth.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ingmarnicebbmt on February 15, 2006, 11:51:41 AM
I just read the story over and over again, and I find it now almost impossible to decide whether it's superior to the movie or not. So much is said in so few pages, it's simply a masterwork. And Lee's performance is exactly to have created something entirely new out of this story-skeleton, full of genius, full of warmth, and shown in a completely CINEMATOGRAPHIC manner. He's a genius, too!
Both are great at telling powerful, overwhelmingly human stories without WORDS, with allusions, hints, ambiguities.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Jeff2 on February 15, 2006, 12:11:23 PM
Equal peaks on neighboring mountains. Word and film. There are some things AP carved in words that are just impossible on film. Several have been mentioned. Some things Lee did on film AP could not have done --e.g., opening scene, Ennis' poverty told through Heath breaking the cigaret in half to save for later. Also, easily telling us Jack is the drinker with four empty bottles of beer in front of him at the bar to Ennis's one.

You know what I really want? A voice-over in a few key places. I imagine the dozy embrace on film, for example, with Robert Redford's read of Proulx's text. In the film as is, you get the sense it's important to Jack, for sure, with the flash back etc. But the real power of the scene is in what Jack is thinking, masterfully, brilliantly sketched by Proulx.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ingmarnicebbmt on February 15, 2006, 12:16:21 PM
You're absolutely right.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: patroclus on February 15, 2006, 01:04:23 PM
You know what I really want? A voice-over in a few key places. I imagine the dozy embrace on film, for example, with Robert Redford's read of Proulx's text. In the film as is, you get the sense it's important to Jack, for sure, with the flash back etc. But the real power of the scene is in what Jack is thinking, masterfully, brilliantly sketched by Proulx.

Oops, sorry - can't agree with this at all. One of the worst aspects of The Great Gatsby, with Robert Redford, was the intoning of huge chunks of prose straight from the novel over scenes in the film. The prose is great to read but just dies and feels overly literary in a film. Besides it implies we can't follow or understand what the visual language of the movie is communicating, surely? No, the dozy embrace communicates Jack's experience potently as a visual image just fine. And remember how much more you get from the wordless acting in the scene at Jack's parent's house. Much more than in the story. Swings and roundabouts. Voice over? let be, let be...!

One film where a voice over works brilliantly, though, is Sissy Spacek in Badlands. Really adds a weird, charming, incongruous edge to everything on screen. But that's because it's her character talking, not some omniscient narrator.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Jeff2 on February 15, 2006, 07:36:37 PM
You know what I really want? A voice-over in a few key places. I imagine the dozy embrace on film, for example, with Robert Redford's read of Proulx's text. In the film as is, you get the sense it's important to Jack, for sure, with the flash back etc. But the real power of the scene is in what Jack is thinking, masterfully, brilliantly sketched by Proulx.

Oops, sorry - can't agree with this at all. One of the worst aspects of The Great Gatsby, with Robert Redford, was the intoning of huge chunks of prose straight from the novel over scenes in the film. ...

One film where a voice over works brilliantly, though, is Sissy Spacek in Badlands. Really adds a weird, charming, incongruous edge to everything on screen. But that's because it's her character talking, not some omniscient narrator.
Well now, patroclus, which is it -- that it'd wreck it or work brilliantly?  :D I'm not imagining huge chunks of the text being used. The occasional line or small paragraph. I certainly would not add a word to the final scene. Perfect as is. The dozy embrace? Half of the power of the scene for me comes from remembering P's text. It's not on the screen.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: patroclus on February 15, 2006, 11:26:17 PM
You know what I really want? A voice-over in a few key places. I imagine the dozy embrace on film, for example, with Robert Redford's read of Proulx's text. In the film as is, you get the sense it's important to Jack, for sure, with the flash back etc. But the real power of the scene is in what Jack is thinking, masterfully, brilliantly sketched by Proulx.

Oops, sorry - can't agree with this at all. One of the worst aspects of The Great Gatsby, with Robert Redford, was the intoning of huge chunks of prose straight from the novel over scenes in the film. ...

One film where a voice over works brilliantly, though, is Sissy Spacek in Badlands. Really adds a weird, charming, incongruous edge to everything on screen. But that's because it's her character talking, not some omniscient narrator.
Well now, patroclus, which is it -- that it'd wreck it or work brilliantly?  :D I'm not imagining huge chunks of the text being used. The occasional line or small paragraph. I certainly would not add a word to the final scene. Perfect as is. The dozy embrace? Half of the power of the scene for me comes from remembering P's text. It's not on the screen.

Wreck it. The dialogue in the film is very spare. I think they deliberately chose to use only the minimum dialogue - leaving out a lot of what is in the story - and to tell the story through behaviour and performance and composition. I hadn't read the story when I saw the film and I grasped what Jack was experiencing in the dozy embrace immediately. When I read the story I recognised it immediately.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: richardL on February 16, 2006, 03:16:52 AM
I'm not supposed to write in anymore ..   :-[
However, I read the story last night.
The book is SO not Hollywood and it exposes the film to BE Hollywood.
Jack and Ennis are far too beautiful in the film.
I suppose this is inevitable, I now sort of wish I had not read the book or not seen the film.
The book seemed to me like a wound up clock-work mechanism, so taught it could explode
and send it's pain into every corner of the heart.
I don't think the book and the film sit side-by-side very well.
I wept out loud at  " ....and easily as the right key turns the lock tumblers, their mouths ... "
That sentence says to me " it can be as right as the pure force of nature to love another man" .
I was glad to read about him discover his shirt under Jack's  -many tears- .. I have only seen the film once and
that escaped me till afterwards.
I can't think about anything else now  :-\
Rich
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: richardL on February 16, 2006, 03:20:51 AM
OH God I've just re-read what I've .. written .. hell .. I still love the film beyond words, I sound as if I've dished it .. not so at all ! :o
Rich
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: alma on February 16, 2006, 08:20:11 PM
OH God I've just re-read what I've .. written .. hell .. I still love the film beyond words, I sound as if I've dished it .. not so at all ! :o
Rich

You've identified the exact difference between reading and viewing. The language in the book is so powerful - it leaps off the page and haunts you. We get to hear words and thoughts we miss in the movie. Wwe feel the roughness of these two cowboys and the peculiarly small world and big love they must squeeze inside it.

The torment is palpable through words, images, metaphors... and it does feel ready to spring, explode - taut.

The movie, though, gives me the kind of experience only visuals can. The small nuances of facial expression do in the movie what words do in the story. There are volumes of emotions, thoughts, habits, hints, hopes, heatbreaks in each of the principles in how they glance, open their mouths, hold their jaws, shrug their shoulders. It's like the language of the movie is all contained in bodies and what those bodies do.

I would not get that in the story. But likewise, I don't get the texture of the lagunage in the movie.

It is why for me, I rated them as equal because I can't stop thinking about either one and keep repeat listening/viewing, each for different reasons. Yet how incredible that both stand alone and together so well.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Jeff2 on February 16, 2006, 08:26:40 PM
OH God I've just re-read what I've .. written .. hell .. I still love the film beyond words, I sound as if I've dished it .. not so at all ! :o
Rich

You've identified the exact difference between reading and viewing. The language in the book is so powerful - it leaps off the page and haunts you. We get to hear words and thoughts we miss in the movie. Wwe feel the roughness of these two cowboys and the peculiarly small world and big love they must squeeze inside it.

The torment is palpable through words, images, metaphors... and it does feel ready to spring, explode - taut.

The movie, though, gives me the kind of experience only visuals can. The small nuances of facial expression do in the movie what words do in the story. There are volumes of emotions, thoughts, habits, hints, hopes, heatbreaks in each of the principles in how they glance, open their mouths, hold their jaws, shrug their shoulders. It's like the language of the movie is all contained in bodies and what those bodies do.

I would not get that in the story. But likewise, I don't get the texture of the lagunage in the movie.

It is why for me, I rated them as equal because I can't stop thinking about either one and keep repeat listening/viewing, each for different reasons. Yet how incredible that both stand alone and together so well.
Alma -- my thoughts exactly. And better said!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: richardL on February 17, 2006, 01:08:57 AM
" The small nuances of facial expression do in the movie what words do in the story. There are volumes of emotions, thoughts, habits, hints, hopes, heatbreaks in each of the principles in how they glance, open their mouths, hold their jaws, shrug their shoulders. It's like the language of the movie is all contained in bodies and what those bodies do "

Hi Alma ... you do put it sooo well.
I so want to believe this quote above .. but .. can it be their acting and the direction was so very good ... and that the nuance and minutiae
is not in our mind's (heart's) eye ? I think, yes it is so good .. but I'm afraid of my own desire for this to be something more than special.
And the way it consumes my life, I guess it is. 
 
 :-\
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on February 17, 2006, 03:22:03 AM
I regard it as impossible to put one above the other. My first viewing of the movie left me with too many frustrations that reading the book just put right. Like the proverbial chicken and egg I don't think we can separate the two. Had the movie never been made the book would have and indeed will stand the test of time as a classic 'short'. Now we have the movie and the brilliant portrayals of all concerned, they can both stand together as two parts of the one magnificent and profound entity. I would hate to be without either.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: JHL11 on February 17, 2006, 09:18:18 AM
"I liked the story; but the film had an element of sensuality that it lacked. And IMO the ending had more depth."

Wow. I see it the opposite way. I think the film lacked the sensuality of the story. Don't get me wrong, the love scenes in the film were beyond gorgeous. The story, however, had more depictions of their sex life. If their is one criticicism I share with others here is that I believe the film suffers from not including at least one more scene of eroticism.

Like most others here i would have loved a scene in the film as in the book where, years into their relationship they are discussing their respective children and Ennis is "undoing buttons" and Jack slides his hand between Ennis legs.

Agree with you on the ending.

 
 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on February 17, 2006, 09:24:13 AM
In total agreement with you there, JHL. For a grandma, Proulx has captured their sexual relationship so well with just the right amount of reminders that right up untill the last, there was the ''brilliant charge of their infrequent couplings....'' something the movie is indeed sadly lacking in.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: JHL11 on February 17, 2006, 09:54:30 AM
Hi Andy.

Here's where the film and the story are a draw and which is, to me, remarkable because Proulx and Ang Lee don't see the scene the same way but actually differ on its depiction:

Proulx writes when describing the scene where Jack is peeling potatos and Ennis is undressed and washing himself "...(no drawers,no socks, Jack noticed...".  What a ton of erotic power in those mere six words!

Otoh, Lee directs Jake Gyllenhaal to NOT look at Ennis whom we see in blurred focus naked, nevertheless the erotic power is equal to that in the story. What an amazing scene and what superb acting by Gyllenhaal.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on February 17, 2006, 10:07:32 AM
Would it be sacrilegious of me to suggest that not all Lee's directions best served the movie but as a whole, he does the most stupendous job?
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: JHL11 on February 17, 2006, 10:23:33 AM
Andy- You and I will be sacrilegious buddies together because I totally agree with you.

Stupendous is the word to describe how Lee totally captures Proulx's descriptions of Brokeback Mountain. No other director could have done it better.

Just wondering. When you write "not all Lee's directions best served the movie" can you be more specific?

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on February 17, 2006, 10:29:06 AM
JHL, the very topic you raised is a case in point and there's also the omission of certain dialogue but maybe I should be looking to Larry and Diana about this? Oh to have been a fly on the wall when they got their heads together on this one!!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: alma on February 17, 2006, 03:21:55 PM
" The small nuances of facial expression do in the movie what words do in the story. There are volumes of emotions, thoughts, habits, hints, hopes, heatbreaks in each of the principles in how they glance, open their mouths, hold their jaws, shrug their shoulders. It's like the language of the movie is all contained in bodies and what those bodies do "

Hi Alma ... you do put it sooo well.
I so want to believe this quote above .. but .. can it be their acting and the direction was so very good ... and that the nuance and minutiae
is not in our mind's (heart's) eye ? I think, yes it is so good .. but I'm afraid of my own desire for this to be something more than special.
And the way it consumes my life, I guess it is. 
 
 :-\

The testimony to how good the film is is in how much attachment you feel to it. I love film, but I have never rewatched a film in the theater more than once. I will go to my fifth viewing tomorrow.

This film ought to become the standard for acting coursework. There are so many powerful two person scenes... wow.

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: karen1129 on February 18, 2006, 06:32:35 PM
I saw the movie, than read the book.  I think the book gave me a better sense of Ennis's feelings. for Jack  In the book, Ennis
tells Jack about how bad he felt after they parted that summer, going into the alley and breaking down, and it took him a year to realize it was because he should never have let Jack out of his site.   I saw the movie again after reading the book (I've seen it
6 times), and saw things that I didn't see in the first or second viewing.  Ennis's grief at the end of the movie was gut wrenching, but I thought the book described his grief so much better.  I love both the book and the movie.  Heck, I'll go see
it again!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Deloy on February 19, 2006, 03:01:24 AM
  He quickly looks around and brings Jack 'round the corner' ... shows just overcome with emotion Ennis was in that moment
it is exactly this which makes me dislike this scene - he is 'planning' when he looks around and moves 'round the corner' - in the middle of this scene, so full of passion he keeps his head cool and calculating - it isn't like that in the book

btw - this is the only situation (I think) where Ennis is 'leading', or top if You prefer that tem  ;)
In the book, Jack makes it up the stairs "two by two" and makes it to the top of the landing where they kiss. Filming that scene from such a small and restricted space may have been why Ennis came down the stairs and grabbed Jack in the parking lot. That one change in location has a profound affect on subsequent details in the story, i.e. pulling Jack out of sight of traffic and whether or not they were aware (at such a distance from the front door) of Alma's pressence.
As for this being the only scene where Ennis is 'leading', you forget the first intimate encounter between the two in the tent on BB. It was Ennis who grabs Jack and turns him around and throws him on his hands and knees.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Pagemeister on February 26, 2006, 03:37:50 AM
I thought that they were both pretty powerful.  I'm a book person so I'm used to committing myself to print narratives.  I like to take in the clues, both subtle and overt, that the author lays out for the reader.  The language that Annie Proulx used in the book was very effective-- rather like a storyteller sharing a story about love and loss with the community, or like the tone of a song being sung ('The Ballad of Jack and Ennis'?). 

I think of the Book and the Film as two aspects of the same vision.  What is reassuring to me is that other people on this forum have become interested in the story after seeing the movie-- and their interest becomes deeper, and their questions get better... which inspires us to go back to the book or the movie!  As for me, carrying the memory of the wonderfully crafted text as I see the amazingly acted movie is tremendously rewarding.  It doesn't happen often, this phenomenon of a superior film adaptation, but when it does, well, awards begin raining down on the artists involved. 
Perhaps the book appeals to the mind in powerful ways, and the movie appeals to the heart-- and cinephiles and book-readers can meet in places and talk about them *both*?

As for what happens to Ennis after the story ends, I have hope for him.  I don't think he'll mosy into a gay bar or anything, but this tragedy would surely work on him in his loneliness...until one day he may meet a young man who would remind Ennis of himself when he couldn't proclaim his love for Jack.  And Ennis would haltingly tell the young man his story.  But that's just my opinion. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Forever_Failure on March 02, 2006, 04:21:54 PM
Does any of you know where I can find the short story on-line? Or perhaps e-mail it to me? I've been looking for it at some book stores, but I guess I hasn't been translated into Spanish yet. Also, I don't have an international credit card to order it from amazon. I've found only the first part on the net. I know it's in English, but I don't have a problem with that, I read it pretty well. ;)

Thanks!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Eniese on March 02, 2006, 04:51:53 PM
Does any of you know where I can find the short story on-line? Or perhaps e-mail it to me? I've been looking for it at some book stores, but I guess I hasn't been translated into Spanish yet. Also, I don't have an international credit card to order it from amazon. I've found only the first part on the net. I know it's in English, but I don't have a problem with that, I read it pretty well. ;)

Thanks!

Did ya try English Book Stores? I´m sure they have em too in Spain. Bought mine also at an English Book store.
Sorry, also dont know where to get it on the net.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: adamblast on March 02, 2006, 04:56:48 PM
It was readily available on the 'net for most of last year, but as the film started becoming bigger and bigger news, predictably, things clamped down.

Any site with the full short story today would probably get a legal letter from Annie's publishers very quickly.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Poohbunn on March 03, 2006, 07:14:14 AM
My opinion is that the film is better.  I read the book and the screenplay and both were wonderful.  However, we are sensual beings, and seeing/hearing is so much deeper.  Look how much Jack and Heath conveyed the depth of pain.  It was so clear in their eyes, whether they were happy together or shattered at the end.  The panoramic scenery and wonderful score added to the experience.  I think the story was fated to be a film because it is only on film that we can really see what Annie Proulx was seeing in her mind.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rob. on March 04, 2006, 07:10:18 PM
  For me, the Short story was better until the film (DUH!)  Now, I find the book - I don't know - it's just too sparse - still wonderful though!

  I think it's nice that a great story got made into a great movie.

  I'm going to go with a tie :)!

  Rob
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: daannzzz on March 05, 2006, 09:25:22 AM
I have seen the movie 5 times now and read the short story ywice. Last night I read the screenplay from a download I got on one of the threads here. It was interesting and followed the book more closely than the finished film. I laughed out loud at the drive in scene with Cassie and Ennis watching "Empire Strikes Back" but am glad the scene wasn't included in the film. This screenplay had a few cultural references to help establish the time period and I am glad these were removed. Ilike the way the film felt more distanced from the rest of society.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: maturben on March 05, 2006, 03:02:37 PM
daannzzz---I printed off the Feb. 2003 script today (thought my printer was going to expire!) and have read the story numerous times since its original publication in New Yorker.  Also have the story/screenplay ppbk and two copies of the ppbk short story (one is for loaning out).  Now all I have to do is sit down and re-read and cross reference.  Both the movie (have seen it 5 times, also) and the story have their special merits and can not make any judgement as to which is better.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lizandre on March 05, 2006, 03:45:21 PM
The film and the book perfectly complements one another. The movie's depiction of their mutual love is much more alive than the book. But the economy of words of the short story emphasize the lack of the word "love", never pronounced.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Pierre on March 05, 2006, 11:46:10 PM
I had a vision march 5th, 

I swear I saw jack and Ennis turn down their heads when " crash" was read and relegated back to the solitary confinement of the Mountains. i swear i saw Ennis lead as jack followed in disbelief. I swear i saw the fight of their last meeting ressurected, and the brief glimpses of the beauty they shared, albeit cut short by what surrounds them. i swear i saw that they held onto eachother harder then ever before, harder then any prior fight. They knew all they have is eachother. the world is not for them. They are sun and moon forever united. So full of hope that they could be with one another in the light, only to find out the tire iron still exists just in the body of a ignorant group and shape of a white envelope.  :'(

i swear i saw ennis and jack, slowly gather their belongings. Fold up the tent. put away the joyous harmonica for the last time. Climb on their horses and ride out of the auditorium. riding past the howling coyotes and learned snakes. Where they'll go? they don't know. But they know they are not welcome here and our boys are too good to stay any place they are not wanted.

I swear i saw them ride into me. they ride into my heart. make a camp. build a cabin. run a cattle operation. In my heart i will protect them from the world. I will protect them from what they don't understand. Ennis will hold jack and jack will hold ennis in my offer of peace and a home in my soul. I will let them love as they wish and only i can dream. Forever a part of me.

Jack and Ennis... I swear ...
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: davideo321 on March 10, 2006, 12:38:34 AM
I think the story and the film are both wonderful, terribly sad and profoundly truthful, and classics in their respective mediums.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: STeve25430 on March 10, 2006, 04:32:12 AM
Hi,
I am sorry if this old news but I have been away for a while.  Do we know the DVD release date yet?


About the book vs Movie. I normally like the book better but in this case I liked the movie better. The acting was just so good. The only thing I would have changed
was the stuff on horseback. I think they could have ridden a little more confidently not that it was bad just that a couple scenes did not ring true. Very minor flaw
for a movie I thought should have one best pic.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wjp58 on March 10, 2006, 09:51:10 AM
Hi,
I am sorry if this old news but I have been away for a while.  Do we know the DVD release date yet?


Last I heard it was April 4th.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: maturben on March 10, 2006, 03:07:36 PM
Hi,
I am sorry if this old news but I have been away for a while.  Do we know the DVD release date yet?


About the book vs Movie. I normally like the book better but in this case I liked the movie better. The acting was just so good. The only thing I would have changed
was the stuff on horseback. I think they could have ridden a little more confidently not that it was bad just that a couple scenes did not ring true. Very minor flaw
for a movie I thought should have one best pic.

I believe that Heath had ridden horses before, but Jake hadn't. But as you say--a minor flaw
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ConstantReader on March 12, 2006, 06:00:29 PM
I read the version that appeared in the New Yorker first, then (eventually) that version with the prologue and last, the McMurtry/Ossana screen play.  If you stop at that point to consider the merits of each, you can only conclude that the Proulx version with the prologue is just about perfect.  For me, the introduction of scenes with Jack's wife and the new scenes between Ennis and Alma are totally unnecessary as far as telling the story.  I can understand why those elements were added but can't approve of them.  I should add my evaluation eliminates entirely the impact of the visual over the written word. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Hasse on March 14, 2006, 12:14:58 AM
I definitely prefer the film which is highly unusual, mostly it's the other way around. The book didn't leave me cold but I wasn't nearly as moved as I was when I watched the film. One of the reasons for this might be that I had seen the movie several times by the time I read the book.

Hasse
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: soylentGreen on March 14, 2006, 12:23:17 AM
The film moves me more, but there are certain excerpts from the story I just love.

Saw the film first though, so that's probably why.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: LaPlace on March 15, 2006, 10:00:50 AM
Where are the twenty members who voted for the book? (I'm the 21st). I want to thank them for not letting me feel like I'm the only freak.
Seriously, I love the film, seen it four times so far, and countless times on an awards DVD I managed to lay my hands on. It has moved me unlike any film I have ever seen before.
But the power of the written word...
Annie Proulx may have voted for the film, but I vote for the raw magic of her short story.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: LittlePill on March 15, 2006, 06:53:44 PM
I voted for the film. This is one time where I saw the movie before reading the story, so maybe that influenced me a little. When I did read the story, it was great but somehow the visual aspects of the movie just stand out to me way more than they did in the story.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Bubble Wrap on March 16, 2006, 11:12:23 AM
I've now managed to read the book, and I can honestly say I would put them at a level pegging in my opinion.  The film had all the books good qualities, and having seen the film the book came to life even more. 

The book as a stand alone is amazing...with the film it is beautifully complimented.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Güera Bella on March 16, 2006, 11:38:34 AM
I enjoyed both the short story and the movie. <3

I have a question for you folks. I heard that Annie did a story about Ennis's life after Jack's death. Is this true and if so, what is the name of the other story? If she did write one, I'd like to read it.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Gina on March 16, 2006, 12:44:30 PM
It is very difficult to adapt a short story to a screenplay, much more so than a novel.  There are slight differences, but I believe the book and movie are both well done and it is difficul to choose which I liked more. But If I had to Ii would choose the book.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: PALeben on March 16, 2006, 01:08:39 PM
I have read rumors that she wrote another short story about Ennis, but if she did it hasn't been published. In one of her interviews she stated that there would be no sequel to Brokeback so we can probably assume that the rumors of another story are just that.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: joe-broke on March 16, 2006, 02:59:33 PM
I got to say I liked both the movie an the book, but the movie affected me on a much more emotional level. Maybe it was because I saw the movie first, but more sceens in the film stick in my mind's eye. The book has a lot of little places I like to quote to myself, but the movie was just so beautiful it really swept me away.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: delb on March 17, 2006, 12:36:14 PM
I do love the book more...or ...wait a minute.. may be..the movie...hmmh...no...I know ..it's definitely...the bovie..or..the mook?

And this is the first time ever that I can't decide such a question within a second
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rob. on March 17, 2006, 01:12:47 PM
I've now managed to read the book, and I can honestly say I would put them at a level pegging in my opinion.  The film had all the books good qualities, and having seen the film the book came to life even more. 

The book as a stand alone is amazing...with the film it is beautifully complimented.

  Absolutely - that's how I 'rate' them.  One can't go without the other :)!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: rabbar on March 17, 2006, 07:35:52 PM
I love them both, but there is just something about the written word that draws me to it more. I love laying up in my bed with the story in my hand, reading and re-reading certain passages. AnnieP's way with words kills me...the phrases she uses:

..."paw the white out of the moon"

..."sparklight"

..."The room stank of semen and smoke and sweat and whiskey, of old carpet and sour hay, saddle leather, shit and cheap soap."

..."Without getting up he threw deadwood on the fire, the sparks flying up with their truth and lies, a few hot points of fire landing on their hands and faces, not for the first time, and they rolled down into the dirt. One thing that never changed, the brilliant charge of their infrequent couplings was darkened by the sense of time flying, never enough time. never enough."

..."Like vast clouds of steam from thermal springs in winter the years of things unsaid and now unsayable--admissions, declarations, shames, guilts, fears--rose around them. Ennis stood as if heart-shot, face grey and deep-lined, grimacing, eyes screwed shut, fists clinched, legs caving, hit the ground on his knees.......as a coathanger is straightened to open a locked car and then bent again to its orginal shape, they torqued things almost to where they had been, for what they said was no news. Nothing ended, nothing begun, nothing resloved."

..."Jack, I swear.."

On these cold nights, I read this story over and over and thank AnnieP for it and then cry for our boys, our Ennis and Jack.. and wish it could have turned out different for them.
The only other fiction I read over and over is "To Kill a Mockingbird" even though I loved the movie too.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Pierre on March 17, 2006, 09:27:03 PM
Not sure if this is the right thread but oh well.

Annie has said she approved of HEath's portrayal of Ennis. That it breathe life into her words she was so taken aback.

But what was her impression of The rest of the cast, imparticular jack whom she gave almost as much care. Was she shaken by jake's good looks. In the book Jack is supposedly more homely looking. i haven't heard anything in his regards and i think he did an amazing job as jack. I would change him as much as i would change Heath, which is to say absolutely not.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mary on March 17, 2006, 09:40:05 PM
But what was her impression of The rest of the cast, imparticular jack

What I've heard her say was that Jake's Jack was not the Jack she envisioned but she loved his performance - she characterized it as having a more 'quicksilver' feel.
You can listen to an interview where she discusses this here:
http://www.kcrw.org/cgi-bin/db/kcrw.pl?show_code=bw&air_date=1/19/06&tmplt_type=show
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Pierre on March 17, 2006, 10:42:35 PM
But what was her impression of The rest of the cast, imparticular jack

What I've heard her say was that Jake's Jack was not the Jack she envisioned but she loved his performance - she characterized it as having a more 'quicksilver' feel.
You can listen to an interview where she discusses this here:
http://www.kcrw.org/cgi-bin/db/kcrw.pl?show_code=bw&air_date=1/19/06&tmplt_type=show


Thank you so much this interview is great. for the writer to be impressed with the vision is so gratifying. Good to see she couldn't shake the characters as much as we couldn't. What a piece of magic. How rare is it that a spirit travels through an author, on a page, to a screen and capturing peoples emotions all along the way.( interviewer is slighly imposing though )
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BocaGarrett on March 18, 2006, 09:34:15 PM
I had to pick the movie, and I am one who usually always goes for the book and thinks the movie is "second rate" at best.  Not in this case.  I still love AP's story, and of course without it, Brokeback the movie wouldn't even exist, but in weighing them both, I just connected more with the movie and Heath and Jake's performances in it.

I am still amazed at how Heath Ledger just completely became Ennis Del Mar during this movie.  It was incredible.  Damn, he should have gotten the Oscar, and the movie too.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Caroline on March 18, 2006, 10:46:23 PM
BocaGarrett..

welcome on this board, and thank you for your post!!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: louisev on March 19, 2006, 12:37:25 PM
I heard about the flm and read a number of reviews, then found the story and read it online.  My reaction was: baffled.  I found it amazing that such an unmitigated tragedy could be perceived as a tender love story, since my reading of the story was of two men who were locked together in a passion they couldn't control and yet it did not seem like a love relationship as much as a sexual obsession.  Then I asked some folks who had seen the film if there was any visible romance in the film that was not contained in the story, and saw the clips of the reunion kiss and the second night in the tent.  I think that I found the story utterly lacking the dimension of romance that was so necessary to caring more deeply about the feelings of both men, particularly Jack.

When I saw the film it became clear that the second tent scene and the filming of the dozy embrace and their late trips together near the end of the film established the tenderness between them that spelled love story.  I think that the short story (I read it 3 times several weeks before seeing the film) is very stark in this way, even though Ennis is more verbal and forthcoming, neither of them exhibit much of any tenderness or expressions of love.  The heat of their passion is supposed to convey all of that.  I guess for most people, it worked.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Willhoite on March 19, 2006, 12:48:01 PM
Quote
The summer went on and they moved the herd to new pasture, shifted the camp; the distance between the sheep and the new camp was greater and the night ride longer.
Ennis rode easy, sleeping with his eyes open, but the hours he was away from the sheep stretched out and out. Jack pulled a squalling burr out of the harmonica, flattened a little from a fall off the skittish bay mare, and Ennis had a good raspy voice; a few nights they mangled their way through some songs. Ennis knew the salty words to "Strawberry Roan." Jack tried a Carl Perkins song, bawling "what I say-ay-ay," but he favored a sad hymn, "Water-Walking Jesus," learned from his mother who believed in the Pentecost, that he sang at dirge slowness, setting off distant coyote yips.
   "Too late to go out to them damn sheep," said Ennis, dizzy drunk on all fours one cold hour when the moon had notched past two. The meadow stones glowed white-green and a flinty wind worked over the meadow, scraped the fire low, then ruffled it into yellow silk sashes. "Got you a extra blanket I'll roll up out here and grab forty winks, ride out at first light."


   "Freeze your ass off when that fire dies down. Better off sleepin in the tent."
   "Doubt I'll feel nothin." But he staggered under canvas, pulled his boots off, snored on the ground cloth for a while, woke Jack with the clacking of his jaw.
   "Jesus Christ, quit hammerin and get over here. Bedroll's big enough," said Jack in an irritable sleep-clogged voice. It was big enough, warm enough, and in a little while they deepened their intimacy considerably. Ennis ran full-throttle on all roads whether fence mending or money spending, and he wanted none of it when Jack seized his left hand and brought it to his erect cock. Ennis jerked his hand away as though he'd touched fire, got to his knees, unbuckled his belt, shoved his pants down, hauled Jack onto all fours and, with the help of the clear slick and a little spit, entered him, nothing he'd done before but no instruction manual needed. They went at it in silence except for a few sharp intakes of breath and Jack's choked "gun's goin off," then out, down, and asleep.

Here is something important to consider about the relationship of Jack and Ennis from the book's text -->>"It was big enough, warm enough, and in a little while they deepened their intimacy considerably."

Unlike the movie, they didn't rush right into having sex that first night in the tent. Notice that some time took place before they ended up having sex.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mary on March 19, 2006, 12:51:41 PM
Unlike the movie, they didn't rush right into having sex that first night in the tent. Notice that some time took place before they ended up having sex.

Well, my impression in the film was that Ang was trying to convey that some time had passed that night before Jack made his move  - at least waiting until Ennis warmed up some
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: rabbar on March 19, 2006, 06:46:59 PM
Yes, I'm  sure that the showing of the moon right before Jack throws off the cover and reaches for his hand means that some time had passed. That Jack had some sense of direction, didn't he? I keep expecting to see him take hold of the wrong part of Ennis.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Pierre on March 19, 2006, 09:43:27 PM
Unlike the movie, they didn't rush right into having sex that first night in the tent. Notice that some time took place before they ended up having sex.

Well, my impression in the film was that Ang was trying to convey that some time had passed that night before Jack made his move  - at least waiting until Ennis warmed up some

i also got the clear impression that quite some time had passed before the night in the  tent. atleast a few weeks. you can tell by jack's ongoing complaints, and the eventual switching of roles and the monotony of their daily chores. it surely felt like a few weeks to me.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sebastian on March 19, 2006, 11:15:17 PM
I read the story first, and it shook me to the core.

The movie took a little getting used to, had to make room for it, with the images already in my head.

For me the movie is like a slow burn that will warm my heart for years. The story was spontaneous combustion.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: boy from oz on March 20, 2006, 12:39:14 AM
Hi, boy from oz here, both the book and the film are equally good in my opinion, for with out the wonderful short story by Annie Prolux, the screen play would never had been written, by two wonderful and talented screen writers, Larry McMurtay & Dianna Ossana, who expanded this wonderful short story and brought all the characters in brokeback mountain to life. And Finally the wonderful & talented actors who portrayed these characters, our own Aussie, Heath Ledger and the wonderful American actor Jake Gyllenhaal & actress Anne Hathaway and finally that beautiful Canadian actress, Michelle Williams, she is so talented & lovely on screen and in real life, Michelle was my favorite character on Dawson's creek, she just radiates so much warmth and love on that series.
regards,
boy from oz
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: pylon101 on March 20, 2006, 06:59:21 AM
It's really hard to say which is better. It is one of the best book adaptations I've ever seen.

So they differ exactly in a way a book is supposed to be different from a movie based on the book.

They movie animated those guys and gals for us. Ledger - unbelievably good; it can be his lifetime role. Hard to watch < Brother Grimms> or <Casanova> after BBM.

But the movie could not picture the last words of the story:

"And he would wake sometimes in grief, sometimes with the old sense of joy and release; the pillow sometimes wet, sometimes the sheets"...

That's how I feel sometimes when I see pieces of my previous relations, long and short ones, in my night dreams  :'(

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Willhoite on March 20, 2006, 09:44:55 AM
It's really hard to say which is better. It is one of the best book adaptations I've ever seen.

So they differ exactly in a way a book is supposed to be different from a movie based on the book.

They movie animated those guys and gals for us. Ledger - unbelievably good; it can be his lifetime role. Hard to watch < Brother Grimms> or <Casanova> after BBM.

But the movie could not picture the last words of the story:

"And he would wake sometimes in grief, sometimes with the old sense of joy and release; the pillow sometimes wet, sometimes the sheets"...

That's how I feel sometimes when I see pieces of my previous relations, long and short ones, in my night dreams  :'(


While those are the last words in the published stand-alone book, they are not the real last words of the story at all.

Morgan, the moderator of the annieproulx.com forum (which is not currently available), stated that the New Yorker Magazine edited out the opening paragraphs of the manuscript as submitted by Annie Proulx. It had already been copyrighted by Dead Line, Ltd. of New York, NY before the mag's editors saw it.

Quote
Ennis Del Mar wakes before five, wind rocking the trailer, hissing in around the aluminum door and window frames. The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft. He gets up, scratching the grey wedge of belly and pubic hair, shuffles to the gas burner, pours leftover coffee in a chipped enamel pan; the flame swathes it in blue. He turns on the tap and urinates in the sink, pulls on his shirt and jeans, his worn boots, stamping the heels against the floor to get them full on. The wind booms down the curved length of the trailer and under its roaring passage he can hear the scratching of fine gravel and sand. It could be bad on the highway with the horse trailer. He has to be packed and away from the place that morning. Again the ranch is on the market and they've shipped out the last of the horses, paid everybody off the day before, the owner saying, "Give em to the real estate shark, I'm out a here," dropping the keys in Ennis's hand. He might have to stay with his married daughter until he picks up another job, yet he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream.
   The stale coffee is boiling up but he catches it before it goes over the side, pours it into a stained cup and blows on the black liquid, lets a panel of the dream slide forward. If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong. The wind strikes the trailer like a load of dirt coming off a dump truck, eases, dies, leaves a temporary silence.


I wonder how the movie's acceptance would be if the italicized "prologue" of the original story had been added to the end of the movie.

I also wonder if some of the movie's added material would have been affected by the use of the above paragraphs.

I just feel that Ennis was beginning to have closure in regard to his dealing with grief and bereavement due to the loss of Jack Twist in his life.

It just popped into my head here, there was a country song with the words "for the good times" and that was triggered by the "stoke the day" words in the quote I put above.

Maybe they could have Ennis have the nightmare dreams after he put up the post cards; but, after the passage of time, show that the Stoutamire ranch (where Ennis never quit work until he was laid off was the actual location of the trailer) having its livestock shipped out and the owner giving Ennis the keys. And, then Ennis going to bed and having a dream again which was pleasant.

I would have it end with Ennis driving off in his truck with his loaded horse trailer pulled behind.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ConstantReader on March 20, 2006, 05:57:08 PM
Unlike the rest of the story, Annie hasn't given us a clue as when the italicized introduction takes place.  Given the gray belly and pubic hair I would think that it's probably pretty close to the time when she first noticed the older man in the bar watching the young men play pool -- 1997.  Ennis would be in his mid-60s and I suspect well over losing Jack.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BocaGarrett on March 20, 2006, 06:10:07 PM
Actually Ennis would only be in his early to mid 50's in the late 1990's and I think both the book and the movie make it pretty clear he will NEVER get over Jack.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: brokeback101 on March 20, 2006, 07:32:12 PM
i prefer the book because in the movie they added the scenes with randall and cassie. in the book randal was only mentioned by jack's father and ennis tells jack about cassie when they spend their last night together.the way ennis talks about cassie indicates that she's not imporant to him. in the movie the two characters play a more important role.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Willhoite on March 20, 2006, 10:35:49 PM
Unlike the rest of the story, Annie hasn't given us a clue as when the italicized introduction takes place.  Given the gray belly and pubic hair I would think that it's probably pretty close to the time when she first noticed the older man in the bar watching the young men play pool -- 1997.  Ennis would be in his mid-60s and I suspect well over losing Jack.

This all makes me wonder if Annie Proulx had sort of made an outline to the story in her thoughts; but, before she really got into the non-italicized part, the older man in the bar became Ennis Del Mar of the story.

As far as the wedge of grey belly and pubic hair are concerned, some men have that at an early age, even before they are 40, and some men never get grey hair below the waist. But, Ennis could have been 10 years older than he was when he last saw Jack in the "prologue." So, he could have been 49 when he had to move off the ranch.

I think that Ennis had some closure of his own in the grief and bereavement process and that put him "well over losing Jack." That "panel of the dream" which might "stoke the day" makes me think that he was getting on with his life.

One stokes the buring embers of a dying wood fire in a campfire or in a wood stove to get the heat going again and ignite the added wood.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sunspot on March 21, 2006, 01:47:20 AM
It's interesting to examine the changes that were made to the story and the characters in order to translate it to the screen.  I think in part some of it was done to compensate for the fact Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are much, much better looking than the characters in the book – it's harder to pass either off as an "average Joe", the way Annie Proulx tries to pass off Jack & Ennis in her short story.  As a result both characters become somewhat more dramatic and iconic in the screenplay, and that's enhanced even more by Heath Ledger's burning, intense read on Ennis and Jake Gyllenhaal's mercurial take on Jack Twist (Annie Proulx picked up on this as well, calling his performance "quicksilver").

Ennis in the film is a more repressed, more restrained, more fragile soul than the Ennis of the short story.  Jack in contrast is more open, more affectionate and more needy than the Jack of the short.  Although arguably less closeted than the Jack of the short, the film's Jack is apparently less promiscuous and is shown as taking no joy from his sexual encounters with men apart from his beloved Ennis.  Gyllenhaal communicates more with those languid eyes of his in his scenes with the Mexican prostitute and Randall than a paragraph worth of text in Proulx's short story.  Ang Lee has said if he'd had the pick of actors from the era in which the film started, he'd have chosen Paul Newman to play Ennis and Montgomery Clift to play Jack.  With Ledger and Gyllenhaal, he seems to have gotten their modern equivalents.

But it isn't just the actors who make a difference in the way these two characters read – lots of little changes (and omissions) have been made to the story in order to turn them in this direction.  A few notable examples:

* The second night in the tent scene was added, to illustrate their relationship is more than purely sexual.  Of course, I'd picked up on that already, from their conversations around the campfire (sadly abbreviated from the short) and from the way the two of them looked at each other (starting with the cruising outside of Aguirre's trailer).  For many (most?) straight viewers though, these subtle cues flew right by them.  The second night in the tent helps to clarify where the two characters stand, and cements Jack's role as the nurturing, reassuring force in their relationship.

* When Ennis collapses after first separating from Jack in the film he not only gets sick – he gets violent.  This expertly foreshadows events to come in the screen adaptation. 

* Later in the short story, during their reunion at the hotel, Ennis claims he wasn't sure what had made him sick after they first parted ways, that he thought maybe he'd eaten something that had made him throw up.  In the film it's obvious Ennis knows exactly what's left him in agony just moments after separating from Jack.

* Here's the really important piece, though – in the film he *never* mentions this incident to Jack.  He does show Jack how much he loves him in a few scenes, particularly when they kiss on their first reunion, but in the film he never verbalizes how intensely he loves Jack, the impact that love has had on him, how losing him was probably one of the most traumatic events in his life, until he breaks down during their final trip together at the end of the film.

* Speaking of that kiss, in the short story Alma sees them kissing and Ennis sees her watching them.  He lamely attempts to explain the kiss away, but his cut lip reveals the passion with which Ennis had kissed Jack.  He can't be totally unaware of Alma's suspicions involving his camping trips with Jack from this point forward.

* In the film Ennis is totally unaware Alma saw him passionately kissing and embracing Jack.  When she finally confronts him a decade later over his affair with Jack, in the Thanksgiving scene following their divorce, the revelation comes as a complete and utter shock to Ennis.  Up until this point he'd thought their relationship had soured due primarily to his inability to bring home enough money to satisfy Alma.  And Ennis is still unaware of *how* Alma figured out he was gay and having an affair with Jack, how she knew to slip that note into his case.  This makes Ennis even more paranoid about being "outed" than he already was, and leads to him asking Jack during their next camping trip if people "know".  This is an excellent example of a tiny little change McMurtry and Ossana made to the plot that has a huge impact on how the film plays out vs. the short.  Of all the changes they made, I think this one works the best and adds the most to the overall arc of Brokeback Mountain.  They earned their many awards this year for this one insightful change alone.

* During their final confrontation in the short story, Jack spends virtually all of it sitting in his truck.  The filmed version is infinitely more powerful, with a visibly diminished, haggard Jack – looking shrunken and withered in his oversized coat and hat – dwarfed standing before the imposing hulk of the mountain, just as his love for Ennis had diminished him.  With the two of them on their feet, Ledger is given the opportunity to physically intimidate Gyllenhaal with his threat regarding Jack's trips to Mexico.  It's probably the closest Ennis comes in the entire film to verbally expressing to Jack just how much he loves him.  “I got a say this to you one time, Jack fuckin' Twist.  What I don’t know, all them" - and here he shoves Jack – "*things* I don’t know . . . could get you killed if I should come to know them.  And I ain’t foolin.”  It wasn't until the 4th time I saw the film that I was finally able to process this scene and understand the impact it was having on me, an impact it did not have in the short story.  At first I thought it was just shock over Ennis physically threatening violence against Jack, realizing that they'd traveled such a short distance since their fight that last day on Brokeback Mountain 20 years earlier.  It wasn't until the 4th viewing that I realized how erotically charged this scene was, and that this was Ennis at his violent, passionate, animal best.  I hadn't been able to process this scene because it was making me hot, which is not the reaction I had to the short story at all.  If it had been me there beside the creek with Ennis instead of Jack, this scene would have had a . . . different ending!

Obviously, there are many other examples of changes made between the short and the screenplay that substantially tweak how the viewer perceives Ennis & Jack and their relationship.  Much has already been written regarding the expanded roles the wives play in the film, along with Cassie and Alma, Jr.  The film is overall a richer experience for me, from both a plot and character standpoint, even given the (necessary) lack of Proulx's wonderful descriptive text.  In spite (or maybe because) of their good looks, I find Ledger's Ennis and Gyllenhaal's Jack more believable, more authentically western than either character from the short story, in part because they're so much more conflicted, being more sought-after and consequently more conspicuous than Proulx's originals.  That leaves them walking a stressful tightrope throughout the course of the film, and that tension – that sexual tension – provides a wonderful counterpoint and also fuel for their doomed romance.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: louisev on March 21, 2006, 03:44:54 AM
Several people have mentioned their disappointment that the screenplay left out Ennis's exclamation "Little darlin."  I think this was left out mainly because the actors are of a height, and in the short story Jack was a "small man."  Heath Ledger is only an inch taller than Jake Gyllenhaal and it would have come out silly for actors of a height (they are seen standing together in many scenes, showing them of approximately the same size) for one to call the other "Little" anything.

I think that was a good decision.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Gonzo on March 21, 2006, 08:27:51 AM
Several people have mentioned their disappointment that the screenplay left out Ennis's exclamation "Little darlin."  I think this was left out mainly because the actors are of a height, and in the short story Jack was a "small man."  Heath Ledger is only an inch taller than Jake Gyllenhaal and it would have come out silly for actors of a height (they are seen standing together in many scenes, showing them of approximately the same size) for one to call the other "Little" anything.

I think that was a good decision.

I'm one of the people that expressed disappointment that "little darlin'" was left out.  Hence, I must respectfully disagree.  I understand your point re: their physical stature but "little darlin'" is simply an endearment with no regard to physical size.  It reveals something about their relationship (IMO) and what Jack meant to Ennis.  It was also a moment of such amazing intimacy.  It is possible that it would have been lost on an unread audience, but for some of us who read the story it is a great disappointment.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mary on March 21, 2006, 01:55:18 PM
I'm one of the people that expressed disappointment that "little darlin'" was left out.  Hence, I must respectfully disagree.  I understand your point re: their physical stature but "little darlin'" is simply an endearment with no regard to physical size.  It reveals something about their relationship (IMO) and what Jack meant to Ennis.  It was also a moment of such amazing intimacy.  It is possible that it would have been lost on an unread audience, but for some of us who read the story it is a great disappointment.

I'm one of the disappointed ones as well - and in the short story we learn that Ennis used little darlin' as his more or less universal endearment - for children and horses.  So I think it would have worked for a taller Jack too.  But seeing the kiss (and that nose rub!) does make up for it a bit.  :)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sunspot on March 21, 2006, 02:14:45 PM
"little darlin'" would have been out of character for the Ennis of the film, I think.  And I agree it doesn't really fit Jake Gyllenhaal's Jack.

I prefer Heath's "Jack fuckin' Twist", which just feels more authentically western to me.  It also carries a slightly condescending attitude toward Jack, who we can tell Ennis regards as something of a fuck up, even though we know he's madly in love with Jack.  I think that's also part of the reason why Ennis can never bring himself to settle down with Jack - it's more than just his homophobia and fear of being found out.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Pierre on March 21, 2006, 02:40:27 PM
i think size has nothing to do with "little darling "

i would have liked to hear it, but i don't think it was stated enough in the film for an audience that has no reference to the book. To understand that was his term of endearment it would have had to be a little more prevalent during the film. to choose little darling, in place of "baby" or "sweetheart" would have seemed a little confusing at that point without the book.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ConstantReader on March 21, 2006, 05:50:51 PM
I'm glad to see I'm not alone in missing the "lil darlin" of the story.   Given that Ennis has very few words to begin with, those two simple words speak volumes.  When I read the last words of the paragraph I knew exactly what Ennis (or should I say Annie) meant.  The script could have included them.  Ennis is with horses for, what, the first 40 minutes and he could have called Cigar Butt LD to calm him.  He was also shown with his daughters and the words could have been included in those scenes too.

I was wrong on Ennis's age because I recently had a conversation about that subject and we calculated what age he would be now, not when Annie wrote the story.  That was on my mind when I wrote the post.
   
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: moonlight-sonata on March 21, 2006, 09:15:36 PM
"little darlin'" would have been out of character for the Ennis of the film, I think.  And I agree it doesn't really fit Jake Gyllenhaal's Jack.

I prefer Heath's "Jack fuckin' Twist", which just feels more authentically western to me.  It also carries a slightly condescending attitude toward Jack, who we can tell Ennis regards as something of a fuck up, even though we know he's madly in love with Jack.  I think that's also part of the reason why Ennis can never bring himself to settle down with Jack - it's more than just his homophobia and fear of being found out.

Yes, but authentically Western sometimes sin't always romantic. "lil' darlin'" is out of character, but then that's the whole point. Ennis is going out of himself to love Jack, and that is what's cute.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Elevation on March 22, 2006, 01:11:58 PM
It's interesting to examine the changes that were made to the story and the characters in order to translate it to the screen.  I think in part some of it was done to compensate for the fact Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are much, much better looking than the characters in the book – it's harder to pass either off as an "average Joe", the way Annie Proulx tries to pass off Jack & Ennis in her short story.  As a result both characters become somewhat more dramatic and iconic in the screenplay, and that's enhanced even more by Heath Ledger's burning, intense read on Ennis and Jake Gyllenhaal's mercurial take on Jack Twist (Annie Proulx picked up on this as well, calling his performance "quicksilver").

Ennis in the film is a more repressed, more restrained, more fragile soul than the Ennis of the short story.  Jack in contrast is more open, more affectionate and more needy than the Jack of the short.  Although arguably less closeted than the Jack of the short, the film's Jack is apparently less promiscuous and is shown as taking no joy from his sexual encounters with men apart from his beloved Ennis.  Gyllenhaal communicates more with those languid eyes of his in his scenes with the Mexican prostitute and Randall than a paragraph worth of text in Proulx's short story.  Ang Lee has said if he'd had the pick of actors from the era in which the film started, he'd have chosen Paul Newman to play Ennis and Montgomery Clift to play Jack.  With Ledger and Gyllenhaal, he seems to have gotten their modern equivalents.

But it isn't just the actors who make a difference in the way these two characters read – lots of little changes (and omissions) have been made to the story in order to turn them in this direction.  A few notable examples:

* The second night in the tent scene was added, to illustrate their relationship is more than purely sexual.  Of course, I'd picked up on that already, from their conversations around the campfire (sadly abbreviated from the short) and from the way the two of them looked at each other (starting with the cruising outside of Aguirre's trailer).  For many (most?) straight viewers though, these subtle cues flew right by them.  The second night in the tent helps to clarify where the two characters stand, and cements Jack's role as the nurturing, reassuring force in their relationship.

(...)


That was a very, very interesting post, Sunspot, the whole of it (I left out the rest due to size, sorry). :)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Elevation on March 22, 2006, 01:26:54 PM
I got my copy of the BBM Story to Screenplay book yesterday, and I just finished reading it. I'ill read Annies story over again soon, but from a first impression I can only say that I am very moved by the work of this extraordinary woman, as well as the writers of the screenplay

I think the book and the film are a perfect match; the one enriches the other. I have a deepened understanding of Ennis and Jack's thinking now thanks to the book.

A few observations or just simply brilliant quotes I want to share (My copy is the First Scribner trade paperback edition 2005, should anyone want to check my page references.;))

"[Ennis] had wanted to be a sophomore, felt the word carried a kind of distinction..." (p 2)
Well, reading that made me even more sad. Ennis once had ambition to study, but had to give that up soon after his parents died. The siblings were on their own and they couldn't afford fixing the truck needed to get to school. 


A brilliant FNIT quote (7):
"Ennis woke in red-dawn with his pants around his knees, a top-grade headache, and Jack butted against him; without saying anything about it both knew how it would go for the rest of the summer, sheep be damned."

P.25, on how Jack's father traumatized him in the bathroom when he was just 3-4 years old - another detail never mentioned in the film that rooted Jack's bitterness towards his father: "No way to get it right with him after that."
This detail and many others on both Jack and Ennis make me understand their characters better, making the next viewing of the film even more giving.

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BocaGarrett on March 22, 2006, 02:08:22 PM
could somebody please explain what it it she hated? In the film we can see her face grimacing after Ennis has turned her onto her stomach.



She didn't like being sodomized by Ennis.  In other words, she didn't like "taking it up the butt" so to speak.  Ennis was treating her like she was Jack when he did that (another reason I personally believe that Ennis was gay, not bi-sexual) he even shut the light so he wouldn't have to look at her and see she was in fact a woman, not a man.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Elevation on March 22, 2006, 02:46:17 PM
Oh, ok. Thanks! (... hm, it's interesting how one little sentence can change the impression of a whole scene in the film.)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: VICKI on March 23, 2006, 05:25:17 AM
I think that the film is very powerful on its own merits, yet I found that when I combined this with reading the book, certain scenes such as the 'dozy embrace' became so much more moving and important, than had I just watched the film.  Annie Proulx's fantastic prose was complimented extremely well by the screenwriters.  They used words I imagined the author had written herself.  So basically I think that Brokeback Mountain is a whole; to get the experience, to get the characters, you have to watch the movie and read the story too.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: IMJackNasty on March 23, 2006, 10:51:21 AM
I like the film better...because it elaborates more on what Jack did during the 4 years. The book doesn't go into great depth on my dear Jack. Also, in the book...L.D. Newsome dies and Lureen got and controlled the money whereas none of that is in the movie.

I think the book made the landscape even starker than the movie...but I need more detail...more depth of the story. Ang could have added another 10-15 minutes to the movie and I wouldn't have cared.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: danac on March 24, 2006, 12:16:06 PM
I will not wait for Daves answer so I start here and now:

the reunion after 4 years:
I don't like the 'smashing into walls' in the movie. In the book the kiss just happen, it isn't the same 'planning' as when E checks around and then goes 'out of sight' to violently kiss J, and I think thats more 'realistic'.

They haven't seen each other for a very long time and they have no intension to be that romantic, it was just two old friends, but without any planning and without anyone really knowing whats happening - they kiss each other.

Maybe it is the very romantic Petter who is talking here...

Personally, as a 51 year old woman, I wish someone would come along to slam me up against a wall !!! I loved that passion - it feeds my soul!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: danac on March 24, 2006, 12:27:53 PM
I think Dave is right, essentially, in that you can't compare artists in different media... it's like saying who's better: Pete Samprass or Tiger Woods...
But, having said that, while the story was profoundly moving, Ang Lee et al managed to flesh out the characters and the ambience in a way that packed a bigger wallop.

Even Annie Proulx said that she would never think of Ennis again without seeing Heath's Ennis. He so masterfully  painted so vivid a portrait of love and fear and repression that it grabbed your heart a little tighter than the written word. And, the "dozy embrace" scene: what a composition of sheer beauty as painted by Lee from Annie's sketch.

Overall, both are brilliant works of art...maybe the more visual of us needed the pictures to push us from love of the story to utter obsession...
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: clo on March 27, 2006, 05:21:38 PM
I'd hate a world where we couldn't have both--soon as I saw the movie, I wanted the book.  Without the book, there would be no movie...
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Tasmaniac on March 28, 2006, 01:04:00 AM
Popped in to my local library to get the book.  This would be one of the rare times a book and film are both powerful in their own way, but so complimentary.  What reached the screen, although altered in minor matters, could have sprung from the pen of Annie P herself.  While everyone involved deserves heaping praise, I feel the true artistry was in the casting of Heath and Jake.  For 30 odd pages I could see them inhabiting the written word as if born to it.  This is rarely the case.  I tried reading the Shipping News a few years ago.  Book was OK, but I took 6 months to get half way as I knew the film had been cast with Kevin Spacey as the lead.  Now KS is a great actor, but I could not see him in that role.  Annie Proulx must thank her lucky stars for the masterpiece that has grown from her short story.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lifeisgood208 on March 28, 2006, 05:58:29 PM
While the movie was absolutely amazing it was the book that hooked me.  Proulx's writing style is extraordinary.  Seriously, this woman uses her words parsimoniously yet says it all.  That is a gift!  It is also what allowed the movie to transcend its message to the big screen.  Many times books do not succeed as well as the movie.  It is because the vision is myopic and nontransferable.  Much of Proulx's work is similar and resonates with the reader for days, weeks, months, and even years to come.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: santanora on March 29, 2006, 01:22:07 PM
Although I enjoyed the movie tremendously (saw it five times, next friday will be number six), the book wins, with very small margins.
Jack was too good to be true in the film, a real romantic character, who only turns to other men when he's getting increasingly frustrated and disappointed bij Ennis. In the book he is more down to earth, seeing other men every now and then, and lying about it to Ennis (Jack, "who had been riding more than bulls", when asked about this by Ennis, answering: shit, no. In the last scene together the remark about going to Mexico, "braced for it all these years and here it came, late and unexpected").
The same for Alma, her part is also more romantic/romantized (sorry, no native speaker). The divorce in the film is suggestively close to the scene where Ennis rejects her in bed, like that is the last straw for her after having found out and tolerated for several years the relationship between Jack and Ennis. In the book she's also a bit calculating, irritated because Ennis won't take a better paid job and seeing she'll always have to work to keep ahead of the bills on what Ennis makes. So she says, what am I doing hanging around him, divorced Ennis and married the Riverton grocer. Really brilliant writing by Annie Proulx, she's sketching in a few sentences a much complexer person with much more motivations for her behaviour. Especially the last five words: and married the Riverton grocer, that is really great writing for me.
Strangely enough I find Ennis in the novel a more romantic character, for example with the little darling scene. But also during their motel-session, Ennis says "I didn't know where in the hell you was. Four years. I about give up on you". This indicates to me he must have spent a lot of time thinking about Jack, perhaps also searching for him. In the film it is as if he forgets (or tries to forget) Jack, he reacts happy to the postcard but is clearly stunned.
All in all my conclusion is that the characters in the film are more sketchy, a bit flat-charactered, they are "the devoted wife", "the always comforting and loyal Jack", "the difficult Ennis who'll always say no (and not perhaps)".
Annie Proulx made them more like real people, with all kinds of flaws, rational and irrational behaviour, sometimes lying, sometimes telling something so sincere I cry when I read it.
But: the film is also terrific! The wealth of details they have filled in so accurately is stunning: for example the picture next to the bed of Lureen, the crucifix on the wall in the home of Jack's parents, the tents that keep grading up, one even with a light?

Annie Proulx needs to be read very carefully, or else I miss the little clues and remarks that give a whole new meaning to a scene that has already been described. The fight at the end of their time on Brokeback is a great scene in the film, it shows Ennis almost killing Jack. In the book it is mentioned in a very small line when they say goodbye. "Ennis looked away from Jack's jaw, bruised blue from the hard punch Ennis had thrown him on the last day". When I read this, I wondered: hey, did I miss anything, but I hadn't. And then this small sentence starts working in my mind and lets me think and think, why did he do that? Why does the writer mention this? What did happen? That's great writing for me, when I not just read what's written, but have to process it. And when I read it again, I notice other little red herrings I missed the first time. Annie Proulx is a great writer.

But the film is also extraordinary, as is the script, and also the acting. And the music! Wow, that's something!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lizandre on March 29, 2006, 01:52:12 PM
She's not only a great writer, she's a great person. I know of few writers who could have write this:

From The advocate (http://www.advocate.com/print_article_ektid23486.asp):
Quote
AP: How did you feel about seeing it on the big screen?
Proulx: It was really quite a shock because I had had nothing to do with the film. So for 18 months, I had no idea what was happening. I had no idea if it was going to be good or frightful or scary, if it was going to be terribly lost or sentimentalized or what. When I saw it in September, I was astonished. The thing that happened while I was writing the story eight years ago is that from thinking so much about the characters and putting so much time into them, they became embedded in my consciousness. They became as real to me as real, walk-around, breathe-oxygen people. It took a long time to get these characters out of my head so I could get on with work. Then when I saw the film, they came rushing back. It was extraordinary—just wham—they were with me again.

From he official site (http://www.annieproulx.com/brokebackfaq.html):
Quote
How did you feel on first seeing the film?

Knocked for a loop. I had no idea of what to expect as I had had no input into the making of the film beyond some conversation with Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry when they were writing the screenplay, and a letter to Focus president James Schamus and Ang Lee begging them to keep the language of the story intact. I did not visit the set. I feared the landscape on which the story rests would be lost, that sentimentality would creep in, that explicit sexual content would be watered down. None of that happened. The film is huge and powerful. I may be the first writer in America to have a piece of writing make its way to the screen whole and entire. And, when I saw the film for the first time, I was astonished that the characters of Jack and Ennis came surging into my mind again, for (hence the lie in Missouri Review ) I thought I had successfully banished them over the years. Wrong.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: JackFuckingTwist on March 30, 2006, 03:53:52 PM
I like both the book and the movie, they are complementary. But if I had to choose, I would go for the movie, because it is the story and so much more. The movie is just the perfect visual translation of the story. I'm in love with everything Brokeback!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BocaGarrett on March 30, 2006, 04:10:02 PM
Quote
I like both the book and the movie, they are complementary. But if I had to choose, I would go for the movie, because it is the story and so much more. The movie is just the perfect visual translation of the story. I'm in love with everything Brokeback!


I prefer the movie too and I love your name! ;)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: JackFuckingTwist on March 31, 2006, 03:36:23 AM
Quote
I like both the book and the movie, they are complementary. But if I had to choose, I would go for the movie, because it is the story and so much more. The movie is just the perfect visual translation of the story. I'm in love with everything Brokeback!


I prefer the movie too and I love your name! ;)

Haha, thank you, I love it too!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ironwood on March 31, 2006, 11:54:40 AM
I didnt read the short story till after seeing the movie...I'm a very visual and sound(music) oriented person and while I create images of what I read, like most, I found the movie filling my two most important "movie" senses in a grand and wonderful way....the music  has become a trigger for conditioned responses assoicated with specifics in the the film.....so I guess my vote goes to the movie....also for its development of the characters.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: nkburlington on April 03, 2006, 02:44:32 PM
After seeing the movie twice I decided to pick up Annie's "Close Range".

I read BBM in about 30 minutes.  Then I read it again but took my time.  I must say that it was not what I had hoped.  After reading the short story, I was moved much more by the film.

The book was too short, too fast and IMO, missed some of the elements of the film.  Although the movie was true to the book (which never happens and is why I don't like to see a movie which I've read), I was left feeling cold, as another poster said.  It did nothing for me.  I was not moved to tears.  I did not feel Ennis's pain.

I know many have praised BBM the short story and in all honesty, if I had read it and there had not been a movie made from the story, I would not have given it a second thought.  I'm not sure I would feel the same way if I had read the story first and then saw the movie.

IMO, the story was just blah.  I think the screen writers did a most magical and emotional job writting this for the screen.  It could not have been done any better and I cannot imagine a world without BBM the movie.

Having never read any of Proulx's work before, I look forward to reading the other stories from "Close Range".
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Anouska on April 04, 2006, 07:30:36 AM
OK, so I stagger, dazed, out of Eyelashes every once in a while ... and get to read something like Sunspot's 21 March post.  Wow, what a privilege.  Thanks Sunspot  :) :)   
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Brad E on April 04, 2006, 05:35:09 PM
The film certainly enhances and expands on other characters in the short story, as well as on Jack and Ennis.  The final two paragraphs of the short story were the ones that got me, though.  Where Jack begins to haunt Ennis' dreams.  Dreams are probably impossible to translate onto film, but one knew after reading the end of the short story, that Ennis would be a lonely, tortured soul the rest of his life.   :'(
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: aceygirl on April 04, 2006, 08:21:04 PM
My boyfriend just finished reading the short story tonight. He had watched the movie with me and liked it, but did not cry. After reading the short story, he was in tears, and wanted a big hug. Just having him finally cry about BBM made me cry all over again!
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sagha/Mo on April 08, 2006, 09:27:16 AM
The film is overall a richer experience for me, from both a plot and character standpoint, even given the (necessary) lack of Proulx's wonderful descriptive text.  In spite (or maybe because) of their good looks, I find Ledger's Ennis and Gyllenhaal's Jack more believable, more authentically western than either character from the short story, in part because they're so much more conflicted, being more sought-after and consequently more conspicuous than Proulx's originals.  That leaves them walking a stressful tightrope throughout the course of the film, and that tension – that sexual tension – provides a wonderful counterpoint and also fuel for their doomed romance.


Thanks sunspot for yr keen observations, but for nearly the same reasons I came to just the opposite perception, evaluation. I find that the book is both more subtle, sharper in focus and more expansive of the characters and their dilemmas that will seal their tragedies. What makes the movie perhaps more powerful to so many here is the simple majesty of the landscape that is almost a physical, palpable witness to the unfolding story. The scenes are breathtakingly beautiful with textures that come alive. For instance, the scene where the sheep are going up the mountain going stage right to their pasture looks like the undulating waves of a river while the river is going downhill exiting stage left with the horseriders on the central diameter of this sumptuous scene.

The visual image is always more arresting, more compelling than the written word, which of course has other advantages. The adage often heard "I can understand it better if I see it done, rather than read the directions" attests to this simple fact that we can take in more with the visual & with greater ease over the symbolic written word and our own attention to their meanings are not as demanding as our visual comprehension. Similarly, the casting of these almost otherworldly beautiful men and women as the characters in this film is a concession to attract a mass audience's expectations of seeing Hollywood specimens, even if it veers strongly from the short story and the power of its story about homophobia in the lives of ordinary people. These are poor boys with all the disfigurations of the poor, with poor nutrition, bad teeth, the scars of hard physical labor & the effects of the out of doors weather on them. We know if these two boys were as stunningly beautiful as Gyllenhall & Ledger they would probably never have to pay for much of anything as every door would open quickly & wide to them. The good looks of the film's characters as well as the familiarity of their personalities from other films enhances the heroism of the landscape and the viewer's experience of beauty in the film, one of its most salient features.

In the decades to come we will see many other remakes of this story in various media from opera to perhaps a TV series to a cinematic reinterpretation of the story with different people of course & different angles of vision. I think with various conceptual approaches we will see the real genius of Ang Lee and as well, his many drawbacks. It seems to me that Lee was consciously making a film for mass audience appeal of its romantic emotional impact, the romance of a nature that becomes almost supernatural in the recognition of beauty & power over the delineation & examination of the phenomena of both the internalized homophobia as well as the objective depiction of the violence & lethality of homophobia in the lives of these communities which ripples through the whole culture affecting everyone.

The scene of Jack's screen memory (in the Freudian sense, the traumatic lens through which all childhood memories are filtered in the psyche) where his father sadistically beats & then soaks him through, humiliating & shaming him to almost hysteria pissing on him, is left out, probably as being not palatable to a middle class audience. It is interesting in the retelling of the incident, through Ennis' rendition, that what is remembered is the penis of the father, his larger and more complete penis that becomes almost fetishistic in a way that is a typically gay fantasy of the masculine, of the prototypical father.

Just as we understand the motivation of much of the internalized homophobia of Ennis through the agonizing screen memory of seeing a man whom he knew with a penis hanging out of his mouth, dead at the probable hands of his own murderous father. (How else would he have known where the body lay rotting in the sun?) It is such a searing experience, we understand the mechanism of why he has become almost a mute. It is a deforming stratagem, a defense of not exposling who he is: a boy growing into puberty with same sex attraction, that can only be revealed at the peril of his own death at the hands of his father. So the sadism and passivity of Jack Twist can be understood in that traumatic bathroom scene seen as the origin of his own homophobia he will carry with him as such a determinant of his own behavior and choices made.

The viewer is left in the dark about what motivates much of Jack's understanding & perception of reality that the reader is given. They, Eng & confreres, might well have been right in their judgment that this scene would severely limit the access of their project by a possible X rating and further bring the word of mouth idea of the film being about pathological sexuality. They have sd they were motivated by the political and human tragedy of the Matthew Shepard murder to make certain and to redouble their efforts to complete this project. For that reason they have had Matt Shepard's mother accompany them to almost all public events that they were asked to appear and to speak.That seems to me to be an honorable reason for this choice as we are still very close to that national trauma that still haunts the reality of millions of gay people lives today.

Yet as we begin to move toward greater tolerance of gay people, evidence of which will be measured by the legal rights granted to them by bringing concrete scaffolding to assure their equality, I believe future generations will not be so squeamish to not depict this central scene. I think that is just one example that shows the strength of the written word over the pictorial. As Annie Proulx sd of her experience of seeing the film that it brought back to life these characters who had been an uncanny real presence in her life during the 8 months of her writing the story, & we too are bowled over by the power of the film, as she herself said. The written story will remain in the cannon of world literature just as will the film in the history of cinema. The film, IMO, is necessarily derivative of the originality of the artist's imagination which gives us a fuller, a more complete understanding of homophobia and the moral response in reflection of both mediums.  --mo
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BocaGarrett on April 08, 2006, 10:34:45 AM
Quote
In the decades to come we will see many other remakes of this story in various media from opera to perhaps a TV series to a cinematic reinterpretation of the story with different people of course & different angles of vision.

I could see Brokeback done as a stage play at some point.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Gonzo on April 08, 2006, 10:52:18 AM
This is the best place I could find to post this.  I just paid an arm and a leg for an original copy of the New Yorker (on eBay) in which the story appears.  Irony of ironies, the article preceeding BBM is about Truman Capote.  And we all know that among many injustices dished out by the Academy was Heath's best actor award.

BTW, I am not only a complete proponent of the short story, I specifically, prefer the original New Yorker version.  Remember, this is the version Dianna Ossana and Larry McMurtry based their screenplay on.  Very minor differences except in the case of the forward to the story.  As well written as the forward is it seems to relegate the entire story to a flashback.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: maesin on April 10, 2006, 05:51:08 PM
Hello everybody, i`m new here.

Please does anyboy knows where could I read ( in the web),the complete text by Annie Proulx Brokeback Mountain?  :-[

Thanks a lot  ;)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 12, 2006, 04:47:05 PM
http://mister-don.livejournal.com/89313.html#cutid1

This is the original magazine version, which cuts the italicized prologue in CLOSE RANGE: WYOMING STORIES. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 14, 2006, 02:20:49 PM
From UNDERSTANDING ANNIE PROULX, by Karen L. Rood (University of South Carolina Press, 2001), referring to "Brokeback Mountain" in CLOSE RANGE: WYOMING STORIES: 

"While this nonjudgmental story can hardly be said to have a happy ending, it does end the book on a hopeful note.  In a collection where most human interaction seems beset by various combinations of alienation, hatred, selfishness, deceit, greed, and outright criminality, 'Brokeback Mountain' holds out the possibility of true selfless communion that--at least for a moment--can make all troubles disappear." (p. 191)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sunspot on April 15, 2006, 05:20:00 PM
We know if these two boys were as stunningly beautiful as Gyllenhall & Ledger they would probably never have to pay for much of anything as every door would open quickly & wide to them.

That isn't quite how the world works, at least not here in Los Angeles where men as beautiful as Gyllenhaal and Ledger are a dime a dozen.  As Hal David observed 30 years ago, all the stars that never were are parkin' cars and pumpin' gas.  I can assure you I meet beautiful but poor men here in LA all the time.  Good looks will help in life, but probably not help enough when you're as damaged as Ennis and Jack had been by their experiences.

The scene of Jack's screen memory (in the Freudian sense, the traumatic lens through which all childhood memories are filtered in the psyche) where his father sadistically beats & then soaks him through, humiliating & shaming him to almost hysteria pissing on him, is left out, probably as being not palatable to a middle class audience.

That's the single passage of the short story that I would have edited out myself.  Totally took me out of the story for a moment, in a "where the hell did that come from" kind of way.  Just seemed out of place and unnecessary.  I didn't need that bit of information to know Jack's father was a monster, and more to the point I just didn't buy it.  It didn't flow (if you'll pardon the pun) with the rest of the story.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 16, 2006, 02:31:11 PM
http://www.savefile.com/files.php?fid=9373170

The 2003 shooting script, which accounted for about 2/3 of the film's cutting continuity (what was actually used in the final version of the film), represents a third "version" of the story.  McMurtry & Ossana were more discreet about the sex scenes (they have the camera going outside the tent during them, whereas Lee clearly had to take one side of the tent down to shoot the scenes inside it).  Some of the final confrontation scene between Jack & Ennis wasn't all there.  The references to songs were generally to famous C&W tunes, most of which weren't used in the film.  A few scenes in this script don't appear in the film, & the film has a few scenes that don't appear in this script. They also lift descriptive language from the story that doesn't hit the screen, or hit it in quite the same way.  But the story is there, the characters are there, the end is there, the expansion to the families is there.  (In the script, Jack leaves the Thanksgiving dinner & stomps out rather than telling his father in law off.) 

The McMurtry & Ossana script scan is well worth seeing.  I've got the published script book on order to compare it to the 2003 script, & will report on any differences when I get it & read it. 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743298152/sr=8-2/qid=1145219452/ref=sr_1_2/102-3194269-5096951?%5Fencoding=UTF8
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Gonzo on April 16, 2006, 02:44:32 PM
I have both the published book and a copy of the script you mentioned.  I believe there are remarkable differences.  Much of what you mentioned plus.  I haven't gotten through the entire script but so far FNIT and SNIT are very different and while truer in a literal sense I believe the movie is truer to the spirit of the book.  My feelings toward Ossana and McMurtry suffered some in reading the script.  It doesn't flow as well and seems inelegant.  IMO.  I believe the story to screenplay book was written after the movie was made and was edited to follow the movie.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Luke_in_SG on April 17, 2006, 09:57:41 AM
Many thanks, hifrommike65. I can hardly wait to hear about the screeenplays.
I tried downloading but it didn't work though. Will try again another time.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wiljohn on April 17, 2006, 05:01:19 PM
I definitely think the printed story captures the grittiness, directness and simplicity of the people, the place,and the emotions. It leaves a lot open to add your own interpretation as to how you individually see it (hence the previoius differences of opinion regarding particular scenes). Annie wrote tersely, clearly, with no frills, and right to the point.  This story,if written by some other authors, could easily take up 10 chapters.  But the simplicity of the telling makes your heart ache because you CLEARLY see things without fluff or filler.  My dilemma is that I saw the movie, read the story, and then saw the movie again. What has now happened is that I see some scenes more clearly from the story side and others from the movie side--but the combination has made me clearly remember the story far better than if I had only seen the movie OR only read the story.  I think it is clearly a tossup because  to get the full impact you HAVE to both see and read the story.  This combination for this story will make it memorable for many people for a very long time. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 17, 2006, 05:09:04 PM
The story captured the attention of a lot of people, & went beyond the usual audience for short stories in the New Yorker.  That Proulx would put it last in her collection also indicated it has a particular power in her Wyoming sequence.  I read the story when it was new (took the issue of the mag with me to a professional meeting in Chicago & remember thinking "oh my god" when I finished it) & it has been in my mind ever since.  I must say, I was terrified of the film when I first saw the trailer for it online last September.  (The film was already playing at film festivals by that point.)  I was afraid that it simply wouldn't capture the strength of the characters & themes of the story.  How wrong I was.  Not only does the film capture those things, it ups the ante & deepens the impact of the lives of these characters, as well as considerably broadens the audience for "Brokeback Mountain" (in whatever form).  It's no surprise that this board started as a result of the film, not the story.  But without the story, there would have been no film.  & much of what's good in the film comes directly from the story.  So I don't separate the story & the film as phenomena.  To me they're different aspects of the same thing. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Gonzo on April 17, 2006, 05:18:18 PM
I definitely think the printed story captures the grittiness, directness and simplicity of the people, the place,and the emotions. It leaves a lot open to add your own interpretation as to how you individually see it (hence the previoius differences of opinion regarding particular scenes). Annie wrote tersely, clearly, with no frills, and right to the point.  This story,if written by some other authors, could easily take up 10 chapters.  But the simplicity of the telling makes your heart ache because you CLEARLY see things without fluff or filler.  My dilemma is that I saw the movie, read the story, and then saw the movie again. What has now happened is that I see some scenes more clearly from the story side and others from the movie side--but the combination has made me clearly remember the story far better than if I had only seen the movie OR only read the story.  I think it is clearly a tossup because  to get the full impact you HAVE to both see and read the story.  This combination for this story will make it memorable for many people for a very long time. 

For me the ultimate truth is in the story.  I am fairly indulgent with differences in the movie but if there is a real discrepance between story and movie, story wins.  That's why I basically ignore the time line in the movie.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 18, 2006, 04:48:50 PM
I take the two definitive texts as the story collected in CLOSE RANGE (US edition) & the film itself.  A screenplay is a script with the scenarist's prose bridges & suggestions for (or rendering of) shots in the film.  It can be helpful, but it is not the film.  I see the story & film as two parts of a single interlocking narrative.  In this case, without the film, the story would never have reached & touched as many people as it did.  Of course, one wants to be fully versed in both to be a full-fledged Brokeback fan. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Gonzo on April 18, 2006, 05:00:05 PM
hifrommike65,

Does the the Close Range version of the story have the forward?  I have heard that the changes to the story were not made until the stand alone version of Brokeback Mountain.  Is this accurate?
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 18, 2006, 05:05:56 PM
The story in CLOSE RANGE starts with an italicized prologue referring to the wind rocking the trailer, & Jack thinking of his dreams of Ennis, noting that he's lost another job because a ranch is being sold & he might be moving in with his daughter & her new husband.  It frames the entire story & makes the central narrative a sort of long flashback.  The New Yorker cut this section & the screenplay was adapted from the New Yorker text.  Proulx mentioned in the foreward to CLOSE RANGE that the process of adapting a story for publication in a magazine was an educational experience for her.  There were probably some other minor changes in the NYer version, including punctuation changes (NYer has a house style), but I haven't done a comparison.  The major change was cutting the prologue. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Gonzo on April 18, 2006, 05:13:06 PM
So the original story had a prologue and the NYer editorial staff eliminated it, right?  The reason I ask is that I first encountered the NYer version.  I assumed it was the original.  As well written as the proglogue is, I can't bring myself to accept it.  It seems, IMO, to reduce the story to a flashback.  There are a couple of smaller details that I also don't really like, but the prologue is the main bit.  The stand alone version indicates Jack has a feather in his hat he got off an eagle he had killed the summer before.  I hate that detail.  For some reason, it makes Jack seem like a fool to me.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 18, 2006, 05:21:19 PM
Usually the published version of a story in a collected version (say, a story in a full collection of stories by that author, as CLOSE RANGE is) is considered the preferred one.  I can't confirm that Proulx had written the prologue before the New Yorker took it & cut it, but I suspect it's the case.  I'll see if I can track down more on it from Proulx.  In my case, any single word more of the narrative that we can get makes me happy. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Willhoite on April 18, 2006, 08:26:18 PM
So the original story had a prologue and the NYer editorial staff eliminated it, right?  The reason I ask is that I first encountered the NYer version.  I assumed it was the original.  As well written as the proglogue is, I can't bring myself to accept it.  It seems, IMO, to reduce the story to a flashback.  There are a couple of smaller details that I also don't really like, but the prologue is the main bit.  The stand alone version indicates Jack has a feather in his hat he got off an eagle he had killed the summer before.  I hate that detail.  For some reason, it makes Jack seem like a fool to me.

Jack's bragging about the eagle feather in his hat is more like an immature teenager thinking he did something really important by killing the bird.

It was foolish for him to kill a bird which served him no purpose other than the single feather after it was dead.

The italicized "prologue" is very important to the whole story and if you read it again after reading the last paragraph of the story, you will see that Ennis' dreams were no longer nightmares but pleasant ones. Ennis is beginning again in the prologue.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: levans645 on April 18, 2006, 09:25:08 PM
So the original story had a prologue and the NYer editorial staff eliminated it, right?  The reason I ask is that I first encountered the NYer version.  I assumed it was the original.  As well written as the proglogue is, I can't bring myself to accept it.  It seems, IMO, to reduce the story to a flashback.  There are a couple of smaller details that I also don't really like, but the prologue is the main bit.  The stand alone version indicates Jack has a feather in his hat he got off an eagle he had killed the summer before.  I hate that detail.  For some reason, it makes Jack seem like a fool to me.
Annie wrote the prologue for the release of the story in the book Close Range.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Willhoite on April 18, 2006, 10:54:34 PM
So the original story had a prologue and the NYer editorial staff eliminated it, right?  The reason I ask is that I first encountered the NYer version.  I assumed it was the original.  As well written as the proglogue is, I can't bring myself to accept it.  It seems, IMO, to reduce the story to a flashback.  There are a couple of smaller details that I also don't really like, but the prologue is the main bit.  The stand alone version indicates Jack has a feather in his hat he got off an eagle he had killed the summer before.  I hate that detail.  For some reason, it makes Jack seem like a fool to me.
Annie wrote the prologue for the release of the story in the book Close Range.

According to Morgan, the lady who was in charge of the official anniepoulx.com forum, Annie Proulx submitted the complete story to the New Yorker Magazine just like it was printed in "Close Range." Therefore the "prologue" was already a part of the orginal story.

"Brokeback Mountain" apparently was even copyrighted by Dead Line, Ltd. before it was even submitted to the mag for consideration for publication. The "Ltd." version has the copyright date of 1997. The annieproulx.com website is owned by Dead Line, Ltd., too.

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: levans645 on April 18, 2006, 10:57:13 PM
So the original story had a prologue and the NYer editorial staff eliminated it, right?  The reason I ask is that I first encountered the NYer version.  I assumed it was the original.  As well written as the proglogue is, I can't bring myself to accept it.  It seems, IMO, to reduce the story to a flashback.  There are a couple of smaller details that I also don't really like, but the prologue is the main bit.  The stand alone version indicates Jack has a feather in his hat he got off an eagle he had killed the summer before.  I hate that detail.  For some reason, it makes Jack seem like a fool to me.
Annie wrote the prologue for the release of the story in the book Close Range.

According to Morgan, the lady who was in charge of the official anniepoulx.com forum, Annie Proulx submitted the complete story to the New Yorker Magazine just like it was printed in "Close Range." Therefore the "prologue" was already a part of the orginal story.

"Brokeback Mountain" apparently was even copyrighted by Dead Line, Ltd. before it was even submitted to the mag for consideration for publication. The "Ltd." version has the copyright date of 1997. The annieproulx.com website is owned by Dead Line, Ltd., too.
According to Annie Proulx, she added the prologue to the story for the book release.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Willhoite on April 18, 2006, 11:24:07 PM
So the original story had a prologue and the NYer editorial staff eliminated it, right?  The reason I ask is that I first encountered the NYer version.  I assumed it was the original.  As well written as the proglogue is, I can't bring myself to accept it.  It seems, IMO, to reduce the story to a flashback.  There are a couple of smaller details that I also don't really like, but the prologue is the main bit.  The stand alone version indicates Jack has a feather in his hat he got off an eagle he had killed the summer before.  I hate that detail.  For some reason, it makes Jack seem like a fool to me.
Annie wrote the prologue for the release of the story in the book Close Range.

According to Morgan, the lady who was in charge of the official anniepoulx.com forum, Annie Proulx submitted the complete story to the New Yorker Magazine just like it was printed in "Close Range." Therefore the "prologue" was already a part of the orginal story.

"Brokeback Mountain" apparently was even copyrighted by Dead Line, Ltd. before it was even submitted to the mag for consideration for publication. The "Ltd." version has the copyright date of 1997. The annieproulx.com website is owned by Dead Line, Ltd., too.
According to Annie Proulx, she added the prologue to the story for the book release.

If the official discussion forum was still active, I would be able to quote what Morgan posted and give the url to the quote, too.

Sometimes, I think that Ms. Proulx is like I am in her older age. I have seen her quoted in one official interview where she said something different about the same thing in another official interview.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 19, 2006, 06:20:05 PM
Proulx has directly contradicted things she said in her earlier interviews, & said she did.  People change over the years, & over weeks, & this story has come at her in all directions.  It's probably the most famous thing she's written at this point.  She said in "Getting Movied," "Usually I deal in obedient characters who do what they are told, but Jack and Ennis soon seemed more vivid than many of the flesh-and-blood people around me . . ."  In other words, she had the same reaction to them that many others have had.  Both Jack & Ennis are larger than life now, & have taken on their own figurative existence.  This discussion board is proof of it.  I feel deeply connected to both of them, but I suspect this comes from the different aspects each has (which evolve in the story & film) that I feel within myself.  We "write ourselves" into Jack & Ennis -- the film especially invites us to do so.  I wonder if Ang was attempting to subvert the potential homophobic reaction of viewers by rendering the love these characters shared as more universal in its expression.  He said that the recent death of his father had a lot to do with his decision to direct the film.  That too may be a factor in the haunting loss felt at the end of the film. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Willhoite on April 19, 2006, 07:05:32 PM
I think that Annie Proulx was called by the Creator of all things to write Brokeback Mountain. She made a remark one time that was in words to that effect, too.

And, I think that it had to be written by a person who claims to be heterosexual, too.

My father would have made a remark about how the guys in the story used "coarse language" but he might have said they talked that way because it was the way the people around them talked.

Oh, I am watching cable channel VH1 where the GLAAD Awards are being rebroadcast at the moment.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 20, 2006, 01:27:35 PM
I just read the October 2005 final script as published in the STORY TO SCREENPLAY book, & compared some of the dialogue with the film.  Even though the 2005 script is much more accurate than the 2003 script as to the scenes, & closer as to the dialogue, there were many differences (on just about every page) in what the actors said vs. what the 2005 final script had them say.  Perhaps Ang encouraged or permitted actors to ad-lib on the set.  For instance, in the 2005 screenplay, when Ennis comes back after falling off his horse, & Jack hands him a canteen of water, he says, "Whiskey."  In the film I believe he says, "You got any whiskey?" There are so many differences in dialogue that I am going to photocopy the 2005 final script & annotate it, because I don't want to quote the film inaccurately & don't want to have to check it every time I want to know what was said.  As I go through the script & correct it, I will post the textual corrections on this site so that others can benefit from it as well. 

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: vittorio on April 21, 2006, 12:19:32 PM
I have taken the time to carefully re-read the short story by Annie Proulx and I must say that the writing and the story itself did resonate alot more with me this time. The first time I found the vernacular and the writing style quite difficult to follow and it did not entirely resonate with me. However, I also know that alot of this greater appreciation of the short story must come from the fact that I am so much more au fait now with the various nuances of this tragic love story. And this, truth be said, can only be because of repeated viewings of Brokeback Mountain the film.

Therefore, although Brokeback Mountain the short story must be lauded and respected as a stand-alone piece of written fiction, I still must contend that Brokeback Mountain the film is a far more superior and far more emotionally satisfying journey.

However, the film does have to its benefit the superlative acting of all concerned, the assured and masterful direction of Ang Lee, the mastery of the wondrous music by Gustavo Santaolalla and the majestic and stunning photography by Rodrigo Prieto. All the short story has is the assured and masterful hand of Annie Proulx. To be fair, the contest is not exactly level. Cinema has so much more at its disposal (cinematography, music, acting, editing and the overall mood) than any book can ever hope to have. However, it is true that sometimes the sharp and insightful desrciptive brilliance of the written word can simply never be matched by anything cinematic (a good example that comes to my mind is that of The Unbearable Lightness of Being by acclaimed author Milan Kundera - a masterpiece - versus the film by Philip Kaufman - a decent attempt, but then again could any movie ever match the power and subtlety of that book?)

Nevertheless, I do think that Brokeback Mountain is a classic example of a groundbreaking and excellent short story made into an even better and more emotionally resonant groundbreaking and iconic masterpiece of a film. It is already being cited as a perfect example of modern literary adaptation - and for that, all power to the excellence of Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana.

 :) ;) :) :)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 21, 2006, 01:04:58 PM
Here is my transcription of the exact dialogue in the film.  I am only doing dialogue here, not noting other changes (in action or order of events) between what the published script had & what the film had.  If there are uncertainties, I'll note them & ask for help from you guys.  Some of the English captioning is wrong on the DVD.  This is the first installment. 

Scene at door of trailer (AGUIRRE looks down at ENNIS and JACK):

AGUIRRE  If you two pair of deuces are lookin' for work, I suggest you get your scrawny asses in here pronto.

Scene in trailer:

AGUIRRE  Up on Brokeback, the Forest Service got designated campsites on the allotments.  Them camps can be 3, 4 miles from where we pasture the woollies.  Bad predator loss if there's nobody lookin' after them at night.  Now what I want is the camp tender to stay in the main camp where the Forest Service says, but the herder, he's gonna pitch a pup tent on the Q.T. with the sheep, and he's gonna sleep there.  You eat your supper and breakfast in camp, but you sleep with the sheep, hundred percent, no fire, don't leave no sign.  You roll up that tent every mornin' case Forest Service snoops around. 

(on phone) Yeah? No. No. Not on your fuckin' life. 

You got your dogs, your 30/30, you sleep there.  Last summer I had goddamn near 25% loss.  I don't want that again.  You . . . Fridays at noon be down at the bridge with your grocery list and mules.  Somebody with supplies will be there at the pickup.  (Tosses watch.)  Tomorrow mornin' we'll truck you up to the jump-off.

Scene in front of trailer:

JACK  Jack Twist.

ENNIS  Ennis.

JACK  Your folks just stop at Ennis?

ENNIS  Del Mar.

JACK  Nice to know you, Ennis Del Mar. 

Scene in bar:

JACK  My second year up here.  Last year one storm the lightnin' killed 42 sheep.  Thought I'd asphyxiate from the smell.  Aguirre got all over my ass like I was supposed to control the weather.  But beats workin' for my old man.  Can't please my old man, no way.  That's why I took to rodeoin'.  Do you ever rodeo?

ENNIS  You know . . . I mean, once in a while, when I got the entry fee in my pocket.

JACK  Yeah.  Are you from ranch people?

ENNIS  Yeah I was.

JACK  Your folks run you off?

ENNIS  No, they run themselves off.  There was one curve in the road in 43 miles, and they missed it.  The bank took the ranch, and my brother and sister raised me, mostly. 

JACK  Shit.  That's hard. 

ENNIS (reaches for lighter)  Can I?  Thank you. 

Scene at trailhead:

BASQUE  Don't let them stray.  Joe'll have your ass if you do.  One thing, don't never order soup.  Them soup boxes are hard to pack.

ENNIS  Well, I don't eat soup.  (Sees Jack on jumpy horse.)  You wanna watch it there.  That horse has a low startle point.

JACK  Doubt there's a filly that can throw me.  Let's get, 'less you wanna sit around tyin' knots all day. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 21, 2006, 03:17:42 PM
Second installment:

Scene in camp:

JACK  Oh shit.  Can't wait till I got my own spread, and I won't have to put up with Joe Aguirre's crap no more.

ENNIS  I'm savin' for a place myself.  Alma and me, we'll be gettin' married when I come down off this mountain.

JACK  Shit, that stay with the sheep, no fire bullshit.  Aguirre got no right makin' us do somethin' against the rules.

Scene in camp:

JACK  (riding out on a Friday)  No more beans.

Scene at herd:

JACK (shooting at a coyote and missing)  Dammit!  Shit!

Scene at bridge:

ENNIS  I don't know.

BASQUE  Something wrong?

ENNIS  Yeah, so why didn't we get the powdered milk 'n the spuds?

BASQUE  That's all we got.

ENNIS (handing over the list)  Well . . . here's next week's.

BASQUE  Thought you didn't eat soup.

ENNIS  Yeah, I'm sick of beans.

BASQUE  Too early in the summer to be sick of beans. 

ENNIS (to horses, coaxing them to walk)  Come on.  (Later on trail.)  Come on.  Come on.

Scene at bridge:

ENNIS (thrown off horse, with mules running off)  Hold it--whoa, whoa.  Shit.  Whoa.  Come back here!

Scene at camp:

ENNIS  (to horse)  Whoa there, whoa.  All right.  Fuck it.  Okay, you bastard. 

JACK  Where the hell you been?  Been up with the sheep all day, I get down here, hungry as hell and all I find is beans. 

(ENNIS mumbles as he walks past; Jack sees head wound.)

JACK  What in the hell happened, Ennis?

ENNIS  I come on a bear is what happened.  Goddamn horse spooked and the mules took off, and scattered food everywhere.  Beans is about all we got left.

(JACK tries to hand water canteen to ENNIS.)

ENNIS  Got whiskey or somethin'?  (Takes a drink of whiskey.)  Dumbass mule.  I can't believe that.  Goddamn.

JACK (wets bandana and tries to dab ENNIS's head).  Let me see.

ENNIS  Shit. 

JACK  Well, we gotta do somethin' 'bout this food situation.  Maybe I'll shoot one of the sheep. 

ENNIS  Yeah, what if Aguirre finds out, huh?  We're supposed to guard the sheep, not eat 'em.

JACK  What's the matter with you?  There's a thousand of 'em.

ENNIS  I'll stick with beans.

JACK  Well, I won't.

Scene in meadow:

(ENNIS shoots an elk.) 

JACK  Oooeee!

ENNIS  Gettin' tired of your dumbass missin'.

JACK  Let's get a move on.  Don't want the Game and Fish catch us with no elk.

Scene in camp:

JACK (returning to camp on horse)  Come on.  Shit.  (Dismounts.)  Yeah, I'm commutin' four hours a day.  I come in for breakfast, and go back to the sheep, evenin' get 'em bedded down, come in for supper, go back to the sheep, spend half the night checkin' for damn coyotes.  Aguirre got no right to make me do this.

ENNIS  You wanna switch?  I wouldn't mind sleepin' out there.

JACK  That ain't the point.  The point is, we both oughta be in this camp.  Goddamn pup tent smells like cat piss or worse.

ENNIS  I wouldn't mind bein' out there.

JACK  Well, I'm happy to switch with you, but I warn you, I can't cook worth a damn.  I am pretty good with a can opener, though.

ENNIS  You can't be no worse than me, then.  (Dishes up food for Jack.)  Here you go.

Scene in camp:

(ENNIS ready to ride off.) 

JACK  You won't get much sleep, I'll tell you that.

ENNIS  Yup.  (To horse)  Come on.

Scene in camp:

(Jack opens a can as Ennis scrubs down.) 

ENNIS  Shot a coyote up there.  It's a big son of a bitch, balls on him size a apples.  He looked like he could eat himself a camel.  You want some of this hot water?

JACK  It's all yours.

Scene in camp:

(JACK takes a piss at edge of camp as Ennis finishes his can of beans.

ENNIS  Mmm.

(JACK walks up and shows off his rodeo belt buckle.)

ENNIS  I don't rodeo much myself.  I mean, what's the point of ridin' some piece of stock for eight seconds?

JACK  Money's a good point.

ENNIS  True enough, if you don't get stomped winnin' it, huh?

(JACK pours some whiskey in ENNIS's cup.)

ENNIS  Thank you. 

JACK  Well, my ol' man was a bull rider, pretty well known in his day, though he kept his secrets to himself.  Never taught me a thing, never once come to see me ride.  Your brother and sister do right by you?

ENNIS  They did the best they could after my folks was gone, considerin' they didn't leave us nothin' but 24 dollars in a coffee can.  I got me a year of high school before the transmission went on the pickup.  My sis left.  She married a roughneck, moved to Casper.  Me and my brother, we got ourselves some work on a ranch up near Worland until I was 19, and then he got married.  No more room for me.  That's how come me end up here.  (Notices Jack smiling.)  What?

JACK  Friend, that's more words than you've spoke in the past two weeks.

ENNIS Hell, that's the most I've spoke in a year.  My dad, he was a fine roper.  Didn't rodeo much, though.  He thought rodeo cowboys was all fuck-ups.

JACK  The hell they are!  (Gets into ENNIS's face and whoops.)  Yee-haw!

ENNIS  There you go.

(Jack continues to whoop and carry on.)  I'm spurrin' his guts out, wavin' to the girls in the stands!  He's kickin' to high heaven, but he don't dashboard me, no way! (Stumbles and collapses in laughter.)

ENNIS (also laughing)  I think my dad was right.

Scene in new camp:

ENNIS  Tent don't look right.  (Works on it.) 

JACK  Well, it ain't goin' nowhere.  Let it be.  (Plays harmonica.)

ENNIS  That harmonica don't sound quite right either. 

JACK  That's 'cause it got kinda flattened when that mare threw me.

ENNIS  Oh yeah?  I thought you said that mare couldn't throw you.

JACK  Ah, she got lucky.

ENNIS  Yeah, well, if I got lucky, that harmonica would've broke in two.

Scene in camp:

JACK (singing) "I know I shall meet you on that final day, Water Walkin' Jesus, take me away . . ."

ENNIS  (taps rhythm of song out)  Very good.

JACK  Oh yeah.  My mama, she believes in the Pentecost.

ENNIS  Oh yeah?  Exactly what is the Pentecost?  I mean, my folks, they was Methodist.

JACK  The Pentecost.  I don't know.  I don't know what the Pentecost is.  Mom never explained it to me.  I guess it's when the world ends and fellas like you and me march off to hell.

ENNIS  Speak for yourself.  You may be a sinner, but I ain't yet had the opportunity.  (Gets the whiskey.)  Thank you.

Scene in camp (dead of night):

ENNIS (drunk)  Shit.  I'm goin' to go up to the sheep now.

JACK (drunk)  Give 'em hell.

ENNIS  No, I'm . . .  I can hardly stand.  It's too late to go to them sheep.  Well, you got a extra blanket?  I'll just roll up out here and grab 40 winks, and I'll ride out at first light. 

(JACK throws ENNIS a blanket.)

ENNIS  Oh that's good. 

JACK  You'll freeze your ass off when that fire dies down.  You're better off sleepin' in the tent. 

ENNIS  Yeah.  (Ignores JACK)

JACK  All right. 

Scene in and out of tent:

(JACK wakes up, sighs.  Hears Ennis outside, teeth chattering.)

JACK  Ennis!

ENNIS  Wha . . .

JACK  Just quit your hammerin' and get in here. 

(ENNIS staggers into tent.)

(As the FNIT develops, there's a little dialogue exchanged.)

JACK  Come on, come on.

ENNIS  What're you doin'?

Scene in camp:

(ENNIS is getting ready to ride out.)

JACK (walks up).  See you for supper.

ENNIS (ignores him; talks to horse)  Yah.  Come on.  (Rides out.)

Scene overlooking herd:

ENNIS  This is a one-shot thing we got goin' on here.

JACK  It's nobody's business but ours.

ENNIS  You know I ain't queer.

JACK  Me neither.

Scene in camp, that night:

(JACK in tent, shirt off.  ENNIS slowly gets up and comes into tent.  They embrace.)

ENNIS  I'm sorry.  [Is this right?  Or does Jack say it?  I can't see either one's lips move.]

JACK  Lie back.  Come on.

(Embrace continues and deepens.)  [this is 34 minutes into the film]
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lemonscented1124 on April 23, 2006, 12:55:26 PM
i know everyone will hate me after i say this, but i actually didnt like the book all that much (LOVED the movie, though). i say this because of the relationship described in the book.  see, the book is like, what, 35 pages?  and 20 of those pages are dedicated to jack and ennis's sexual relationship.  (and, as we all know, their relationship is more than that.)  and the other 15 pages had no emotion.  it was basically a list of events that happened.  when ennis found the two shirts:  no emotion.  when ennis heard jack died: no emotion.  i just thought it was a mediocre book. 

(this is just my opinion... please dont hate me for it....)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lizandre on April 23, 2006, 04:10:25 PM
Proulx said in a radio interview that she wanted to write the story in the same stoic mood of the west that Ennis embodies, and leave to the readers the task to finish the story, and fill the frame with the emotions they have inside.

The movie, it's a different media, a different narrative technique. Acting, scenery, all convey emotions. And yet, so much is left to the audience to understand and relate to, it's the peculiar ambiguity of the movie, and its subtlety.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 24, 2006, 07:24:35 PM
3rd installment of corrected film dialogue:

Scene in camp:

AGUIRRE  Twist, your Uncle Harold's in the hospital with pneumonia.  Docs don't expect he'll make it.  Your ma sent me to tell you.  So here I am.

JACK  Bad news. There ain't nothin' I can do about it up here, I guess.

AGUIRRE  There's not much you can do down there either.  Not unless you can cure pneumonia.

Scene in camp:

(reaction to hail storm) 

JACK  Goddamn!  Jesus!

(both run into the tent)

ENNIS  Them sheep'll drift if I don't get back up there tonight.

JACK  You'll get pitched off your mount in a storm like this.  You'll wish you hadn't tried it.  It's too cold!  Close it up!

Scene on mountain in front of blended herds of sheep:

ENNIS  Well, what're we supposed to do now, huh?

JACK  Get on in there and untangle them Chilean sheep out from ours, I guess.

Scene in the herd:

JACK  (looking for color marking on sheep)  Oh, where is it?  Shit!  God, half the goddamn paint brands are wore off.

ENNIS  We gotta try, at least we can get the count right for Aguirre.

JACK  Fuck Aguirre.

ENNIS  Oh yeah, fuck Aguirre.  What if we need to work for him again, huh?  You think of that?  We gotta stick this out, Jack.

Scene herding retrieved sheep:

ENNIS (responding to Jack's harmonica playing, but smiling) You'll run them sheep off again if you don't quiet down.

Scene in camp:

ENNIS (riding up as Jack stows tent)  What are you doin'?

JACK  Aguirre came by again.  Said my uncle didn't die after all.  Says bring 'em down.

ENNIS  Bring 'em down?  Why, it's the middle of August.

JACK  Says there's a storm comin', movin' in from the Pacific.  Worse than this one.

ENNIS  That snow barely stuck an hour, huh?  Besides, the sonofabitch, he's cutting us out of a whole month's pay.  It ain't right!

JACK  Well, I can spare you a loan, bud, if you're short on cash.  Give it to you when we get to Signal.

ENNIS  I don't need your money, huh?  You know, I ain't in the poorhouse.  Shit!

JACK  All right.

Scene near camp:

JACK (approaches ENNIS sitting outside camp)  Time to get goin', cowboy.

(ENNIS gets up & JACK trips him with lariat throw.  ENNIS yanks on rope & pulls JACK off his feet onto him.)

ENNIS  Come here.  This ain't no rodeo, cowboy.

JACK  Shit!

(JACK accidently elbows ENNIS in the face, & his nose spurts blood.  JACK reaches for him & wipes some of the blood with the sleeve of his shirt.)

JACK  Ennis, Ennis.  Come here.  You okay?

ENNIS  Yeah.

(ENNIS knocks JACK down with a punch in the face.)

Scene at trail head, at sheep pens:

AGUIRRE  (talking to ENNIS & JACK)  Some of these never went up there with you.  The count ain't what I'd hoped for, neither.  You ranch stiffs, you ain't never no good.

Scene in parking lot in front of AGUIRRE's trailer:

ENNIS (under hood of JACK's truck)  You wanna give it some gas?

(Car starts & ENNIS closes hood.)

ENNIS  I can't believe I left my damn shirt up there.

JACK  Yeah.  You gonna do this again next summer?

ENNIS  Well, maybe not.  Like I said, me & Alma's gettin' married in November.  So I'll try to get somethin' on a ranch, I guess.  And you?

JACK  Might go up to my daddy's place, and give him a hand through the winter.  Or I might be back.  If the army don't get me.

ENNIS  Well, I guess, see you around, huh?

JACK  Right. 

(JACK drives off & ENNIS starts walking out of town.  Stops & walks to the side of the road, wretching & banging his hands into the wall.) 

ENNIS  God damn, god . . .   (A cowboy walking by starts to come over.)  What the fuck you lookin' at, huh?  (Cowboy walks on.)

Scene in church at Riverton:

CONGREGATION (led by minister)  . . . and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever.

ALMA  Amen.

MINISTER  Under the powers vested in me, I now pronounce you man & wife.  You may kiss the bride . . . & if you don't, I will.

Scene on a hill, a winter's day:

(ENNIS & ALMA are on a toboggan that turns over.)

ENNIS  You all right?  (He roughhouses with her.)

ALMA  No.  Stop!  No.  Please don't.

Scene on a highway construction crew:

TIMMY  (to ENNIS)  My old lady's tryin' to get me to quit this job.  She says I'm gettin' too old to be breakin' my back shoveling asphalt.  I told her strong backs & weak minds runs in the family.  She didn't think that was too funny.  I told her, it keeps me fit.

Scene at a drive-in movie playing SURF PARTY:

(We hear the following dialogue from the film while ENNIS & ALMA watch.  ALMA is now pregnant.)

HE  Morning.

SHE  Morning.

HE  Pulled in last night.  Didn't want to wake you up.

SHE  Oh now, I was just . . .

HE  I thought I'd tell you before the sergeant showed up.  Parking this trailer on the beach is illegal.

Scene in Aguirre's trailer:

AGUIRRE (looks up as JACK walks in)  Well, look what the wind blew in.

JACK  Hi, Mr. Aguirre.  I'm wonderin' if you was needin' any help this summer.

AGUIRRE  You're wasting your time here.

JACK  What, you ain't got nothin'?

AGUIRRE  Ain't got no work for you.

JACK  (starting to leave but turning around)  Ennis Del Mar ain't been around, has he?

AGUIRRE  You boys sure found a way to make the time pass up there.  Twist, you guys wasn't gettin' paid to leave the dogs baby-sit the sheep while you stemmed the rose.  Now get the hell out of my trailer.
   
Scene at ranch house Del Mars live in now:

ENNIS (comes in & approaches ALMA at sink)  How my girls doin'?

ALMA  All right.  Jenny's still got a runny nose.

(He walks back into the bedroom where both children squall.)

ALMA  Ennis, could you wipe Alma Jr.'s nose?

ENNIS  If I had three hands I could.  Come here, come here.  Oh! (picks both girls up)

Scene in bedroom:

ALMA  Girls all right?

ENNIS  Yeah.  Jenny stopped her coughin'.  I think I should take the girls into town this weekend.  Get 'em an ice cream.  Somethin'.

ALMA  Ennis, can't we move to town?  I'm tired of these lonesome old ranches.  No one for Alma Jr. to play with.  Besides, I'm scared for Jenny, scared if she has another one of them bad asthma spells.

ENNIS  No, rent in town is too high.

ALMA  There's a cheap place in Riverton, over the laundamat.  I bet I could fix it up real nice.

ENNIS  I bet you could fix this place up real nice if you wanted to.

ALMA  Ennis?

ENNIS  Hmm?

ALMA  I know you'd like it too.  Real home, other kids for the girls to play with.  Not so lonely, like you were raised.  You don't want it to be so lonely, do you?

ENNIS  Yeah.  Come here.  (They kiss.)  It ain't so lonely now, is it?

ALMA  Are you sure the girls are asleep?

ENNIS  Yeah.

ALMA  Come here.  (He flips her over.)  Ennis . . .

Scene in Texas rodeo arena:

ANNOUNCER  Let 'er rip & snort, boys!  Jack Twist, hangin' on for dear life!  And down he goes!  Watch out there, fella!  He's comin' for ya!  Send in the clowns!  Okay, a fine ride by Mr. Twist.  Four seconds for him.  Give 'em a hand, folks, our very own rodeo clowns.

JACK (speaks during the ANNOUNCER's spiel)  Shit!

At a redneck bar after the rodeo:

JIMBO (the clown)  Give us a beer, Doug.

JACK (comes over & throws down some money)  I'd like to buy Jimbo here a beer.  Best damn rodeo clown I've ever worked with.

JIMBO  No thanks, cowboy.  If I was to let every rodeo hand I pulled a bull off of buy me liquor, I'd have been an alcoholic long ago.  Pulling bulls off you buckaroos if just my job.  So save your money for your next entry fee, cowboy.  (Gives bartender a raised-eyebrow look & walks off to another group around a pool table.)

BARTENDER  You ever try calf-roping?

JACK  Do I look like I can afford a fuckin' ropin' horse?  (leave bar)

Scene at Riverton July 4th fireworks celebration:

ENNIS  Shouldn't we move a little closer?

ALMA  No, come on, let's don't.  Jenny'll get scared.

(Two drunk bikers barrel in & sit down behind them.)

BIKER 1  Wooeee.  Look at this crowd!  Bound to be a lot of pussy on the hoof in a crowd like this.

BIKER 2  All swelled up with patriotic feeling & ready to be humped like a frog.

BIKER 1  So where do you figure the most pussy's at--Las Vegas or California?

BIKER 2  Hell, I don't know.  But if you make it between Wyoming & Montana, I'd pick Wyoming in a minute.

ENNIS  Hey, you might want to keep it down, I got two little girls here.

BIKER 1  Fuck you!  Asshole.  (To friend)  Probably quit givin' it to his wife after his kids was born.  You know what that's like?

ALMA  Ennis, let's move, let's just move, okay?

ENNIS  Now I don't want no trouble from you.  You need to shut your slop-bucket mouths, you hear me?

BIKER 2  You oughta listen to your ol' lady, then.

ENNIS  Is that right?

BIKER 1  Yeah.  Move somewhere else.

ENNIS (ENNIS kicks one in the face, knocking him out.)  What about it?  You wanna lose your half your fuckin' teeth?  Huh?

BIKER 2  Not tonight, bud.  I'd sure rather not.

Scene at Texas rodeo arena:

ANNOUNCER  Here she comes, ladies & gentlemen!  Oh boy, look at her fly.  It's Lureen Newsome from right here in Childress, Texas.  Come on folks, she's gotta hear it, let's give her a big hand!  She's turnin' on two!  She's around three!  Come on folks, help her home!  Come on, come on!  And the time is 16 & 9!  Here's Cheyenne Hodson from Cody, Wyoming!  Come on girl!  She's headed around two!  Is there anybody here from Wyoming?

(Lureen rides back up to Jack, who is now holding her hat, which flew off.)

JACK  Ma'am.  (Hands her hat.  She takes it, gives him the eye, & rides off.)

ANNOUNCER  Come on, Cheyenne!  And her time is 17 & 2. 

Scene at Texas rodeo arena (later):

ANNOUNCER  Here comes Scotty Griffiths, out of Lubbock, Texas.  Come on, Scotty!  Damn it!  Let's give Scotty Griffiths a big hand, folks.  Better luck next time, cowboy.  Boy I tell you folks, what a heck of a way to make a living!  Next up is an up & comer, Jack Twist from all the way up in Lightning Flat, Wyoming.  He's onboard Sleepy today.  Let's hope he's not!  Okay.

(JACK, in the starting gate, is released into the arena.)

ANNOUNCER  There they go, folks.  And look at Sleepy go, boy.  He's broke free today, folks!  Come on, spin & spin & spin!  I tell you, folks, that sure looked like the winnin' ride to me.

Scene in a Childress redneck bar & dance club:

JACK (to bartender)  You know that girl? (Points out Lureen, who is looking at him.)

BARTENDER  I sure do.  Lureen Newsome.  Her dad sells farm equipment.  I mean big farm equipment.  Hundred-thousand-dollar tractors, shit like that.

LUREEN (coming over to JACK)  What are you waiting for, cowboy?  A mating call?

(They dance to the live performance of a woman singer, who is singing the following lyrics:

No one's gonna love you like me,
No one else, can't you see,
No one's gonna love you like me,
No one, no one.

No one else, can't you see,
No one's gonna love you like me,
No one, no one.

I know sometimes you feel so lonely,
I know you felt so sad & blue . . .)
   
Scene on a country road, in LUREEN's red sportscar:

(They move from the front seat to the back, with LUREEN on top of JACK.  Making out.)

LUREEN  Oh wait, hold on.  You don't think I'm too fast, do you?  Maybe we should put the brakes on.

JACK  Fast or slow, I just like the direction you're going in.  (LUREEN undoes her top completely)

JACK  You are in a hurry!

LUREEN  My daddy's the hurry.  He expects me home with the car by midnight.

(58:00 in)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: pinkey on April 24, 2006, 08:10:48 PM
its kind of hard to decide because in a way the movie was better and in a way the book was, the one thing i liked in the book was the fact that ennis was a little bit more open about his feelings, but if i had to choose i would say the movie was better just because we get to see the story come to life.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Luke_in_SG on April 25, 2006, 01:39:19 AM
I personally prefer the more repressed Ennis in the film because it made for a more dramatic tension. I also find that the book has passages which I found to abrupt for my taste, and for which I really appreciated the more drawn-out version of the film (the last scene with Ennis and Jack is one obvious example, and the added lines of Ennis happens to be my favorite moment).

Of course, this is just my own preference, and I do attribute this in great part to my leaning towards the visual arts over the literary.

This said, I still found some very moving passages in the book. The ending of the prologue, the last paragraph, that little description of Ennis's enjoyment of Jack's company tha he could "paw the white out of th moon".... wow! It's rare for the written word to evoke the intensity of feeling in me the way Annie does.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Zuraffo on April 26, 2006, 10:23:04 AM
thx for the transcript.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Daphne and Chloe on April 26, 2006, 12:10:07 PM
I voted equel. Of coarse I loved the story but I have to say that I do not like the style in which Ms. Proulx writes. She does however, tell a lot of information and character development in such a short amount of pages. I am glad I bought the Story To Screenplay book VS. her book of short stories. I had noticed one of the other stories was something like 'The half skinned steer' or similar. Not what I would want to read. I'm one of those wimpy Californians.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 26, 2006, 12:47:28 PM
This is lifted from an Amazon.com reader review of CLOSE RANGE:

"The Half-Skinned Deer" is the story of an elderly man who returns to Wyoming for a family funeral--only to find the venture increasingly misbegotten.

***************

The story opens the book & indicates the toughness of the Wyoming environment, & how you can take nothing for granted.  The actual title of the story refers to a legend that isn't necessarily confirmed as ever happening in real life. 
Title: transcript
Post by: Marc on April 26, 2006, 11:30:38 PM
I want to thank Mike as much as I can for what he's doing.  I'd already gone through the screenplay with a pen, correcting it based on the DVD, and was thinking about creating my own document.  Mike has done me and I'm sure many others a favor of cosmic proportions. 

As I made the corrections, I thought that perhaps all the changes they made in the film were improvements.  I was amazed.

For the last 35 years or so, The Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie.  I have it and The Music Man memorized.  But BBM is now my favorite, and I'm making progress memorizing the dialog.  I have Jack's speech on the mountain memorized, but when I try to do Ennis's breakdown that follows, I start crying. 

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Daphne and Chloe on April 27, 2006, 07:07:06 PM
This is lifted from an Amazon.com reader review of CLOSE RANGE:

"The Half-Skinned Deer" is the story of an elderly man who returns to Wyoming for a family funeral--only to find the venture increasingly misbegotten.

***************

The story opens the book & indicates the toughness of the Wyoming environment, & how you can take nothing for granted.  The actual title of the story refers to a legend that isn't necessarily confirmed as ever happening in real life. 

Thanks for that bit of info. Actually the more I think about it, the more I may get the whole book of short stories. That I like her exact style or not, she does know, it seems, how to tell a story.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Wolf on April 27, 2006, 09:10:54 PM
I vote Film. 

It's the very first time I've preferred the film to the book version.  ALWAYS prefer the books.  Unfortunately (and for me, it is unfortunate), Ms Proulx writing style leaves me cold.  I recognise it's brilliance, but it's just way too dark for my tastes.  Dark and abrupt and a little seamy. 

Like some others, I also prefer the less wordy film Ennis.  He seems truer to type, if that makes sense.

W
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Texman on April 27, 2006, 10:10:11 PM
I liked the book slightly better, I think it had more detail. However, when I finished reading the story, I thought, is that all there is? I felt like the story should have gone on longer. It felt unfinished.
 Now I liked the movie and the way the screenwriters handled it. They kept truer to the story than most conversions of book to film.
 But of course, in the book you have to imagine all that beautiful scenery! The movie is beautifully photographed. And that alone is worth the price of admission.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wiljohn on April 27, 2006, 10:46:28 PM
Just as Annie intended in the previous entries about leaving something to the imagination in her writing, it is profound to me that the movie, as detailed and true to the story as it tried to be, was able to leave most of those same unanswered questions intact on the screen as well--otherwise there would not be this huge outpouring of discussion and opinion.  I LOVE this move for being able to provoke by merely being true to its birthmother--the printed word.  I am betting that even reading the screenplay would also cause discussion because it is a detailed version of the original story and the screenwriters must have the ability to successfully create those very holes without the viewer noticing that it was intentional or manipulative.  Annie's clear, unglamourous but undeniably beautiful voice, I think, made it a joy for Larry and Diana to be able to create the same agonizing and glorious scenarios that were brought to vivid life in the film.  They obviously understood and respected the story to be able to recreate and convey the story in it's unvarnished entirety to the screen.  Having seen the movie, then the story and THEN the movie again, this belief is crystal clear.  This is a classic case of needing to read the base story AND see the movie to get the full experience.  They are each wonderful, but the total experience is so much more meaningful and thought-provoking when both have been experienced. And my strongest case for this is the last 1/2 hour of the move(final scenes in the story).  The story was sad when read, but the sight of the translated scenes to view made them PROFOUNDLY sad on a much deeper level, because you saw the actual human being going through these emotions. I was driven to read the story after I saw the movie-particularly the ending, and wondered how this scene was written.  Some of the written scenes stood on their own, but Ennis' scene finding the shirt and the very end scenes were much more graphic and intensely emotional to me when I watched him, walked with him to the closet, felt like I was holding the shirts myself--THAT put me over the edge--and the very end looking at the shirts again--now reversed--I felt like I WAS Ennis looking at the shirts--(which is why the big discussion about the 'Jack. I swear' scene--many people FELT the live emotion emitted by Heath/Ennis as truly genuine--good acting yes but the scene setup was there--all it needed was dimension to be truly memorable). 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Zuraffo on April 27, 2006, 11:52:17 PM
Texman, I shared you sentiment the first time I read the short story, but after a few reread, I became impressed by the way Annie delivered the story. The words themselves took on a flavor and it's the hardest form of writing for any writer.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on April 28, 2006, 03:20:17 PM
"The Half-Skinned Deer" is the story of an elderly man who returns to Wyoming for a family funeral--only to find the venture increasingly misbegotten. 

Actually "The Half-Skinned Steer", but who's counting.  The collection of stories is great IMO.  Very rough on the characters, and very poignant.  But I guess we know that already, from the Tale of J 'n' E, right?

Dal
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 28, 2006, 11:43:18 PM
Fourth installment of dialogue taken directly from the film:

Scene in Riverton grocery store:

ENNIS (hurrying in with his two girls)  Hey Monroe.

MONROE  Hey Ennis.

ENNIS  Is Alma here?

MONROE  Yeah, she's in the condiments aisle.

ENNIS  The what?

MONROE  Uh, ketchup.

ENNIS  Thanks.

(ENNIS finds his wife.)

ALMA  Hey honey.  What're ya'll doing here?

ENNIS  In a big hurry.  My boss called, and he wants me to go out to the ranch.  I guess all of the heifers must've decided to calve at the same time.  I figured I could drop the girls with you.

ALMA  Ennis, I got a million things I gotta do here before I can leave.  I don't get off for another three hours.

ALMA JR.  Mama, I need crayons.

ALMA  Not right now, Alma.  Ennis, please, you promised you'd take them tonight.

ENNIS  I can't afford to not be there when the heifers calve.  It'll be my job if I lose any of 'em.

ALMA  What about my job?  Okay, all right.  I'll call my sister, I'll see if she can take 'em.

ENNIS  All right.  I'll be half the night.  Bring home some round steak if you think of it.  (To ALMA JR.)  Come here.  You be good girls for your mama, all right?  (Kisses ALMA JR., then leaves.  ALMA JR. promptly pulls down an entire display of peanuts, shattering several jars and scattering peanuts everywhere.)

MONROE  Oh boy.

ALMA  Monroe, I am so sorry.

MONROE  It's okay, it's okay, Alma.

ALMA  I'll clean this up just as soon as I call my sister to come get the girls.

MONROE  Really, Alma, it's okay.  I'll get it.  

ALMA  Alma, come with me.  

MONROE  Watch your feet.

ALMA  Alma!  (Holds out her hand to ALMA JR., who takes it.)  

Scene in Childress hospital room:

LUREEN (holding her new baby, Bobby, comparing her hand to his)  Just like my hand.  

JACK  Honey, got a surprise for you.  (LUREEN's parents, L.D. and FAYETTE, enter.)  

LUREEN  Ah!  Hey!  

FAYETTE  Got two whole boxes of formula for you.  A hundred and twenty cans.  (To husband.)  Where did you put 'em?

LUREEN  A hundred and twenty?

L.D.  Oh hell, backseat of the car where I left 'em.  Rodeo can get 'em.  (Throws keys contemptuously at Jack, who misses them.)  

FAYETTE  Oh L.D.!  I can already see who little Bobby looks like!

L.D.  Good job, little girl.  He's the spittin' image of his grandpa.  (To Jack.)  Isn't he the spittin' image of his grandpa?  (JACK says nothing, smiling stiffly.)

Scene in Riverton apartment over the laundromat, seven months later:

(ENNIS comes in from work.  ALMA is at the stove.  Girls underfoot.)

ALMA  Hey.  

ENNIS  How ya doin'?  (Goes to sink.)

ALMA  Hey Ennis, you know somebody name of Jack?  

ENNIS  Maybe.  But why?

ALMA  'Cause you got a postcard.  It come General Delivery.

(ENNIS picks up a  postcard on the kitchen table.  It's a picture postcard of Guadalupe Peak ["El Capitán and Signal Peak"] postmarked Childress, TX, Sept. 1967, and addressed to "Mr. Ennis Del Mar, Genral Delivery, Riverton Wy.":  "Friend this letter is long over due.  Coming thru on the 24th.  Drop me a line if your there.  Jack")

ALMA  Is he somebody you cowboy'd with or what?

ENNIS  No, Jack, he rodeos mostly.  We was fishing buddies.

Scene at Riverton post office:

(ENNIS fills out a 4c printed Lincoln postcard at the counter.  He writes "You bet" on the message side, turns it over to reveal the address already filled out: "Ennis Del Mar, Riverton, Wy.  Jack Twist, RFD 2, Childress, Texas."  Drops it into mail slot.)

Scene at Riverton apartment on September 24th:

(ENNIS is cleaned up, in his best shirt, paces, swills beer, smokes nervously.)

ALMA  Maybe we could get a baby-sitter?

ENNIS  Huh?

ALMA  Take your friend to the Knife and Fork.

ENNIS  Well, Jack ain't the restaurant type.  We'll more'n likely just go out and get drunk.  If he shows.

Scene at Riverton apartment (hours later):

(ENNIS slumped on sofa, looking rather out of it, with several empty beer bottles and a full ashtray nearby.)  

ALMA (at kitchen table with ALMA JR.)  Okay, we take one more bite and then you're finished with dinner.  There, that's a good bite.  All right.  You're excused.  (ALMA JR. races off.)  (The following spoken to herself.)  Please, thank you.

Scene in parking lot below Riverton apartment:

(JACK drives up in a  red and white pickup truck.  ENNIS stands and looks out the window, then hurries out the door of apartment 2, standing at the top of the stairs as JACK gets out of the truck.)  

ENNIS  Jack fuckin' Twist!  

(JACK and ENNIS embrace.)

JACK  Son of a bitch.  (The two men kiss, observed by ALMA at the screen door; she retreats back inside in shock.  Finally, she goes back to the door and they come up the stairs.  She's back in the kitchen by now.)

ENNIS  Alma, this is Jack Twist.  And Jack, this is my wife, Alma.

JACK  Howdy.

ALMA  Hullo.

(JENNY babbles to herself in another room.)
   
JACK  Oh, you got a kid?

ENNIS  Yeah, I got two little girls: Alma Jr. and Jenny.

JACK  I got a boy.  Eight months old.  

ENNIS  Well!

JACK  Smiles a lot.  Married the prettiest little gal in Childress, Texas.

ENNIS  Yeah?

JACK  Lureen.

ENNIS  (To ALMA)  Well, me and Jack, we're gonna head out and get ourselves a drink.  

ALMA  Sure enough.

JACK  Pleased to meet you, ma'am.  

ENNIS  We might not get back tonight, when we get to drinkin' and talkin' and all.

ALMA (following them out)  Ennis, would you get me a pack of smokes . . .

ENNIS  You need smokes, they're in the top pocket of my blue shirt, they're in the bedroom.  (he's out the door by now)

Scene in a Riverton motel room:

(JACK and ENNIS are curled up together, both smoking.)  

JACK  Four years.  Damn.

ENNIS  Yeah, four years.  Didn't think I'd hear from you again.  I figured you was sore from the that punch.

JACK  That next summer, I drove back up to Brokeback, and talked to Aguirre 'bout a job, and told me you hadn't been back there, so I left.  Went down to Texas for rodeoin'.  That's how I met Lureen.  Made two thousand dollars that year bullridin', nearly starved.  Lureen's old man makes serious money, farm machine business.  'Course he hates my guts, though.

ENNIS  Hmm.  The Army didn't get you?

JACK  No, too busted up.  And that rodeoin' ain't like it was in my daddy's day.  Got out while I could still walk.  Swear to god I didn't know we was going to get into this again.   Hell, yes I did.  I red-lined it all the way, and couldn't get here fast enough.  What about you?

ENNIS  Me?  I don't know.

JACK  Old Brokeback got us good, don't it?  What are we gonna do now?

ENNIS  I doubt there's nothin' we can do.  I'm stuck with what I got here.  Makin' a livin's about all I got time for now.

Scene in Riverton apartment:

(ALMA slumped at kitchen table, miserable.  Hears truck drive up, becomes alert again.)  

ENNIS  (rushing in)  Hey.  Well, me and Jack's heading up in the mountains for a day or two.  Do ourselves a little fishin'.

ALMA  You know, your friend could come inside, have a cup of coffee.

ENNIS  He's from Texas.

ALMA  Texans don't drink coffee?  (ENNIS starts throwing things together for trip.)  You sure that foreman won't fire you for taking off?

ENNIS  Ya know, that foreman, he owes me.  I worked through a blizzard last Christmas, remember that?  Besides, I'll only be a coupla days.

ALMA JR.  (coming in)  Bring a fish, Daddy, a big one.

(ENNIS picks ALMA JR. up and hands her to ALMA.)

ALMA  (hugs daughter to her)  Come here.  Come here.

ENNIS  (embraces wife holding child)  Come here.  (Kisses her.)  See you Sunday, latest.

Scene in parking lot below apartment:

JACK  (getting into his truck on driver's side as ENNIS gets in passenger side)  I'm starvin'.  Wanna get somethin' to eat?

ENNIS  Yup.

Scene in Riverton apartment:

ALMA  (weeping, holding ALMA JR. to her)  Come here, honey.

Scene in mountains:

(Both men jump out of the truck, parked near the top of a cliff overlooking a lake.)

ENNIS  Last one in!

(They disrobe as they run and leap off the cliff, falling to the water.  Both exclaim as they hit the water, but there are no audible words.)  

Scene in mountains at night around campfire:

JACK  Is there anything interesting up there in heaven?

ENNIS  Well, I was just sending up a prayer of thanks.

JACK  For what?

ENNIS  For you forgettin' to bring that harmonica.  I'm enjoyin' the peace and quiet.

JACK  You know, it could be like this, just like this, always.

ENNIS  Yeah?  How you figure that?

JACK  What if you and me had a little ranch somewhere, a little cow-and-calf operation, it'd be a sweet life.  I mean, hell, Lureen's old man, you bet he'd give me a down payment if I'd get lost.  I mean, he more or less already said it.

ENNIS  No, I told you, it ain't gonna be that way.  You know, you got your wife and baby in Texas, and you know, I got my life in Riverton.

JACK  Is that so?  You and Alma, that's a life?

ENNIS  Now you shut up about Alma.  This ain't her fault.  The bottom line is, we're around each other and this thing grabs hold of us again, the wrong place, in the wrong time, we're dead.

Flashback scene to 1952, down a trail by a ditch:

ENNIS  There were these two old guys ranched up together down home, Earl and Rich.  They was the joke of town, even though they were pretty tough old birds.  Anyway, they found Earl dead in a irrigation ditch.  They took a tire iron to him, spurred him up and drug him around by his dick till it pulled off.  

(A young ENNIS and his brother K.E. see the dead man in the ditch.  We see only the lower half of their father's body as he makes both boys look at the dead man.)

Scene at campfire resumes in present time:

JACK  You seen this?

ENNIS  Yeah, I was, what, nine years old?  My daddy, he made sure me and my brother seen it.  Hell, for all I know, he done the job.  Two guys livin' together?  No way.  Now, we can get together once in a while way the hell out in the middle of nowhere, but . . .

JACK  Once in a while?  Ever' four fuckin' years?

ENNIS  Well, if you can't fix it, Jack, you gotta stand it.

JACK  For how long?

ENNIS  As long as we can ride it.  There ain't no reins on this one.

Scene below Riverton apartment four years later, with the girls on a swing:

(Arguing voices from apartment above them.  The girls stop swinging as they hear their parents arguing.)

ENNIS  It's nearly suppertime.  Where the hell do you think you're goin'?

ALMA  To work.

ENNIS  Hell, I thought you had the day off!

ALMA  Well, you thought wrong!

ENNIS  The girls need to be fed.  (ALMA pushes out the door and heads down the stairs.)

ALMA  Well, you take care of it!  (ENNIS follows her out.)

ENNIS  Alma!  Alma!

ALMA  Supper's on the stove!

ENNIS  No one's eatin' unless you're servin' it.

ALMA  I already promised I'd take the extra shift.  

ENNIS  Fuckin' tell 'em you made a mistake, then!  Alma!  Alma!  (ALMA ignores him and turns a corner, moving out of sight.)  Goddamn it!  (Notices his girls.)  You girls need a push or somethin'?  

GIRLS  No.  (They start to swing again.  ENNIS kicks a bucket he tripped over on the way out and walks back up the stairs.)

Scene outside at Newsome business in Childress:

JACK  (to a large group of farmers and ranchers, demonstrating a new oversized air-conditioned tractor)  Listen to her purr, gentlemen!  You ain't gonna get that with your Caddy!  I told you what she could do, now let me show you.

Scene inside at the Newsome business:

(LUREEN sits behind a desk and overhears the following exchange as JACK's demonstration continues outside the window.)

FARMER 1  Say, didn't that pissant use to ride the bulls?

FARMER 2  He used to try.  (Glances over at LUREEN to make sure she heard him.)




Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 28, 2006, 11:43:46 PM
Fourth installment continued:

Scene in Riverton apartment:

(ALMA brings a grocery bag in, mail in hand.  She sees a postcard, with a 6c Eisenhower stamp, postmarked July 1972, reading: "Ennis   See you in a couple weeks   fish should be jumping  Jack," and addressed to "Ennis Del Mar, 80 Pershing street, Apt. #2, Riverton, Wy 82501."  She folds the postcard back inside the circular ads as she heras ENNIS's truck outside.)

Scene in office at Newsome business in Childress:

JACK  Honey, have you seen my blue parka?

LUREEN  (at adding machine)  Um, last time I seen it you was in it.  Day we had that big ice storm.

JACK  Well, I could have swore I seen it here.

LUREEN  You know, you been going up to Wyoming all these years.  Why can't your buddy come down here to Texas and fish?

JACK  'Cause the Big Horn Mountain's ain't in Texas.  And I don't think his pickup could make it down here anyway.

LUREEN  New model coming in this week, remember.  You're the best combine salesman we got.  You're the only combine salesman, in fact.

JACK  Yeah, well, I'll be back in a week.  That is, unless I freeze to death, and I'll freeze if I don't find that parka.

LUREEN  Well, I don't have your goddamn parka.  You know, you're worse than Bobby when it comes to losin' stuff.

JACK  Oh, speaking of Bobby, did you call the school about gettin' him a tutor?

LUREEN  I thought you were gonna call.

JACK  I complain too much.  That teacher don't like me.  Now it's your turn.

LUREEN  Right.  Okay, fine, so I'll just . . .  I'll call later.

JACK  Right.  Fine.  'Bye.  (giving her a perfunctory kiss)  I got fourteen hours of driving ahead of me.

LUREEN  See now, it don't seem fair, you goin' up there two or three times a year, with him never comin' down here.  (JACK waves her remark off on the way out the door.)

Scene in Riverton apartment:

(ENNIS is banging around getting ready for another trip with JACK, as a radio in the background is going)

ANNOUNCER  Oh that's right, you heard the one about the great big guy, he's a big, hairy, monstrous guy, must've been a constructions worker all his life, and he's sitting in a bar next to this little bitty fellow, and the bartender says . . . (becomes inaudible)

ALMA  (reading newspaper)  Ennis, they got a openin' over at the power company.  Might be good pay. 

ENNIS  Well, as clumsy as I am, I'd probably get electrocuted.

ALMA JR.  (in next room playing with JENNY)  Daddy, the church picnic's next weekend.  Will you be back from fishin' by next weekend?  Please, Daddy?  Please? 

JENNY  Can you take us, Daddy?  Please?

ENNIS  Well, all right, as long as I don't have to sing, hmm?

JENNY  Daddy!  Thank you!

(ENNIS turns to leave without approaching his wife.)

ALMA  You forgettin' somethin'?

(ENNIS turns and grabs the tackle box, mutters something inaudible, hurries out.)

Scene in mountains at campsite:

(ENNIS drives up in his truck and gets out with fishing tackle and rod in hand.)

JACK  You're late.

ENNIS  Look what I brought.

(Further dialogue inaudible under swelling music.  More outdoor scenes, of both men on horseback, then a shot of a stream.)
   
Scene outside Newsome business in Childress:

JACK  (with Bobby on his lap as JACK steers a large red tractor, brand name VERSATILE, in circles)  There you go!  No hands!  (Tractor continues to move.)  It's all yours, buddy.  It's all yours. 

Scene on a ranch:

ENNIS  (on the back of a moving truck, throwing hay down by handfuls for the cattle to eat)  Come on!  Come on! 

Scene in Riverton apartment: 

(ENNIS is lying on the couch holding a beer, an ashtray on his stomach.  ALMA sits bored, while the girls play with dolls on the floor.  KOJAK is on TV, with the following scene in progress: A man walks into a room while another inside points a gun at his head.  VOICE: "Come on in, Alvin.  I've been trying to call you for hours.")

ALMA  It's Saturday night, you know.  We could still smarten up, head over to the church social.

ENNIS  That fire and brimstone crowd?

ALMA  I think it'd be nice.  (Crushed.)

(ENNIS doesn't answer.)

Scene in Riverton apartment:

(ENNIS and ALMA making love.) 

ALMA  Ennis, as far behind as we are on the bills, it makes me nervous not to take no precaution.

ENNIS  (pulls back)  If you don't want no more of my kids, I'll be happy to leave you alone.

ALMA  I'd have 'em if you'd support 'em. 

(ENNIS gets off her and both turn their backs to one another.)

Scene in Wyoming divorce court:

JUDGE  Custody of the two minor children, Alma Del Mar Jr. and Jennifer Del Mar, is awarded to plaintiff.  Defendant is ordered to pay child support to plaintiff in the sum of $125 per month, for each of the minor children, until they reach the age of 18 years.  Divorce granted, this 6th day of November, 1975. 

(ALMA looks bitter and determined.  ENNIS looks miserable.) 

(to 79:00)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 30, 2006, 08:35:00 PM
Fifth installment:

Scene in truck driving into Wyoming:

(JACK sings along to the lyrics of Roger Miller's "King of the Road.")

Scene outside ranch house in Wyoming:

(ENNIS's daughters are just getting put in his truck as JACK drives up unexpectedly.)

ENNIS  What're you doin' here, huh?

JACK  Got your message about the divorce.

ENNIS  (to daughters)  This here is Jack.  Jack, these are my baby girls, Alma Jr. and Jenny.

JACK  (to the GIRLS)  Hey.

ENNIS  Say "hi," girls.  

GIRLS  Hi.

JACK  I got your card, the divorce came through.  So here I am.

ENNIS  Yeah.

JACK  Had to ask about ten different people in Riverton where you had moved to.

ENNIS  Well . . .

JACK  I guess I thought that this means you . . .

ENNIS  Um, Jack.  I don't know what to say.  Uh . . .  See, I got the girls this weekend.  Uh . . . and jeez . . .  I'm sure as hell sorry.  You know I am.  See, I only get 'em once a month.  And I missed last month, so I just . . .  because of the roundup . . .  so I . . . well.

JACK  Yeah.  All right.

ENNIS  Jack.

JACK  I'll see you next month then.  (Leaves in his truck.)  

Scene in truck driving south:

(JACK weeps, then wipes his eyes and looks determined to do something.  Shot of a highway sign: EL PASO 65 / JUAREZ-MEXICO BORDER 68.)

Scene on a Juárez street:

(Babble of Spanish, especially from kids swarming all over the place.  JACK walks into a more dangerous part of town, and finally down an alley where hustlers are leaning against the wall on both sides.  Approaches one of them.)

HUSTLER  Señor.  

(JACK nods.  HUSTLER and JACK walk together down the alley into darkness.)  

Scene in Childress home of the Twist family on Thanksgiving 1977:

LUREEN  (bringing in a bowl)  Comin' up.

JACK  (bringing in turkey)  Here we go.  Here we are.

L.D.  Whoa there, Rodeo.  The stud duck do the carvin' around here.

JACK  You bet, L.D.  I was just saving you the trouble.

LUREEN  (noticing BOBBY is watching the TV football broadcast)  Bobby, if you don't eat your dinner, I'm gonna have to turn off that television.

BOBBY  Why, Mama?  I'm gonna be eatin' this food for the next two weeks.

JACK  You heard your mama.  You finish your meal and then you can watch the game.
(Gets up and turns TV off.  L.D. stops carving the turkey and turns the TV back on.)

LUREEN  Daddy?  Daddy!  

L.D.  Hell, we don't eat with our eyes.  You want your son to grow up to be a man, don't you, daughter?  Boys should watch football.

JACK  Not until he finishes eatin' the meal that his mama took three hours to fix.  (Gets up and turns TV off.)  

(L.D. stands up to turn on the TV again.)

JACK  Now you sit down, you old son of a bitch!  This is my house, this is my child, and you are my guest!  Now you sit down, before I knock your ignorant ass into next week.

(L.D. sits as LUREEN wipes a smile off her face.  JACK starts carving the turkey.)
   
Scene in Riverton home of the Monroe family on Thanksgiving 1977:

(ENNIS sits at the table with his former wife, now pregnant, her new husband Monroe, and his daughters.)

ALMA JR.  Daddy, tell about when you rode broncs in the rodeo.

ENNIS  Well, that's a short story, honey.  It was only about three seconds I was on that bronc.  The next thing I knew I was flyin' through the air.  Only I was no angel like you and Jenny here.  I didn't have no wings.  And that's the story of my saddle bronc career.  

Scene in Monroe home (later the same night):

(The GIRLS are watching competitive ice skating on TV with MONROE.)

ANNOUNCER  At this moment, they are in 12th place.  (Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio espagnol" is playing as skating music.  ENNIS brings in plates from the table as ALMA stands at the sink, scraping them off.)

ENNIS  There you go.

ALMA  You ought to get married again, Ennis.  Me and the girls worry about you bein' alone so much.

ENNIS  Well, once burned.

ALMA  You still go fishin' with Jack Twist?

ENNIS  Hmm, not often.

ALMA  You know, I used to wonder how come you never brought any trouts home.  You always said you caught plenty, and you know how me and the girls like fish.  So one night I got your creel case open night before you went on one of your little trips -- price tag still on it after five years -- and I tied a note to the end of the line.  It said, "Hello, Ennis, bring some fish home. Love, Alma."  And then you come back lookin' all perky and said you'd caught a bunch of brownies and you ate them up.  Do you remember?  I looked in the case first chance I got and there was my note still tied there.  That line hadn't touched water in its life.  

ENNIS  That don't mean nothin', Alma.

ALMA  Don't try to fool me no more, Ennis, I know what it means.  Jack Twist.  

ENNIS  Alma.  

ALMA  Jack Nasty.  You didn't go up there to fish.  You and him . . .

ENNIS  (grabs her wrist and twists it)  Now you listen to me, you don't know nothin' about it.

ALMA  I'm goin' to yell for Monroe.

ENNIS  You do it and I'll make you eat the fuckin' floor.

ALMA (screaming)  Get out!  Get out!  

ENNIS  And you too!

ALMA  (screaming)  Get out!  Get out!  Get out of my house, Ennis Del Mar!  You hear me?  You get out!

(ENNIS storms into the other room, grabbing his jacket and hat.  ALMA continues to scream, hysterical now, in the kitchen.)

JENNY  Daddy?

MONROE  Alma?

(ENNIS slams out of the house into the snowy night.  The GIRLS hurry onto the porch as he rushes to his truck.)

JENNY  'Bye, Daddy.

ALMA JR.  'Bye.

Scene in front of a redneck bar in Riverton:

(ENNIS pulls up, gets out of his truck and runs across the street, causing a truck pulling up to break sharply to avoid hitting him.)

DRIVER  Hey asshole, watch where you're goin'!

(ENNIS reaches in the DRIVER's window and pulls him out of the truck, swinging wildly at him.)

DRIVER  What . . .  You stupid fuck.  (A fight starts.)  God damn!  God!  God damn!  (Finally the DRIVER gets the best of ENNIS, who falls to the ground as he gets stomped.)

ENNIS  Oh fuck.  (The stomping continues.)

DRIVER  Damn it!

Scene at camp in the mountains in 1978:

(ENNIS is washing metal dishes at the edge of the stream.)  

JACK  (walking towards ENNIS from the direction of the tent, visibly older now, with a moustache)  All I'm saying is, what's the point of makin' it?  If the taxes don't get it, the inflation eats it all up.  You should see Lureen, punchin' numbers in her adding machine, huntin' for extra zeros, her eyes gettin' smaller and smaller, it's like watchin' a rabbit tryin' to squeeze into a snakehole with a coyote on its tail.

ENNIS  That's high-class entertainment if you ask me.  

JACK  For what it's worth.

ENNIS  You and Lureen, it's normal and all?

JACK  Sure.

ENNIS  She don't ever suspect?  (JACK shakes his head "no.")  You ever get the feelin', I don't know, uh, when you're in town, and someone looks at you, suspicious, like he knows.  And then you go out on the pavement, and everyone's lookin' at you, like they all know too?

JACK  Maybe you oughta get out of there.  You know, find yourself someplace different.  Maybe Texas.

ENNIS  Texas?  Sure, and maybe you can convince Alma to let you and Lureen adopt the girls.  Then we could just live together, herding sheep, and it'll rain money from L.D. Newsome, and whiskey'll flow in the streams.  Jack, that's real smart.

JACK  Go to hell, Ennis Del Mar.  You wanna live your miserable fuckin' life, you go right ahead.  I was just thinkin' out loud.  (Storms off.)

ENNIS  Yep, you're a real thinker there.  (Loses grip on one of the containers he's washing, which floats away, and he chases it.)  God damn . . . Jack fuckin' Twist.  Got it all figured out, ain't he?  

Scene in a redneck bar in Riverton:

(Babble of voices.  ENNIS sits drinking the last of several beers, smoking.)  

MAN (in background, unseen)  All right, hon.

(ENNIS gets up to go to the bathroom.  A woman at the jukebox takes his arm.)  

ENNIS  I was on my way to the . . .

CASSIE  I'm Cassie.  Cassie Cartwright.  (Pulls him to the dance floor, which is currently empty of dancers.)

ENNIS  Ennis.  Del Mar.  (They start to dance, her dancing more than him.)  

Scene in same bar (later):

ENNIS  (flopping back into his chair)  No more dancin' for me, I hope.  

CASSIE  (sitting across from him)  You're safe.  My feet hurt.  (Takes shoes off.)

ENNIS  It's hard work, is it?

CASSIE  Yeah, drunks like you demanding beer after beer, smokin'.  Gets tiresome.  What do you do, Ennis Del Mar?

ENNIS  Mmm, earlier today I was castratin' calves.  (CASSIE looks disgusted.  Suddenly she puts her feet onto ENNIS's lap.)  What are you doin'?

CASSIE  Tryin' to get a foot rub, dummy.

ENNIS  All right.  (Rubs her feet.)  That good?

CASSIE  Uhuh.

Scene in a Childress dance hall in 1978:

(LUREEN and JACK are sitting at the same table with LASHAWN and RANDALL.  LASHAWN is babbling before we can hear the words she's saying.)

LASHAWN  And then I pledged Tri Delt at SMU, and I sure never thought I'd end up in a poky little place like Childress, but then I met ol' Randall here at an Aggie game.  He was an animal husbandry major, so we been here a month, and he got the foreman job over at Roy Taylor's ranch.  Like it or not, here I am!

LUREEN  Was you Tri Delt?  I was Kappa Phi myself.

LASHAWN  Well, even though we ain't quite sorority sisters, we may just have to dance with ourselves, Lureen.  Our husbands ain't the least bit interested in dancin', they ain't got a smidgen of rhythm between 'em.

LUREEN  It's funny, isn't it?  Husbands don't never seem to wanna dance with their wives.  Why do you think that is, Jack?

JACK  I don't know, I never give it any thought.  (Turns to LASHAWN.)  Wanna dance?

LASHAWN  Yes -- thank you!

JACK  (to RANDALL)  Do you mind?  

RANDALL  No, it's all right.  Go ahead.

JACK  All right.  (LUREEN, clearly offended, says nothing.)  

LASHAWN  (getting up)  Pardon us.  Thank you for asking me to dance with you.  I really appreciate that, Randall never does.  Last time I did, I think it was out wedding.  It's a good thing you and Lureen happened along when you did, or else we'd still be stuck on the side of the road in that durn pickup.  I told Randall we oughta take the car.  Of course he never listens to me.  He wouldn't listen to me if he was goin' deaf tomorrow.  I told him it takes more than chewing gum and baling wire to fix that pickup.  Well, he's never been very mechanical, though.  

Scene in Childress, in front of dance hall (later that night):

(JACK and RANDALL sit on a bench smoking.  A group walks down the steps out the door of the hall.)

MAN  Come over here and ask me . . .  (voice fades)

JACK  You ever notice how a woman'll powder her nose before she goes to a party.  Then she'll powder it again once the party's over?  I mean, why powder your nose just to go home and go to bed?  

RANDALL  Don't know.  Even if I wanted to know, I couldn't get a word in with Lashawn long enough to ask.  Woman talks a blue streak.

JACK  Lively little gal.  (clears throat)  You'll like working for Roy Taylor.  He's solid, Roy.

RANDALL  Yeah, Roy, he's a good old boy.  (pause)  He's got a little cabin down on Lake Kemp.  Got a croppie house, a little boat.  (JACK nods.)  Said I could use it whenever I want.  We oughta go down there some weekend.  Drink a little whiskey, fish some.  Get away, you know?

(LASHAWN and LUREEN come through the door and down the steps.)

LASHAWN  When I was right out of SMU I coulda had my pick of pretty much any job in North Dallas, so my pick was Neiman Marcus, which was a disaster, because honey, where clothes is concerned, I got no resistance, I was spending more than I made, more than Randall ever will make.  We come here thinking ranching was still big hats and Marlboros, boy were we behind the times.

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on April 30, 2006, 08:35:25 PM
Fifth installment continued:

Scene in Riverton, on the porch of Monroe's house, in 1979:   

(ALMA JR. is waiting for ENNIS to drive up.  When he does, she sees a woman in the front seat with him, and the smile falls from her face.) 

ENNIS  Hey there Junior.  Ready?
   
Scene in redneck bar where CASSIE works:

(ENNIS is at the jukebox, currently playing Tammy Wynette's "D-I-V-O-R-C-E")

CASSIE  (across from ALMA JR. at a table)  What do you think?  Your daddy ever gonna see fit to settle down again?

ALMA JR.  Don't know.  (pause)  Maybe he's not the marrying kind.

CASSIE  You don't think so?  Or you don't think I'm the one for him?

ALMA JR.  You're good enough.

CASSIE  (smiles)  You don't say much, but you get your point across.

ALMA JR.  Sorry.  I didn't mean to be rude.

ENNIS  (walks up and starts to sit down)  All right.

CASSIE  (pulls ENNIS back up)  You're stayin' on your feet, cowboy. 

ENNIS  (to ALMA JR.)  Excuse me, darlin'.

(ALMA JR. watches them dance, visibly unhappy.)
   
Scene in Riverton, in front seat of moving truck:

ENNIS  So I'll pick you and Jenny up next weekend after church. 

ALMA JR.  Fine.

ENNIS  You all right?

ALMA JR.  Yes.

ENNIS  Are you sure?

ALMA JR.  Daddy, I was thinking, what with the new baby and all.  Ma and Monroe have been awful strict on me.  More on me than Jenny even.  I was thinking, maybe I could come stay with you.  I'd be an awful good help, I know I would.

ENNIS  Now, uh, you know I ain't set up for that.  And with the roundup comin', I won't ever be home.

ALMA JR.  It's all right, Daddy.

ENNIS  I'm not sayin' that I wouldn't . . .   

ALMA JR.  It's all right, I understand.

ENNIS  Well, I'll see you on Sunday, then.

ALMA  'Bye.  (gets out of car)

ENNIS  'Bye, sweetheart.

Scene at night in camp in the mountains in 1981:

JACK  Gonna snow tonight for sure. 

ENNIS  Yup.

JACK  All this time and you ain't found nobody else to marry.

ENNIS  I been puttin' the blocks to a good-lookin' little gal over in Riverton.  She's a waitress, wants to go to nursing school or somethin'.  I don't know.  (pause)  What about you and Lureen?

JACK  (looks at ENNIS sharply)  Lureen's good at makin' hard deals in the machine business, but as far as our marriage goes, we could do it over the phone.  I kinda got this thing goin' with a ranch foreman's wife over in Rutters. 

ENNIS  What?  (laughs)

JACK  I'm bound to get shot by Lureen or her husband each time I slip off to see her.

ENNIS  Well, you probably deserve it.

JACK  Tell you what . . .  Truth is, sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it.

(ENNIS doesn't answer.  Scene cuts to them in the tent that night, asleep together.)

Scene at trailhead in the morning, both trucks packed and ready to leave:

JACK  I guess I'll head on up to Lightning Flat.  See the folks for a day or two.

ENNIS  There's somethin' I been meanin' to tell you, bud.  It's likely November before I can come out here again.  After we ship stock and before the winter feedin' starts again.

JACK  November.  What in the hell happened to August?  (Slams truck door, and ENNIS flinches.)  Christ, Ennis, you know, you had a fuckin' week to say some little word about this.

ENNIS  Well . . .

JACK  And why's it we're always in the friggin' cold?  We oughta go south, where it's warm, you know.  We oughta go to Mexico.

ENNIS  Mexico?  Hell, you know me.  About all the travelin' I ever done is around a coffeepot, lookin' for the handle.  (No response.)  Come on, Jack.  Lighten up on me.  We can hunt in November, kill us a nice elk.  I'll try if I can get Don Wroe's cabin again.  We had a good time that year, didn't we?

JACK  There's never enough time, never enough.  You know, friend, this is a goddamn bitch of an unsatisfactory situation.  You used to come away easy.  Now it's like seein' the Pope.

ENNIS  Jack, I gotta work.  Huh?  Them earlier days I just quit the job.  You forget what it's like bein' broke all the time.  You ever hear of child support?  I'll tell you this, I can't quit this one.  And I can't get the time off.  It was hard enough gettin' this time.  The trade-off was August.  You got a better idea?

JACK  I did once.

ENNIS  You did once.  (Approaches him till he's in JACK's face.)  Well, have you been to Mexico, Jack?  'Cause I hear what they got in Mexico for boys like you.

JACK  Hell yes, I been to Mexico.  Is that a fuckin' problem?

ENNIS  I'm gonna tell you this one time, Jack fuckin' Twist.  And I ain't foolin'.  What I don't know, all them things that I don't know, could get you killed if I come to know them.  I ain't jokin'.  (Walks away.)

JACK  Yeah well, try this one, and I'll say it just once.

ENNIS  Go ahead.

JACK  Tell you what, we coulda had a good life together, fuckin' real good life, had us a place of our own.  But you didn't want it, Ennis!  So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain.  Everything's built on that.  That's all we got, boy, fuckin' all, so I hope you know that if you don't never know the rest. 

ENNIS  God damn it.

JACK  You count the damn few times that we have been together in nearly 20 years.  Measure the short fuckin' leash you keep me on, and then you ask me about Mexico and you tell me you'll kill me for needin' somethin' I don't hardly never get.  You got no idea how bad it gets.  And I'm not you.  I can't make it on a coupla high-altitude fucks once or twice a year.  You are too much for me, Ennis, you son of a whoreson bitch.  I wish I knew how to quit you.

ENNIS  (stricken, weeping)  Then why don't you?  Why don't you let me be, huh?  It's because of you, Jack, that I'm like this.  I'm nothin'.  I'm nowhere.  (JACK attempts to hug ENNIS but is pushed away.)  Get the fuck off me!

JACK  (hugging ENNIS anyway as ENNIS sinks to the ground, sobbing)  It's all right.  It's all right.  Damn you, Ennis.

ENNIS  I just can't stand this anymore, Jack.

Scene cuts to flashback in 1963 on Brokeback Mountain at daybreak:

(JACK stands half asleep at fire, as ENNIS approaches from behind and wraps his arms around him and rocks him.) 

ENNIS  Come on now, you're sleepin' on your feet like a horse.  My mama used to say that to me when I was little . . .  and sing to me . . .  (hums a song)  I gotta go.

(ENNIS gives JACK one more hug as JACK nods slightly, then lets JACK go.  As ENNIS leaves, we see JACK's face, with an expression of love and longing.)

Scene at trailhead, back to present:

(ENNIS's loaded truck drives off.  Cut to JACK's face watching him leave.  He appears disillusioned, bitter, empty of hope.)
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on May 01, 2006, 05:37:28 PM
Final installment.  I am going to compare this transcription against the film one more time & then link the full text to make it easily accessible from this board.  Any corrections welcome.  Notice I do some interpretation as I perceive the film, such as ENNIS saying "I love you" into the shirts.  Not everyone may agree.) 

Scene at Riverton Greyhound bus station dining room:

(ENNIS sits alone, eating apple pie and drinking coffee.  CASSIE breezes in with CARL and notices ENNIS.)

CASSIE  (to Carl)  Excuse me.  (approaching ENNIS)  Hey.  Ennis Del Mar.  Where you been?

ENNIS  Here and there.

CASSIE  I left word for you with Steve at the ranch.  And you must've got those notes I left at your place.

ENNIS  Looks like I got the message, in any case. (his glance indicates CARL)

CASSIE  Carl?  Yeah, Carl's nice.  He even talks. 

ENNIS  Good for you.

CASSIE  Yeah.  Good for me.  (pause)  I don't get you, Ennis Del Mar.

ENNIS  I'm sorry.  I was probably no fun anyways, was I?

CASSIE  (in tears)  Ennis, girls don't fall in love with fun.  (Flees the bus station dragging CARL behind her.) 

Scene at the Riverton post office:

(ENNIS is sorting through his mail in front of the post office when he comes across the following postcard, which he sent to Jack, now returned:

"Jack.  How about november 7 for you.  I can meet you at pine creek.  Ennis Del Mar."  Stamped across this message is DECEASED in red letters.

ENNIS is stunned, dead in his tracks.)
      
Scenes in a Riverton phone booth and in Childress home of LUREEN TWIST, crosscut:

LUREEN  (picks up phone)  Hello?

ENNIS  Hello, this is Ennis Del Mar, I, uh . . .

LUREEN  Who?  Who is this?

ENNIS  Ennis Del Mar.  An old buddy of Jack's.

LUREEN  Jack used to mention you.  You're the fishing buddy or the hunting buddy, I know that.  Woulda let you know what happened, but I wasn't sure about your name or address.  Jack kept his friends' addresses in his head.

ENNIS  That's why I'm callin', uh, see what happened.

LUREEN  Oh yeah.  Jack was pumping up a flat on the truck out on a back road when the tire blew up.  The rim of the tire slammed into his face, broke his nose and jaw, and knocked him unconscious on his back.  By the time somebody come along, he'd drowned in his own blood.  He was only 39 years old.

(ENNIS flashes on images of JACK being attacked by three men and beaten to death; one of them has a tire iron.)

LUREEN  Hello?  Hello?  Hello?

ENNIS  Was he buried down there?

LUREEN  We put a stone up.  He was cremated like he wanted, half his ashes was interred here.  The rest I sent up with his folks.  He used to say he wanted his ashes scattered on Brokeback Mountain, but I wasn't sure where that was.  Thought Brokeback Mountain might be around where he grew up.  Knowing Jack, it might be some pretend place where bluebirds sing and there's a whiskey spring.

ENNIS  No ma'am, we was herdin' sheep up on Brokeback one summer . . . back in '63.

LUREEN  (gives an involuntary moan as she puts 2 & 2 together)  Well, he said it was his favorite plce.  I thought he meant to get drunk.  He drank a lot.

ENNIS  Is his folks still up in Lightnin' Flat?

LUREEN  They'll be there till the day they die.

ENNIS  I thank you for your time.  I sure am sorry.  We was good friends.

LUREEN  (winces at ENNIS's last remark)  Get in touch with his folks.  Suppose they'd appreciate it if his wishes was carried out.  About the ashes, I mean.  (Abruptly hangs up the phone, leaving ENNIS stricken, the phone receiver in his hand.)

Scene outside of Lightning Flat, at  the TWIST homestead:

(ENNIS drives up in his pickup, and JACK'S MOTHER comes out the door to see him in, evidently expecting him.)

Scene in the TWIST home's kitchen:

(ENNIS sits across from JOHN TWIST, JACK's father, at the dining table, while JACK's MOTHER stands.)

JACK'S MOTHER  Want a cup of coffee, don't you?  Piece of cherry cake?

ENNIS  Yes ma'am, I'll have a cup of coffee, but I can't eat no cake just now, thank you. 

(JACK'S MOTHER gets a cup of coffee and puts it down in front of ENNIS on the table, continuing to stand.)

ENNIS  (speaking to JOHN)  I feel awful bad about Jack.  I can't begin to tell you how bad I feel.  I knew him a long time.  I come by to say that if you want me to take his ashes up there on Brokeback like his wife said he wanted to, then I'd be happy to.

(JACK'S MOTHER glances sharply at her husband as ENNIS finishes speaking.) 

JOHN  Tell you what, I know where Brokeback Mountain is.  Thought he was too goddamn special to be buried in the family plot.  Jack used to say, "Ennis Del Mar," he used to say, "I'm gonna bring him up here one of these days and we'll lick this damn ranch into shape."  Had some half-baked notion the two of you was gonna move up here, build a cabin, help run the place.  (spitting into his cup)  Then this spring he got another fella gonna come up here with him, build a place, help run the ranch, some ranch neighbor of his from down in Texas.  Gonna split up with his wife and come back here.  So he says.  But like most of Jack's ideas, never come to pass. 

(ENNIS is visibly shocked at the news of JACK's plans with someone else.  JACK'S MOTHER touches his shoulder.)

JACK'S MOTHER  I kept his room like it was when he was a boy.  I think he appreciated that.  You are welcome to go up to his room, if you want.

ENNIS  (barely able to speak)  Yeah, I'd like that, thank you.
   
Scene in JACK's boyhood room upstairs:

(After walking up the stairs, ENNIS finds the room and locates the pair of shirts hidden at the back of JACK's closet; both shirts have bloody sleeves from the fight they had had 20 years before on Brokeback Mountain.  ENNIS's white shirt is on the inside, and JACK's blue denim shirt is on the outside.  ENNIS pulls the hanger off the hook and cradles the shirts to his face, weeping.  He breathes in through the shirts, then exhales the words "I love you" directly into the shirts.)
   
Scene in the Twist home's kitchen:

(ENNIS walks back in with the shirts rolled up, only JACK's blue denim shirt visible.  ENNIS signals he wants to take the shirts, and JACK'S MOTHER nods, turns and takes a paper bag.  She puts the shirts in the bag for ENNIS.)

JOHN  Tell you what.  We got a family plot.  He's goin' in it.

ENNIS  Yes sir.

JACK'S MOTHER  You come back and see us again.  (She hands ENNIS the sack and he walks out the open door.)

ENNIS  (whispering to JACK'S MOTHER)  Thank you for this.  (She nods and shuts the door.)
   
Scene outside a house trailer off a country road in Wyoming:

(ENNIS puts stick-on numbers on the mailbox outside his trailer ("1" and "7"), then tosses the plastic backing on the numbers into an open trash can.  A sportscar he doesn't recognize drives up; he leans over and peers into the windshield to see who it is.  ALMA JR. gets out wearing a sweater.)

ENNIS  Hey there, Junior.

ALMA JR.  Hey Daddy.  Like the car?

ENNIS  (nods)  Yeah.  Is it yours?

ALMA JR.  It's Kurt's.

ENNIS  Well, I thought you were seein' Troy.

ALMA JR.  Troy?  Daddy, that was two years ago.

ENNIS  Troy still playin' baseball?

ALMA JR.  I don't know what he's doin'.  I'm seein' Kurt now.

ENNIS  Well, what does Kurt do?

ALMA JR.  Works out in the oil fields.

ENNIS  So he's a roughneck, huh?

ALMA JR.  (laughs)  Yeah.

ENNIS  I guess you're 19, you can do whatever you want, is that right?

ALMA JR.  Sure.  (Both step into the trailer.)

Scene inside trailer (continues last scene):

(ALMA JR. takes off her sweater and puts it behind her on the bed where she sits.)

ALMA JR.  Daddy, you need more furniture.

ENNIS  Yeah, well, if you got nothin', you don't need nothin'.  (sits across from her)
So what's the occasion?

ALMA JR.  Me and Kurt.  We're gettin' married.

ENNIS  Well, how long you known this guy for?

ALMA JR.  About a year.  The wedding'll be June 5th at the Methodist Church.  Jenny will be singing, and Monroe is gonna cater the reception.

ENNIS  Now this Kurt fella -- he loves you?

ALMA JR.  Yeah, Daddy.  He loves me.  (ENNIS looks away.)  Was hoping you'd be there. 

ENNIS  Yeah, I think I'm supposed to be on a roundup down near the Tetons.

(ALMA JR. is visibly disappointed, but says nothing.  ENNIS sighs, comes to a decision, stands and walks to the refrigerator.)

ENNIS  You know what?  I reckon they can find themselves a new cowboy.  (ENNIS takes a half full bottle of wine from the refrigerator as ALMA JR. laughs and smiles.  He pours the wine into two small glasses.)  My little girl, gettin' married, huh?  (Goes back to his chair, handing ALMA JR. one glass.)  To Alma and Kurt.  (They toast the coming marriage.)

Scene outside trailer:

(ENNIS watches ALMA JR. drive off, then turns and goes back inside.)

Scene inside trailer:

(ENNIS puts his hat back on a hanger on the wall, shuffling across the floor.  He notices ALMA JR.'s sweater left on the bed, picks it up, folds it.  He pulls open a clothes closet and puts the sweater on a shelf.  The two shirts are on a hanger held by a nail on the inside of the door, now reversed from how JACK left them -- ENNIS's shirt is now on the outside, JACK's on the inside.  A postcard of Brokeback Mountain is tacked up just above the shirts, and it's tilted to one side.  JACK snaps a button on JACK's denim shirt, touching it carefully.  He straightens the postcard with a finger.  He looks at both with tears in his eyes.)

ENNIS  Jack, I swear.

(ENNIS swings the door shut and moves offscreen to the left.  We can see out the trailer's window: a road outside cuts across the bottom of the window, with a green field behind it, a yellow field further out, and then a flat horizon, no mountain visible.)

Fade out. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: DaveL on May 02, 2006, 10:04:30 AM
Mike, Hi.   

I think you missed a line, where Ennis says "See ya in the mornin'"   or mumbles/whispers it in the flashback, final scene tog.

I don't think the "I love you" was said anywhere in the film or the book. E refers  to their relation as "this thing".   I don't think he could bring himself to speak those 3 words, even at the end, which is the point I believe the author makes in the passage at the end where E cannot even complete the sentence "Jack I swear....."


So I don't think those words were heard when those shirts were discovered, as much as some want to wish it so.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Pierre on May 02, 2006, 04:06:11 PM
There is no " I love you " this is a concept neither could ever verbalize.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on May 02, 2006, 04:29:03 PM
Some others have heard Ennis say these words in the scene with the shirts, & I hear him say them.  It's up to the person who is listening, & suit yourself.  I have corrected the text & will be posting the entire dialogue on my personal website & then ask the moderators here to pin that page to the top of this string. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Zuraffo on May 03, 2006, 12:22:14 AM
Ennis (or was it Heath  ::)) definitely mouthed (breathed) it into the shirt. It wasn't spoken out loud, but it's there.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on May 03, 2006, 12:59:29 PM
Until it gets pinned, here it is.

http://bodybuildingreviews.net/brokeback/
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Boppity on May 03, 2006, 01:37:07 PM
Ennis (or was it Heath  ::)) definitely mouthed (breathed) it into the shirt. It wasn't spoken out loud, but it's there.

I'm one who thinks that it is definitely not there.  His mouth moved, and you hear something like "ahhhffffff".  I can imagine why someone would interpret it as "I love you", but to me it is just a sobbing noise.

Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BocaGarrett on May 03, 2006, 08:17:49 PM
I was skeptical but I heard the "I love you" in the closet scene too.  He doesn't say it out loud, he almost breathes/whispers it, but it is definitely there.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Boppity on May 04, 2006, 01:58:18 PM
I was skeptical but I heard the "I love you" in the closet scene too.  He doesn't say it out loud, he almost breathes/whispers it, but it is definitely there.

Yes, but what exactly did you hear (not what you think you hear)?  As you said, he almost breathes/whispers it, and I did hear something that can be construed as "I love you", but it is so indistinct that you can also say that it is a sob, and I do think it is more likely a sob.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Jason T on May 10, 2006, 04:16:30 PM
if you watch the film with subtitles on, you get to see the script on screen. There are many lines I missed first time round because the music drowns them out or they're delivered in a whisper. If the subtitles are to be believed, there's no
"I love you" in the shirt scene. To be honest, I think that would be way out of character anyway. It doesn't really fit with Ennis's character.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on May 10, 2006, 04:53:07 PM
After reading the last page, i think we need a reminder that the topic of this thread is ''Film vs. Book -- Which was better?''
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on May 11, 2006, 12:42:10 PM
Some of the recent posts on "dislike" thread address the film vs. book as better issue. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on May 11, 2006, 01:09:53 PM
Some of the recent posts on "dislike" thread address the film vs. book as better issue. 

yeah, it's starting to wander a bit far over there, too.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on May 11, 2006, 03:39:38 PM
These strings blur faster than a herd of Chilean sheep!   8)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on May 11, 2006, 03:59:52 PM
These strings blur faster than a herd of Chilean sheep!   8)

You rose-stemmin ranchhands ain't never no good. ;)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ConstantReader on May 11, 2006, 06:37:40 PM
Here's a scene from movie with the words from the story superinposed.  Together they are more powerful than either is alone.

(http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g225/il60622/smell.jpg)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on May 21, 2006, 09:53:05 PM
Of late I've been getting back into the story (not as though I've actually left it - I read some every day) to clarify my thoughts on different things. EVERY time I find something else, something to kick-start another train of thought. I'm currently totally immersed in the way Annie fully reveals Jack's character to us only after he's dead. It mirrors the way that Ennis finally sees Jack in a clear light, without the obscuring veil of his internalised homophobia. He overcomes (too late) that nagging doubt Jack had that Ennis didn't want to see or feel it was Jack he held.
Film or story? I voted that both were as good and I stick by that because the film moves me like no other but, by God, that story is even more powerful. A single sentence can bring me to tears and have my mind racing for days.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sunspot on May 21, 2006, 11:21:51 PM
I'm currently totally immersed in the way Annie fully reveals Jack's character to us only after he's dead. It mirrors the way that Ennis finally sees Jack in a clear light, without the obscuring veil of his internalised homophobia. He overcomes (too late) that nagging doubt Jack had that Ennis didn't want to see or feel it was Jack he held.

Wow, I hadn't consciously noticed that before, but you're right - that is the impression we're left with.  A lot of people consider, "Jack, I swear . . ." to be something of an admission Jack was right and Ennis was wrong – a vow of love, an apology, something to acknowledge the love they each felt for the other.  Ennis finally came around, but only when confronted with the loss of Jack.

And it just hit me that the film echoes this idea of Ennis finally seeing past the obscuring veil of his homophobia in the scene where Ennis discovers the shirts and embraces them.  They're the same shirts the two were wearing during the dozy embrace, only this time Ennis is facing the front of Jack's shirt.  He now wishes he could see and feel it was Jack he held, but it's too late.

Well, that's enough to plunge me into a depression for the new week!  Thanks, Ministering angel!   ;)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lauren on May 22, 2006, 10:13:15 AM
Of late I've been getting back into the story (not as though I've actually left it - I read some every day) to clarify my thoughts on different things. EVERY time I find something else, something to kick-start another train of thought. I'm currently totally immersed in the way Annie fully reveals Jack's character to us only after he's dead. It mirrors the way that Ennis finally sees Jack in a clear light, without the obscuring veil of his internalised homophobia. He overcomes (too late) that nagging doubt Jack had that Ennis didn't want to see or feel it was Jack he held.
Film or story? I voted that both were as good and I stick by that because the film moves me like no other but, by God, that story is even more powerful. A single sentence can bring me to tears and have my mind racing for days.

That part of the book is interesting. About that one sentence: If Ennis did feel uncomfortable at first being face to face with Jack (which we don't know -- only Jack's thoughts about it), Ennis overcame it long before the end. In the sentence it says that (paraphrasing because I don't have the book) Jack wondered if Ennis couldn't then hold him face to face, which means Ennis later could and did hold him that way.

I love that the film doesn't give you any sense of doubt by Jack in the hug scene. It's very sensual and loving, one of the most powerful scenes I've seen in any film. The description of it in the book is equally as powerful and loving, even with Jack's nagging doubt (which he dismisses with "let be, let be.") And in the film it's made even more clear that Ennis had, at the time the dozy hug takes place, lain with Jack face to face because of the hug takes place after the SNIT. So when Ennis hugs the shirts at the end, it's not the first time he's hugged him (so to speak) face to face, but many times (as evidenced by their romp across the meadow as well).
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on May 22, 2006, 03:04:32 PM
In fictional terms, Jack & Ennis have epiphanies (revelations of knowledge) at different points.  For Jack, it is the memory of the "dozy embrace" that he realizes was the greatest moment they shared back on Brokeback.  For Ennis, it is the shirts he finds in Jack's old room.  This paces the characters differently, & shifts the meaning of the epiphanies as moments of knowledge.  The dynamics of both epiphanies are transfered to the film. However, the info about how the shirts became bloodied is paced differently in the story, not revealed till close to the end.  In the film, we see that at the point it happens on the mountain. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wiljohn on May 22, 2006, 06:04:00 PM
I discoverd that you really have to both read and see BBM in any combo to get the full emotional and literarial impact--because the movie was so faithful to the printed word, it will make you sense and feel much deeper the primary story lines.  I saw the movie the 1st time halfheartedly--until thinking and visualizing it afterward--THEN it hit me and I had to read the story. After reading the story, and THEN seeing it again, It was a completely different experience--fully realized in depth and breadth and intensity.   One of the best experiences from a movie/book EVER.  I seriously doubt that there will be another combo of successful translations like this for quite a while.  I dont care if Ennis said anything into the shirts--the intensity displayed so effectively in the scene by Heath let me know that he got the Ennis character and his true feelings toward Jack (his emotional display felt truely genuine) And I still am not REALLY sure what the "Jack, I swear' is about, but from the printed entries in the story I got that he looked at the shirts like Jack was alive-and the only way he could face his true emotions about Jack (alluding to the part about whether Ennis could ever face Jack--I somehow got that maybe he wished had faced Jack earlier--when he was alive.  That is a regret that I think Ennis will feel as long as he is alive--figurative speaking). 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on May 22, 2006, 06:22:00 PM
I dont care if Ennis said anything into the shirts--the intensity displayed so effectively in the scene by Heath let me know that he got the Ennis character and his true feelings toward Jack (his emotional display felt truely genuine)

Willjohn that is so true, that is the real point - the emotion of the scene.  For me it is Ennis smelling the shirts (both stated in the book and portrayed by Heath in the movie) that shows us how close he felt to Jack, how much he missed his presence, how he tried to conjure a more complete memory.

Film VS Book - no wonder we have trouble with the topic, the film and the book are too much in harmony most of the time.

Mike's point about the reader finding out about the nosebleed at a later time in the story than the movie -- now that I have read a bit more of Annie Proulx I realize that she uses that technique often -- hinting at something, leaving it unclear (that punch) then bringing it up again so we know it's important (I thought you was sore from that punch, Ennis says in the motel room) and then in the story finally giving us the full details at a climactic moment.  The story is so brilliant I would never argue with this.  In the movie, the viewer still experiences a huge surprise, but this time along with Ennis.  It is still plenty surprising enough.  I read the story first, but seeing the movie with others, each time they express surprise "He took his shirt!" in just the way IMO Ang Lee intended.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sunspot on May 22, 2006, 06:34:32 PM
That part of the book is interesting. About that one sentence: If Ennis did feel uncomfortable at first being face to face with Jack (which we don't know -- only Jack's thoughts about it), Ennis overcame it long before the end. In the sentence it says that (paraphrasing because I don't have the book) Jack wondered if Ennis couldn't then hold him face to face, which means Ennis later could and did hold him that way.

I didn't read it that way at all.  Jack clearly states they never got much further than that, which means Ennis never could hold him face to face while sharing that "sexless hunger".  When Proulx writes that Ennis couldn't then face Jack, that's what she meant - that during such an expression of intimacy, of love beyond mere sexual attraction, Ennis could not bring himself to face Jack.  Too queer.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: 1224butternut on May 22, 2006, 06:44:50 PM
In fictional terms, Jack & Ennis have epiphanies (revelations of knowledge) at different points.  For Jack, it is the memory of the "dozy embrace" that he realizes was the greatest moment they shared back on Brokeback.  For Ennis, it is the shirts he finds in Jack's old room.  This paces the characters differently, & shifts the meaning of the epiphanies as moments of knowledge.  The dynamics of both epiphanies are transfered to the film. However, the info about how the shirts became bloodied is paced differently in the story, not revealed till close to the end.  In the film, we see that at the point it happens on the mountain. 

This is another aspect of the movie that I missed.  Excellent pick up...the revelations.  Wonderful.  And Wiljohn ... this is the only movie I have seen that was as good as the book and both were necessary to fully experience the story.  Any other movie...oh the book was better, but not with Brokeback Mountain.  I gave the story to a friend and said it was all right to read it and then see the movie.  Each compliments the other.  Absolutely unique.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wiljohn on May 22, 2006, 07:20:00 PM
The phrase 'don't know what you got till it's gone' is clearly realized by Ennis in Jacks'  bedroom--and subsequently lives it every day with the shirts in the closet--as a reminder perhaps to not let those you love slip away without telling them -- the acceptance of his daughter's wedding invite indicated that, in little steps, Ennis is coming out if his emotional isolation, and letting others in, as well as being willing to give love.
 (I think,too, going back, that the childhood scene could have frightened a child so much at the time  that they would be afraid to show much emotion of any kind, toward ANYONE,(which is why the scene in the snow with Alma really did seem out of character for Ennis). Realizing early on that he loved Jack, who is apparently the only person in his life he ever truly cared about down deep, got him confused about love in general--maybe because he isolated  this type of deep love (the only time I think he ever felt it) to (just) Jack--a man--flashback to the gulley - since he may have thought nothing could be better than this, it couldnt be seen anywhere by anyone, because this type of love could only occur between those 2??--Only after Jack's death and the realization that he could not only never be with him but never be able to tell him anything, did he maybe realize that he has people around him who love him no matter what, and he still has opportunities to share and show that love.  (The descriptions of the dreams in the book come to play here, because where we can't see them in the movie, having read the book ,you realize that the "Jack I swear" is also  his response to the visualizations of Jack reminding him daily about what love is--and having the shirts put in a place to intentionally remind him of what love is and can be.  (Annie is one of the few writers who can put out so much thought from so few words--she is amazing.)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wiljohn on May 22, 2006, 07:35:47 PM
And another difference between the movie and book--in the motel room at the 4yr 'reunion', I do not recall any dialogue in the movie about Jack telling Ennis that they were found out on the mountain--there was a whole monologue including that revelation---but nothing was ever mentioned in the movie--or did I miss something?? (now I gotta watch it again--darn!!). The movie version was apparently played for 'romance' purposes, where it would have seemed a little seedier had that comment been added, I think.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on May 23, 2006, 09:46:03 PM
Too many people to quote but when I said on the last page that Ennis "overcomes (too late) that nagging doubt Jack had that Ennis didn't want to see or feel it was Jack he held." I certainly did n't mean to imply that Ennis had never overcome that feeling within himself. I'll get this completely messed up, I know, but bear with me.
To the end, as shown in the dozy embrace, Jack has that doubt although he dismisses it a little by just letting it slide (Let be, let be). The intensely primal nature of that scene is the thing that keeps bringing Jack back time and again, even though he has that doubt. Ennis's reaction at seeing the shirts and realising the whole impact of Jack's love for him sweeps aware any pretense he might have had about the truth of their love. Yes, Ennis, you were in love with a man and he was in love with you, pure and simple.
I know Ennis overcame his reluctance to embrace Jack face to face yet Annie makes it clear that Jack still held those doubts. The scene in the closet shows us, the readers, that Jack's doubts were unfounded.
Total confusion, I'm sorry. This is something I'm working through at present and it's mostly on a "felt" level. It's taken me four months to get far enough over the monolith of Ennis to even begin to analyse Jack's character - and this story is only 10500 words long!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on May 26, 2006, 01:33:36 AM
And another difference between the movie and book--in the motel room at the 4yr 'reunion', I do not recall any dialogue in the movie about Jack telling Ennis that they were found out on the mountain--there was a whole monologue including that revelation---but nothing was ever mentioned in the movie--or did I miss something?? (now I gotta watch it again--darn!!). The movie version was apparently played for 'romance' purposes, where it would have seemed a little seedier had that comment been added, I think.

Yes, it's missing.  I don't know if it's because film Ennis seems more paranoid if anything than book Ennis - maybe they thought it would be inconsistent if he reacted calmly to the revelation that they'd been seen.  Even in the book, Jack holds back a bit and doesn't tell Ennis what Aguirre said. 

In the film the return to Signal is shown as a private experience for Jack instead of something they talk about at the reunion.  In the book we see very little of Jack directly - we only see what he tells Ennis.  In the film they chose to show more of Jack's point of view.  I like it that way, but it would have been interesting to see filmed the way the book story is told.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: blubird on May 26, 2006, 03:46:36 PM
        Any ideas on the identity of the "dark haired movie star" picture piinned up by Jack's (too sad) bed? The book comments that the paper and color is quite weathered. My own idea is the mysterious movie star is Tom Mix. Tom Mix was a dashingly handsome black - haired star who hailed from Texas. His calling card was western films. He's always pictured on horseback, with his trademark huge white cowboy hat. This might've been his mother's favorite star as well. His heyday was from 1920 ~ 1929 mostly western/silents. He lived in a trendy palacial Mediterranean style home in Hollywood filled with the gaudy trappings of the western way of life. He drove a white Pierce-Arrow car and must've been quite a sight whenever seen. Perhaps this is what impressed littlle boy Jack and led him to the rodeo as a local counterpart.  Just a thought, I've always loved the 1920's and the silent films and "westerns" were extremely popular, as well as the stars.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wiljohn on May 26, 2006, 04:58:59 PM
And another difference between the movie and book--in the motel room at the 4yr 'reunion', I do not recall any dialogue in the movie about Jack telling Ennis that they were found out on the mountain--there was a whole monologue including that revelation---but nothing was ever mentioned in the movie--or did I miss something?? (now I gotta watch it again--darn!!). The movie version was apparently played for 'romance' purposes, where it would have seemed a little seedier had that comment been added, I think.

Yes, it's missing.  I don't know if it's because film Ennis seems more paranoid if anything than book Ennis - maybe they thought it would be inconsistent if he reacted calmly to the revelation that they'd been seen.  Even in the book, Jack holds back a bit and doesn't tell Ennis what Aguirre said. 

In the film the return to Signal is shown as a private experience for Jack instead of something they talk about at the reunion.  In the book we see very little of Jack directly - we only see what he tells Ennis.  In the film they chose to show more of Jack's point of view.  I like it that way, but it would have been interesting to see filmed the way the book story is told.
Let me see if I can get this other thought across like it came to me:
Although even Annie P has stated that the transfer of the printed story to the screen was one of the most complete she has ever seen, I am struck by the truly down-scaled feel of the literature--like you are the narrator, literally following these 2 young lost souls, each alone on their own private journeys, as they are with and apart from the other, (very 'Our Town" ish), and I think that feeling makes the reading so intensely personal for so many---you felt like you literally watched it as it happend and only you saw it.  (And remembering the way Annie used language, you never got any feel of glamour or grandeur in any of this, except what you personally bring to it).  It was a very 'small' story about 2 average young western boys finding love with each other in what turned out to be an impossible situation for both.  The movie turned this same story into something that everyone everywhere should see and hear.  It became more glamourous and intense and definitely grander in scale. I said previously what if they got really average actors to play the 2 leads (especially unknown ones)....dont think it would have soared as high, or been as popular to a wider audience.   Heath and Jake appear to be just the perfect unglamorous glamour boys that the movie needed to succeed.  The story succeeds brilliantly on the small scale, but the movie has truly captured the essence of the story and made it seem truly grand in it's attempt to tell the story of this intensely private love affair. The irony is that in watching the movie, inspite of the mountains and wide vistas, you still get that it's a private affair mostly. For keeping the essence of the personal aspects of the story intact, Ang Lee deserved the Oscar. (I hope this makes sense to someone...it did to me at the time I thought it).
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on May 27, 2006, 12:46:59 AM
It makes sense to me too, Wiljohn - thank you for that post. 
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: blubird on May 30, 2006, 01:32:45 PM
So the original story had a prologue and the NYer editorial staff eliminated it, right?  The reason I ask is that I first encountered the NYer version.  I assumed it was the original.  As well written as the proglogue is, I can't bring myself to accept it.  It seems, IMO, to reduce the story to a flashback.  There are a couple of smaller details that I also don't really like, but the prologue is the main bit.  The stand alone version indicates Jack has a feather in his hat he got off an eagle he had killed the summer before.  I hate that detail.  For some reason, it makes Jack seem like a fool to me.

Jack's bragging about the eagle feather in his hat is more like an immature teenager thinking he did something really important by killing the bird.

It was foolish for him to kill a bird which served him no purpose other than the single feather after it was dead.

The italicized "prologue" is very important to the whole story and if you read it again after reading the last paragraph of the story, you will see that Ennis' dreams were no longer nightmares but pleasant ones. Ennis is beginning again in the prologue.
                                                                                                                                              I believe that Jack killed the bird (illegally) as a rite-of-passage more than anything else. Perhaps he thought it was some old Indian legend to place the feather in his hat as a talisman of some kind. The story Jack is not otherwise cruel to animals but he does lift his gun to the bear. Remember Ennis's treatment of the "big" coyote? He does preserve his old hat with the eagle feather and proudly wears it on their last rendevous on the mountain.                                                                                                                                            I personnally like author AP's style especially when Ennis relates "1963 the year he met Jack Twist" seems to indicate that from that moment Ennis came alive and into being, the precise moment he met Jack.                                                                                                                                                   Will AP write a sequel?                     
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: john john on May 30, 2006, 09:54:02 PM
        Any ideas on the identity of the "dark haired movie star" picture piinned up by Jack's (too sad) bed? The book comments that the paper and color is quite weathered. My own idea is the mysterious movie star is Tom Mix. Tom Mix was a dashingly handsome black - haired star who hailed from Texas. His calling card was western films. He's always pictured on horseback, with his trademark huge white cowboy hat. This might've been his mother's favorite star as well. His heyday was from 1920 ~ 1929 mostly western/silents. He lived in a trendy palacial Mediterranean style home in Hollywood filled with the gaudy trappings of the western way of life. He drove a white Pierce-Arrow car and must've been quite a sight whenever seen. Perhaps this is what impressed littlle boy Jack and led him to the rodeo as a local counterpart.  Just a thought, I've always loved the 1920's and the silent films and "westerns" were extremely popular, as well as the stars.

I wish I could remember where I read this but the actor was to be Montgomery Clift. Ang Lee would have discussed it with production designer Judy Becker and both agreed to dimiss it altogether, not wanting to steer the story on one side or the other (a man OR a woman star).
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sid401k on May 30, 2006, 10:33:21 PM
An early version of the script says Maximilian Schell.
(http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h98/Sid401k/schell.jpg)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sunspot on May 30, 2006, 10:50:56 PM
>Maximilian Schell.

I knew I'd read that somewhere, and couldn't recall where.  Yes - it's in the 2003 edition of the script.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sid401k on May 30, 2006, 11:22:38 PM
Hunk, huh?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: john john on May 31, 2006, 05:51:57 AM
I stand corrected!
It's a freudian slip, I prefer Monty.... ;D
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on May 31, 2006, 10:47:42 PM
Personally, I'm glad they didn't have a photo on the wall. The gender isn't revealed in the story and that's how it should be. I'm a straight female but I had photos of men and women on my wall as a kid. I prefer the ambiguity of the story.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: azmountainman on June 04, 2006, 09:13:41 PM
The short story had a deeper emotional effect on me and I spent way too much time in the theater looking for what I thought were key elements in the story. I admit that I felt some disappointment when I did not find them and I discuss these elsewhere on this forum. Also, there were parts of the story that could not translate well to film and parts that were intentionally not included for one reason or another. I hope the screenwriters and the director cover those in a future release.

On Annie Proulx's site she says she only took issue with the first reunion night in the motel. I agree as I think the film in no way adequately portrayed either the setting, their passion, or the emotion as portrayed in the story. I can get into that deeper is anyone so desires but I am sure that too is probably covered elsewhere in this wonderful (the best!) forum.

Everything else being equal, both the film and short story are individual works of art and each stand on their own. However, if I have a question raised as a result of seeing the film I return to the story for the answers.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jimspain on June 08, 2006, 12:25:34 AM
The short story had a deeper emotional effect on me and I spent way too much time in the theater looking for what I thought were key elements in the story. I admit that I felt some disappointment when I did not find them and I discuss these elsewhere on this forum. Also, there were parts of the story that could not translate well to film and parts that were intentionally not included for one reason or another. I hope the screenwriters and the director cover those in a future release.

On Annie Proulx's site she says she only took issue with the first reunion night in the motel. I agree as I think the film in no way adequately portrayed either the setting, their passion, or the emotion as portrayed in the story. I can get into that deeper is anyone so desires but I am sure that too is probably covered elsewhere in this wonderful (the best!) forum.

Everything else being equal, both the film and short story are individual works of art and each stand on their own. However, if I have a question raised as a result of seeing the film I return to the story for the answers.
I've just come to this board a week ago, when I first saw the DVD. Never got to see it on the big screen, which, considering the painful double-whammy I got from the smallscreen , is perhaps just as well !!!

Anyway, I found this wonderful place and and all you lovely people and someone very generous on it sent me a digital copy of the original novella.( name omitted to protect the innocent ) This means I've experienced both ONLY ONCE. Coming at them in reverse......Now there's a delicious thought!

  I loved them both equally..and totally diffirently...What didn't happen, which surprised me, was that I couldn't really fit Ang's boys with Annie's boys. In the story it's obvious they're only average looking (Jack's buck teeth !). For the Hollywood bottom line they had to have popcorn appeal. A given which I totally accept .And Ang's boys ARE cornpoppingly magnificent!!!!

But the boys in the story are gaucher, ungainly.The only real beauty in THEIR lonestar lives will be their starspangled love for one another.Messrs Ledger and Gyllenahall need have no worry there methinks!!! This makes the novella for me especially poignant!!That and the cut-glass precision of Mme Proulx' electric prose-style!!!

But its churlish to compare story and movie!! We should all just be glad we've got both AND the intermittent screenplays (which I now can't get hold off ???) Not to mention the cameraderie and soulsearching of this community here in responnse to them both!!! Because they all add up to something very unique and wonderful and inexplicable! Somewhere where our  souls are allowed to play unfettered in the bleak Wyoming of our real lives!!!

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Fricky on June 09, 2006, 06:41:35 AM
I prefer the movie cuz it shows you more bout the story than the book.
Gives you an better insight of the people gives the pain and feelings a face.
Books an movies are mostly diffrent but they tried to reproduced in facsimile.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: john john on June 09, 2006, 08:01:20 AM
I prefer the movie cuz it shows you more bout the story than the book.
Gives you an better insight of the people gives the pain and feelings a face.
Books an movies are mostly diffrent but they tried to reproduced in facsimile.


Hi Fricky! Welcome to the forum!
The book and the movie are so similar yet so different, I see as much beauty in one or the other, I just can't decide!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Fricky on June 09, 2006, 08:27:32 AM
Thank you ;)

I know that the books got some diffrent versions. I just have the german one.
Yesterday i saw the movie in english...why does Heath mumble?

I don understand a word...

He always talk like that?  So i hope id never have a conversation with him. ;D
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: john john on June 09, 2006, 09:20:54 AM
Thank you ;)

I know that the books got some diffrent versions. I just have the german one.
Yesterday i saw the movie in english...why does Heath mumble?

I don understand a word...

He always talk like that?  So i hope id never have a conversation with him. ;D


Heath mumbles because he plays Ennis has a man with a lot of difficulty expressing his feelings, he thinks that talking will betray who he really is. I'm sure he is very shy and humble. He is also uneducated and has probably spent much of his young life very much alone.
The Wyoming accent is also something to deal with.

If you watch the movie many times you'll get used to his mumbling and catch every precious word.

Heath Ledger doesn't talk like that in real life, I 'm sure you would understand everything he'd say if you'd have the wonderful opportunity to talk with him.

I hope you do one day :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Fricky on June 09, 2006, 09:41:50 AM
I first saw the german movie. Maybe i dont realize it cuz its my language. *g
Just when i saw the English version i recognized that hes mumbled...

Im not sure that ill understand every word hell say..The Us peeplz talkin that fast... ;)

I cant believe how close i feel to them. Even i know that they not real....
Annie Proulx said that she tells the story about a lot of guys in the sixtys (maybe even today)  who felt like Ennis n Jack.
Perhaps i feel so sorry for those one who never could live their love...

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: daphne on June 09, 2006, 09:53:06 AM
I first saw the german movie. Maybe i dont realize it cuz its my language. *g
Just when i saw the English version i recognized that hes mumbled...

Im not sure that ill understand every word hell say..The Us peeplz talkin that fast... ;)

I cant believe how close i feel to them. Even i know that they not real....
Annie Proulx said that she tells the story about a lot of guys in the sixtys (maybe even today)  who felt like Ennis n Jack.
Perhaps i feel so sorry for those one who never could live their love...




Hey Fricky  :) Maybe you should get the DVD and watch the movie with subtitles. I'm Italian and it was a big help. I also bought the script. I don't know if they did a good job with the German translation: the Italian one wasn't too bad, but this movie without the actors' original voices is not the same, in my opinion, something gets lost. BTW, if you are obsessed (and if you are here, maybe you are  ;)) you'll see the movie a million times, and you'll learn all the lines by heart, and Heath's mumbles won't be a problem any more  :D
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Fricky on June 09, 2006, 10:01:12 AM
Yesterday ive sat at the couch and imagine i were Ennis and Jack sat next to me...
I repeat the scenes with the words i remembers..with the kids and woman...
and suddenly i mumbled too cuz without mumble it isnt Ennis.. *g

I know im crazy...*g
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sid401k on June 09, 2006, 10:54:00 AM
I know im crazy...*g
You've got lots of company, Fricky!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Fricky on June 09, 2006, 12:06:30 PM
Good to know..how i get over that?
Got som medicine?
*g
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jimspain on June 09, 2006, 03:02:28 PM
Sure, honey . Stay here and just enjoy being crazy. It's a good crazy.And you're gonna love being here. Everyone's gonna adore you and your lovely English It has a wonderful simplicity, but makes its point beautifully and with such colour!So don't be shy!!!!
I'm especially impressed that the movie even worked its magic on your heart in overdubbed German!. Answers a question I'd had about how universal the 'Brokeback' effect was.It does appear to cut across language. Probably helped by the fact there's hardly any speaking in it!!!!!
Even so, you must be an especially sensitive and magical person! This forum is blessed by having you!!!!
megakisses!!!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Fricky on June 09, 2006, 03:12:24 PM
I love those two guys..full of magic and repressed passion...

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jimspain on June 09, 2006, 03:17:45 PM
Chucks, Hun. I heart you!!!!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: freetraveller on June 11, 2006, 08:57:46 AM
Quote
Hey Fricky  :) Maybe you should get the DVD and watch the movie with subtitles. I'm Italian and it was a big help. I also bought the script. I don't know if they did a good job with the German translation: the Italian one wasn't too bad, but this movie without the actors' original voices is not the same, in my opinion, something gets lost. BTW, if you are obsessed (and if you are here, maybe you are  ;)) you'll see the movie a million times, and you'll learn all the lines by heart, and Heath's mumbles won't be a problem any more  :D
Quote


Hi Daphne, I'm Italian too, but I live in England. I saw BBM at the cinema many times in the UK, and I also saw it once in Italy (dubbed in Italian), if anything, out of curiosity.
I was so disappointed with the Italian version. I have always been against dubbing in movies and in favour of subtitling, and I get so angry that so much is lost from nuances in actors' original voices when dubbing. And therefore the Italian audience is deprived of the higher production values of the original version. As you know, it's so difficult to find cinemas in Italy showing films in the original version (with or without subtitles), even in large cities. In most cases, you have to wait for the DVD to come out, to be able to enjoy a movie in its original version.
And also, because dubbing means having to synchronise the original speech with the new one, and because most languages have different rhythms and speeds, sometimes even a simple sentence - when dubbed - loses the original rhythm, and tends to sound unnaturally slow (in most cases) or fast.
For example, American English is usually spoken in a slower rhythm than, say British English, or Italian, or Spanish... And this is shown when dubbing: for example, many US sitcoms lose the freshness and liveliness of the original speech when they're dubbed into Italian, because the Italian version has to adapt to the original speed and synchronise with the actors' lip movement, and the resulting Italian speech sounds often  unnaturally slow.
Or sometimes, the dubbers even add more words that don't exist in the original version, just to be able to synchronise the speech and lip movement!

In BBM, for example, in the scene at Jack's parents', when Jack's mother invites Ennis to go up to Jack's old room, the original version simply says:

"You are welcome to go up to his room, if you want".

The Italian dubbed version replaces the "if you want" segment with a longer segment, and with words that don't appear in the original and that mean, more or less: "you might find something to remeber him [Jack] by". It's not only a false translation, but it kind of hampers the suspense of the next scene in Jack's room, since it puts the viewer on his/her guard and anticipates that Ennis will find something of value in Jack's room.
At least, that's how I felt when I saw it. I felt cheated and misled, realising that the Italian audience would not be able to appreciate all the nuances of the original version, even if it meant being "distracted" by subtitles, especially in such a profound and complex movie as this one.

I wonder if something similar happens in other versions of the movie dubbed in other languages?
Quote
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sid401k on June 11, 2006, 03:01:05 PM
Good point, freetraveler.  I'm a USer, and like too many of us, I only speak English (although I can understand a few words in a couple of other languages).  I found that watching my DVD while reading the French and Spanish subtitles was an interesting experience, and that seeing the dubbed French version was even more interesting.  As you found in the Italian, I don't feel that the French actors came up to the original standards, but it was still fascinating to experience the differences.  However, watching the dubbed French version over the French subtitles is slightly schizophrenic, because--due to the different exigencies of translation for dubbing and translation for subtitles--the exact language varied considerably at times between the spoken and written dialog!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: john john on June 11, 2006, 03:10:40 PM
I've watched it dubbed in French and it sucked! Couldn't stand it. Lost was the crucial Wyoming accent I've learned to love.
Parisian French in Riverton man! that just kills it for me.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: freetraveller on June 11, 2006, 05:23:05 PM
I've watched it dubbed in French and it sucked! Couldn't stand it. Lost was the crucial Wyoming accent I've learned to love.
Parisian French in Riverton man! that just kills it for me.

And plus, at least in the Italian dubbed version, the actor dubbing Ennis didn't even try to sound like him, I mean, conveying the "clenched fist" type of sound, as Heath Ledger called it in various interviews, saying that he had to portray a character whose "words had to punch themselves out of his mouth"... Ennis' way of speaking is so ingrained in the character that it's a great loss when it disappears in dubbed versions.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: daphne on June 12, 2006, 03:12:15 AM
I've watched it dubbed in French and it sucked! Couldn't stand it. Lost was the crucial Wyoming accent I've learned to love.
Parisian French in Riverton man! that just kills it for me.

And plus, at least in the Italian dubbed version, the actor dubbing Ennis didn't even try to sound like him, I mean, conveying the "clenched fist" type of sound, as Heath Ledger called it in various interviews, saying that he had to portray a character whose "words had to punch themselves out of his mouth"... Ennis' way of speaking is so ingrained in the character that it's a great loss when it disappears in dubbed versions.

And moreover, the Italian actor dubbing Ennis is also the voice of Noah Wyle in ER, so the first thing I thought when I heard it was "hm, that's dr. Carter", and it was a little surreal  :o
Besides, I think that the flaws of the dubbed versions become clearly visible when you see the original one. At least that's what happened to me. When the dubbed version was the only one I had seen, it seemed satisfactory. But now that I've seen the original one, I don't know if I'll be able to watch it in Italian again.

The most evident flaws: in the reunion scene, instead of "Jack fuckin' Twist", Ennis says more or less "You're here at last, I didn't hope in your visit anymore" ( ??? WTF? That's more words than he spoke in a year  ;D). And plus, all the dialogs were "cleaned", for instance instead of "I ain't queer" Ennis says "I'm not like this".

BTW, the strength of the movie is so beyond words that I don't think a lame dubbing can weaken its impact. There are more problems with the book, IMO: the Italian translation sounds a little "fake", and the first time I read it the language was a sort of "wall", I couldn't feel the depth of the story (I had already seen the movie and I was deeply affected by it at that time).


Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: john john on June 12, 2006, 07:27:33 AM
I've read parts of the french translation of the story, it's seems acceptable. I didn't read it al 'cause I didn't want to burst my bubble. Translations feel to me like suddenly seeing Marilyn Monroe with black hair.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lisbeth on June 12, 2006, 12:23:27 PM
Hi,
I'm new on this thread and would like to add another (German) view. First I saw the film in German when it came out here (March 9), then I saw it again (in German) and while I was wondering what made me go to the movies over and over again (and drag all my friends into it) I searched the internet for the story and bought the book. And oh my, it really hit me again, and then I had to watch the movie again. Finally, the DVD came out and I could see the English original. It is so much better than the synchronized version, so much gets lost in a language other than English. Because this is the characters' language and everything else just doesn't compare. Of course, it is important that this film is seen in as many countries as possible so the synchronizing is essential to the film's cause, the impact was not only nationwide but worldwide. This would not have been if it was only in English.

I cannot say that the book is better or the film is better. They are equally good, in my opinion. When I read the book, of course, I had the characters of the film in my imagination, so they weren't any ordinary farmhands but 2 very attractive goodlooking young men. So I cannot say what impact the book would have had if I hadn't seen the film first. There are lines in the book that no actor can act ("You got a kid? said Jack. His shaking hand grazed Ennis's hand, electrical current snapped between them. And.......
From the vibration of the floorboard on which they both stood Ennis could feel how hard Jack was shaking). And many more scenes that hit me right over the head as for instance: As they descended the slope Ennis felt he was in a slow-motion, but headlong, irreversible fall. Just cant beat that.

The film has its own impact. As Annie Proulx said: I realized that I, as a writer, was having the rarest film trip: my story was not mangled but enlarged into huge and gripping imagery that rattled minds and squeezed hearts.

I have never in my long life seen a film that hit me more than BBM. I still can't believe it. I have never been to a movie that often and watched a DVD so many times and still not getting tired of it. I also have problems when I see pictures of Heath Ledger not being Ennis, because I just cannot imagine him being somebody else than Ennis. I know that's stupid, but what can I do? I really thought I was nuts until I found this forum and I am so glad I found it. Thank you all for being here.

I love the film, I love the book, watch the DVD over and over again, not only special scenes, but the whole thing and I read the book over and over again. Can't let go and I am happy I can't let go.

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on June 12, 2006, 12:43:50 PM
Hi Lisbeth.

I read the book first; I was stunned. for days. I found this place because I just had to work out my feelings about the book, so I looked on the internet for anything about it. Accidentally found this place the same night I read the book and I've been here since.

I read the book a second time and just a few days later saw the movie and found it equally strong. I don't think that I've ever before run across a movie as good as the book it came from. But this one is.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Phoenix32890 on June 12, 2006, 02:16:28 PM
I watched BBM for the third time last night. Since I already knew the story, I concentrated on the directoral touches. As in the other two viewings, I cried my eyes out at the end.

I had put a hold on the book at my library. I got a call that it was in, and I picked it up today. I was blown away by the power of the short story. Annie Proulx packed a huge amount into only a relatively few pages.

I think that both the short story and the film stand on their own as masterpieces!!!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ConstantReader on June 12, 2006, 06:31:32 PM
In her essay Diana Ossana writes: I carried a copy of Annie's short story with me every day on set while producing the film...  Whenever I would feel exhausted or overwhelmed, I would center myself by rereading her story.

Like many of you, I have read the story many, many times and watched the movie (or pieces thereof) many, many times but this weekend I had to drive to a family affair a few hours away and so for the first time both coming and going I listened to the audio book on CD.  I highly recommend it 

Oh yes, I also listened to my home-made CD of Santaolalla's original musical score.  Great stuff too.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Katapult on June 14, 2006, 12:11:29 AM
I'm a newbie here - I just saw BBM on DVD and was blown away by the power of it.  I think the story and the movie are equally powerful, but each have their own merits.

What I love about the story is how essential every word and every line is  - there's no filler.  I love the movie, but there are a few scenes that seem a bit unnecessary.  Reading the story, I can just taste the dust and feel the grittiness of rural poverty.  Lines like "the huge sadness of the northern plains rolled down on him"  just floor me.

On the other hand, what I love about the movie is its visual beauty (the mountains and the men), Heath Ledger's performance, the exuberance of Jake Gyllenhaal's portrayal of the young Jack, the physicality of the relationships, the world of the story fleshed out...

Like many people, I usually prefer the book to the movie.  But in this case I would say its a draw.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: hifrommike65 on June 14, 2006, 06:49:11 AM
On issues of translation noted in recent posts on this thread, keep in mind that Ang Lee is himself translating his thoughts from another language.  That he is able to capture not only English but the peculiar idiom of western rural dialect (with the help of a dialect coach for the actors) is extraordinary. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: danac on June 14, 2006, 09:38:53 AM
Obsessed since January with the story and the book, it is nearly impossible to say which is better...but, having said that, I saw the movie first and it left me desolate. I went immediately to a book store for the story and found that it filled in some crucial blanks for me.
The scene in the motel where the boys actually do tell each other their real feelings was - and is - essential to my sanity. Ennis telling Jack about the puking in the alley and the "little darlin" at the reunion accomplished what the movie didn't for me the first time...I wanted to know that Jack knew how Ennis felt and the story did that.
The movie became much more beautiful to me -  15 times in the theatre - once I read the story.
Not that I don't think the film managed, as Lance said, to do justice to the story which is so often not the case. I love them both...and now can't really separate them.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on June 14, 2006, 02:17:27 PM
On issues of translation noted in recent posts on this thread, keep in mind that Ang Lee is himself translating his thoughts from another language.  That he is able to capture not only English but the peculiar idiom of western rural dialect (with the help of a dialect coach for the actors) is extraordinary. 

The words that the actors speak were written by Annie and Diana and Larry, all of whom are Americans who speak American English as their native language. Ang did not write the dialogue nor the rest of the screenplay either. Diana herself was on set during the filming if any dialogue needed modification.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on June 14, 2006, 02:35:54 PM
Although I do wonder if Ang Lee MAY have brought a slightly different cultural slant to the film.  I can't say what exactly, and my almost total ignorance of his cultural background isn't helping.  I'm sure I'm vastly generalising, but he comes across as gentle and diffident, very unlike Americans who sometimes come across as more confident, brash even [again wildly generalising].  Or maybe it's not to do with culture at all.  Anyway, I did feel that the film had a different feel to the book.  If I had to chose I'd say the book came across as more masculine [female writer], whereas the film is more feminine [male director].  Very interesting. 

Actually, I'm probably talking rubbish now. :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: daphne on June 15, 2006, 06:50:08 AM
If I had to chose I'd say the book came across as more masculine [female writer], whereas the film is more feminine [male director].  Very interesting. 

I had the same thought  :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on June 16, 2006, 01:16:45 AM
Has that good soul Mike done any more of his transcript? The last I saw he was up to the Lureen/Jack pickup scene.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sid401k on June 16, 2006, 11:05:14 AM
I'm a newbie here - I just saw BBM on DVD and was blown away by the power of it.
Hi, Katapult, and welcome to The Obsession.  With regard to book vs. movie, I'm finding it harder and harder to compare them--they are each so perfect, but in different ways.

You are not alone in finding some scenes less necessary than others.  We just spent a couple of pages over in Dislikes on the blue parka scene, and over in Scene-by-Scene on the Ennis with Cassie thread, we've got pages and pages on her three little scenes.  (And neither the blue parka nor Cassie are in the original story.  Well, Cassie, sort of, as a throw-away reference.)  Anyway, you might enjoy poking around the threads, looking for commentary on the scenes you feel are unnecessary, and you're guaranteed to find either A) conversion, or B) kindred spirits!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on June 17, 2006, 09:52:31 PM
Although I do wonder if Ang Lee MAY have brought a slightly different cultural slant to the film.  I can't say what exactly, and my almost total ignorance of his cultural background isn't helping.  I'm sure I'm vastly generalising, but he comes across as gentle and diffident, very unlike Americans who sometimes come across as more confident, brash even [again wildly generalising].  Or maybe it's not to do with culture at all.  Anyway, I did feel that the film had a different feel to the book.  If I had to chose I'd say the book came across as more masculine [female writer], whereas the film is more feminine [male director].  Very interesting. 

Actually, I'm probably talking rubbish now. :)

Nope.
No rubbish.
I agree with you as well.

For the short story, I'd say that Proulx has a very masculine fix to her writing. It seems a natural thing that shows up in these Wyoming stories. I've only ever read the CLOSE RANGE collection, so I'm limited in my judgement of her work. I've read other writers though, who occasionally shift masculine to feminine and vice versa.

It is NEVER an easy thing to do.
When it fails it is almost laughable.
For some reason, I find the feminine to masculine shift harder to maintain. (Women writing from a male character's point of view.) Proulx is the best I've ever seen at this.

One of the best male writers writing a series of books from a woman's point of view is Thomas Perry.
He writes the Jane Whitefield series and his take on his lead female character is perfection.
(She is an Indian 'guide' who helps people in trouble disappear from their own lives. Terrific stuff.)

I suspect that one of the main reasons why writing from the opposite gender's point of view is so damned difficult is that it is next to impossible to 'get' the minutia right.

Okay, enough about books. I'm a voracious reader and it doesn't take much to make me go off on a tangent.

In my opinion, the film does have a kind of overt elegance which is due directly to Ang Lee's overseeing hand. Not necessarily because he's Taiwanese, but because ALL great directors have their own 'tone.'

Lee's style just happens to drip with elegance. Remember CROUCHING TIGER.....?
The best directors always leave their stylistic stamp.
Lee influenced by his own culture?
Of course.
It would be odd if he weren't.
But who knows?
Style is such a personal thing.
There could be any number of disparate influences at work in his psyche.
In fact, I try in my mind sometimes to separate Ang Lee from the film and look at it through a different prism and I just can't.

Imagine BBM as done by Spielberg, or Robert Altman, or Hitchcock, or Coppola, or Howard Hawks, or John Ford or. oh my gawd, Ron Howard.....etc, etc, etc.

Intriguing to think about.

As for which BBM I liked better, film or short story, I'd have to say that I like them both just about equally.
Because I've finally decided they must be viewed differently.

The film, in my opinion, visually 'enlarges the story, adding a kind of 'breathless' quality that the short story, because of Proulx's naturalistic style of writing, lacks. The film also adds romance to the mix, and it's hard to argue with that. Not crazy about the 'hopeful' (Alma Jr's appearance) ending though.

The short story has a kind of bleakness that the film has a harder time achieving. And Proulx's ending, of course, is all about despair. I LOVE the story's heartbreaking prologue. To me, this is writing at its most brilliant.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: gres on June 19, 2006, 04:48:59 AM
New on this thread but anyway i feel the need to write a few things. So here it goes.

First of all i thank God that where i live we don't make the big mistake to dub films. IMO when this happens we as viewers miss many things, mainly  the emotional strenght that the real actors who participate put in the film. The actors who really play the roles are so into what they are playing that none can replace them in any way and still succeed in conveying the feelings with the same strenght. Much the same i feel about the books being translated. There are lots being lost in treanslation. When i read the translated version of the book (i bought it for my mother and my sister) for the first time i thought it was excellent. A bit later i bought the english version and i immediately spotted lines which  after being translated they couldn't even get close to what AP wanted to say. Then in some strange way i felt that the story was brilliant.

And back on topic IMO the film and the story were equal.

However  i think there is a line in the book which unfortunately wasn't included i the film and i want they had done so.
I'd really love to have heard Ennis saying " i knew then i shouldn't have let you out of  my sight" I think this line  itself represents the real sense of Ennis dreams all through out his 20 years relationship with Jack.
To me this line rings as 
I knew i shouldn't have let you out of my sights when we came down from mountains
I knew  i shouldn't have let you out of my sights when the divorce came through
and finally
I knew i shouldn't have let you out of my sights when we last met.

I don't know where this line  could possibly be put in the film and still serve the story line of the film but i would be thrilled if they had it included. (Maybe as a flashback of Ennis in the "i swear scene" but then again i'm not the director here :D)


Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on June 19, 2006, 04:07:15 PM
gres, you can put yourself in the shoes of the director in the forum topic, 'Brokeback Movie Remake - your version of the story.' You can find it here:
http://davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=8996.0
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: gres on June 20, 2006, 06:38:53 AM

Thanks for pointing me to the right direction!!!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Mariana on June 21, 2006, 08:14:44 AM
Hello everyone, I have read about 8 pages of posts in this thread and have not found any comments on a point that has been going around in my head since viewing the film after reading the book and it is that in the book it says: "years on years they worked their way through the high meadows and mountain drainages, horse-packing into the big Horns, Medicine Bows, south end of the Gallatins, Absarokas, Granites, Owl Creeks, the Bridger-Teton Range, the Freezeouts and the Shirleys, Ferrises and the Rattlesnakes, Salt River Range, into the Wind Rivers and over and again, the Sierra Madres, Gros Ventres, the Washakies, Laramies, but never returning ro Brokeback."[/u]

Whereas in the film, they always return to Brokeback Mountain, I don't have the screenplay with me right now, but I understood that they never go anywhere else, always back to BBM.

Why the difference, can anyone help? :-\
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on June 21, 2006, 09:30:55 AM
Mariana, if I recall correctly, the film never says either that they go back to Brokeback Mountain or that they do not. We are sorta free to think whichever one we want about that, but... but, if they actually went back to Brokeback, they would have run across Aguirre's men and the sheep, but we never see that happen. So in my view, even in the movie they do not go back to Brokeback Mountain after the first year. In my opinion, Jack's comment later in the movie [All we got is Brokeback.] refers to the kind of relationship that came into being that first year, but which never developed beyond it.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: danac on June 21, 2006, 09:35:13 AM


However  i think there is a line in the book which unfortunately wasn't included i the film and i want they had done so.
I'd really love to have heard Ennis saying " i knew then i shouldn't have let you out of  my sight" I think this line  itself represents the real sense of Ennis dreams all through out his 20 years relationship with Jack.


I don't know where this line  could possibly be put in the film and still serve the story line of the film but i would be thrilled if they had it included.


Why not in the motel at the reunion - like in the story?
I, too, think that was a dubious omission from the script. More than anything, we need to hear Ennis tell Jack how he feels!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: gres on June 21, 2006, 02:26:10 PM
Why not in the motel at the reunion - like in the story?
I, too, think that was a dubious omission from the script. More than anything, we need to hear Ennis tell Jack how he feels!

Imagine how much desperatelly Jack needed to hear that.

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on June 21, 2006, 02:45:57 PM
So in my view, even in the movie they do not go back to Brokeback Mountain after the first year. In my opinion, Jack's comment later in the movie [All we got is Brokeback.] refers to the kind of relationship that came into being that first year, but which never developed beyond it.

I thought that too, although I was very much influenced by reading the book first.  So even when Jack's standing in front of Brokeback Mountain and gesturing at it, I'm still not convinced that they ever went back there :).  Or maybe they only coincidentally went back that one time.

I agree with you about the relationship.

Maybe in the book, they never go back because they know they can't recapture it [I'm not being negative, but how often do you recapture exactly what you've had?  Or is there a fear that trying to recreate treasured experiences will overlay the memories and lessen and tarnish them?]  Perhaps it wasn't conscious.

Whereas in the film, if they DO return every year, then they ARE trying to recapture it.  But I'm not sure how far off these two possibilities are in meaning.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sandy on June 21, 2006, 05:19:18 PM
Why not in the motel at the reunion - like in the story?
I, too, think that was a dubious omission from the script. More than anything, we need to hear Ennis tell Jack how he feels!

Imagine how much desperatelly Jack needed to hear that.


Also, that does ratchet up Jack's neediness and provides additional tension to drive the film forward. AP acknowledged that for her the motel scene was the core of the story, but nevertheless appreciated AL's making the Last Scene Together the central one on which their relationship is defined.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ConstantReader on June 21, 2006, 06:04:01 PM
If my memory is right, the only other mountains, besides Brokeback, mentioned are the Big Horns in the Jack/Laureen scene when Jack is looking for his blue parka.

I haven't checked the whole screenplay but I think Brokeback is mentioned just 4 times, once by Aquirre and three times by Jack -- never by Ennis.

The screenplay mentions the Big Horns once but otherwise the scenes specify just Wyoming mountains. 

I'm not sure in Jack and Ennis final scene together that Jack means to be literally pointing at Brokeback Mountain although he could be.       
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sid401k on June 21, 2006, 06:05:24 PM
If he was pointing at Brokeback Mountain, across the lake, then they'd have to be on some other nearby mountain, wouldn't they?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Mikey on June 21, 2006, 06:51:34 PM
Yes, it would have been wonderful if Ennis had told Jack that he shoulda never let him outa his sight.  But he didn't.  But he did have his arm around Jack as they slept together for the last time in the pop-up tent.  It took me many, many viewings before I caught that moment and tied it to the last time they would be together.  That must have happened a lot.  Never in the book, however.  It was a wonderful little moment.

Good Heavens!  We should be able to get MFA's in these guys or sumthin.

Mikey

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: gres on June 22, 2006, 05:16:18 AM
AP acknowledged that for her the motel scene was the core of the story, but nevertheless appreciated AL's making the Last Scene Together the central one on which their relationship is defined.
Maybe this is why in the book in the motel scene Ennis and Jack are more talkative and revieling to each other while in the movie  they aren't. All the tension in the book is in that scene reunion-motel but  AL goes further and gives us s'thing more of that tension with that last meeting scene in  which as  you say  their relationship is being defined.  AP's end of the story story was more clear while AL leave us with questions and mixed feelings about them, their love and their relationship.
 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on June 22, 2006, 07:01:57 AM
If he was pointing at Brokeback Mountain, across the lake, then they'd have to be on some other nearby mountain, wouldn't they?


Then maybe it was showing that they were always looking back at Brokeback, just out of reach?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Mariana on June 22, 2006, 09:28:56 AM
If my memory is right, the only other mountains, besides Brokeback, mentioned are the Big Horns in the Jack/Laureen scene when Jack is looking for his blue parka.

I haven't checked the whole screenplay but I think Brokeback is mentioned just 4 times, once by Aquirre and three times by Jack -- never by Ennis.

The screenplay mentions the Big Horns once but otherwise the scenes specify just Wyoming mountains. 

I'm not sure in Jack and Ennis final scene together that Jack means to be literally pointing at Brokeback Mountain although he could be.       

You are totally right, yesterday I went home and checked the screenplay and they do mention the Big Horn mountains.  It just made me think as to why the author took so much care in stating that they NEVER went back to Brokeback.

Was it because they wanted to keep the memories of their time together on Brokeback intact?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ConstantReader on June 23, 2006, 02:04:34 PM
Jack mentions Brokeback four times not three, the first time when he's back in Aquirre trailer in 1964 then twice in the motel room conversation with Ennis and the last time in their final meeting.

As to why they never return to Brokeback, Annie is just being perverse.  Think, Jack, I swear...
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sarah on June 23, 2006, 03:40:57 PM
I haven't checked the whole screenplay but I think Brokeback is mentioned just 4 times, once by Aguirre and three times by Jack -- never by Ennis.

     



Ennis mentioned Brokeback during his phone call with Lureen -- in response to her mentioning that Jack talked about it.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ConstantReader on June 24, 2006, 09:45:23 AM
[Slapping my forehead in dismay]

Oh, how could I forget the telephone conversation!!  And at Jack parents too!!

Must have doubled my dose of stupid (oblivious) pills...
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on June 24, 2006, 11:30:54 AM
I suppose that means that Ennis never mentions Brokeback [and all that signifies!] until after Jack's death.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: fox290@yandex.ru on June 27, 2006, 03:46:24 AM
Brokeback mountain- 2 book. in fox290@yandex.ru in Russia.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: graylockV on July 02, 2006, 02:49:46 PM
This is my first posting to this thread. 

I have gotten a certain idea in my mind - I really would like the opinions of the folks who frequent this thread. It has to do with the ending of the movie versus the ending of the story.  Because, you see, I think the real ending of the story was actually the prologue to the short story. 

That one paragraph has some very interesting information.  Ennis is still in his trailer, and has to move because the ranch he has been working on has been sold.  Ennis thinks he might have to move in with his married daughter.  Despite the depressing situation he is in a good mood because he has dreamt of Jack Twist the night before.

But wait - if you back up to when he first wakes up - and takes a morning piss - it describes him scratching "the gray wedge of belly and pubic hair..."

Now this is all a matter of genetics, I know, but as someone whose hair turned gray at an early age I know that that "wedge" is one of the last places to start turning gray, or at least it was for me.

So my conclusion is that this prologue takes place about the time the story was written - i.e, in the mid-1990's, after Ennis is well past the age of 50.

That means that he has been in a trailer dreaming of Jack all that time.  He has stayed in touch with Alma,Jr. and her husband.  Perhaps that contact with Alma is the only positive note in the "ending" as described in the prologue, apart from the fact that Ennis's dreams of Jack are still vivid and lighten his day.

But it also seems to say that he has never found anyone else or been in another relationship, gay or straight.  That the shirts, the postcard, and his dreams and memories of Jack are what have sustained him all those years.  That his "I swear" was a swear that he would always be true to their love, the love he did not fully experience until it was too late.

Do you think that I am off the wall for seeing the prologue as the real ending, and the telling of the story is a kind of flashback by Ennis?

Clearly, Annie P. wrote that prologue for a reason, and I'm thinking that what I have observed may be it.

(Perhaps I have missed it if someone else has previously made the same sort of observation - if so, I apologise.)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sandy on July 02, 2006, 08:31:00 PM
[snip] 
I think the real ending of the story was actually the prologue to the short story. 

But wait - if you back up to when he first wakes up - and takes a morning piss - it describes him scratching "the gray wedge of belly and pubic hair..."

Now this is all a matter of genetics, I know, but as someone whose hair turned gray at an early age I know that that "wedge" is one of the last places to start turning gray, or at least it was for me.

So my conclusion is that this prologue takes place about the time the story was written - i.e, in the mid-1990's, after Ennis is well past the age of 50.
[snip]
Do you think that I am off the wall for seeing the prologue as the real ending, and the telling of the story is a kind of flashback by Ennis?

Clearly, Annie P. wrote that prologue for a reason, and I'm thinking that what I have observed may be it.
greylocke5, These are good questions and observations. Part of what the prologue does IMO is establish Brokeback Mountain as Ennis' story. While Jack plays a crucial role (more in the movie than the short story, I think), this is Ennis' tale. The story is told retrospectively from the time of the prologue when the omniscient author steps outside Ennis' mind to narrate the story, but she always retains access to what's in his mind. The prologue thereby establishes a contrast between what the authors tells us and what Ennis thinks he knows. This sets up the background for many of the questions that arise in the course of the story, quit vs. not quit, tire iron or tire rim, etc. It establishes a dramatic tension that drives the story forward.

About using the gray wedge to determine the timing of the telling, it could go many ways. I've had friends go gray in their early thirties. When I started graying myself, the ole wedge was the first to go. So I'm not sure we can decide either way. And, in a sense, it probably isn't important how long that prologue takes place after the concluding action of the story. The story has ended, tragically and definitively.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: graylockV on July 03, 2006, 09:42:19 AM
Thanks, Sandy.

 I think the fact that the prologue begins with our finding Ennis alone, in the trailer, in meager circumstances, sort of says it all about what became of him after Jack's death.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on July 03, 2006, 12:57:05 PM
Another thing the prologue does is let us know how Ennis ends up, and that Jack is now a memory.  Along with all the  hints about death through the story, I think it's much more obvious in the book that Jack is fated to die.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ottoblom on July 03, 2006, 02:00:45 PM
Great observations on the prologue and how it functions in the story and by turning the story into a flashback slants it in a slightly different direction from the film.  But an interesting twist is that the story as published in the New Yorker didn't have the prologue--it was cut at the suggestion of the New Yorker editors I believe.  This is what I read in 97 and Ossanna and McMurty.  I still prefer the prologue-less short, probably because it was my first experience of the story.  Without the hints of what's to come, their first sexual encounter really packs a whallop--of course it does anyway ;).
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ConstantReader on July 03, 2006, 02:09:56 PM
My impression has always been that in the prologue to the short story, Annie placed Ennis at the age he would be when she wrote it -- say, 1996-97 when Ennis would be 54 or so.   
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on July 03, 2006, 11:35:34 PM
greylocke5, These are good questions and observations. Part of what the prologue does IMO is establish Brokeback Mountain as Ennis' story. While Jack plays a crucial role (more in the movie than the short story, I think), this is Ennis' tale.

I always read it as Ennis's tale and saw the film that way. It's fascinating the way we only truly learn about Jack at the end. We make a few discoveries along the way but it's only the scenes after the argument when the full nature of Jack is revealed to us, as it is to Ennis.
Way back in April 22nd? Thereabouts - I posted a long bit on the Character Analysis of Ennis thread trying to sort out Jack's role in the story. He essentially is the catalyst for Ennis's journey.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: graylockV on July 04, 2006, 04:32:29 PM
My impression has always been that in the prologue to the short story, Annie placed Ennis at the age he would be when she wrote it -- say, 1996-97 when Ennis would be 54 or so.   

That was my conclusion as well, which to me adds to the sense of tragic inevitability about the entire story.  Even if I had not read the short story before seeing the movie I am sure that I would have felt - right from the start - that these guys were not going to have a conventional happy ending.  Plus - we are talking about Annie Proulx and anyone who knows any of her work knows that a sunshiny ending to one of her stories is most unlikely. 

In contrast to BBM - has anyone both seen the movie and read the book - The Natural?  If so, you know that the movie radically alters the ending of the book ( which was by Bernard Malamud).  The book and movie tracked very closely until - wow - the ending was made a happy one - typical of Hollywood!  In the book the baseball player sells out -  a really bummer ending, I must admit, but that was clearly the author's intention.  So the movie version just about negated   everything the book was trying to say about human nature.

Thank God no one tried anything like that with BBM.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: blubird on July 06, 2006, 01:38:25 PM


However  i think there is a line in the book which unfortunately wasn't included i the film and i want they had done so.
I'd really love to have heard Ennis saying " i knew then i shouldn't have let you out of  my sight" I think this line  itself represents the real sense of Ennis dreams all through out his 20 years relationship with Jack.


I don't know where this line  could possibly be put in the film and still serve the story line of the film but i would be thrilled if they had it included.


Why not in the motel at the reunion - like in the story?
I, too, think that was a dubious omission from the script. More than anything, we need to hear Ennis tell Jack how he feels!
                                                                                                                                                       This is a prime example of how the book's original characters differ ever so intrigueingly from the movie versions.Despite what author AP said the Ennis original is not near as tongue-tied as the movie version.That Line "I should've never let you out of my sights" is a signature statement from Ennis along with the famous "I sure wrang it out a thousand times thinking of you". Ennis in the book is just as sexually explosive as Jack, if not more so. And it certainly seems to add to his appeal ( to Jack , that is).                                                                                                                                                                Not to oversimplify but I get the sense of movie Ennis as a man in deep denial about his feelings and love for Jack. Behind hotel doors, or way in the middle of nowhere Ennis is free with his gay identity. But in the real world he is haunted constantly by  spectors of tire irons and mayhem.                                                                                                                                                       The original Ennis is a tornado of passion for Jack. But the book doesn't make clear how Ennis copes when he and Jack are separated, which is most of the time. But I get the feeling that Ennis matures into a sexy old fart ( remember the grey wedge ) and perhaps past the point of really caring if anyone knows. But no one does. There exist thousands if not millions of men such as he, in your town, whom you will never suspect are gay in a million years. Ennis is one of them.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: blubird on July 06, 2006, 03:28:01 PM
     Of course I LOVE THE MOVIE, but the book packs some punches of its own, that are often just hinted at in the movie. One of my favorites is that the cowboys SING. They only do a parody of singing in the movie. Is that not an indicator of love, when you sing together with someone? In the book GONE WITH THE WIND Scarlette and Rhett sing various period songs together, they do not in the movie. Why are these type scenes left out?                                                                                                                                       Ennis's appearance according to the book is quite different. He is described as thin and bony faced, later with a broken nose. But always as thin and muscular. Movie Ennis thickens a bit and his wide shculders are slumping badly as he ages. Jack is described as "fair" but with buck teeth. But no matter, even with these descriptions J and E were 2 hot specimens who couldn't help but be drawn to each other and then fall in love, quite to their surprize.                                                                                                                                  It is already a foregone conclusion that Jack and Ennis will live again. Musicals, or an opera, or even a ballet all seem within the realm of possibilites. Future shock? Maybe. J and E are now immortal characters, movie or book.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sandy on July 06, 2006, 08:47:19 PM
     Of course I LOVE THE MOVIE, but the book packs some punches of its own [snip],  One of my favorites is that the cowboys SING. They only do a parody of singing in the movie. Is that not an indicator of love, when you sing together with someone? [snip]
I agree with you wholeheartedly. In the movie, just before Ennis comes upon the bear, I am pretty sure I hear him humming some cowboy tune to himself, but I would have liked to hear more. Without IPods or Walkmans in those days, the kids would have been taught some singing in school, so it would have been natural.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on July 06, 2006, 11:41:38 PM
Quote
I agree with you wholeheartedly. In the movie, just before Ennis comes upon the bear, I am pretty sure I hear him humming some cowboy tune to himself, but I would have liked to hear more. Without IPods or Walkmans in those days, the kids would have been taught some singing in school, so it would have been natural.
Quote
The tune is The Cowboys Lament or The Streets Of Laredo. If you read the lyrics you find it's packed with portent. "Once in the saddle I used to go gay" is an odd line and probably just fortuitous, but then there are the obvious connections. "I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong" "I'm shot in the breast and I'm dying today" Ennis was indeed shot in the breast or heart - by love - and if you check the fight scene you'll see he has a spot of blood over his heart. It's possible to see it in the publicity shots of the shirts at the end, concealed in the shirt fold, just above his left pocket. Nothing is left to chance in this film.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: blubird on July 08, 2006, 01:45:41 PM
         How does Jack differ in the book from the movie? Mostly it seems, in appearance. He is described as a small man, but I'm sure that doesn't mean a man undersized or runtish. Rather, he's just not a "big man". He also carries some weight in the thigh area, I think is what the book is trying to picture. That would make sense because I heard Author AP state that rodeo men have and must have strong thigh muscles to help them hold on. Then he is described as "fair". So he's definitely more on the pretty side just like JG. But to give him that proper country boy charm, he does have buck teeth.                                                                                                                                In general Jack is ever sprinting and doesn't know the meaning of sedateness. HE is all over Ennis soon in the book with a big welcoming smile and talking a mile-a-minute. But he's no shallow buffoon. His deep reserves of love are evident time and time again, as he searches for Ennis over great distances. and other examples. You understand anew from the book what Ennis suffered in losing a man like this.                                                                                                                                   Maybe this part belongs in the "symbolism" section but Ennis becomes for Jack almost as a recovered foreskin. The book details Jack's feelings on being "dick-clipped". Let's reflect on that for a moment....
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jeff hanna on July 09, 2006, 12:05:17 AM
  I'm new to this thread - and am stepping in at an odd moment...when it has just been suggested that we ponder "Jack's feelings about being dick-clipped."

  Like many of you, I've read the short story more times than I can count; never tire of it...always look for new or different meanings, always find it almost unbearably sad. The short passage where Annie Proulx describes Jack seeing his father's uncircumcized penis, and Jack's feeling of being hurt or shamed because of his own penis  being "dick-clipped" - well...I really don't understand what that is all about. It is perhaps the only passage in the short story that is a mystery to me - and I'll be interested in other's comments.

  After all, my impression is that most American men are circumcized. I grew up in a middle-class, suburban, overwhelmingly white community, and at the two junior highs and one high school I went to (judging by what I saw in the locker room), uncircumcized boys were so rare that they were an oddity. I wouldn't have thought things would've been much different for a boy like Jack, in rural Wyoming  -  so why would he feel as though he'd been singled out and "cut different like you'd crop a ear or scorch a brand?" He seems to feel as though he's been harmed. If that is the message that Annie Proulx is trying to convey, well...as I said, I don't understand that.

  A friend read the story - and was also thrown by that passage. She asked me, "what is all that about Jack having an issue with being circumcized?" and of course, I had no answer. Maybe the "answer" is that Jack - for some reason - in his little boy mind - saw some kind of shame in being different from his father? Maybe I'm missing something.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on July 09, 2006, 12:44:56 AM
I get the impression that this is the first time he's ever seen a penis apart from his own.   I suppose this is possible - he wasn't yet at school and perhaps his familly tended to cover up at home.  Maybe he has thought that his own is normal until he sees his fathers and realises that he's been mutilated [a faint reminder of Ennis's memory of the body in the ditch].  The circumstances in which he finds out are traumatic too - his father has beaten him and is urinating on him.  And I don't suppose it's something that was ever mentioned in the household - not a subject he could seek reassurance on.

So I imagine that even if Jack later finds out that other people are circumcised, he's already gone through that moment when he realises that he's 'different' and that there's no way to get it right with his father.  I imagine that as he grows the vague sense of being dfifferent coalesces into knowing that he's gay.

I agree that the difference could be associated with shame [being urinated on at the time], but I think it's interesting that Jack seems to see it as an insurmountable and ingrained difference and accepts that there is nothing he can do to change himself.  In a sense his attitude gives him the freedom to be who he is.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: blubird on July 12, 2006, 10:01:29 AM
I get the impression that this is the first time he's ever seen a penis apart from his own.   I suppose this is possible - he wasn't yet at school and perhaps his familly tended to cover up at home.  Maybe he has thought that his own is normal until he sees his fathers and realises that he's been mutilated [a faint reminder of Ennis's memory of the body in the ditch].  The circumstances in which he finds out are traumatic too - his father has beaten him and is urinating on him.  And I don't suppose it's something that was ever mentioned in the household - not a subject he could seek reassurance on.

So I imagine that even if Jack later finds out that other people are circumcised, he's already gone through that moment when he realises that he's 'different' and that there's no way to get it right with his father.  I imagine that as he grows the vague sense of being dfifferent coalesces into knowing that he's gay.

I agree that the difference could be associated with shame [being urinated on at the time], but I think it's interesting that Jack seems to see it as an insurmountable and ingrained difference and accepts that there is nothing he can do to change himself.  In a sense his attitude gives him the freedom to be who he is.
                                                                                                                                                         I think you're right on with this analysis. I don't believe that Jack's discovery of the un-cut penis is a traumatic event for him. And I certainly don't feel that Jack felt diminished or "less than" his father either. He probably sincerely liked his cut penis. Maybe the "extra material" that his father had didn't really appeal to him as compared to his own. Jack might be intrigued nevertheless. Its probably certain that Ennis was uncircumsised and that was a special appeal of Ennis for Jack. Maybe.                                                                                                                                                           This whole episode might be the wise author giving a contributing factor to Jack's gay identity. The need for comfort. love and acceptance from a father ( a man ). Jack's obvious attraction to tough men such as rodeo riders, cowboys and the like. And finally his meeting with Ennis. Who for Jack represented a masculine ideal. Tough, uncomplaining, outdoors oriented, and not especially attractive in a motion-picture sence of the word.                                                                                                                                                             Back to Jack's physical anatomy, he might 've seen this as a mark of distinction from ordinary men. The rest of Jack's nature seems to confirm, notably his need to standout from the rest. In physical appeal, and the show business aspects of rodeo life.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jeff hanna on July 13, 2006, 02:54:08 PM

  Again, being new to this thread, I may be asking questions which have already been covered - but here goes:

  Is there a consensus among those posting here as to why Ennis and Jack never returned to Brokeback - in the short story? That they didn't, adds an extra layer of sadness to their saga. My thought has been that  - at some level - both of them know that to return there would risk spoiling the perfectness of the memory. Still, it seems like the natural human tendency to want to go back to the scene of such happy moments. It is heartbreaking that they never make it there - in all those many years.

  Annie Proulx surely had a very speciic intention in telling us that they never went back. Ang Lee, and some of the reviewers of the film, have said that Brokeback represents  an "elusive idea," "a place you always want to return to - but can't," "a lost Eden," and a kind of sacred ideal. I'm sure that I'm not the only one who is haunted by their never finding their way back there. Again, I may going over ground that has been well - covered here; is it an archetypal thing...where the characters, once they leave the mythic garden, can never return?

  Also, any answer as to why the timelines are so different at the end of the screenplay - and near the end of the short story? Ennis and Jack's last horsepacking trip into the mountains - and apparently the time of their sad confrontation - is in May, 1983 - according to the short story. Just about exactly 20 years after their first meeting in 1963.
  In the screenplay, that trip is in 1981, and Ennis gets the postcard marked "deceased" in 1982. Why the discrepancy?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on July 13, 2006, 03:13:27 PM
I dont know why they don't return.  Maybe at the beginning they didn't want to bump into Aguirre again.  Brokeback was the place they met, but also the first place they got caught too.  After that, maybe they knew they didn't want to spoil the memory?  There is a discussion in another thread, about the postcard of Brokeback that Ennis has [and Jack's 'Brokeback's all we got'] - it's especially poignant in the book as  you know they never went back there.  Ennis is left with memory of 19 year old Jack, instead of their years together.

I don't know why the changes were made in the film, and I don't like them  ;D.  There have been many discussions about the missing postcard in the film timeline which just doesn't fit at all [Ennis sends the postcard before November '81, doesn't get it back and visit the farm until late summer '82, several months later, which doesn't fit with John Twist's comments either].  Jack's age also has to be changed so that he's 39 when he dies.  I would love to know what exactly the reasoning was for changing the times!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on July 14, 2006, 09:55:03 AM
The next guys that Aguirre hires as sheepwatchers will be on the mountain. Ennis and Jack can't be alone on Brokeback anymore. Every year, Aguirre's hirelings will be there, possibly even having their own 'Brokeback'.

Not to mention all the psychological reasons they might not want to go back there; but that one 'physical' reason will certainly be true.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on July 14, 2006, 12:31:38 PM
It is already a foregone conclusion that Jack and Ennis will live again. Musicals, or an opera, or even a ballet all seem within the realm of possibilites. Future shock? Maybe. J and E are now immortal characters, movie or book.

Yes, yes, I couldn't agree with you more, Blubird.
I thought I was the only one who imagined this. (So much for exclusivity!)
I could see an opera springing forth from Annie's original short story.
I mean, BBM has all the elements: thwarted love, tragedy and death. 
Perfect for opera.
No question.

Or maybe even a Broadway show.
Either with or without the music.
I could easily see this as a huge Broadway spectacular OR a little off Broadway play without music.

BBM live would be something to behold.
Depending on the talent involved, that is.

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sandy on July 14, 2006, 04:59:27 PM
  I'm new to this thread - and am stepping in at an odd moment...when it has just been suggested that we ponder "Jack's feelings about being dick-clipped."

  Like many of you, I've read the short story more times than I can count; never tire of it...always look for new or different meanings, always find it almost unbearably sad. The short passage where Annie Proulx describes Jack seeing his father's uncircumcized penis, and Jack's feeling of being hurt or shamed because of his own penis  being "dick-clipped" - well...I really don't understand what that is all about. It is perhaps the only passage in the short story that is a mystery to me - and I'll be interested in other's comments.

  After all, my impression is that most American men are circumcized. I grew up in a middle-class, suburban, overwhelmingly white community, and at the two junior highs and one high school I went to (judging by what I saw in the locker room), uncircumcized boys were so rare that they were an oddity. I wouldn't have thought things would've been much different for a boy like Jack, in rural Wyoming  -  so why would he feel as though he'd been singled out and "cut different like you'd crop a ear or scorch a brand?" He seems to feel as though he's been harmed. If that is the message that Annie Proulx is trying to convey, well...as I said, I don't understand that.

  A friend read the story - and was also thrown by that passage. She asked me, "what is all that about Jack having an issue with being circumcized?" and of course, I had no answer. Maybe the "answer" is that Jack - for some reason - in his little boy mind - saw some kind of shame in being different from his father? Maybe I'm missing something.
jeff, I posted about this topic some time back on another thread. Recall from the scene that Jack's father beats him to the ground and pisses on him. Latching on to the difference between his father's uncut penis and his own cut penis (which he learns about in the process of being pissed on) is just Jack's way to avoid confronting the reality and hurt of a brutal beating. If anything, it is a weak, understated metaphor that likens his being circumcised/branded like an animal to being treated as an object to be kicked around by his father. But it is an interesting detail of psychology for Jack to fasten on that and not the thrashing.

This is characteristic of what Jack and Ennis do throughout the story. Rather than say what is actually on their minds, they deflect attention to something relatively trivial, and they use a lot of indirection and understatement. Maybe this part of Jack's character is also what keeps him from ever realizing his dreams.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: stookslady on July 14, 2006, 09:03:55 PM
  He quickly looks around and brings Jack 'round the corner' ... shows just overcome with emotion Ennis was in that moment
it is exactly this which makes me dislike this scene - he is 'planning' when he looks around and moves 'round the corner' - in the middle of this scene, so full of passion he keeps his head cool and calculating - it isn't like that in the book

btw - this is the only situation (I think) where Ennis is 'leading', or top if You prefer that tem  ;)

If I may interject...just an opinion, but I don't see Ennis' action as "planning", in the sense of this kiss being run through over and over in his mind before Jack arrived. I felt that it was an electric spark that ignited during that hug...a spark that was easily lit, given their history, their passion, and the...what was it...7 beers Ennis' had consumed? (I think that's how many bottles I counted.) And we ALL know what alcohol does to the inhibitions.

I guess I'm sympathetic to this type thing because I've had it happen before...a couple of times. It starts innocently, a hug from an old friend/acquaintance/former f*ck buddy that you haven't seen in a while, and suddenly, your mind and body remember the feel of that person pressed against you, the way the arms are wrapped around you...sometimes even the familiar smell of the person. (And we all know smell is a very powerful memory stimulator.) It's warm, and inviting, and exhilirating, and for a few seconds, you're back in that safe place you shared with her/him...and you want to...no, you need to take it a step further...just a step...but you have enough of a presence of mind to attempt a minute morsel of caution...perhaps stepping into a stairwell, (or the laundry room, or the equipment storage area...mmmmm), or even 'round the corner'.

Mymymymymy...I'm kinda lightheaded right about now...LOL. ;) -  KLJ
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sandy on July 14, 2006, 10:08:23 PM
It is already a foregone conclusion that Jack and Ennis will live again. Musicals, or an opera, or even a ballet all seem within the realm of possibilites. Future shock? Maybe. J and E are now immortal characters, movie or book.

Yes, yes, I couldn't agree with you more, Blubird.
I thought I was the only one who imagined this. (So much for exclusivity!)
I could see an opera springing forth from Annie's original short story.
I mean, BBM has all the elements: thwarted love, tragedy and death. 
Perfect for opera.
No question.

Or maybe even a Broadway show.
Either with or without the music.
I could easily see this as a huge Broadway spectacular OR a little off Broadway play without music.

BBM live would be something to behold.
Depending on the talent involved, that is.


The only problem with it being an opera is that two two main characters are so very taciturn and laconic. Their relative lack of outward expression would make it hard to compose sustained arias or duets in which Jack and Ennis dominate the music. Heath Ledger's Ennis has to punch the words out of his chest just to ask where Alma is. To me, it would seem way out of character for Ennis, for example, to sing a lament after finding the nested shirts in Jack's closet. One could write such an aria, of course, but the fact of singing those emotions and thereby expressing them, would signify an awareness of and connection with his feelings that Ennis does not show in the movie.

A libretto for a two-hour opera would have to be very much shorter than the screenplay, so it's not clear what would be left but a skeleton of the narrative. The last scene of Jack and Ennis together in the movie is really the only one that has much in the way of operatic potential, where they actually express emotions and thoughts that have been boiling inside them for 20 years. Perhaps the motel scene as it is in the book would also lend itself to an operatic treatment (and of course the Reunion scene in the movie is just the motel scene displaced forward in the movie).

The composer could have a chorus or a singer who serves as the voice of the author, describing what is going on in Jack and Ennis' hearts. Perhaps a talented librettist could fashion something for an inspired composer, but, IMHO, for the demands of musical expression, it would have to be very different from the short story or the movie in its treatment of character. It would, however, make a very interesting assignment in a composition class. There, the gauntlet is thrown down.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: brokebackgio on July 16, 2006, 06:28:53 PM
Both served their purpose well, that it's hard to decide. Reading the book you have it all so vivid in your head
so when you watch the movie, everything you have in your head come alive on the screen and you think "yes, just as i imagined it"!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: B73 on July 16, 2006, 07:42:18 PM
Both served their purpose well, that it's hard to decide. Reading the book you have it all so vivid in your head
so when you watch the movie, everything you have in your head come alive on the screen and you think "yes, just as i imagined it"!

Hi, brokebackgio, welcome to the Forum!

I agree: when I first saw the film after reading the short story, I was so BLOWN AWAY by how well the film captured the mood of the short story.  Especially Ennis; Annie Proulx said, I guess, that it was as though Heath Ledger reached into her mind and pulled out Ennis Del Mar exactly as she imagined him; and I concur!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: blubird on July 17, 2006, 02:49:04 PM
It is already a foregone conclusion that Jack and Ennis will live again. Musicals, or an opera, or even a ballet all seem within the realm of possibilites. Future shock? Maybe. J and E are now immortal characters, movie or book.

Yes, yes, I couldn't agree with you more, Blubird.
I thought I was the only one who imagined this. (So much for exclusivity!)
I could see an opera springing forth from Annie's original short story.
I mean, BBM has all the elements: thwarted love, tragedy and death. 
Perfect for opera.
No question.

Or maybe even a Broadway show.
Either with or without the music.
I could easily see this as a huge Broadway spectacular OR a little off Broadway play without music.

BBM live would be something to behold.
Depending on the talent involved, that is.


The only problem with it being an opera is that two two main characters are so very taciturn and laconic. Their relative lack of outward expression would make it hard to compose sustained arias or duets in which Jack and Ennis dominate the music. Heath Ledger's Ennis has to punch the words out of his chest just to ask where Alma is. To me, it would seem way out of character for Ennis, for example, to sing a lament after finding the nested shirts in Jack's closet. One could write such an aria, of course, but the fact of singing those emotions and thereby expressing them, would signify an awareness of and connection with his feelings that Ennis does not show in the movie.

A libretto for a two-hour opera would have to be very much shorter than the screenplay, so it's not clear what would be left but a skeleton of the narrative. The last scene of Jack and Ennis together in the movie is really the only one that has much in the way of operatic potential, where they actually express emotions and thoughts that have been boiling inside them for 20 years. Perhaps the motel scene as it is in the book would also lend itself to an operatic treatment (and of course the Reunion scene in the movie is just the motel scene displaced forward in the movie).

The composer could have a chorus or a singer who serves as the voice of the author, describing what is going on in Jack and Ennis' hearts. Perhaps a talented librettist could fashion something for an inspired composer, but, IMHO, for the demands of musical expression, it would have to be very different from the short story or the movie in its treatment of character. It would, however, make a very interesting assignment in a composition class. There, the gauntlet is thrown down.
                                                                                                                                                         I would be inclined to disagree here. The thought of a musical, opera,  or ballet I think is very possible and with good results given the appropriate writers and so forth. I believe that Jack and especially Ennis would make fine musical counterparts because of their laconic, terse, and  in the case of Ennis almost hesitating manner. The arias, if you will would be short and concise based upon their well known identifying statements. Some suggested titles: "I shot an eagle", "What About Next Year?", "I Feel that I'm Falling", and the final act "I wish I Knew How to Quit You". Anyone out there listening?                                                                                                                                                        I feel that the main problem would be recreating the sets properly to suggest the gorgeous wide open vistas, or their intimate firelight scenes.                                                                                                                                                          Lets face it; even though classical music and opera can be grand spectacles, they're not for everybody. So anyone expecting "Verdi" will be dissapointed. But the idea of a musical with perhaps a few d dance numbers would be something to look forward to.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sandy on July 17, 2006, 05:26:05 PM
                                                                                                                                                         I would be inclined to disagree here. The thought of a musical, opera,  or ballet I think is very possible and with good results given the appropriate writers and so forth. I believe that Jack and especially Ennis would make fine musical counterparts because of their laconic, terse, and  in the case of Ennis almost hesitating manner. The arias, if you will would be short and concise based upon their well known identifying statements. Some suggested titles: "I shot an eagle", "What About Next Year?", "I Feel that I'm Falling", and the final act "I wish I Knew How to Quit You". Anyone out there listening?                                                                                                                                                        I feel that the main problem would be recreating the sets properly to suggest the gorgeous wide open vistas, or their intimate firelight scenes.                                                                                                                                                          Lets face it; even though classical music and opera can be grand spectacles, they're not for everybody. So anyone expecting "Verdi" will be dissapointed. But the idea of a musical with perhaps a few d dance numbers would be something to look forward to.
Quote
I agree with you that it could serve as an inspiration to a ballet where, of course, there are no words and the emotional arc of the story is told in the language of dance. And a talented composer could interpret the story through musical means. But the characters which so drove the written story and, especially, the movie, would, I think, still be significantly different in a musical work.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sid401k on July 17, 2006, 11:31:42 PM
Opera:  Let's steal a page from playwright Eugene O'Neill and have the characters carry masks.  When the mask is in front of the character's face he or she is speaking aloud.  But when the mask is dropped down or held aside, what we hear are the character's thoughts.

Now picture how great a scene that could be after the Reunion kiss.  A trio of Ennis, Jack, and Alma.  Tiny snatches of dialog (spoken), and passionate arias as the two men sing of their eagerness to get away and be together, and Alma sings of her betrayal and confusion!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on July 18, 2006, 12:48:27 AM
                                                                                                           I think you're right on with this analysis. I don't believe that Jack's discovery of the un-cut penis is a traumatic event for him.

I disagree. The language used in this scene is all negative.

"Jack was dick-clipped and the old man was not; it bothered the son who had discovered the anatomical disconformity during a hard scene.....' But while he was hosin me down I seen he had some extra material that I was missin. I seen they'd cut me different like you'd crop a ear or scorch a brand. No way to get it right with him after that.'"

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on July 18, 2006, 08:02:00 AM
I see what you're saying about it being negative - most definitely.  But I still feel there's an acceptance implied that there isn't in Ennis's description of his childhood experience.  Jack may get the message that he's not worthy of respect, that he's different, that he can never be like his father, etc.  Ennis gets the message that not only is he not worthy of respect, but that anyone queer deserves to be killed, and risks being killed if they admit to it.  Jack's message, I suppose, is easier to deal with - he can accept that he's different and that there's no way to change that.  Whereas Ennis can't reconcile his message with what he 'knows' about himself and Jack.

However, whether or not it was traumatic in the sense that Ennis's experience was, Jack's was certainly important enough to remember, to colour his thinking and to be related to Ennis many years later, and remembered by Ennis. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on July 18, 2006, 08:18:42 PM
                                                                                                           I think you're right on with this analysis. I don't believe that Jack's discovery of the un-cut penis is a traumatic event for him.

I disagree. The language used in this scene is all negative.

"Jack was dick-clipped and the old man was not; it bothered the son who had discovered the anatomical disconformity during a hard scene.....' But while he was hosin me down I seen he had some extra material that I was missin. I seen they'd cut me different like you'd crop a ear or scorch a brand. No way to get it right with him after that.'"


I have to agree with this...the placement of this scene at the end tends to underscore its' profound and  traumatic nature, by juxtaposing it with Ennis' tragic loss of Jack and the truths he must now face. I see this as Annie's endless series of sucker punches, so well laid out by Twist&Shout in the favorite lines or scenes thread.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: blubird on July 29, 2006, 02:55:59 PM
Another thing I'm curious to know is, the symbolizms in the book from AP. "Ennis pulls Jack's hand to his mouth to drag on the cigarett." Could this mean something else? And later Jack takes a "long, hot drink from the whiskey bottle". Are these intended to mean something else? Note that these statements came when they were quite remote from outside influences, such as in the motel and out on a mountain lake.
Title: Moved to film vs book
Post by: Desecra on July 31, 2006, 12:20:42 AM
I just lost a post - I hate when that happens!  What was I saying ...  I was interested in the discussion between Janjo and Signal about the differences between the film and the book.

There are some clear differences between the film and the book, and probably at those points we need to be sure which one we are referring to.  But I think in the end the meaning of the two is very similar.  In the film the point that Ennis is repressed and homophobic is hammerred home a bit - Ennis not responding to Jack saying hs misses him, not telling him how feels at the reunion, specifically attacking Jack's sexuality during the 'Mexico' scene ['boys like you'], etc.  But I think the reason for this is because it's so important for us to know - we don't have the story to read so we have to guess everything from what we see and hear the characters doing. 

For instance, I agree that in the book Jack and Ennis are closer [and starting to have sex] during the 'campfire' scene where Jack says he misses Ennis.  But in the book, there's STILL a gap there.  They have the 'lies' about the rancher's wife, etc.', then 'Jack said he was doing all right but he missed Ennis bad enough sometimes to make him whip babies'.  Then there's a pause - a paragraph break. Then 'the horses nickered in the darkness beyond the the fire's circle of light'.  Then Ennis starts talking again, but he doesn't respond to what Jack says - he changes the subject to his daughters.  So the film has been changed all that much - just that the following scene, where they talk about their children and have sex, is left out.  Ennis's pause and lack of response is left in.

And in the end we get the same meaning - that they still haven't got much further than the dozy embrace. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on July 31, 2006, 08:30:13 AM

The only problem with it being an opera is that two two main characters are so very taciturn and laconic. [...] The composer could have a chorus or a singer who serves as the voice of the author, describing what is going on in Jack and Ennis' hearts.
Sort of a cross between a Greek chorus and a voice-over?

I simply don't understand why nobody has suggested Kabuki, or better yet, the Noh!  Perfect for a story about taciturn people.  Of course a few Philistines compain that the Noh is boring, goes on too long, the music is stupid, blah blah blah.... but they say the same thing about Ang's movie and Gustavo's score, don't they?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sid401k on July 31, 2006, 10:34:57 AM
Hey, Dal, what a great idea!  I think the traditional rigid formal structure of Noh would also serve emphasize the difficulty of the constricted lifestyles that were available in in rural Wyoming at that time.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on July 31, 2006, 01:07:41 PM
^^^^^^
Why yes, hadn't thought of that!  Also: the "bestial drone" of the wind, as the boys descend from the mountain, is pretty much the bass line of a Noh number.  I think the traditional Noh band could easily accomodate a twangy out-of-tune banjo or ukalely, for a Wyoming flavor, don't you?  I'm getting excited about this.  I think there's millions of yen in it for us, potentially.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on July 31, 2006, 07:05:05 PM
I see what you're saying about it being negative - most definitely.  But I still feel there's an acceptance implied that there isn't in Ennis's description of his childhood experience.  Jack may get the message that he's not worthy of respect, that he's different, that he can never be like his father, etc.  Ennis gets the message that not only is he not worthy of respect, but that anyone queer deserves to be killed[...]
Do you think Jack may have taken a somewhat stronger message?  Not nearly as strong as the "Earl" business, but still:  "cut an ear or scorch a brand" -- he is different, but maybe furthermore, he is marked.  And "they'd cut me" -- they.  At the mercy of a faceless group who hurt him.  Ennis is closed by his fear in a way Jack is not IMO, But Jack may have a bit of fear and feelings of vulnerability, not just a lack of self-respect and a feeling of difference.  Maybe, anyway.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on July 31, 2006, 07:09:06 PM
I feel that the main problem [with Brokeback on Broadway] would be recreating the sets properly to suggest the gorgeous wide open vistas, or their intimate firelight scenes. 
Well that would be a challenge.  The Austrian Alps in Sound of Music were rather good, I am told; the Bavarian ones in The Lady in Question were, let's just say, less so.

Controlling hundreds of sheep in the wings and onstage might be a bit problematic.  They suddenly start bleating when things are quiet, they are continually falling into the orchestra pit and getting stuck in the tuba, they will not remember their blocking, and worst of all, they always pick the most romantic moments to, erm, commit a nuisance onstage.   Invariably sends the audience into titters.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on August 01, 2006, 12:21:20 AM
I see what you're saying about it being negative - most definitely.  But I still feel there's an acceptance implied that there isn't in Ennis's description of his childhood experience.  Jack may get the message that he's not worthy of respect, that he's different, that he can never be like his father, etc.  Ennis gets the message that not only is he not worthy of respect, but that anyone queer deserves to be killed[...]
Do you think Jack may have taken a somewhat stronger message?  Not nearly as strong as the "Earl" business, but still:  "cut an ear or scorch a brand" -- he is different, but maybe furthermore, he is marked.  And "they'd cut me" -- they.  At the mercy of a faceless group who hurt him.  Ennis is closed by his fear in a way Jack is not IMO, But Jack may have a bit of fear and feelings of vulnerability, not just a lack of self-respect and a feeling of difference.  Maybe, anyway.

Yes, I can see that too.  Cutting ears and scorching brands are things done to livestock to mark them.  The other time brandng is mentioned is that scene where the sheep have to be sorted out, 'the task almost impossible as the paint brands were worn and faint at this late season'.  Now I have some thinking to do on paint brands v. scorch brands, one obviously benig deeper and more permanent.  I may get back to you on that.  ;D  But I agree that with that particular imagery Jack is showing that he feels 'marked'.

The difference is communicated in such an abusive way too.  The discovery is still associated with violence and threat, even if it's not as extreme as Ennis's memory.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on August 01, 2006, 03:03:11 AM
This is getting deep enough to go in the Symbolism Thread....it's a fascinating discussion.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on August 01, 2006, 05:35:41 AM
[...]Cutting ears and scorching brands are things done to livestock to mark them.
Oh one more thing before work, a pretty bizzarre one but right to point of "marking", and shame:  ear-cutting, as well as branding, were sometimes done to "miscreants" while they were in the pillory exposed, to public shame!  Jack would not have known this, but I'll bet a million AP does, and she knows we might.  Just a little added oomph, that's all.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on August 01, 2006, 10:41:46 AM
I believe it's time to get back on the topic of this thread; perhaps you could create two new threads for the two new topics that have occupied the past page or so? :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sandy on August 01, 2006, 05:21:38 PM
I see what you're saying about it being negative - most definitely.  But I still feel there's an acceptance implied that there isn't in Ennis's description of his childhood experience.  Jack may get the message that he's not worthy of respect, that he's different, that he can never be like his father, etc.  Ennis gets the message that not only is he not worthy of respect, but that anyone queer deserves to be killed[...]
Do you think Jack may have taken a somewhat stronger message?  Not nearly as strong as the "Earl" business, but still:  "cut an ear or scorch a brand" -- he is different, but maybe furthermore, he is marked.  And "they'd cut me" -- they.  At the mercy of a faceless group who hurt him.  Ennis is closed by his fear in a way Jack is not IMO, But Jack may have a bit of fear and feelings of vulnerability, not just a lack of self-respect and a feeling of difference.  Maybe, anyway.
Here Jack seems to be saying that his father (who directed 'them' to cut him) was treating him like an animal. That view was reinforced by John Twist beating him to the ground, brutalizing him and pissing on him. I think it would be hard to balance between Ennis' 'queers get killed, so watch out' and Jack's 'you're only an animal'.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on August 02, 2006, 01:12:41 AM
I believe it's time to get back on the topic of this thread; perhaps you could create two new threads for the two new topics that have occupied the past page or so? :)

Is there another thread for the book?  I had a look and this seemed the closest.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on August 02, 2006, 06:50:57 AM
Is there another thread for the book?  I had a look and this seemed the closest.
I guess we can go on teasing the "anecdote" over on  "Character of JT" if our great minds have not already completely parsed it.  Or, could the name of this thread become "Film vs Book -- How do they differ?  Which is better?"  or something like that? 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on August 02, 2006, 08:45:16 AM
Perhaps my suggestion of possible new threads is overly extreme :) , but extended discussion of the symbolism of 'cutting ears and scorching brands' is certainly not about Film vs. Book [which btw already implies differences, so the title of this thread topic doesn't really need changing ;) ] and is more relevant for the already existing symbolism thread or for the Jack's Character thread or um... um....
um.... is there a Jack's Relationship To His Father thread? :D

It just seems to me that the discussions had gotten away from comparing the film to the book.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: blubird on August 05, 2006, 03:12:27 PM
        The nice thing about the book is that you can keeps finding new interpretations each time you read it. But here's a good one. The first description of Jack, through Ennis's eyes says: "for a small man he carried some weight in the haunch". I should've looked up the word "haunch" but still... What is that weight refering to? A big set of nuts? Or something related? Even so, this indicates Ennis was just as fascinated by Jack as Jack was of him.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on August 05, 2006, 04:00:07 PM
The first description of Jack, through Ennis's eyes says: "for a small man he carried some weight in the haunch".[...]What is that weight refering to?
His butt!  this IS a difference between film vs book, since Jakey G. does not have a whole lot of butt. 
Quote
this indicates Ennis was just as fascinated by Jack as Jack was of him.
Oh yeh... good pickup.
Quote
What is that weight refering to?  A big set of nuts? Or something related?
LOL !   I guess that must be the first direction you would look at, then!    :D   

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on August 06, 2006, 03:43:21 AM
        The nice thing about the book is that you can keeps finding new interpretations each time you read it. But here's a good one. The first description of Jack, through Ennis's eyes says: "for a small man he carried some weight in the haunch". I should've looked up the word "haunch" but still... What is that weight refering to? A big set of nuts? Or something related? Even so, this indicates Ennis was just as fascinated by Jack as Jack was of him.
Basically, it means he's checked out Jack's ass-pardon my french.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mouk on August 06, 2006, 04:55:10 AM
Is there another thread for the book?  I had a look and this seemed the closest.
I guess we can go on teasing the "anecdote" over on  "Character of JT" if our great minds have not already completely parsed it.  Or, could the name of this thread become "Film vs Book -- How do they differ?  Which is better?"  or something like that? 

This is the first time I look at this thread, and what a coincidence, I get plenty of answers to my questions about Jack being dick-clipped under 'Parents and children in BBM' (where some of you kindly answered). 'Parents and children' doesn't seem such a bad thread for this theme as, in addition to Jack's character, there is a strong element of parental influence there?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mouk on August 06, 2006, 05:26:46 AM
I don't know why the changes were made in the film, and I don't like them  ;D.  There have been many discussions about the missing postcard in the film timeline which just doesn't fit at all [Ennis sends the postcard before November '81, doesn't get it back and visit the farm until late summer '82, several months later, which doesn't fit with John Twist's comments either].  Jack's age also has to be changed so that he's 39 when he dies.  I would love to know what exactly the reasoning was for changing the times!

Sorry for bringing back something you discussed quite a while ago, but I felt there is more to say still.  I was just wondering if this change in time line had something to do with the girls' age, to make the child support comment more plausible. Proulx got it wrong with Junior being 17 year old in May 83: she was born in October 64 and therefore was 18 - in 81 she was about to turn 17. Does child support end at 18 or 21?

But then Jack can't be 39 in 81 if he was 19 in 1963. Oh well, it's not just that tent that ain't quite right...  ;)

Your comment about the postcard made me wonder about something that had never occurred to me before: could it be that in that apple pie scene with Cassie, Ennis is in such despair not only because he has realised he only wants Jacks and misses him like crazy, but also because he got no answer to his postcard? Perhaps 7 November has been and gone, and he thinks Jack did quit him? In this scene they are wearing cold weather, if not deep winter, clothes.
Would the post office be so inefficient as to return a card probably sent in October only in January?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on August 06, 2006, 07:43:09 AM
Yes, you're right - the book is a little mixed up too.  Alma Jr was born September 64. 

Bobby was presumably born in November 66.

Im May 83 they would be 18 and 16, but Annie has them down as 17 and 15.  Unless their fathers can't remember their ages which is quite possible!

I don't know when child support usually ends in that area.  In the film they said it was 18.  So Jenny would still be receiving child support in May 1983.

There was a poster here whom I haven't seen for a while [David G - where are you?] who had the same idea as you about the Cassie scene.  This would have meant that Jack was alive and kept the postcard, but didn't answer Ennis - he had left him.  Ennis doesn't hear from him until he dies the next year presumably [1982 - we know that he visits Lightning Flats the same year that Ennis visits because Mr Twist is talking about what Jack said in the spring of that year]. So Jack leaves Ennis, then a year later he visits Lightning Flats, mentions the ranch neighbour, then dies. 

In that case, Jack was alive in Spring 82 and Ennis didn't hear of the death for months.  So by the time he gets the postcard, it's been well over a year since he's heard from Jack.

I prefer to go with the book timeline myself, but as the film timeline is set out in the screenplay I think some people prefer to use that.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mouk on August 06, 2006, 08:49:52 AM
The short story says that 'Ennis did not hear about the accident for months, until his postcard to Jack ... came back'. I think A Proulx meant that Jack went to LF straight after that last confrontation, mentioned Randal on the heat of the moment, and then was killed sometime in that same year (1981 in the movie) before 7 November; and that Ennis got the deceased card in late 81 and went to see the parents in the 81-82 winter, probably asap in order to get those ashes. With the autumn leaves on the ranch trees, I had always thought it was late October or ealy November, a tragic alternative to the fishni'trip. Now with that new theory of Ennis having received no answer by 7th November, I am confusing myself! I don't think Jack ever received the card, the post office printed it 'deceased' precisely because it could not be delivered to a dead addressee. This is part of the tragedy, Jack dying without ever hearing from Ennis again after their argument.

Probably because there were so many revisions to the screenplay, dates that made sense in earlier versions got confused later, and the writers overlooked this aspect as, after all, it has no huge impact on the essence of the story.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on August 06, 2006, 09:53:38 AM
Yes, I honestly think the film timeline is a mistake.  In the book Ennis sends an earlier postcard saying that November is still the earliest.  So I prefer to go along with your interpretation, that Jack died shortly after the last meeting, and that the postcard was sent months after his death.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on August 06, 2006, 05:37:07 PM

The only problem with it being an opera is that two two main characters are so very taciturn and laconic. Their relative lack of outward expression would make it hard to compose sustained arias or duets in which Jack and Ennis dominate the music. Heath Ledger's Ennis has to punch the words out of his chest just to ask where Alma is. To me, it would seem way out of character for Ennis, for example, to sing a lament after finding the nested shirts in Jack's closet. One could write such an aria, of course, but the fact of singing those emotions and thereby expressing them, would signify an awareness of and connection with his feelings that Ennis does not show in the movie.

A libretto for a two-hour opera would have to be very much shorter than the screenplay, so it's not clear what would be left but a skeleton of the narrative. The last scene of Jack and Ennis together in the movie is really the only one that has much in the way of operatic potential, where they actually express emotions and thoughts that have been boiling inside them for 20 years. Perhaps the motel scene as it is in the book would also lend itself to an operatic treatment (and of course the Reunion scene in the movie is just the motel scene displaced forward in the movie).

The composer could have a chorus or a singer who serves as the voice of the author, describing what is going on in Jack and Ennis' hearts. Perhaps a talented librettist could fashion something for an inspired composer, but, IMHO, for the demands of musical expression, it would have to be very different from the short story or the movie in its treatment of character. It would, however, make a very interesting assignment in a composition class. There, the gauntlet is thrown down.
                                                                                                                                                        
I would be inclined to disagree here. The thought of a musical, opera,  or ballet I think is very possible and with good results given the appropriate writers and so forth. I believe that Jack and especially Ennis would make fine musical counterparts because of their laconic, terse, and  in the case of Ennis almost hesitating manner. The arias, if you will would be short and concise based upon their well known identifying statements. Some suggested titles: "I shot an eagle", "What About Next Year?", "I Feel that I'm Falling", and the final act "I wish I Knew How to Quit You". Anyone out there listening?                                                                                                                                                        I feel that the main problem would be recreating the sets properly to suggest the gorgeous wide open vistas, or their intimate firelight scenes.                                                                                                                                                          Lets face it; even though classical music and opera can be grand spectacles, they're not for everybody. So anyone expecting "Verdi" will be dissapointed. But the idea of a musical with perhaps a few  dance numbers would be something to look forward to.



Somehow I've just come across a few of the replies to the opera/musical/drama discussion from the
middle of July, so, if you all don't mind, I'm picking it up again for a moment or two.
Wouldn't want anyone to think I was being stand-offish.
(These comments probably belong over on General Discussion, but I don't quite
know how to transfer stuff.)

I've been thinking that the role of Alma in an opera would be monumental.
I could see three outstanding arias for this character.

1) When she first sees Jack and Ennis on the landing or down at the bottom of the stairs and she
stumbles back inside. "What Have I Seen?"
2)The kitchen scene at Thanksgiving when she confronts Ennis. "Jack Nasty."
3) When she says she'd have more babies if only Ennis would or could support them. He responds,
I'm happy to leave you alone. Wow. That could be a devastating duet.

You know, it doesn't matter that Ennis is naturally taciturn, opera ALWAYS expects us to suspend our
disbelief and accept as natural the idea that characters will sing about their problems at the drop of a hat.
Opera isn't life, it is LARGER than life. That's the beauty of it.
All we'd hear from Ennis is his 'interior' life mostly.
And that's totally acceptable.

Aguirre, a definite basso profundo would have a good moment in the beginning describing
work on the mountain and what he expects. Also, maybe, later, a short piece about the
uncle's illness, sneering all the while.

As for Jack and Ennis duets, done in the right way and with the right singers....
Now, hmmm, would Ennis be a baritone or tenor?
How about Jack.
Definitely a tenor.
Ennis is a baritone, I think.
And the reality of opera now is that there are plenty of young, well built guys with marvelous
voices who could fit either bill.

In the beginning when they meet, the first to sing would be Aguirre, as in the movie.
Then outside, perhaps a combination of the parking lot and bar scenes.
Or maybe do a short aria in front of the trailer, then moments later in the bar.
Jack would have the bulk of the words in both instances.

Each character would have their own leitmotif ala Wagner.

The mountain could easily be re-created on stage with the right lighting and computerised
abracadabra. Some kind of magical interpretation of Brokeback would work wonders -
always there, lurking in the background as only these theater lighting people can do.
Perhaps the mountain itself could even have its own leitmotif.
Yes.

The SNIT could be devastatingly beautiful with the right music AND if the audience
has bought into the characters completely after FNIT. I would do an aria before FNIT
when Jack and Ennis are drinking in front of the fire, but I would let FNIT speak
for itself without music until the next morning when Ennis is in denial. OR, perhaps
a duet during FNIT just before they have sex, using a rough back and forth when
they first go to their knees and Jack looks for the go-ahead in Ennis's eyes.
Written and sung in the right way this could be amazing.

Later when Jack and Ennis say goodbye that first time, the duet would be
utterly heartbreaking. Ennis collapsing against the side of the building is made for an operatic
flourish. "Well, I guess I'll see you around...."

At the birth of his first child, maybe Ennis and Alma could have a short aria espressing some
shaky semblance of hope and love and thoughts for their future together.

When Jack catches up with Lureen at the noisey bar after the rodeo.
He could express his need to go for the main chance: Lureen's father's money. He will settle for this
girl even though he hasn't forgotten Ennis. They could sing at counterpoints to each other.
She on one side of the stage at the dance, expressing her hope and desire for this handsome young
guy who's captured her fancy. He on the other side of the stage, expressing his doubts and fears and resignation.
Lovely.
Then when they finish singing, they meet in the middle of the stage and dance together slowly, while
everything around them dissolves and the scene finally fades to black.

When the first postcard arrives, it calls for a joyful aria on Ennis's part, away from Alma's
inquiring eyes. Maybe he could go onto the landing outside where he can express what
he's really feeling. The absolute joy at hearing from Jack again after four long years.

Then the emotion of the reunion expressed in music.
The motel bed scene. I'd use most of the words in the short story, they would just have
to set to music. Maybe Annie Proulx could be her own librettist?
I'd love to hear Ennis in one of those tortured arias expressing his own self hatred as he tells
about his father.

Can you imagine the final confrontation in musical terms? Devastating.
Later, the discovery of the 'deceased' postcard.
The phone call.
A chance for a bitter aria for Lureen.
The scene at Jack's parents.
The final aria when Ennis discovers the shirts.
Oh my goodness.
I can almost hear it in my head.

And oh, wouldn't it be great to have a dream sequence at the very end?
Instead of prologue, an epilogue where Jack comes to Ennis in his dreams.
Leave the audience with a bit of hope?
Too syrupy?

I see so many instances where words and music would work beautifully
for a BBM opera. Hopefully someone, somewhere is thinking hard on this.
Now if only the planets would align themselves...

So book or movie - how about book, or movie, or opera?


Quote
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sandy on August 06, 2006, 06:48:48 PM
rosewood,

we should probably transpose this discussion over the 'Themes and Elements' under the 'Music' thread. Always thought of Ennis as the baritone and Jack as the tenor.

BTW, in the movie, Ennis already has his own theme, it accompanies his 'trials and tribulations' in three places: in between the FNIT and SNIT when he rides back to discover the gutted sheep, his flashback of Earl's corpse, and the time from the discovery of the nested shirts to leaving the Twist ranch. All three precede major transitions in his life.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on August 06, 2006, 08:30:42 PM
I was hoping that the offtopic discussion of proposed new versions of the story in other art forms had migrated to somewhere appropriate. The proposals have interest for some people, but they do not belong here.  Please keep this thread to ''Film vs. Book''.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: brokebackgio on August 08, 2006, 06:49:02 AM
While I was on my summer vacations, spent on a not so popular but very beautiful Greek island, I remembered a clue that, in my
opinion makes the book  slightly better than the movie. On my last post here, i wrote that they were equal.
Well,not anymore since the movie doesn’t include the scene where Ennis is alone in his trailer, has just waken up and has a feeling of happiness inside him, just because Jack Twist  has visited him in his sleep.Descriptions of abandonment and dirt, inside the trailer, complete the scene and make it one of the most powerful scenes of the story.
Another thing now,  i like in the book, is that A. Proulx gives us a deserted Ennis in the end, with no family or friends close to him (opposed to the film ,where he has the support of his daughter). Reading the story, i get the impression that noone’s left
for him but the ghost of his lost lover.   
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on August 08, 2006, 07:53:31 AM
^^^^^^^^
Well you certainly were a serious person, thinking about high literature while sunning in the Aegean!  I like that "prologue" too,  brokebackgio.  Ennis is such an old bachelor, isn't he!  Dressing in the kitchen after he's put yesterday's coffee on the stove again, urinating in the kitchen sink --  must have been alone for quite a while.  I also like the sound effects in the prologue, all that booming and banging and hissing and rocking.  The trailer is almost a drum rolling down stairs!  I like the little curiousity or tension created in the reader, because of a couple of things she mentions but doesn't explain:   "the" shirts -- why the word "the?"  And of course, that "Jack Twist" has yet to be explained.   

On the second reading, to me, the prologue is extremely painful.  Of course because we now know all about theit their doomed love.  But also, I think, because Ennis has not "got much further" than he was when he first dreamed of Jack, and that was years ago ( probably).  I.e. the shirts and the knowledge of Jack's love had redeemed him in a sense, but in a sense the redemption was ultimately a little sad, touched with irony, because he was frozen in time.  Actually now that I think of it, the prologue adds a lot of irony to the story.  IMO.  But then I like irony, unlike many.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sandy on August 08, 2006, 01:59:58 PM
brokebackgio,

In the short story I believe it says that Ennis thinks he may have to stay with his married daughter, suggesting he is still in contact with her and on friendly terms. Still, you're right that the book's ending seems more gritty and grim than the movie's.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on August 08, 2006, 02:54:04 PM
Yeah, that prologue.
The prologue is the kicker.
If that doesn't break your heart every damn time, I don't know what will.
I stay away from the short story pretty much now, precisely because I can't read it
without weeping. Call me a softie, but there it is.

Yes, come to think of it, I suppose it is several years later and Ennis is still
scratching out a living in solitary confinement. Yup. Pissing in the sink tells me
he just doesn't care anymore to uphold the basic niceties.
If he ever did.
In the film he says, "When you got nothing, you don't need nothing."
That is implying almost the same thing.

As for which is better, book or film, I think, perhaps, words have more power to wound.
Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me is a lie.
Oh yeah, the sticks and stones thing is true, but words as well can have
excrutiating power.

The movie is visually stunning. Jack and Ennis are captured in all their beauty and
as long as the world exists this beauty will remain the same, so I love that
about the film. I'm very big on visuals.

But it is almost impossible to choose one medium over the other. I'd say that each
is different enough that they stand perfectly well on their own.

"...that old cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed
wrong," is one of the most hauntingly beautiful things ever written. In my opinion,
it expresses precisely how it feels to be young and undaunted. Exactly how we all
feel at that age of fearlessness. It is amazing to me that a middle-aged woman
was able to capture this so precisely in just such few words. Her emotion memory
must be acute.

I haven't read any westerns in ages, but lately I've revived my long buried interest and
recently bought an anthology of Elmore Leonard's early western short stories and
just got a Loren D Estleman western that looks interesting....I may even go back
and reread my Zane Greys.....But my point is that I wonder why it took an Annie
Proulx to write something like BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN when all along these male
writers of westerns must have known or seen or been aware of the fact that
gay cowboys or sheepherders or whatever did actually exist and that their stories
were waiting to be told.

It took a woman's courage, I suppose.
I would love to know what Zane Grey might have said, or Louis L'Amour or even
currently, Elmore Leonard or Estleman or any others who are might still be currently writing
westerns. (Though Leonard has gone away from them.)
Wonder what they think of BBM's success.






Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: graylockV on August 08, 2006, 03:08:06 PM
And the last line of the short story, "There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe..."

What he knew about what Jack really meant to him, versus what he tried to believe about their relationship, i.e., that it just couldn't be the way Jack wanted it to be


"...but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it."

Ennis now knows it is too late - that Jack is gone and that he, Ennis, screwed things up, but that it can't be fixed, so he will just have to endure the consequences of his fears.

I think this ending to the story really knocks the wind out of the reader.  The phrase "can't fix it - gotta stand it" sums up for Ennis his relationship with Jack - that you can't fix the world they live in, where Ennis believes with certainty that two men can't make a life together. 

I find the use of Ennis' catch phrase way more powerful at the ending, versus when it is used earlier on in the story.  It says that Ennis knows he has to "stand" the consequences of his actions

So as powerful as the ending to the movie is --- I still find the last line of the story to be devastating.

In fact, I am getting choked up again just thinking about it..
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on August 08, 2006, 04:57:10 PM
 greylocke5 wrote
I find the use of Ennis' catch phrase way more powerful at the ending, versus when it is used earlier on in the story. [...]So as powerful as the ending to the movie is --- I still find the last line of the story to be devastating.

I know what you mean.  Earlier in the story the line is nice enough, not a throwaway.  But at the end of the story, the line is really crushing, because it was part of the original "once in a while out in the middle of nowhere" conversation, where Ennis had laid out the terms within which they would have to relate for the next 17 years.  Now at the end, we know what the cost of those terms has been.  The first time we heard those words, there were really quite a few things Ennis might have "fixed," but he didn't/couldn't let himself.  When we hear them again,  there is nothing fixable any more and all he can do is suck it up.  His terms have cost him so much. 

Almost all the Close Range stories have excellent taglines BTW.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: brokebackgio on August 08, 2006, 08:15:43 PM
It seems I have to read the story again.I haven’t read it since mid feb
(it was just  before the movie hit the greek cinemas) and I have only
 read it once. Like the film i still can’t “face” the whole story again.
Actually i tried reading it few days after i  had seen the film, but i only read the “prologue” and quited cause it was so painful to me, just like Dal  says above. 

Sandy it’s been 6 months since I read it and maybe the line saying that Ennis had to stay with his married daughter slipped my mind. Anyway, i believe  it’s time to look for the original story,  since the one i have read is the greek translation. Might gain few more points, if i read the english version. Any suggestions which edition should I look for?

Finally, I cannot but agree with greylock5 too, about the last line of the story.
Once you read it you feel numb for a while and afterwards you burst into tears.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: blubird on August 10, 2006, 11:25:03 AM

The only problem with it being an opera is that two two main characters are so very taciturn and laconic. Their relative lack of outward expression would make it hard to compose sustained arias or duets in which Jack and Ennis dominate the music. Heath Ledger's Ennis has to punch the words out of his chest just to ask where Alma is. To me, it would seem way out of character for Ennis, for example, to sing a lament after finding the nested shirts in Jack's closet. One could write such an aria, of course, but the fact of singing those emotions and thereby expressing them, would signify an awareness of and connection with his feelings that Ennis does not show in the movie.

A libretto for a two-hour opera would have to be very much shorter than the screenplay, so it's not clear what would be left but a skeleton of the narrative. The last scene of Jack and Ennis together in the movie is really the only one that has much in the way of operatic potential, where they actually express emotions and thoughts that have been boiling inside them for 20 years. Perhaps the motel scene as it is in the book would also lend itself to an operatic treatment (and of course the Reunion scene in the movie is just the motel scene displaced forward in the movie).

The composer could have a chorus or a singer who serves as the voice of the author, describing what is going on in Jack and Ennis' hearts. Perhaps a talented librettist could fashion something for an inspired composer, but, IMHO, for the demands of musical expression, it would have to be very different from the short story or the movie in its treatment of character. It would, however, make a very interesting assignment in a composition class. There, the gauntlet is thrown down.
                                                                                                                                                        
I would be inclined to disagree here. The thought of a musical, opera,  or ballet I think is very possible and with good results given the appropriate writers and so forth. I believe that Jack and especially Ennis would make fine musical counterparts because of their laconic, terse, and  in the case of Ennis almost hesitating manner. The arias, if you will would be short and concise based upon their well known identifying statements. Some suggested titles: "I shot an eagle", "What About Next Year?", "I Feel that I'm Falling", and the final act "I wish I Knew How to Quit You". Anyone out there listening?                                                                                                                                                        I feel that the main problem would be recreating the sets properly to suggest the gorgeous wide open vistas, or their intimate firelight scenes.                                                                                                                                                          Lets face it; even though classical music and opera can be grand spectacles, they're not for everybody. So anyone expecting "Verdi" will be dissapointed. But the idea of a musical with perhaps a few  dance numbers would be something to look forward to.



Somehow I've just come across a few of the replies to the opera/musical/drama discussion from the
middle of July, so, if you all don't mind, I'm picking it up again for a moment or two.
Wouldn't want anyone to think I was being stand-offish.
(These comments probably belong over on General Discussion, but I don't quite
know how to transfer stuff.)

I've been thinking that the role of Alma in an opera would be monumental.
I could see three outstanding arias for this character.

1) When she first sees Jack and Ennis on the landing or down at the bottom of the stairs and she
stumbles back inside. "What Have I Seen?"
2)The kitchen scene at Thanksgiving when she confronts Ennis. "Jack Nasty."
3) When she says she'd have more babies if only Ennis would or could support them. He responds,
I'm happy to leave you alone. Wow. That could be a devastating duet.

You know, it doesn't matter that Ennis is naturally taciturn, opera ALWAYS expects us to suspend our
disbelief and accept as natural the idea that characters will sing about their problems at the drop of a hat.
Opera isn't life, it is LARGER than life. That's the beauty of it.
All we'd hear from Ennis is his 'interior' life mostly.
And that's totally acceptable.

Aguirre, a definite basso profundo would have a good moment in the beginning describing
work on the mountain and what he expects. Also, maybe, later, a short piece about the
uncle's illness, sneering all the while.

As for Jack and Ennis duets, done in the right way and with the right singers....
Now, hmmm, would Ennis be a baritone or tenor?
How about Jack.
Definitely a tenor.
Ennis is a baritone, I think.
And the reality of opera now is that there are plenty of young, well built guys with marvelous
voices who could fit either bill.

In the beginning when they meet, the first to sing would be Aguirre, as in the movie.
Then outside, perhaps a combination of the parking lot and bar scenes.
Or maybe do a short aria in front of the trailer, then moments later in the bar.
Jack would have the bulk of the words in both instances.

Each character would have their own leitmotif ala Wagner.

The mountain could easily be re-created on stage with the right lighting and computerised
abracadabra. Some kind of magical interpretation of Brokeback would work wonders -
always there, lurking in the background as only these theater lighting people can do.
Perhaps the mountain itself could even have its own leitmotif.
Yes.

The SNIT could be devastatingly beautiful with the right music AND if the audience
has bought into the characters completely after FNIT. I would do an aria before FNIT
when Jack and Ennis are drinking in front of the fire, but I would let FNIT speak
for itself without music until the next morning when Ennis is in denial. OR, perhaps
a duet during FNIT just before they have sex, using a rough back and forth when
they first go to their knees and Jack looks for the go-ahead in Ennis's eyes.
Written and sung in the right way this could be amazing.

Later when Jack and Ennis say goodbye that first time, the duet would be
utterly heartbreaking. Ennis collapsing against the side of the building is made for an operatic
flourish. "Well, I guess I'll see you around...."

At the birth of his first child, maybe Ennis and Alma could have a short aria espressing some
shaky semblance of hope and love and thoughts for their future together.

When Jack catches up with Lureen at the noisey bar after the rodeo.
He could express his need to go for the main chance: Lureen's father's money. He will settle for this
girl even though he hasn't forgotten Ennis. They could sing at counterpoints to each other.
She on one side of the stage at the dance, expressing her hope and desire for this handsome young
guy who's captured her fancy. He on the other side of the stage, expressing his doubts and fears and resignation.
Lovely.
Then when they finish singing, they meet in the middle of the stage and dance together slowly, while
everything around them dissolves and the scene finally fades to black.

When the first postcard arrives, it calls for a joyful aria on Ennis's part, away from Alma's
inquiring eyes. Maybe he could go onto the landing outside where he can express what
he's really feeling. The absolute joy at hearing from Jack again after four long years.

Then the emotion of the reunion expressed in music.
The motel bed scene. I'd use most of the words in the short story, they would just have
to set to music. Maybe Annie Proulx could be her own librettist?
I'd love to hear Ennis in one of those tortured arias expressing his own self hatred as he tells
about his father.

Can you imagine the final confrontation in musical terms? Devastating.
Later, the discovery of the 'deceased' postcard.
The phone call.
A chance for a bitter aria for Lureen.
The scene at Jack's parents.
The final aria when Ennis discovers the shirts.
Oh my goodness.
I can almost hear it in my head.

And oh, wouldn't it be great to have a dream sequence at the very end?
Instead of prologue, an epilogue where Jack comes to Ennis in his dreams.
Leave the audience with a bit of hope?
Too syrupy?

I see so many instances where words and music would work beautifully
for a BBM opera. Hopefully someone, somewhere is thinking hard on this.
Now if only the planets would align themselves...

So book or movie - how about book, or movie, or opera?


Quote
                                                                                                                                                        This is beyond words, Rosewood, and I almost feel that i've veiwed the opera myself. Fortunately there already exists a fine musical score as we all know and Jack and Ennis both have leitmotives : Jack's a wistful, dreamy, and heel kicking theme ( just like him). And Ennis's theme suggests the daily routine of country and livestock life, which never ends. I love the parts suggesting the birth of Ennis's children and the parent's hopes and dreams. And also Jack's meeting with Lureen, esp Jack's adrift nature and a place to moor himself, and Lureen's quick infatuation with the dashing but uncertain cowboy. And finally the role of the mountain, projected behind them as ever looming in the background, either one unable to escape its shadow.                                                                                                                                                         Bravo! to all.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on August 10, 2006, 12:44:51 PM
Blubird:
Thanks for the kind words, it is SO fun to imagine all this.  :)
We enlarged the opera theme a bit over on Elements and Themes - The Musical Score.
Since we were a bit OT over here.



Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Casper on August 11, 2006, 03:48:10 PM
I view the film as better because the intimacy is presented in fine form by two fine actors.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on August 11, 2006, 09:43:05 PM
greylocke5 wrote

So as powerful as the ending to the movie is --- I still find the last line of the story to be devastating.  In fact, I am getting choked up again just thinking about it..

oh -- forgot to say, if you didn't know:  AP  had finished the story completely, actually had sent it off to be published in The N. Yorker before that last sentence came to her.  She had to call it in by phone, and luckily made it by press time.  You are so right, that tag line just finishes you off;  could not be better.  It's what Ennis has left when all's said and done;  short and not very sweet.  IMO.

There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: brokebackgio on August 13, 2006, 09:08:46 AM
since my last post here, i've tried to read the story twice, but couldn't even read the prologue to the end.
finally i managed and read it (the prologue) and it's all mentioned there.The shirts hunging from a nail on the wall, the way Jack was affecting him, even in his dream, the married daughter and the way everything seemed so right that summer on the mountain.
But when you have not a clue about the story, haven't seen the movie yet and read it for the first time
you don't pay attention to all these.After "brockback shock" try to read it again and from the first lines
you begin to choke...

azmountainman, that scene with Ennis pissing the sink wouldn't be so hard to film.
I have seen people piss in several movies.I believe he wanted to keep it more simple and focus to the story
from the very begining and not begin with Ennis in his mid 40's and then flashback.
About the sex scenes i belive that he did it on purpose and did not film more.People would refer to it(the movie)as gay porn then.I don't mind the sex scenes that are missing, it's that i wanted more of Ennis as he's pictured in the prologue of the story.

To me the movie is the best film of all time, it's just that the book has some more powerful scenes and that make it slightly better.

Dal check your p.m.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on August 15, 2006, 04:48:39 PM
Here's a question:

How did reading the book change the way you saw the movie or vice versa?  I have a split personality now  when I read the book.  I hardly ever see Ennis as "book" Ennis anymore -- pretty much, only when he's being described.  Rest of the time I see him as Heath Ledger.  Jack, I have way less of a problem with.   Not too many places in the book where I see Jake.  I see Alma as Michelle.  Lureen has no face in the book, so it don't matter.  Some of the movie interiors, and Aguire's trailer, have stuck in my mind and show up when I read the story now.

Anybody else?

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sandy on August 15, 2006, 05:21:29 PM
Dal,

I think I have kept them pretty much separate, which is difficult to do because the images of the movie are so seductive and intense. But then I read the story when it first came out and a couple of times afterwards, but before the movie appeared. I wonder if our intepretations are influenced by what we saw or read first.

The characters are different, book Ennis is more self aware than movie Ennis, as can be seen by comparing the two motel scenes. In the book, the relation between Jack and Ennis is more hermetically sealed because the wives are mentioned only in passing and Cassie and Randall barely exist.

What seems more miraculous to me is that, with their differences, the two appear to convey the same story to so many of us.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on August 15, 2006, 05:24:35 PM
Here's a question:

How did reading the book change the way you saw the movie or vice versa?  I have a split personality now  when I read the book.  I hardly ever see Ennis as "book" Ennis anymore -- pretty much, only when he's being described.  Rest of the time I see him as Heath Ledger.  Jack, I have way less of a problem with.   Not too many places in the book where I see Jake.  I see Alma as Michelle.  Lureen has no face in the book, so it don't matter.  Some of the movie interiors, and Aguire's trailer, have stuck in my mind and show up when I read the story now.

Anybody else?


I saw the movie first precisely because I didn't want Annie's story to color my opinion or expectations.
Saw the movie, then, a bit fearful, read the story.
Need not have feared.
The story is a separate entity.
As brilliant as the movie, but different.
And MEANT to be taken differently.

Discovered that Annie's descriptions of Jack and Ennis didn't register much.
They were already HL and JG going in.
Indelible.
I don't have a real physical picture of the wives, because to my way of thinking,
it doesn't matter. In fact, Alma is kind of off-putting as written.
So in my mind she's just 'Ennis's wife'.
It is Michele Williams in the movie who makes Alma so sympathetic.

I'm more attuned to Jack and Ennis and THEIR relationship always. All other
characters fade into insignificance or show up as vague impediments.
Jack and Ennis usually show up as HL and JG in my
imagination when I'm reading.

EXCEPT for the motel scene.
It is difficult to imagine HL and JG speaking as freely and bluntly
as the characters do in the short story. So, in some odd way, Jack and Ennis are
different in that scene - more like Annie's interpretation.
More HER characters and less JG and HL.
Vaguely the same, but different.
Don't ask me how this works, it just does.



Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mouk on August 15, 2006, 05:31:35 PM
I got hold of the book only after I had already seen the film several times, so for me all the characters were pretty much solidified in my mind. At first reading, I had very mixed feelings about it. I did not like the way Jack and Ennis looked, and acted, so differently from those I had got accustomed to. And yet, their physical  defects made them so much more real! Once I got used to them, I found their love for each other, wretched creatures, all the more endearing.

The book helped understand what was happening in the characters's minds. However, the light it sheds is ferocious, while the mood in the film is more longing and desperate. For instance, I had taken the Dozy embrace in the film to be an example of many wondeful moments of real loving and happiness they must have had, and here comes A Proulx saying it was the ONLY moment of artless, charmed happiness, and as if this was not bad enough Ennis did not want to see nor feel that it was Jack he held. The film takes us on a constant rollercoaster of emotions and no moment of happiness remains unspoilt. But in the novel it is much, much worse.

So after reading the story, the film became even sadder for me, if this is possible.

On the whole, the story moves me less than the film. I am ashamed to admit that if I had read it without seeing the film, it would not have had much impact on me, apart from some of the lines, especially the last one, and the description of Ennis with the shirts, that sent me howling first time round. But I read it regularly and it keeps growing on me. The magic of implicit literature!

My characters are definitely those of the film, body and soul, 100%. The story and the movie feed one another and are mixed in my mind in a way that I have not yet analysed.   I tend to see one through the filter of the other. But the film dominates my perception of BBM. When I read the story, it is like an echo of the film. When I see the film, bits of the story come to my mind as footnotes.

What a messy answer to your very interesting question, Dal. I guess I’ll just have to go and try and untangle them sheep, the task almost impossible with those worn, faded paint brands. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Katapult on August 15, 2006, 07:57:32 PM
For me, the story stands as a separate entity - I don't think about the movie too much when I'm reading it.  I think that's because the power of the story doesn't reside, for me,  so much in the characterizations or in the place descriptions as it does in AP's ability to describe the inner life of the characters - the devastation of Ennis after Jack dies, the resignation of Jack, etc. 

When I'm watching the movie, though, lines from the story pop up in my head.  I agree that reading the story makes the movie seem even sadder than it is.  When I see Ennis making that phone call to Lureen, I think of the line from the story about the sadness of the northern plains bearing down upon him.  When I see the dozy embrace, I know that Jack sees this as the single moment of perfect happiness in his life. 


Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jack on August 18, 2006, 06:55:19 PM
at the request of the management...

Pete just put up a poll at http://davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=12326.0 so we can find out approximately how many books we need to have printed in the first run. I don't know a single soul who gets around these threads better or more than you do. So I wondered if you would help us spread the word and get a bunch of folks to fill out the poll for us. Could you point them in that direction as you move from thread to thread (like a ministering angel)?

thank you...
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: dudn3000 on August 20, 2006, 06:30:05 AM
I liked the movie more because in the book you hear only from Ennis. I read the book before I saw the movie and I always asked. What's Jack doing this time? In the movie you have Jacks life as well and I like that!  ;)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on August 20, 2006, 07:43:45 AM
I got hold of the book only after I had already seen the film several times, so for me all the characters were pretty much solidified in my mind. At first reading, I had very mixed feelings about it. I did not like the way Jack and Ennis looked, and acted, so differently from those I had got accustomed to. And yet, their physical  defects made them so much more real! Once I got used to them, I found their love for each other, wretched creatures, all the more endearing.

The book helped understand what was happening in the characters's minds. However, the light it sheds is ferocious, while the mood in the film is more longing and desperate. For instance, I had taken the Dozy embrace in the film to be an example of many wondeful moments of real loving and happiness they must have had, and here comes A Proulx saying it was the ONLY moment of artless, charmed happiness, and as if this was not bad enough Ennis did not want to see nor feel that it was Jack he held. The film takes us on a constant rollercoaster of emotions and no moment of happiness remains unspoilt. But in the novel it is much, much worse.

So after reading the story, the film became even sadder for me, if this is possible.

On the whole, the story moves me less than the film. I am ashamed to admit that if I had read it without seeing the film, it would not have had much impact on me, apart from some of the lines, especially the last one, and the description of Ennis with the shirts, that sent me howling first time round. But I read it regularly and it keeps growing on me. The magic of implicit literature!

My characters are definitely those of the film, body and soul, 100%. The story and the movie feed one another and are mixed in my mind in a way that I have not yet analysed.   I tend to see one through the filter of the other. But the film dominates my perception of BBM. When I read the story, it is like an echo of the film. When I see the film, bits of the story come to my mind as footnotes.

What a messy answer to your very interesting question, Dal. I guess I’ll just have to go and try and untangle them sheep, the task almost impossible with those worn, faded paint brands. 


Mouk, you have shed light on this question for me-- because I read the story first -- and so I always had the depth of the sadness to deal with.  In fact it was horrible.  I only picked it up to "graze" a bit in the bookstore, but for me the spare language somehow demanded that I read it over-- twice right there in the store-- and many times thereafter.   For me it was Jack's speech to Ennis that was so powerful, that I had to read over and over before I even understood what Ennis' question about Mexico meant.

Your point about the dozy embrace is something I never realized -- that if you only watch the movie, you don't get that it was just that once.

For me, the dozy embrace as depicted in the movie was probably the scene I was most disappointed in.  It was so short!  I know the movie is long anyway, but just five more seconds???  In the book it is depicted as happening in the dark, shadows from the fire, standing a long time, long enough for Jack to almost doze-- 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on August 20, 2006, 07:51:25 AM

EXCEPT for the motel scene.
It is difficult to imagine HL and JG speaking as freely and bluntly
as the characters do in the short story. So, in some odd way, Jack and Ennis are
different in that scene - more like Annie's interpretation.
More HER characters and less JG and HL.
Vaguely the same, but different.
Don't ask me how this works, it just does.



And rosewood, I agree with you here-- that motel scene was so real to me, the dialogue in the book contributed to the feeling that Jack and Ennis must have walked the earth.  The things they say to each other, so familiar, in a way so jubilant, so clearly lovers long parted and now re-united, finally pausing for what is (for them) a floodgate of words after a long spell of making love--

I won't get into lamenting the difference between the book and movie motel scenes except to say I wish Ennis had said some of those things to Jack in the movie.  IMO it would have added to the movie.

example:  "I didn't know where in the hell you was."

and the part about how he's not gay--wrang it out a hunert times thinking about you

etc.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mouk on August 20, 2006, 09:00:32 AM

EXCEPT for the motel scene.
It is difficult to imagine HL and JG speaking as freely and bluntly
as the characters do in the short story. So, in some odd way, Jack and Ennis are
different in that scene - more like Annie's interpretation.
More HER characters and less JG and HL.
Vaguely the same, but different.
Don't ask me how this works, it just does.



And rosewood, I agree with you here-- that motel scene was so real to me, the dialogue in the book contributed to the feeling that Jack and Ennis must have walked the earth.  The things they say to each other, so familiar, in a way so jubilant, so clearly lovers long parted and now re-united, finally pausing for what is (for them) a floodgate of words after a long spell of making love--

I won't get into lamenting the difference between the book and movie motel scenes except to say I wish Ennis had said some of those things to Jack in the movie.  IMO it would have added to the movie.

example:  "I didn't know where in the hell you was."

and the part about how he's not gay--wrang it out a hunert times thinking about you

etc.

At the risk of shocking many people, I do not particularly like the motel scene in the story. I find it too wordy. Just a matter of personal taste and sensitivity, no reflexion at all on A Proulx's exceptional talent. Simply, I feel more atuned to Diana/Larry's, and even more Ang's, sensitivity.

To me, the motel scene as it is in the film could not be more perfect. It defines the difference between the characters so completely and prepares us for all the heartbreak that will follow. It is an emotional rollercoaster. A grin, a raised eyebrow, a hand gesture speak volumes more than explicit speeches. It is as powerful as it is minimalist.

The characterisation is fantastic:
Jack, so open and talkative. Ennis, completely stuck for words, but so loving
Jack, so full of hope, living moments of complete happiness and faith in their love and in the future; Ennis full of pain because he knows this is just a stolen moment and they will never live their love properly

The way they express their feelings shows much more than what is actually said:
"I didn't know where in the hell you was" -  implies if Ennis had known where Jack was, he would have tried to contact him. While ' Didn't think I'd hear from you'  is so typically movie Ennis, accepting his fate passively, as painful as it may be. The onus to revive and maintain the relationship is all on Jack
Jack's reaction to 'I figured you were sore from that punch' is wonderful. His allows his face to says it all, because Ennis cannot see it:  'hell I was. I never figured you to throw a dirty punch'. He knows that Ennis has a low startle point, and he does not want to spoil their happiness with accusations.

Open, communicative Jack, describes his attempt to find ennis in 1964 and shows how excited he was today redlining it all the way; but when he asks Ennis, hoping for similar confessions that would be so sweet to hear, all he gets is 'Oh, I don't know'. Again, the movie shows how much he understands Ennis and how delicate he is in handling him: he does not probe, just answers for him 'Old BB got us good', and he is content with Ennis silent response (caress on his arm)
In the same dialogue, Ennis's pain and inability to express his feelings is so palpable, it's completely heartbreaking. There is so much he would like to say, but he just can't. All he can do is grimace and fidget. Jack will never know how much Ennis has been waiting for him all day, while he was redlining towards him.

The roller coaster:
This is a moment of pure love and bliss, as was SNIT. So far the reunion has been going so perfectly, beyond all expectations, Jack has no doubt that they have a future together.  That's why he does not react when Ennis says 'there is nothing we can do, all I have time for is work'. Jack sees no obstacle that cannot be overcome there.

The real issue, the gay issue will come out by the river. Only then does Jack discover Ennis's trauma and realise how serious the problem is for their relationship. On the mountain, he had seen Ennis's reluctance towards 'being queer' but he had not understood how deeply rooted that was. He had thought that a little reassuring lie  'me neither' would do the trick to bring him round. Same in the motel. Now he knows that the issue is actually so serious that all he can do is accept compromise and play by Ennis rules in order not to loose him. Jack is stunned, all his hopes are dashed. Just as Ennis was in freefall when they went down the mountain because he 'knew' they could no stay together, Jack has his freefall now because he understands they might never be together. But being Jack, he accepts the compromise, hoping that some fine day...
Jack's future life, till his death is defined in that moment

Most importantly, in the motel scend Jack asks nothing from Ennis, unlike the story - 'you  just shot my airplane out of the sky, you've got to give me somethin to go on'. Jack always gives, always sets opportunities and waits patiently for Ennis to take them. He never pushes, and while he is so talkative and open, he bears his pain in silence, in order to to add to Ennis's pain.  Until the final confrontation.

To me, movie Jack is so much more beautiful than story Jack. Not just physically. And Ennis so much more moving. IMO
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on August 20, 2006, 01:09:48 PM

At the risk of shocking many people, I do not particularly like the motel scene in the story. I find it too wordy. Just a matter of personal taste and sensitivity, no reflexion at all on A Proulx's exceptional talent. Simply, I feel more atuned to Diana/Larry's, and even more Ang's, sensitivity.

The way they express their feelings shows much more than what is actually said:
"I didn't know where in the hell you was" -  implies if Ennis had known where Jack was, he would have tried to contact him. While ' Didn't think I'd hear from you'  is so typically movie Ennis, accepting his fate passively, as painful as it may be. The onus to revive and maintain the relationship is all on Jack
Jack's reaction to 'I figured you were sore from that punch' is wonderful. His allows his face to says it all, because Ennis cannot see it:  'hell I was. I never figured you to throw a dirty punch'. He knows that Ennis has a low startle point, and he does not want to spoil their happiness with accusations.

Open, communicative Jack, describes his attempt to find ennis in 1964 and shows how excited he was today redlining it all the way; but when he asks Ennis, hoping for similar confessions that would be so sweet to hear, all he gets is 'Oh, I don't know'. Again, the movie shows how much he understands Ennis and how delicate he is in handling him: he does not probe, just answers for him 'Old BB got us good', and he is content with Ennis silent response (caress on his arm)
In the same dialogue, Ennis's pain and inability to express his feelings is so palpable, it's completely heartbreaking. There is so much he would like to say, but he just can't. All he can do is grimace and fidget. Jack will never know how much Ennis has been waiting for him all day, while he was redlining towards him.

The roller coaster:
This is a moment of pure love and bliss, as was SNIT. So far the reunion has been going so perfectly, beyond all expectations, Jack has no doubt that they have a future together. That's why he does not react when Ennis says 'there is nothing we can do, all I have time for is work'. Jack sees no obstacle that cannot be overcome there.

The real issue, the gay issue will come out by the river. Only then does Jack discover Ennis's trauma and realise how serious the problem is for their relationship. On the mountain, he had seen Ennis's reluctance towards 'being queer' but he had not understood how deeply rooted that was. He had thought that a little reassuring lie  'me neither' would do the trick to bring him round. Same in the motel. Now he knows that the issue is actually so serious that all he can do is accept compromise and play by Ennis rules in order not to loose him. Jack is stunned, all his hopes are dashed. Just as Ennis was in freefall when they went down the mountain because he 'knew' they could no stay together, Jack has his freefall now because he understands they might never be together. But being Jack, he accepts the compromise, hoping that some fine day...
Jack's future life, till his death is defined in that moment

Most importantly, in the motel scend Jack asks nothing from Ennis, unlike the story - 'you  just shot my airplane out of the sky, you've got to give me somethin to go on'. Jack always gives, always sets opportunities and waits patiently for Ennis to take them. He never pushes, and while he is so talkative and open, he bears his pain in silence, in order to to add to Ennis's pain.  Until the final confrontation.

To me, movie Jack is so much more beautiful than story Jack. Not just physically. And Ennis so much more moving. IMO


I don't think we disagree all that much, mouk.
You've described the differences very perceptively and I get why you prefer the movie version.
In a way, I do too.
And in ways I've mentioned, I don't.
Hence my initial comment that the movie and the book are separate entities and meant to
be taken and interpreted differently.
So this is all kind of moot anyway.
But when has that ever stopped me? :D

And I'm not shocked by your comment about the motel scene in the short story.
There are certain aspects of it that I'm not fond of as well.
When I first read it, after seeing the movie, I was a bit taken aback.
Who IS this Ennis? I thought.
The differences are that vivid.
Short story Jack and Ennis are coarser, more down to earth, less 'dreamy',
more vulgar if you will, less Ang Lee and all Annie Proulx. The final interpretations would
necessarily be as different. It would be odd if they weren't, I suppose.

But the more I read this particular scene, the more it got under my skin.
The more I wished that movie-Ennis had expressed his desires a bit more.
Had given Jack a bit more of the approval that I see in the story.
I also wish that some of the dialogue dealing with Ennis's father had been
spoken from the motel bed and not from the campfire the next night.
Very few agree with me on this, but hey, them's the breaks.

By the way, when the two of them go off to 'fish' the next morning, we CAN'T
assume that Jack hasn't given his 'you just shot my airplane out of the sky'
speech to Ennis (though we don't see it) and requested/insisted on the additional time
together. But I doubt Ennis phoned Alma since he startles her the next day when he storms in on
her and announces his plans.

One of the things that I find so touching about this additional scene is
the way movie-Alma looks out the window down at Jack, leaning oh-so-casually against
the truck, master of all he surveys, and knows immediately what's what. Heartbreaking.
A few moments later, she watches an energetic Ennis bound down the stairs and casually
throw his stuff in the truck. Then she hears both men make spur of the moment plans to have
breakfast. I'll bet anything that Ennis has NEVER done anything spur of the moment with
Alma. (Never felt the need to, I suspect.) No breakfast at the local luncheonette, no lunch,
no dinner, no trek in the woods, no nothing.  For her to see this unknown aspect of Ennis suddenly
on display while she's left behind, helplessly clutching her child for support, must make her feel
like a complete and total outsider in her own marriage. The man she's known for four years isn't the
man she's known for four years.
As I've said before, I don't know how she stands it for seven more.

This 'expansion' of Alma's role (and even Lureen's, though less successfully so), in the film helps
to enlarge the story and make us understand more deeply the emotional carnage that Jack and
Ennis leave in their wake.

While I still would have wished for a slightly more 'verbal' Ennis, I love HL and
Ang Lee's interpretation precisely because they weren't afraid to take a stand. They changed the
character, giving him a more 'visual' interpretation. Understandable. Films ARE a visual medium,
after all. By keeping more of Ennis's interior life a mystery, they intrigue us and cleverly,
force us to pay more attention - to sit up and take notice. They want us to use our brains
as well as our hearts and imagination. I admire the film makers for even assuming that someone
in their audience might have a brain.

When was the last time that happened?



Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on August 20, 2006, 08:33:42 PM
...their physical  defects made them so much more real! Once I got used to them, I found their love for each other, wretched creatures, all the more endearing. [ ... and from a later post -->] ....To me, movie Jack is so much more beautiful than story Jack. Not just physically.
Yes, Movie Jack sure is beautiful.  Like an angel.  *sigh*  Oops wrong thread. 

Anyway book Jack is just an ordinary poor uneducated country kid with not much going for him.  That's why  I like him way more!  Go figure.  He's like one of Walt Whitman's guys maybe.   And he's rough, mercurial, capable of flareups -- not much like the calming, symathetic, patient, sustaining Movie Jack.  Book Jack has a huge tenacity, and an abilty to love (or Love??  :D) that nobody ever suspected until Ennis came along;  with Jake, it's all right there in his face.   I guess Movie Jack seems somehow blessed, even before he meets Ennis, in a way Book Jack is not. 

Book Jack has a lousier life in Childress than Movie Jack, too -- I guess, anyway.  He's not the best combine saleman, or the best anything, in the book.  He even has to wait until "L.D." dies before he can work for the business.    And at the end, he's more disappointed by life -- "I didn't want none a either kind, but fuck-all has worked the way I wanted. Nothin never come to my hand the right way." I would have loved to have heard that line in the flick.  But I guess everybody's right:  the full weight of the 17 years would prob'ly be too depessing for the movie, although is it there in the book IMO.
Quote
withthe description of Ennis with the shirts, that sent me howling first time round.[...]The magic of implicit literature!
Am I imagining things, or does AP manipulate us into feeling as dead and shocked as Ennis -- from the postcard thru the first glimpe of the shirts --  by a dry and distant tone (I can't say this well).  Anyway, when Ennis realizes with increasing wonder what he's found, and AP opens the floodgates, it seems to me that the emotions we feel are again Ennis', and much more intense for the dry tone preceding.  Prob'ly that's so obvious that no one has bothered to mention it.  Or, do I imagine that dry tone?
When I see Ennis making that phone call to Lureen, I think of the line from the story about the sadness of the northern plains bearing down upon him.
I swear to God, Ledger is so good there, I can see that vast sadness coming down on him in that phone booth and crushing him.  He could hardly speak and it's true. Heath should've got somethin' from his peers!
... the dozy embrace as depicted in the movie was probably the scene I was most disappointed in.  It was so short!  I know the movie is long anyway, but just five more seconds???  In the book it is depicted as happening in the dark, shadows from the fire, standing a long time, long enough for Jack to almost doze-- 
I guess Ang figures its best to keep 'em wanting more.  Like the Closet Scene  -- I could have used a few more seconds of that! -- but no.

I think the writing in the DE is spectacular.  You get the layout, the lighting, the warmth, the whole mise-en-scene in a very intimate way.  It seems to go on forever. doesn't it?  And she takes you right inside Jack, to hear Ennis' watch, and his heart beating slowly.  It's right out of Marie Cassat in a way, but in a good way.    It has a great symbol:  their single shadow against the rock.  It closes with a lovely bit of onomatopoeia the horse's shuddering snort, grind of hoof on stone.    And then.... you can read the whole thing over again!  Movie DE is gorgeous too.  Maybe I expect movies to be gorgeous, I don't know.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on August 21, 2006, 04:30:49 PM
I think the writing in the DE is spectacular.  You get the layout, the lighting, the warmth, the whole mise-en-scene in a very intimate way.  It seems to go on forever. doesn't it?  And she takes you right inside Jack, to hear Ennis' watch, and his heart beating slowly.  It's right out of Marie Cassat in a way, but in a good way.    It has a great symbol:  their single shadow against the rock.  It closes with a lovely bit of onomatopoeia the horse's shuddering snort, grind of hoof on stone.    And then.... you can read the whole thing over again!  Movie DE is gorgeous too.  Maybe I expect movies to be gorgeous, I don't know.

Dal, I agree.   Also Annie has said it was the hardest scene to work on, hardest to get the right words, and your analysis shows how well she did in the end.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on August 21, 2006, 08:08:28 PM
It's a beaut.  And the next paragraph is so so sad.  I think there are two "personal tragedies" in the story, and one fundamental, overall tragedy from which they both derive.  The latter is the failure of their love to get beyond Brokeback Mountain and let them grow, as it should have done.  One way to put Jack's "personal tragedy" is that he never again had the DE which he craved from Ennis, because of homophobia.  And the paragraph after the DE sort of summarizes Jack's "personal tragedy" if you want to put it that way.   

The sadness and resignation of that paragraph is equivalent to Jake's "look" at that point, but not the.... well:  I was going to say something about what Jack has been thinking, until I remembered the lack of concensus about what Jack has been thinking!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on August 22, 2006, 01:00:41 PM
...Annie has said it was the hardest scene to work on, hardest to get the right words
Oh, reminds me:  Everybody may already know AP listened to "Spiritual" on Pat Metheny's Under the Missouri Sky album, non-stop, while she was trying to get the DE to come out right.  You should listen to that track, if you like the writing in the DE.  It's all there, really:  the slow hypnotic rhythm, the timelessness, a peace yet a yearning -- sad.  Surely, the sadness is because Jack is viewing it in retrospect?  Anyway, even the heartbeat, and the shimmering heat waves off the fire are right there in that track.

Highly recommended for cuddling with your sweetie next  wintertime.  Before a fire or under a blanket, it's perfect.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: IcySparks on September 03, 2006, 07:37:28 PM
I have to say, I enjoy both the short story and the movie, yet the movie wins out, as it brings out all of the characters in such an amazing way. The movie is indeed a very faithful adaptation of the story, but I enjoyed seeing all the little "side" stories created for the film! :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: eocs on September 04, 2006, 07:29:19 PM
     I read the short story last December.  I though it was good and put the book away.  However, it kept preying on my mind and so I re-read the story.  Then it HIT me.  That powerful emotional punch.  I was moved to tears.  I have re-read the story many times and its power never diminishes.  The dozy embrace is my favorite part as it is so beautiful and moving. Annie Proulx is incredible.
     I got the soundtrack in January and have listened to it over and over since then.  Almost daily.  Never have I heard music that affected me so deeply. I could visualize the music to the story that I had read many times.  I want to thank Twistedboy for helping me expand my enjoyment of this beautiful music.
     I was very lucky that the film actually played in my backwards area of the south in February.  The movie blew me away.  I finally got to see where in the film that the music I loved played.  The cinematography is stunningly beautiful. The sky is so beautiful and important in this film  It is almost a character in itself.  It was amazing to see descriptions in the book so lovingly recreated in the film such at Jack looking at Ennis's campfire in the distance at night, " Jack, in his dark camp, saw Ennis as night fire, a red spark on the huge black mass of mountain" or Ennis looking for Jack on the mountain, "during the day Ennis looked across a great gulf and sometimes  saw Jack, a small dot moving across a high meadow,as an insect moves across a tablecloth."  And the dozy embrace is so wonderfully done in the film.  The look on Jake's face... The performaces of the actors and actresses are outstanding.  Heath Ledger was nothing short of miraculous in his interpertation of Ennis Del Mar. The film is a nearly perfect adaptation of the story. Only I wish it had the present time Ennis at the beginning and end like the story.  The movie has an otherworldly feel to it especially the Brokeback segment.  It is almost like viewing an Ingmar Bergman film as it has that quality to it.
     I also agree about the music Spiritual from Beyond the Missouri Sky that was Proulx's inspiration for the dozy embrace.  It captures that moment so beautifully
     Which is better the story or film?  Both as they compliment and enrich each other.  When I read the story I now see Heath as Ennis as he does physically fit the character's description but Jake is just too beautiful to be the Jack in the story, (but I ain't complaining).  And without the story we would not have this incredible film to enjoy, break and change our hearts and lives.  Bless you Annie Proulx
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: M-dash on September 06, 2006, 04:30:11 PM
Your point about the dozy embrace is something I never realized -- that if you only watch the movie, you don't get that it was just that once.

For me, the dozy embrace as depicted in the movie was probably the scene I was most disappointed in.  It was so short!  I know the movie is long anyway, but just five more seconds???  In the book it is depicted as happening in the dark, shadows from the fire, standing a long time, long enough for Jack to almost doze-- 

I saw the film first and then read the short story, and I've been wondering ever since why they filmed the dozy embrace as a daytime scene.  Wonderful as the film version is, I've been trying to picture how much more glorious it might have been with Jack's and Ennis's faces illuminated by the dancing flames against a dark background, and I'm curious if anyone knows of some particular reason why Ang Lee might have changed this from the original story.  (That description of Annie Proulx's about their bodies being silhouetted as a single column against the rock always haunts my mind...)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mouk on September 06, 2006, 06:09:59 PM
Just throwing some half baked ideas:
One possible reason might be that the single shadow was behind them (presumably), so Jack could not have been aware of it and therefore Ang Lee did not judge it indispensable in the flashback. Practical reasons may have been that there was no rock on the filming site and Jack's face would have been in the dark when he looks at Ennis going away, we would have missed his wonderful expression. Finally, it would have made less of a bookend with older Jack's face as the light would have been different.

... for what it's worth...
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lumberjack on September 12, 2006, 04:55:27 PM
After I got the DVD, I was able to create my own version of the soundtrack.  The soundtrack I had purchased has the music is different order that they are in the film, which irritated me.  I compiled all the music in the exact order its presented in the film; I even included background dialoge that occurs in the 2nd night in the tent, at the bottom of the steps at their 4 yr reunion, the dozy embrase, and Ennis in Jack's bedroom with dialoge with Jack's parents.  There is original music in the film NOT put on the soundtrack.  Now that I have the book on CD, I am going to create the book on CD with original theme music from the soundtrack inserted between 'chapters'.  It stumps me why the soundtrack was produced in the form (order) it was; all of the soundtracks and cast recordings I've heard at in the order they appear in the original production.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on September 12, 2006, 05:22:13 PM
Film versus Book?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: fromthedarkness on September 17, 2006, 06:06:35 PM
The movie was done really wel, the whole thing with the music mixed in kind of gives you that old western lazy who gives a care in the world. then the clash of the starstruck lovers ignight the  the slow lazy world in which they live with there secrets and sharing their time high in the mountains in such a beautiful  and primal setting, Their hideaway from the judgment and fear of the world, where they can simply be what they are. I read the book after i saw the movie and it really is a must for anyone who is interested in the movie and has not read where it comes from. The book really helped me to understand the mind sets of the characters throughout the movie and like any book you become a little more aquainted and attached to the characters. Both are very good they only complement each other.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sarah on September 20, 2006, 09:23:07 PM
The book and the movie -- one needs the other to be complete -- IMHO.  Just like Jack and Ennis.
Title: Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mpom on September 23, 2006, 04:11:33 PM
I believe the film is truly a masterpiece with not one false scene and incredibly faithful to the short story.  It is absolutely a triumph as a cinematic adaptation of a literary masterwork.  That being said, I do question the artistic choice of Mr. McMurtry and Ms. Ossana to exclude the prologue and, in its place, write the final Alma Jr./Ennis scene.  The prologue is so important to the story in that it leaves no ambiguity as to the fate of Ennis.  He is much older, his hair has gone gray, (everywhere), he is surely clinically depressed, disheveled, urinates in the sink, warms up yesterday's coffee.  He is alone, wasting away, working at deadend jobs in an industry that is also slowly wasting away.
He has no plans for the future except to go live with Alma until he can find another job. His sole source of pleasure are the memories of his time with Jack and even those memories are only pleasurable because he has taught himself to keep them on the periphery of his consciousness. He knows that if he focuses on more than just a "panel" of those memories, the "suffusion" of pleasure will be washed away by the torment and anguish that those memories also contain.  This is how he has managed to "stand it" for all these years.
 Furthermore, the Alma Jr. scene does not satisfactorily resonate with the last lines of the short story.  The "openness" between what he knows and what he tries to believe is so important to understanding the tragedy of the story.  Ennis "knows" that he and Jack could never have created a life together.  He can give one piece of evidence after another of how impossible that would have been.  He knows that they could only exist up on Brokeback high above the eagles, the crawling car lights and the tame ranch dogs.  On the other hand, he tries desperately to believe that, if given a second chance, he swears he would have at least tried to create that life.  It might not have been as Jack described but it could not have been worse than the living hell he is now forced to endure.  That second chance, however, is just a dream, a broken dream which he is not able to fix.   Brokeback and the bigotry of the society in which they lived got them both good.


Sorry to be posting again. Hit the wrong button. Sorry.

Hi garyd,

I think your explaination is so perfect here. I have really agonized about this for months, trying to make some sense of this wording in the story. I am going to read it again now with this commentary in mind. Thank you for putting my mind at rest. I have the phraise about some space between what he knows and what he believes to be true, copied and pasted in front of me at work, and above my  monitor at home and I carry it around on a card in my purse where ever I go.. I have been mulling it over and over for at least two months.



Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Katapult on September 24, 2006, 11:54:34 AM
Great insight, garyd.  I too have always had difficulty with the meaning of the "open space" line, and I think you've done a great job of dissecting Ennis's tortured thoughts.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jeff hanna on September 27, 2006, 10:48:41 PM
Yes, that final line is haunting and heartbreaking - and yet, what DOES it mean? (no offense to those who have given thoughtful, plausible, and interesting interpretations). We want so badly to know just WHAT IS IT EXACTLY that Ennis knows - and what is it that he tries to believe?

  Recently I came across another forum, and there was  a thread discussing this closing line. It was pointed out - as many of already know - that Annie Proulx wants her readers to make their own interpretations; that she doesn't wish to spell it out for them. Still, how we wish that Annie would tell us what she thinks.

  I was a bit surprised that several people on that other thread felt that the reference to Ennis' confused thoughts referred to him still struggling with whether he is "queer" or not. My take is that by this time in Ennis' life, there is a measure of self-acceptance, and his homosexual feelings are no longer a major issue with him. After all, how can steadily have longing, wistful thoughts - and wet dreams -  about another man - and have doubts that you are gay?

  I tend to agree that "what he knows" refers to the love, and to Ennis' thoughts that he couldn't have done things differently - and what he "tried to believe" perhaps refers to his wistful wondering as to Jack's feelings at the end.

   We all learn that there are not always "answers" in life. I think that everyone is confused and struggling - at some level. That's surely why we feel so sad for Ennis - he represents feelings we all have.

 

 
 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ngonzalez on October 02, 2006, 05:33:50 PM
I like the book better. The movie was great, but the short story is a masterpiece IMO. But I tend to prefer literature over film, so it's possible that I'm not being very objective here.  ;)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on October 03, 2006, 11:53:34 PM
jeff hanna, I find my feelings for that last line alter depending on what aspect of the story I've been concentrating on but I still favour "He had never told Jack he loved him but he wanted to believe Jack knew it anyway"
But then I'm a soppy girl.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Marauder on October 16, 2006, 03:09:26 PM
I think (said Marauder the new girl, coming to the board ten billion years after everyone else) that the movie was better simply because there was more of it. I love the book, but when I read it (before the movie came out) I kept wanting more and more of it.

Another thing I liked about the movie as opposed to the book is that Ennis seems to have more of a relationship with his daughters in the movie. I don't like thinking of him being so alone. :(
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on October 16, 2006, 03:18:24 PM
I think (said Marauder the new girl, coming to the board ten billion years after everyone else) that the movie was better simply because there was more of it. I love the book, but when I read it (before the movie came out) I kept wanting more and more of it.

Another thing I liked about the movie as opposed to the book is that Ennis seems to have more of a relationship with his daughters in the movie. I don't like thinking of him being so alone. :(

Welcome Marauder.

Let's see if we can get ngonzalez to join the forum and start getting his posts to count (or her, sorry)

You two balance each other out.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on October 16, 2006, 03:23:46 PM
But I agree with you both ^^^

The story is a masterpiece.

And so is the film, when compared to other films.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on October 21, 2006, 09:40:53 PM
Yes, that final line is haunting and heartbreaking - and yet, what DOES it mean? (no offense to those who have given thoughtful, plausible, and interesting interpretations). We want so badly to know just WHAT IS IT EXACTLY that Ennis knows - and what is it that he tries to believe?

  Recently I came across another forum, and there was  a thread discussing this closing line. It was pointed out - as many of already know - that Annie Proulx wants her readers to make their own interpretations; that she doesn't wish to spell it out for them. Still, how we wish that Annie would tell us what she thinks.

  I was a bit surprised that several people on that other thread felt that the reference to Ennis' confused thoughts referred to him still struggling with whether he is "queer" or not. My take is that by this time in Ennis' life, there is a measure of self-acceptance, and his homosexual feelings are no longer a major issue with him. After all, how can steadily have longing, wistful thoughts - and wet dreams -  about another man - and have doubts that you are gay?

  I tend to agree that "what he knows" refers to the love, and to Ennis' thoughts that he couldn't have done things differently - and what he "tried to believe" perhaps refers to his wistful wondering as to Jack's feelings at the end.

   We all learn that there are not always "answers" in life. I think that everyone is confused and struggling - at some level. That's surely why we feel so sad for Ennis - he represents feelings we all have.

 

 
 
Hi, jeff...not to go completely off thread, but what do you think of the following, as presented in either book or film:
What he knows-he should've found a way to be with Jack;
vs
What he tries to believe-the tire iron was inevitable;
I am thinking, he knows deep down he was wrong; but he tries to rationalize Jack's death as being for exactly what he was afraid of. If you review the prologue, that AP now tells us-today, in fact-was the in her mind all along, with everything told in flashback, and leading to the prologue, we see a measure of acceptance in Ennis,ie, he could have an accident on the highway-Jack could've just been hit with the tire rim.
The movie doesn't leave alot of room for the imagination; not like the book does. He seems to waver between the two, at the parents' house. Maybe all those years later, in the trailer in the prologue, which seems to be a foretelling of his death (see Symbolism thread), he has reached an acceptance of what he knows-?
I wonder if the affirmative nod at the shirts, before he says, "I Swear" in the movie, is the nod to that acceptance in the prologue.
Thoughts??
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jeff hanna on October 24, 2006, 12:08:16 PM
  Hi canstandit: Just came across your posting. I know you'd prefer a satisfying "agree or disagree" from me...again, I'll just say that what you share is a  plausible explanation. As always, the picture of Ennis in his trailer, so alone with his unresolved questions, and memories of his and Jack's unresolved love, is haunting.
 
  You seem quite interested in symbolism. I've never dipped into the Symbolism thread. (I've just perused it on your recommendation...Wow, some of the contributors really get into convoluted and arcane theories. I can find bits of that interesting to a point, but it isn't my cup of tea, truthfully). I've never thought about "Ennis in trailer" as being a foreshadowing of his death. (Please tell me, if you can, where in the Symbolism thread this is discussed...I'm curious.)

  As for his possible "acceptance" that Jack's death was possibly an accident...that brings to mind a deleted scene from an earlier version of the screenplay. Perhaps you know about this. In this scene, at Jack's parent's house, Ennis has a disturbing flashback of Earl's body in the ditch; suddenly, there is a close-up of the body, and it has Jack's face. Ossana and McMurtry write here (paraphrased  and italicized by me) "Now WE KNOW it was the tire iron." In the story, of course, Annie Proulx says that "now he knew it was the tire iron," after the old bastard refers to Randall.

  Also, as you know, there was the deleted scene where some mechanics spot Jack and Randall, and then eye each other - and of course these are the men who chase ansd savagely beat Jack. So - I'd be skeptical that Ennis would come to accept that maybe it wasn't the tire iron after all. Still - AP DOES make the cause of Jack's death ambiguous - and  our precious Diana Ossana says that she and Larry still wonder what really happened. 

  I'm repeating myself (from an earlier post) to say that the symbol that fascinates me is Brokeback Mountain itself - the lost paradise, what Ang Lee refers to as the elusive, romantic place you long to return to but cannot. Diana Ossana said, "Brokeback Mountain is Ennis and Jack's magical place. It's where they fell in love. They never go back there (now THAT is haunting), which may be unconscious on their part; it's their idyll, and they don't want to spoil it."

  May I go a bit off-thread and share a comment by Judy Becker, the awesome production designer? She said "the short story made me cry, and the script made me cry too. Brokeback Mountain is a love story, and IT IS ALSO ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE THE INNER STRENGTH TO FULFILL YOUR LIFE."
  This underlying message touches a raw nerve in me - and I'm sure in many of us - because I realize that I have not shown forth the courage and inner strength to fulfill my life. Like Ennis, I've way too often buckled under in the face of fear, and have chosen comfort and safety rather than risk and challenge. This route  leads to a lot of regret. (I know that this issue has been discussed widely on other threads). That's why this movie and book tears me up - and why - like many of us - I identify so with Ennis. All you can do is hope to do better - just as you hope that Ennis will do better.

  Larry McMurtry expanded on this idea of inner strength when he said that the message of Brokeback (which he calls "a tragedy of emotional deprivation") is that "The strong survive...but not everyone is strong, and many don't survive." Pretty sobering.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: john john on October 24, 2006, 12:44:02 PM
Loved your post Jeff.  Many thanks.

John
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on October 24, 2006, 01:06:02 PM
  May I go a bit off-thread and share a comment by Judy Becker, the awesome production designer? She said "the short story made me cry, and the script made me cry too. Brokeback Mountain is a love story, and IT IS ALSO ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE THE INNER STRENGTH TO FULFILL YOUR LIFE."
  This underlying message touches a raw nerve in me - and I'm sure in many of us - because I realize that I have not shown forth the courage and inner strength to fulfill my life. That's why this movie and book tears me up - and why - like many of us - I identify so with Ennis. All you can do is hope to do better - just as you hope that Ennis will do better.

^Getting philosophical....why are we here??^: http://davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=4809.0
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on October 24, 2006, 03:04:51 PM
  Hi canstandit: Just came across your posting. I know you'd prefer a satisfying "agree or disagree" from me...again, I'll just say that what you share is a  plausible explanation. As always, the picture of Ennis in his trailer, so alone with his unresolved questions, and memories of his and Jack's unresolved love, is haunting.
 
  You seem quite interested in symbolism. I've never dipped into the Symbolism thread. (I've just perused it on your recommendation...Wow, some of the contributors really get into convoluted and arcane theories. I can find bits of that interesting to a point, but it isn't my cup of tea, truthfully). I've never thought about "Ennis in trailer" as being a foreshadowing of his death. (Please tell me, if you can, where in the Symbolism thread this is discussed...I'm curious.)

  As for his possible "acceptance" that Jack's death was possibly an accident...that brings to mind a deleted scene from an earlier version of the screenplay. Perhaps you know about this. In this scene, at Jack's parent's house, Ennis has a disturbing flashback of Earl's body in the ditch; suddenly, there is a close-up of the body, and it has Jack's face. Ossana and McMurtry write here (paraphrased  and italicized by me) "Now WE KNOW it was the tire iron." In the story, of course, Annie Proulx says that "now he knew it was the tire iron," after the old bastard refers to Randall.

  Also, as you know, there was the deleted scene where some mechanics spot Jack and Randall, and then eye each other - and of course these are the men who chase ansd savagely beat Jack. So - I'd be skeptical that Ennis would come to accept that maybe it wasn't the tire iron after all. Still - AP DOES make the cause of Jack's death ambiguous - and  our precious Diana Ossana says that she and Larry still wonder what really happened. 

  I'm repeating myself (from an earlier post) to say that the symbol that fascinates me is Brokeback Mountain itself - the lost paradise, what Ang Lee refers to as the elusive, romantic place you long to return to but cannot. Diana Ossana said, "Brokeback Mountain is Ennis and Jack's magical place. It's where they fell in love. They never go back there (now THAT is haunting), which may be unconscious on their part; it's their idyll, and they don't want to spoil it."

  May I go a bit off-thread and share a comment by Judy Becker, the awesome production designer? She said "the short story made me cry, and the script made me cry too. Brokeback Mountain is a love story, and IT IS ALSO ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE THE INNER STRENGTH TO FULFILL YOUR LIFE."
  This underlying message touches a raw nerve in me - and I'm sure in many of us - because I realize that I have not shown forth the courage and inner strength to fulfill my life. Like Ennis, I've way too often buckled under in the face of fear, and have chosen comfort and safety rather than risk and challenge. This route  leads to a lot of regret. (I know that this issue has been discussed widely on other threads). That's why this movie and book tears me up - and why - like many of us - I identify so with Ennis. All you can do is hope to do better - just as you hope that Ennis will do better.

  Larry McMurtry expanded on this idea of inner strength when he said that the message of Brokeback (which he calls "a tragedy of emotional deprivation") is that "The strong survive...but not everyone is strong, and many don't survive." Pretty sobering.
Thanks so much for your answer.
If you go back maybe two days in the Symbolism thread, read a post by Ministering Angel.....she kicked off the discussion about the meaning of the images in the Prologue.
Enjoy...
CSI
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ImEnnisShesJack on November 25, 2006, 06:52:03 PM
Dave has an important announcement about the forum, which he asks all members to read:

http://davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=18085.msg602098#msg602098

We have set up a thread to discuss the situation. That discussion thread is linked from the post directly below the message from Dave. Follow the above link and you'll get to both.

Thanks
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Gonzo on December 20, 2006, 05:42:19 PM
The administration has been working extremely hard to solve the slow down issue that has been plaguing the forum for some months now. It has been determined that to solve this we will have to change the host company of the forum. The new host server has now been contracted with by Dave as of today.

We are proceeding rapidly now and hope to have the conversion complete within a few weeks at the latest and hopefully much sooner. We will keep you (members) apprised. Please look for announcements in the Newsbox. Some changes will likely come up suddenly--that is the nature of computer conversions, so it is impossible to know before we test whether something will go flawlessly and take two hours, or uncover thorny issues that will take days. The testing process is being started. This will not affect the forum at this point.

So taking this into consideration, we don't want to give you timeframes that are unrealistic. As soon as we finish a stage, we'll proceed immediately to the next, and the exact changeover will likely come on very short notice to you (members). We will post this changeover time in the Newsbox as well as in the individual threads, and will give you as much lead time as we can manage. This will enable us to end the slowdown ASAP.

Thank you for your patience.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: h.nauen on January 05, 2007, 05:42:57 PM
I'm new to the boards, but I've been reading them for a week or so.

Oh god, I loved both..

 I was glad they added some things that were not in the story. But I wish they had added more things that WERE in the story.

I was glad that they added..
TS2, the "one shot thing" scene and the thanksgiving scenes

i WISH they had added...
INTIMACY DEEPENING CONSIDERABLY!! i wanted this! it felt a little "out of the blue"
"little darling"
More of Jack shaking.. I didn't really see it.
A less planned out reunion scene, like in the story when their lips just meet.
"Christ, it gotta be all that time on horseback that makes it so god damn good."
"Sure as hell seem in one piece to me"
All the sentimental stuff Ennis says in the motel room, such as "I sure wrang it out a hundred times thinking about you." and "I had gut cramps so bad I pulled over and tried to puke... Took me about a year to figure out that I shouldn't have let you out of my sight."

I still love 'em though! I listened to the book on tape. It was great. Now I want to find a copy to actually read.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 05, 2007, 06:52:07 PM
I'm new to the boards, but I've been reading them for a week or so.

Oh god, I loved both..

 I was glad they added some things that were not in the story. But I wish they had added more things that WERE in the story.

I was glad that they added..
TS2, the "one shot thing" scene and the thanksgiving scenes

i WISH they had added...
INTIMACY DEEPENING CONSIDERABLY!! i wanted this! it felt a little "out of the blue"
"little darling"
More of Jack shaking.. I didn't really see it.
A less planned out reunion scene, like in the story when their lips just meet.
"Christ, it gotta be all that time on horseback that makes it so god damn good."
"Sure as hell seem in one piece to me"
All the sentimental stuff Ennis says in the motel room, such as "I sure wrang it out a hundred times thinking about you." and "I had gut cramps so bad I pulled over and tried to puke... Took me about a year to figure out that I shouldn't have let you out of my sight."

I still love 'em though! I listened to the book on tape. It was great. Now I want to find a copy to actually read.


Hello again.
Your list:-
TS2 - do you mean the second night in the tent? Affectionately known here as SNIT. That and the interval between it and FNIT were added to, I think, soften the love aspects. The story is a little harsh in that respect. The Twist thanksgiving was to bolster Jack's manly image.
Deepened their intimacy...much argument about what this means. I read the story as being pretty well as abrupt as the film. It did comed out of the blue. It's a knock-you-off-your-feet moment in the movie and it's meant to be IMO
"Little darlin" isn't there but "darlin" is!! You just have to listen hard. They hug and just before the camera cuts from Heath's back, he breathes "darlin"
Much of the motel dialogue got scattered through the film for filmic reasons. Join the arguments on the reunion thread and see how much we toss that around.

I suggest you get the Story To Screenplay version if you can. The essays included are very enlightening.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: h.nauen on January 06, 2007, 11:50:16 AM
damn, i just cant hear him say darlin! maybe im watching the wrong scene, which hug? lol. i want to hear it.. fulfill my hopes and dreams.. haha.

thanks for all that clarification, and im definitely thinking about purchasing "story to screenplay". i guess that makes me an addict.. i think im ready.. lol. now i just need to read every interview ever published about it and buy the collectors version of the DVD.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: sarah on January 06, 2007, 05:56:48 PM
Definitely get the story to screenplay -- it will simply enrich your experience immeasurably!!  I haven't heard the "darlin'" either, but I haven't tried head phones yet.  Besides, when you've totally immersed  yourself in story, script and film, these "extras" can be imagined in, even if you don't literally hear them! ;D
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: h.nauen on January 06, 2007, 07:29:39 PM
Definitely get the story to screenplay -- it will simply enrich your experience immeasurably!!  I haven't heard the "darlin'" either, but I haven't tried head phones yet.  Besides, when you've totally immersed  yourself in story, script and film, these "extras" can be imagined in, even if you don't literally hear them! ;D

 ;D i think im close to hearing it! And I've just become hooked on fanfic. So my love is growing. And I will be gettin the story to screenplay soon, coming from amazon.com.. hurry up.. lol
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 09, 2007, 05:06:08 AM
Definitely get the story to screenplay -- it will simply enrich your experience immeasurably!!  I haven't heard the "darlin'" either, but I haven't tried head phones yet.  Besides, when you've totally immersed  yourself in story, script and film, these "extras" can be imagined in, even if you don't literally hear them! ;D

 ;D i think im close to hearing it! And I've just become hooked on fanfic. So my love is growing. And I will be gettin the story to screenplay soon, coming from amazon.com.. hurry up.. lol

f*ck!!! i really can't hear him say that!
please tell me which scene it is, because i get the feeling that i look at the wrong one ;D
isa xxx
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: john john on January 09, 2007, 08:16:13 AM
Isa, it's at the beginning their kiss in the reunion scene, Ennis mumbles something that sounds like 'darlin'.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 09, 2007, 10:08:26 AM
Isa, it's at the beginning their kiss in the reunion scene, Ennis mumbles something that sounds like 'darlin'.


oh boy, only thinking that ennis say's that to jack!!
thank you so much john ;)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: h.nauen on January 09, 2007, 10:19:25 PM
Isa, it's at the beginning their kiss in the reunion scene, Ennis mumbles something that sounds like 'darlin'.

as soon as i get time to watch it again, ill check for that! weeks started,, busy and stuff.. but soon i will be able to watch brokeback mountain ALL weekend, except for taking a break for SNL with jake gyllenhaal!

thanks john john!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: john john on January 09, 2007, 10:52:45 PM
I first heard it on my computer on which I have good speakers, I can't hear it on the TV.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 10, 2007, 06:24:11 AM
Isa, it's at the beginning their kiss in the reunion scene, Ennis mumbles something that sounds like 'darlin'.

as soon as i get time to watch it again, ill check for that! weeks started,, busy and stuff.. but soon i will be able to watch brokeback mountain ALL weekend, except for taking a break for SNL with jake gyllenhaal!

thanks john john!

gggrrrrrrrr so unhappy that i don't live in the states.
i suppose that i can't see it online?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 10, 2007, 07:21:20 AM
Isa, it's at the beginning their kiss in the reunion scene, Ennis mumbles something that sounds like 'darlin'.


oh boy, only thinking that ennis say's that to jack!!
thank you so much john ;)
isa, they hug and you get a shot of Ennis's back, then it switches to Jack and Ennis starts to push him backwards. While the camera is still on Ennis's back, and just before the shot changes, he sort of exhales "darlin". It's a bit like all of the extra bits of speech which have been picked up on DVD - sometimes it's easy, sometimes not, and it varies according to what you watch it on.

I saw the film again not long ago and was curious as to whether darlin and I love you (in the shirts scene) were actually there or whether they'd been added to the DVD. They were there.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 10, 2007, 07:34:08 AM
Isa, it's at the beginning their kiss in the reunion scene, Ennis mumbles something that sounds like 'darlin'.


oh boy, only thinking that ennis say's that to jack!!
thank you so much john ;)
isa, they hug and you get a shot of Ennis's back, then it switches to Jack and Ennis starts to push him backwards. While the camera is still on Ennis's back, and just before the shot changes, he sort of exhales "darlin". It's a bit like all of the extra bits of speech which have been picked up on DVD - sometimes it's easy, sometimes not, and it varies according to what you watch it on.

I saw the film again not long ago and was curious as to whether darlin and I love you (in the shirts scene) were actually there or whether they'd been added to the DVD. They were there.


I LOVE YOU?? :o
does ennis says that?? :o
you are kidding me wright????
not on my dvd he says that; i'm sure, because otherwise, i would still be in heaven ;D

isa xxx
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 10, 2007, 07:58:44 AM
It's there, believe me.

He brings the shirts to his face and right at the end he breathes in very deeply and exhales. As he exhales he says "Love you". The "I" is kind of lost in the breath. And immediately after that the shot ends. I suggest you zoom in and watch his mouth very carefully. It's half-concealed by the shirts but you can see him saying it. I'm not saying it's easy to hear but it is there.

Now, have you heard "Aw Ennis, fuck me please"? I'm beginning to enjoy this! Yes, that one is there too.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 10, 2007, 08:26:21 AM
It's there, believe me.

He brings the shirts to his face and right at the end he breathes in very deeply and exhales. As he exhales he says "Love you". The "I" is kind of lost in the breath. And immediately after that the shot ends. I suggest you zoom in and watch his mouth very carefully. It's half-concealed by the shirts but you can see him saying it. I'm not saying it's easy to hear but it is there.

Now, have you heard "Aw Ennis, fuck me please"? I'm beginning to enjoy this! Yes, that one is there too.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh :o :o :o lol
i'm going  crazy!!!
tell me tell me

isa xxx

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 10, 2007, 08:42:56 AM
Thought that might grab your attention  ;D

FNIT - Ennis goes in, camera drops down to Jack. He sort of has his face to the right then drops his head down. Before he turns his head, he says Awww, Ennissssss, fuck me please". The "me" is a litlte hard to hear and the "please" sort of happens as he drops his head.

I used to think people were hallucinating when they said they could hear this then one day, when I wasn't trying, it just fell out of the speakers. I don't have any fancy equipment. I just turn the treble up and the bass down.

Now. what else 9s there? "Sweetie" in the fight scene?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 10, 2007, 09:03:04 AM
Thought that might grab your attention  ;D

FNIT - Ennis goes in, camera drops down to Jack. He sort of has his face to the right then drops his head down. Before he turns his head, he says Awww, Ennissssss, fuck me please". The "me" is a litlte hard to hear and the "please" sort of happens as he drops his head.

I used to think people were hallucinating when they said they could hear this then one day, when I wasn't trying, it just fell out of the speakers. I don't have any fancy equipment. I just turn the treble up and the bass down.

Now. what else 9s there? "Sweetie" in the fight scene?

is it not the second night???

darlin, .... i can really not here it, the volume was at 20009995522  and i still couldn't. :'(
i love you, that i heard ;D ;D ;D

sweetie, is for after i heard , ennis fuck me please!, god,  i MUST here that!! especially that!!!!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 10, 2007, 09:07:40 AM
No, no, first night. I meant Ennis goes in Jack rather than in the tent, sorry. Sometimes these things are best heard when you aren't trying but keep trying! Keep me posted.

As for the second night - the arguments rage over what's said then ;D ;D ;D ;D

So pleased you heard I love you. It's a total killer, that one. Too late, he finally says it.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 10, 2007, 09:15:56 AM
No, no, first night. I meant Ennis goes in Jack rather than in the tent, sorry. Sometimes these things are best heard when you aren't trying but keep trying! Keep me posted.

As for the second night - the arguments rage over what's said then ;D ;D ;D ;D

So pleased you heard I love you. It's a total killer, that one. Too late, he finally says it

ow ok, going in , as in IN !!! lol
but, the thing is, i stil can't hear it  ppppfffff
jack also makes some noise, one is rather loud (oh boy), is it just before that??
 "i love you" is indeed so devastating, but like you said, so too late also!!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 10, 2007, 09:19:34 AM
Not sure which noise you mean. He makes lots of noises, including a lot of breathy moans as he's waiting for Ennis to...go in. ;) ;)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 10, 2007, 09:24:35 AM
Not sure which noise you mean. He makes lots of noises, including a lot of breathy moans as he's waiting for Ennis to...go in. ;) ;)




lol
ok i try again,
meanwhile, tell me about the sweetie part ::)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 10, 2007, 09:27:32 AM
Okay, fight scene. Ennis reels away, with a bleeding nose. Jack jumps up and coos at him, and it sounds like (from memory) "Ennis, Ennis, come here, sweetie, you're okay", then Ennis hits him.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 10, 2007, 09:49:46 AM
Okay, fight scene. Ennis reels away, with a bleeding nose. Jack jumps up and coos at him, and it sounds like (from memory) "Ennis, Ennis, come here, sweetie, you're okay", then Ennis hits him.

yep, i heard it ;D ;D ;D

but i really really need, very very badly to hear jack say,  AW, ENNIS, FUCK ME PLEASE  :o :o :o
oh boy, even when it takes all night, i am not going to bed without "the fucking" part ;D ;D ;D

isa
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 10, 2007, 09:54:59 AM
Keep trying. I'm afraid I have to go to bed. It's 4a.m. If you pick up the long sssss in "Ennis" it's easy to get the rest. Goodnight and have fun.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 10, 2007, 09:59:23 AM
Keep trying. I'm afraid I have to go to bed. It's 4a.m. If you pick up the long sssss in "Ennis" it's easy to get the rest. Goodnight and have fun.

here its 6 pm  ;D

ok, goodnight, it was really nice" talking" to you
bye bye isa xxx

and i'll keep trying :o
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: h.nauen on January 11, 2007, 05:38:58 PM
Oh god I LOVE both of you guys (ministering angel and isa) for talking about this.. isa you are asking everything I've wanted to ask.. I'm having physical urges to run to my DVD player right now!!!! Thank you so much for this guide, and I am eternally grateful to both of you! SO EXCITED to watch it again!

im listening for..

aww ennis fuck me please
sweetie
darlin
i love you

thanks guys!!!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 11, 2007, 05:50:40 PM
My pleasure  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 12, 2007, 11:30:49 AM
Oh god I LOVE both of you guys (ministering angel and isa) for talking about this.. isa you are asking everything I've wanted to ask.. I'm having physical urges to run to my DVD player right now!!!! Thank you so much for this guide, and I am eternally grateful to both of you! SO EXCITED to watch it again!

im listening for..

aww ennis fuck me please
sweetie
darlin
i love you

thanks guys!!!



and and and ????

i still can't hear the "fuck" part  ggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrr
and i am soooooooooooooo dying to  :o :o :o

isa xxx
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: freetraveller on January 14, 2007, 04:38:32 AM
Oh god I LOVE both of you guys (ministering angel and isa) for talking about this.. isa you are asking everything I've wanted to ask.. I'm having physical urges to run to my DVD player right now!!!! Thank you so much for this guide, and I am eternally grateful to both of you! SO EXCITED to watch it again!

im listening for..

aww ennis fuck me please
sweetie
darlin
i love you

thanks guys!!!



and and and ????

i still can't hear the "fuck" part  ggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrr
and i am soooooooooooooo dying to  :o :o :o

isa xxx

I've tried and tried, but I can't hear it either   :(
Like Isa, all I can hear is something like "ffff" from Jack, but I always thought it was just heavy breathing (or a sort of "reaction" from the "impact", so to speak, as Ennis goes into him... ;) ) and not a proper word  8)

I wish we could resolve all these "did they say that or not?" questions, by asking Ang or Diana Ossana (who was always on set), or one of the actors!!!  ::)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: freetraveller on January 14, 2007, 04:44:25 AM
Mmmm...
Maybe we should move the discussion to the Things You Don't Notice Till the Umpteenth Viewing thread:

http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=1057.0

 8)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on January 14, 2007, 10:23:55 AM
Entirely possible. :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 14, 2007, 11:14:49 AM
Mmmm...
Maybe we should move the discussion to the Things You Don't Notice Till the Umpteenth Viewing thread:

http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=1057.0

 8)

i'm fine with that, i don't care, even if we talk about it  in space, as long as we can discuss things like these, i'ts  ok  ;D ;D ;D
now, speaking of f*cking,... i am reading a fantastic fanfic, full with well discribed  f*cking parts :o :o :o ;D

isa xxx
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: h.nauen on January 14, 2007, 02:34:15 PM
Mmmm...
Maybe we should move the discussion to the Things You Don't Notice Till the Umpteenth Viewing thread:

http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=1057.0

 8)

i'm fine with that, i don't care, even if we talk about it  in space, as long as we can discuss things like these, i'ts  ok  ;D ;D ;D
now, speaking of f*cking,... i am reading a fantastic fanfic, full with well discribed  f*cking parts :o :o :o ;D

isa xxx

Title, please, isa! lol. i'm sure lance will post next, with some comment about how we should move this to the slash discussion thread.  ;Dsorry!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 16, 2007, 02:03:12 AM
Mmmm...
Maybe we should move the discussion to the Things You Don't Notice Till the Umpteenth Viewing thread:

http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=1057.0

 8)

i'm fine with that, i don't care, even if we talk about it  in space, as long as we can discuss things like these, i'ts  ok  ;D ;D ;D
now, speaking of f*cking,... i am reading a fantastic fanfic, full with well discribed  f*cking parts :o :o :o ;D

isa xxx

Title, please, isa! lol. i'm sure lance will post next, with some comment about how we should move this to the slash discussion thread.  ;Dsorry!

I already thought that might grab your attention ;D
the title is "Human Interest" by Madlori

this story really helps me a lot to heal the pain that i feel(about jack and ennis) since i saw the movie.
it sure will help you too!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on January 16, 2007, 08:05:47 AM
I had hoped that you were going to correct yourselves without any nudge from me, but....
Back ontopic, please. :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: isa on January 16, 2007, 09:39:57 AM
I had hoped that you were going to correct yourselves without any nudge from me, but....
Back ontopic, please. :)

lance, swee'pea,... ;D
we have already discussions by a book, so, the way i see it, we are making progress to stick with the topic ;D
isa xxx
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on January 30, 2007, 11:05:56 PM
Not sure I've actually posted here before-this is kind of a tough question for me; to watch HL and JG breathe unbelievably powerful life into J & E-or just imagine it thru the deceptively simple-sounding, wonderful complex story...I still lean towards the story, myself.  A movie sort of prompts your response thru the editing, with variations among us..but the book. That is so subjective an experience, based on one's background; beliefs; sexual orientation; sense of family; level of ambition, among others.  Because in 30 pages, in covers so much territory, and very concisely-wasting nothing.
Film adds so much Hollywood stuff to the experience; the scene with Alma Jr at the end; the expansion of Cassie and Randall into supporting roles, from barely a mention in the book, for example. As much as I love film, and the art of movie-making, I think this was one story that could not really be bested, once read. the film was great, one of the best I've ever seen. But I find myself picking up the book more often that turning on the DVD...
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 30, 2007, 11:46:00 PM
Interesting, CSI. Eons ago, I voted for both because I think they support each other. The book is, of course, untouchable in its premiere position, but I think still that the film deserves to be there too. It breathes a grandeur into the story than enables me to see the story for the gem that it is. AP's descriptions are fabulous but when they are backed up by the cinema view they're even better.

But for a long time I'd put aside the film mentally (still watched it just didn't think about it so much) until I started thinking on how well the makers preserved and respected AP's original. The techniques they employed were worthy of her - repeated leitmotifs, music that you had to listen to in full, connected dialogue, sparseness of scenes so that there's nothing superfluous. These are AP techniques rendered cinematically. The way scenes are linked so one enhances another, just as AP writes. This is reverential film-making. I won't change my vote although sometimes I wish the two mediums didn't make arguing points on some threads quite so difficult!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: petetown on February 04, 2007, 11:45:27 AM
There are so many wonderful scenes....but one that is in the book and, I think wisely, not in the movie is during the first night in the tent when Jack says, "Gun's going off."
I don't think that line could have been delivered in any way on screen that wouldn't have left it open to all sorts of ridicule.
MHO
P
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on February 04, 2007, 12:06:16 PM
A movie sort of prompts your response thru the editing..~

So does a book; events are arranged very carefully. Annie Proulx edited the hell outta that book.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on February 04, 2007, 01:11:44 PM
A movie sort of prompts your response thru the editing..~

So does a book; events are arranged very carefully. Annie Proulx edited the hell outta that book.
I think though a visual image brings about a more immediate response; you are fed the image. In a book your mind conjurs it up. I think the impact might be less filtered with a movie image. AP certainly edited; but we are translating strictly by ourselves. No other cues, ie, visual or aural are provided, as in film.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on February 05, 2007, 05:59:12 PM
You are redefining your original statement by replacing the word 'editing' with 'imagery'. Very different things.

edit: The original phrasing implies scene placement, sequence.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on February 07, 2007, 04:43:36 PM
You are redefining your original statement by replacing the word 'editing' with 'imagery'. Very different things.

edit: The original phrasing implies scene placement, sequence.
No not really; I'm enlarging on my statement, since you're engaging discussion about it....
 My point is the film presents you with a visual image-this engenders a more immediate response. The use of editing controls how this image is presented to you; my point was the difference thru the two filters: The visual image as edited by a movie maker; or the written words as 'edited' by the author. You receive the information in different ways; my opinion is film is more manipulative because of the mode of transmission-visual image.
This is common sense, actually:  a visual image is less censorable by the mind than the written word-which can be reinterpeted and revised over and over. Once you've seen something-much harder to vary from  your initial, more visceral impression about it.
Anyone watching a fast-paced action movie is a total victim of film editing, practically-we got to see them, so we don't have to 'think'. And it's done thru editing-and occasionally decent writing, music, etc. Maybe even a decent actor or two.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on February 07, 2007, 04:58:04 PM
One thing I've thought thru about the film, and I've mentioned this on other threads, is how well it picks up on lines in the book, using, according to the producers, virtually every line in the ss. So it does do an excellent job of paying homage to the original work. In a way, it does make it hard to decide which one is 'better'-I just enjoy the option of being able to alter my own experience thru the reading of it-whereas much harder to do with the film, at least I find that. If you're going to cry once, you'll cry 50 times....
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on February 07, 2007, 07:40:48 PM
I still disagree that movies are more manipulative than books. That is simply not so. Through editing or imagery or any other available technique, books are just as manipulative and controlling of the experience.


''Anyone watching a fast-paced action movie is a total victim of film editing, practically-we got to see them, so we don't have to 'think'.''

I have sat through several action movies thinking how dull and cliche they are and when are we going to get to something really exciting or at least reasonably involving.
I can sit and think all I want reading a book, and can do likewise in a movie. The Bond movies always used to have entertaining action scenes, so I could get caught up in those, but most of em are crap.

I will nEVer forget how I sat through the incredibly inane, dull, absurd Blair Witch Project wondering when will this movie ever end. I stuck it out because if I didn't everyone I knew would say to me that no, it's really wonderful and the only reason you didn't think so is because you left too early. You should have seen that scene where etc. etc. But I sat through it and could knowledgeably criticise every last one of its lacking-in-credibility flaws.

BTW, those characters in that movie were too stupid to live. I'm glad they were killed, do you hear me, glad!!! :D

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on February 07, 2007, 09:21:01 PM
I still disagree that movies are more manipulative than books. That is simply not so. Through editing or imagery or any other available technique, books are just as manipulative and controlling of the experience.


''Anyone watching a fast-paced action movie is a total victim of film editing, practically-we got to see them, so we don't have to 'think'.''

I have sat through several action movies thinking how dull and cliche they are and when are we going to get to something really exciting or at least reasonably involving.
I can sit and think all I want reading a book, and can do likewise in a movie. The Bond movies always used to have entertaining action scenes, so I could get caught up in those, but most of em are crap.

I will nEVer forget how I sat through the incredibly inane, dull, absurd Blair Witch Project wondering when will this movie ever end. I stuck it out because if I didn't everyone I knew would say to me that no, it's really wonderful and the only reason you didn't think so is because you left too early. You should have seen that scene where etc. etc. But I sat through it and could knowledgeably criticise every last one of its lacking-in-credibility flaws.

BTW, those characters in that movie were too stupid to live. I'm glad they were killed, do you hear me, glad!!! :D
Yeah, movies aren't that manipulative, ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on February 08, 2007, 07:43:28 AM
Both books and movies are very manipulative.

I do not perceive that the intent of BWP was to make the viewers hate the characters. Without the sympathy of the viewer, the viewer will have no involvement with the movie and its desired impact is lost. My disinvolvement led me to sit there and logically analyse all the weaknesses and outright failures of the moviemaking.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lola on February 08, 2007, 11:59:38 AM
Well I read the book (when it was on line, someone posted it here many moons ago) and it left me cold.  I had no feeling for it at all.  The movie on the other hand really moved me (obviously) the characters (actors) the scenery, the music, very powerful. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on February 08, 2007, 04:16:17 PM
Annie's text knocked me out. I read it a second time a day before seeing the movie, and it hurt just as much again. The movie did, too.
I really can't favour one over the other at this point, and that is very rare for me; usually I like the book better.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: garyd on February 08, 2007, 04:51:09 PM
I am of a quite strong opinion that the movie is a masterpiece.  Strictly evaluating in terms of film-making, it was nearly flawless with no false moments.  It relied on the visuals to tell the story and communicate the metaphors.  The acting from the entire cast was some of the best I have seen on stage or screen.  From a technical standpoint, the editing was problematic at times but the score, cinematography, sound design, art design, and sound editing were just about flawless.

Having said that, I did not care for some of the scenes and interpretation of events.  The fireworks scene, written to communicate the lesson Ennis learned from his Dad about sucker punching, getting in quick and getting it over with, was ok but not great.  The fireworks themselves as metaphor were ok but a bit cliched.  Also the scene was meant to show an heroic side to Ennis that does not exist in the short story.  (there was a lot of discussion, apparently, that Ennis and Jack, since this is a TRAGEDY, had to have a classis heroic personality....a premise with which I do not agree....think Willy Loman).  In the same vain, I did not care for the Thanksgiving scene with Jack and the in-laws or the scene with Jack riding the tractor, or whatever, with Bobby.  These were out of character, to me,  for the Jack as depicted in the short story.  Finally, I truly did not care for the epilogue of the film as compared to the prologue of the short story.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on February 08, 2007, 07:47:49 PM
I am of a quite strong opinion that the movie is a masterpiece.  Strictly evaluating in terms of film-making, it was nearly flawless with no false moments.  It relied on the visuals to tell the story and communicate the metaphors.  The acting from the entire cast was some of the best I have seen on stage or screen.  From a technical standpoint, the editing was problematic at times but the score, cinematography, sound design, art design, and sound editing were just about flawless.

Having said that, I did not care for some of the scenes and interpretation of events.  The fireworks scene, written to communicate the lesson Ennis learned from his Dad about sucker punching, getting in quick and getting it over with, was ok but not great.  The fireworks themselves as metaphor were ok but a bit cliched.  Also the scene was meant to show an heroic side to Ennis that does not exist in the short story.  (there was a lot of discussion, apparently, that Ennis and Jack, since this is a TRAGEDY, had to have a classis heroic personality....a premise with which I do not agree....think Willy Loman).  In the same vain, I did not care for the Thanksgiving scene with Jack and the in-laws or the scene with Jack riding the tractor, or whatever, with Bobby.  These were out of character, to me,  for the Jack as depicted in the short story.  Finally, I truly did not care for the epilogue of the film as compared to the prologue of the short story.

Yes, the editting left a bit to be desired. Otherwise, you're right. An almost flawless film.

Having said that, there are moments that I could have done without.

I wasn't crazy about the rodeo scenes. Too much for too little pay off.

I wasn't crazy about the epilogue in the film in place of the short story prologue.

But I liked the fireworks scene because it shows us that Ennis isn't afraid to stand up for his
family in a threatening situation AND it shows that Alma might have been thinking twice about
his temper and what it might mean to her and the girls althought that isn't explored much. It also
might be showing us that Ennis was on short fuse in more ways than one missing Jack and
wondering where the hell he was and why hadn't he gotten in touch over the years.

Plus it also shows that Ennis is still a very 'macho' man, in case we'd forgotten.  ;)

These are the sorts of things that run through my head when I see that scene.
We have to realize also that there would be some sort of emotional price to pay for both these
men as they go on with their separate lives still missing and wanting each other. In other words, they
would both be stressed by the long term separation and it would start to show in differing
ways. But of course, that's probably just me being fanciful.

I didn't mind the tractor shot with Jack and his son. Showed me that Jack took time to be
with his boy. It was a moment that the kid would probably remember for the rest of his life -
being allowed to steer that gigantic machine. Hands off by daddy. It was a very quick and
easy way to show the developement of the father/son relationship to a certain extent.
Also to show us the tractor's brand name Versatile, which, I believe, is some sort of 'in'
joke.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lauren on February 09, 2007, 06:00:10 AM
It also might be showing us that Ennis was on short fuse in more ways than one missing Jack and
wondering where the hell he was and why hadn't he gotten in touch over the years.

These are the sorts of things that run through my head when I see that scene.
We have to realize also that there would be some sort of emotional price to pay for both these
men as they go on with their separate lives still missing and wanting each other. In other words, they
would both be stressed by the long term separation and it would start to show in differing
ways. But of course, that's probably just me being fanciful.

I think that's the purpose of the fireworks scene: to show the emotional strain he's under from being separated from Jack. Lee, or one of the other filmmakers, (perhaps it was a critic), talked about this in an interview some time ago. When they are apart, they are missing one another. It's as if they are adrift. In the scenes with Jack, I felt the loss of Ennis, and vice-versa. So, don't think you're being fanciful  :)

I always fast forward through the barrel racing scene. And I agree about the short scene with Bobby at the wheel of the tractor. One other thing I love about that is that Jack is so happy because I've always felt, he's just come off a trip with Ennis . Then there's the contrasting shot of Ennis shoveling hay, back to the grind, back by himself, back to being without Jack. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on February 09, 2007, 06:11:55 AM
garyd - I don't see anything heroic in the fireworks scene, just a man who is sensitive to any slight on his sexuality, who has quick reflexes and who is build for fighting as the story tells us, and who has been taught to fight dirty.  H's a man who is always on edge, always missing the person he needs. Not heroic.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jwm on February 09, 2007, 10:32:44 AM
I enjoyed the movie a whole lot better, I just read it, and there were so many similarities in the movie from the book, that I felt I could have quoted the book, just from the movie, I enjoyed it though, it did have a few things that I wish Ang had of put in, like Ennis saying things that Jack wanted to hear, but other than that the movie moved me to the point of not just tears, but a whole new way of looking at things, The scenes in the movie were very subtle but I just filled in the blanks with my own imagination, and I bet they are better than I could have read or seen anywhere, :) I have a very vivid imagination, and a hopless romantic, so I can honestly say now that I have read the book. and I still like the movie better. jwm
 But the movie would have lost a lot if it hadn't used so much of the book. If that makes sense.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jwm on February 09, 2007, 12:21:03 PM
I really love the way Ang Lee took this very short story, and turned it in to 2 hours of pure brilliance, he broke down the scenes in the book, which had so much of so many different scenes in there, and put them in scenes in a way that totally seemed the way the should be, I mean the scenes in the book, were all put together in different times, and I guess if I had read it first it would have seemed right, but now I can only see them the way Ang did them, wow that sounds totally messed up but I don't seem to be able to write what I mean, I just know that how Ang did it made me want to see it over and over again, and I like the way he put the gorgeous guys together instead of how they looked in the book.  :) I know there are probably tons of people won't agree with me, but I loved the movie, and I enjoyed the book, but if I had to be honest, I didn't really need to read the SS, I found the movie more than insightful, I only wish that he had put in the few things that Ennis had said to Jack, in the motel scene, but all and all he pretty well covered it for me.
 I have read the books and then seen the movies, and I find that usually there is a lot of things in the book that don't make it into the movie, and vice versa, but all in all they have similarities, but Ang put a lot in the movie, more than most, he almost took, word for word, but put them in scenes that made more sense to me, so I say the movie is better, jwm
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on February 09, 2007, 12:48:29 PM
You're giving credit to Ang that should go to the writers of the screenplay, Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on February 09, 2007, 01:06:37 PM
Annie's text knocked me out. I read it a second time a day before seeing the movie, and it hurt just as much again. The movie did, too.
I really can't favour one over the other at this point, and that is very rare for me; usually I like the book better.

Me neither.
Although generally I, too, favor the book.

I saw the film first and was truly bowled over.
I mean, I was in shock.
Couldn't believe my eyes.
Couldn't believe the intensity of the film's impact.
It was an almost physical reaction.
Hey, it was physical.
I wept. I felt actual despair.

It was days before I was able to step back and analyze what my
reaction actually meant. (I'm still fussing with that one.)
It was days before I was able to step back and view the entire thing
with my usual air of detachment. (Still having trouble with that one as well.)

Hadn't even read the story yet.
Didn't know much except some vague idea about shirts in a closet and
the general theme. I'd tried NOT to read too many reviews. And luckily for me,
I'd read the right ones.

The thing with the film is the acting coupled with, I admit it, the beauty of
Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. But mainly, the acting.
Beauty is one thing, but onscreen beauty without acting smarts is vacuous, at best.

These two actors startled me with their, seemingly, intuitively rich understanding of the
work. (Ye gads, TWO adverbs!)
Needless to say, in very large measure, actors feeling free to explore their material
has SOMETHING to do with the director and the screenwriting. So, going in, the project
was blessed with very deep artistic smarts for which we must all be greatful.

Visual images impact themselves on us and I believe, are often harder to dispel than words on
a page. The richer your imagination, the deeper the impact. Words on a page can
be fudged with. Especially with so many words in the English language having so many
damned meanings and uses, often feeding off shades of each other.
I don't know exactly what the main difference is except that for me, the written word goes
right to my gut. It is often a kind of immediate intuitive reaction.

Visual imagery goes to my brain.
Both go to my heart.
Best way I can put it.

I cringe when I think of BBM in the hands of lesser film talents.

The short story is a masterpiece, pure and simple.
When I read it, I was stunned. But in a different way from the film. Don't forget I already
had the film images engraved in my brain. The short story shocked me with its harsh brevity
and it's often crude image making coupled with the beauty of AP's metaphors. I loved her
use of nature as a kind of sounding board for the emotional life of her two characters.

I also 'saw' that Jack and Ennis were 'different' in the written word.
This difference is most apparent, I think, in the character of Ennis Del Mar.

By now I think I've learned to appreciate the short story, with its differences, as a kind of
separate but equal partner to the film. Both superb in their own, unique ways.

As to the manipulation aspect, pro and con, film or short story, hither and yon, ying and
yang, either/or, yea or nay, did or didn't, I say, yeah, sure.

Works of art are ALWAYS manipulative. It is part and parcel of any form of creativity.
The writer or painter or film maker is trying to get you to cross the road and hang
out with him or her. Simple.

It's up to you whether you want to go along.












Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wintersweet on February 09, 2007, 02:25:04 PM
The script by McMurtry and Osana was a masterpiece indeed. However, Ang Lee added the SNT, changed the sequences of some scenes (motel conversation) and added the Ennis-Jr. scene in the end. At first, there were disagreement from the writers and AP. They even shot two sets of endings; one with original script , one with Lee's version. After viewing both, they agreed on the Lee's version. Lee also insisted on adding the SNT. When the final version of the film was viewed by all people involved, there was no doubt that Lee won them over. It's the director's ability to bring out the best ever from all able cast, especially the four young leads. I don't think it could reach such milestone if it was directed by any other Hollywood directors. I appreciate Lee doesn't underestimate the audience by shoveling everything into our faces. The flavor or the taste is different between the book and the film, the OS is AP's just as the film is Lee's.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: gres on February 09, 2007, 02:46:38 PM
I had read the SS first and i remember finding myself being blown away  with me playing  the director and using my imagination to create my own images   for each one scene of the SS in my head. Then i went and watched the film which i admit, exceeded any of my imagination's expectations in a way i couldn't even contemplate. The film was emotionally as compeling as the SS, s'thing  which is very rare, if you ask me. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on February 09, 2007, 03:22:45 PM
Well said, wintersweet.

The short story is Annie Proulx's and the film is Ang Lee's.

I think that's it in a nutshell.  ;)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on February 09, 2007, 03:31:03 PM


Yes, the editting left a bit to be desired. Otherwise, you're right. An almost flawless film.

Having said that, there are moments that I could have done without.

I wasn't crazy about the rodeo scenes. Too much for too little pay off.

I wasn't crazy about the epilogue in the film in place of the short story prologue.

But I liked the fireworks scene because it shows us that Ennis isn't afraid to stand up for his
family in a threatening situation AND it shows that Alma might have been thinking twice about
his temper and what it might mean to her and the girls althought that isn't explored much. It also
might be showing us that Ennis was on short fuse in more ways than one missing Jack and
wondering where the hell he was and why hadn't he gotten in touch over the years.

Plus it also shows that Ennis is still a very 'macho' man, in case we'd forgotten.  ;)

These are the sorts of things that run through my head when I see that scene.
We have to realize also that there would be some sort of emotional price to pay for both these
men as they go on with their separate lives still missing and wanting each other. In other words, they
would both be stressed by the long term separation and it would start to show in differing
ways. But of course, that's probably just me being fanciful.

I didn't mind the tractor shot with Jack and his son. Showed me that Jack took time to be
with his boy. It was a moment that the kid would probably remember for the rest of his life -
being allowed to steer that gigantic machine. Hands off by daddy. It was a very quick and
easy way to show the developement of the father/son relationship to a certain extent.
Also to show us the tractor's brand name Versatile, which, I believe, is some sort of 'in'
joke.
Rosewood, I agree the hands-off to let his son drive the tractor is significant, and  a poignant contrast to Jack's dad not showing him anything about the bulls.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on February 09, 2007, 03:50:11 PM
And therefore shows something about Jack's character, and how it came to be that way. The movie extends this theme from Jack's rodeo conversation with Ennis in a way the book does not.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jwm on February 09, 2007, 09:46:35 PM
You're giving credit to Ang that should go to the writers of the screenplay, Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry.
Ok props to all of them, I was nothing short of brilliant, no matter who did what. jwm
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Oregondoggie on February 09, 2007, 10:39:02 PM
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN now a Dutch Play...

It was announced today over on Bettermost.net: under Bettermost User Community: Chez Tremblay: that a two man stage play version of Brokeback Mountain was premiering Friday night in the Netherlands.  The play is in Dutch and has some singing.

It is apparently drawn exclusively from the short story.

Could an English stage version be far behind...

 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: john john on February 10, 2007, 09:03:04 AM
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN now a Dutch Play...

It was announced today over on Bettermost.net: under Bettermost User Community: Chez Tremblay: that a two man stage play version of Brokeback Mountain was premiering Friday night in the Netherlands.  The play is in Dutch and has some singing.

It is apparently drawn exclusively from the short story.

Could an English stage version be far behind...

 

Hey Conny! where are you? You should go see that!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Oregondoggie on February 10, 2007, 11:35:43 AM
Good news.  Connie PM'd me that she knows about the Dutch play and is planning to see it and give us her opinion.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jwm on February 10, 2007, 02:33:43 PM
You're giving credit to Ang that should go to the writers of the screenplay, Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry.
Ok props to all of them, It was nothing short of brilliant, no matter who did what. jwm
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: garyd on February 14, 2007, 04:20:52 PM
garyd - I don't see anything heroic in the fireworks scene, just a man who is sensitive to any slight on his sexuality, who has quick reflexes and who is build for fighting as the story tells us, and who has been taught to fight dirty.  H's a man who is always on edge, always missing the person he needs. Not heroic.

Well, as I said, I think the scene is ok, not great.  It does a very good job of demonstrating the lesson learned from his Dad about how to manage his brother and what he took away from that as a life lesson...get in fast, get it over with, use the sucker punch if necessary.  It also, through Alma's expression , shows us how most of us would react to such abnormal behavior.  The final shot, image, however, is strictly an heroic, iconic image of the mythic American cowboy framed, for heavens sake, by the all American number one holiday celebration. I admit that it was one way to demonstrate how Ennis holds in his thoughts and emotions and god help him and anyone around him if he ever lost control. BOOM!   It totally took me out of the film, however,  because it was such a cliche. a scene like this should draw the audience in not take them out.  I was immediatley reminded of "To Catch a Thief" (and in retrospect a whole bunch of other films ) when Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are about to have sex in her hotel room and, of course, the camera cuts to the open window and fireworks over Monaco.  Fine for Hitchcock in 1955, over used by 2005.
Also, I just can't buy into all this "missing the person he needs" romantic slant.  I don't see any evidence that Ennis has a clue as to what he needs until it is way too late.  Yes, there is a whole bunch of turmoil going on subconsciously but Ennis can't even begin to put a finger on it at this point in the film or story.

As for the Jack scenes.  I still think they are out of character.  Yeah, he takes the kid on a ride, hands free, kind of like his old man did when he put Jack on the woolies once or twice. (the "Versatile" shot is another lame attempt at humor in my opinion, does nothing to advance the story or convey character).   But we know Jake  could care less about that kid.  He never even wanted a kid, much less a boy. Why make us think that he did in the film version?   He would have left both Bobby and Lureen in an instant if Ennis had agreed.  One does not have to read between the lines to understand this about Jack, it is stated quite bluntly.  Hell, Jack would have even extorted money out of the father of a woman he never should have married in the first place.  I am not trying to characterize him as some sort of monster, but Jack is no walk in the park.  Finally, the Thanksgiving scene is just plain totally off the mark.  Jack, who had such incredible authority issues would never have confronted Lureen's dad in that manner....unless he was drunk. (Was he?)   
I often wonder if all this "poor pitiful" Jack stuff would be going on if the character had been played by a young Steve Buscemi rather than a young Jake G.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on February 14, 2007, 08:00:15 PM

Also, I just can't buy into all this "missing the person he needs" romantic slant.  I don't see any evidence that Ennis has a clue as to what he needs until it is way too late.  Yes, there is a whole bunch of turmoil going on subconsciously but Ennis can't even begin to put a finger on it at this point in the film or story.
He put more than a finger on it. He "sure wrang it out a hunderd times, thinkin a you". Doesn't that tell you that he has at least a bit of a clue as to what he needs?
Quote
  But we know Jake  could care less about that kid.  He never even wanted a kid, much less a boy. Why make us think that he did in the film version?   He would have left both Bobby and Lureen in an instant if Ennis had agreed.  One does not have to read between the lines to understand this about Jack, it is stated quite bluntly.
Yes, he would have left them. Nevertheless, he does show concern for his son's inability to read properly so you can't say he could care less.

Quote
I often wonder if all this "poor pitiful" Jack stuff would be going on if the character had been played by a young Steve Buscemi rather than a young Jake G.


Jake G is a compelling fellow, to be sure, but I think the debate about Jack's character has gone well beyond the superficial level of drooling over a pretty boy. Give us some credit.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: garyd on February 14, 2007, 09:00:32 PM

Also, I just can't buy into all this "missing the person he needs" romantic slant.  I don't see any evidence that Ennis has a clue as to what he needs until it is way too late.  Yes, there is a whole bunch of turmoil going on subconsciously but Ennis can't even begin to put a finger on it at this point in the film or story.
He put more than a finger on it. He "sure wrang it out a hunderd times, thinkin a you". Doesn't that tell you that he has at least a bit of a clue as to what he needs?
Quote
  But we know Jake  could care less about that kid.  He never even wanted a kid, much less a boy. Why make us think that he did in the film version?   He would have left both Bobby and Lureen in an instant if Ennis had agreed.  One does not have to read between the lines to understand this about Jack, it is stated quite bluntly.
Yes, he would have left them. Nevertheless, he does show concern for his son's inability to read properly so you can't say he could care less.

Quote
I often wonder if all this "poor pitiful" Jack stuff would be going on if the character had been played by a young Steve Buscemi rather than a young Jake G.


Jake G is a compelling fellow, to be sure, but I think the debate about Jack's character has gone well beyond the superficial level of drooling over a pretty boy. Give us some credit.

LOL,  yes, yes, you wank the monkey that many times thinking of the same person each time and you would have some sort of clue.  I just don't like the fireworks.  They don't work for me.

Yes, Jack noticed the problem with Bobby, but think about it.  He really didn't do much of anything but whine about it to Ennis.  He said that Lureen didn't see it and she pulled the strings.  That is a cop out and another indication of his problem with authority and actually "taking the bull by the horns"   (see Mineons).

I give you more credit than you realize.  Still, read through several of these threads, there is an awful lot of Danielle Steele breast heaving, bicep bulging, purple prose going on about "the love of their life', the only one for him, could not live without the one who made him whole", stuff being used as motivation and character analysis.  Both of these guys had some major problems, certainly not all of their own making, were big time latent homesexuals and  deep, deep, deep, into denial.  They were not motivated by some romance novel burning passion, they were motivated by fear, anger and life long frustration. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on February 14, 2007, 11:30:08 PM
AP herself described it as a once in a lifetime love. I don't know that there's a lot of Danielle Steel stuff going on here.

Quote - They were not motivated by some romance novel burning passion, they were motivated by fear, anger and life long frustration.
I agree entirely with the first bit. And the fear. And Jack was frustrated. I don't think there was much anger.
But they were also motivated by love. You don't carry on a 16 year long distance relationship at great personal cost unless there's a bit more than frustration.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Lance on February 15, 2007, 10:15:05 AM
Let's get back to ^Film vs. Book^, please. This thread is not about the E & J  relationship or for critiquing the critiques. For detailed analysis and criticism of a scene, please go to ^Scene by Scene^.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: twins1729 on February 18, 2007, 11:42:28 PM
I have to say the film.

I'd rather watch TV than read, but that's just my opinion.

Though, I was one of the only ones that actually knew a short story existed.

Everyone I told was like "Really?"

*sigh*
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Brokeback_1 on February 19, 2007, 02:21:06 AM
I very well may have posted here long ago, so long ago I don't remember.

After a year of Brokeback Mountain I find it impossible to say one was better then the other, and even find the comparison  somewhat unfair. The book is a masterpiece. In many ways it redefined the short story in the English language. It is--correct me if I am wrong---the only work in which an author successfully translated the principles of classical Greek tragedy from the stage into short story format, an act which has not been achieved before. And to my mind she did it brilliantly. I read a critique of AP's works a while ago, where some critic took her to task for neobaroque language, contrived plots, bad stories. Hiis entire review sounded like high quality entertainment to me. Literary jealousy, too.

The film is a masterpiece and no I am not a long standing Ang Lee fanatic either. This was the first movie of his which I had seen. It fleshed out the book, filled in blank spots, gave the literary characters a  life within a medium which has supplanted the written word for many people. I also thought that on its' own merits it was one of the finest films ever made. I spend a lot a time in the film threads [ hi lance!!] and have not changed my feeling that this film is a gorgeous cinematic gift for an audience. Of course, I'm biased---there has been no other film which grabbed me like this one has, ever.

So to end, I can't answer the question. Each is a masterpiece within its' medium.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mrbluebird on February 19, 2007, 04:55:37 PM
The script by McMurtry and Osana was a masterpiece indeed. However, Ang Lee added the SNT, changed the sequences of some scenes (motel conversation) and added the Ennis-Jr. scene in the end. At first, there were disagreement from the writers and AP. They even shot two sets of endings; one with original script , one with Lee's version. After viewing both, they agreed on the Lee's version. Lee also insisted on adding the SNT. When the final version of the film was viewed by all people involved, there was no doubt that Lee won them over. It's the director's ability to bring out the best ever from all able cast, especially the four young leads. I don't think it could reach such milestone if it was directed by any other Hollywood directors. I appreciate Lee doesn't underestimate the audience by shoveling everything into our faces. The flavor or the taste is different between the book and the film, the OS is AP's just as the film is Lee's.

Do you remember where this info came from?  I'd love to read more.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wintersweet on February 19, 2007, 07:55:13 PM
I'm sorry I don't remember all the sources. I simply searched online, including some from Asia. I've read a lot regarding Lee and the movie.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Brokeback_1 on February 19, 2007, 08:19:32 PM
It's all in the various screenplay versions, from The Big Script to the final product.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Luke_in_SG on March 30, 2007, 10:00:36 AM
Just a question, and I'm not sure if this was ever discussed before...

Does anyone know why the name of Ennis' second daughter was changed from Francine to Jenny?
I was going through the 2003 script and it was still "Francine", so something must have changed along the way to 2005!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: azmountainman on March 30, 2007, 02:57:30 PM

So to end, I can't answer the question. Each is a masterpiece within its' medium.
At first it was the short story for me. I read it first and it hit me hardest. After a few more times watching the film, I came around to your conclusion. Each stands on its own. That *is* an answer. :) Thanks for "fleshing it out" for me.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on April 11, 2007, 06:05:24 PM
Even after all this time...I still go back to the orig SS-in some ways, the implied detail is so much more titillating than actually seeing it in front of you on film-sensual heart-breaking feast that it is. But I certainly find myself going back to the darned SNIT and the dang FNIT semi-regularly,when the mood strkes. Helps with the analysis, too, I think, to see if with some distance in between viewings.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on April 14, 2007, 03:32:02 AM
I put on the DVD yesterday - I was just checking on that elusive "sweetie" in the fight - and played SNIT just once. No other scene and only once, which is pretty good for me.

And it really got to me, how tender and beautiful it was, how brilliantly they played it.

I've been seriously rethinking how the film-makers paid tribute to AP's style and subtlety. I could never choose between film and story.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: azmountainman on April 14, 2007, 10:14:08 AM
Even after all this time...I still go back to the orig SS-in some ways, the implied detail is so much more titillating than actually seeing it in front of you on film-sensual heart-breaking feast that it is. But I certainly find myself going back to the darned SNIT and the dang FNIT semi-regularly,when the mood strkes. Helps with the analysis, too, I think, to see if with some distance in between viewings.

Oh, *now* I know why you and I get along so well! :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on April 15, 2007, 12:09:48 AM
Even after all this time...I still go back to the orig SS-in some ways, the implied detail is so much more titillating than actually seeing it in front of you on film-sensual heart-breaking feast that it is. But I certainly find myself going back to the darned SNIT and the dang FNIT semi-regularly,when the mood strkes. Helps with the analysis, too, I think, to see if with some distance in between viewings.

Oh, *now* I know why you and I get along so well! :)
:)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Kiska on May 11, 2007, 07:20:57 AM
I myself am an avid reader and have read the book from which many of the movies I have seen came from, and always I find myself coming away with the opinion that while the movie is usually great, the book was far superior.  However, not so with Brokeback Mountain, in my opinion.  The story was excellent for a short story, however, I felt as though it skimmed through everything.  In the movie, many of the facets of the emotions and struggles were more fleshed out.  I have no doubt that had Annie Proulx expanded her short story into full length novel she would have ended with a superbly powerful novel.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on May 11, 2007, 10:20:56 AM
HI Kiska --

I can understand your opinion, many agree with you, I just want to say that opinion may be because you saw the movie first.  In my case I happened to read the story first, and it had the same affect on me that the movie had on you.  I had to read it over and over.  Each time I learned something new in the writing.  There is no wasted word, not even and or if or the.  We are not used to that.  Even as readers we tend to gloss over about 25% of what is on the page.  Annie Proulx distilled the story down to its essence.

It hit me so hard I didn't know if I would ever have the courage to see the movie.

But, as those of us with brokeback fever now know -- of course I could not resist seeking more answers, so I went to see the movie.  I would have sat through it again that same day if I had the time.  Instead I went back as soon as I could, and finally found this community.

I used to think the book was better, but in a very short time I came to believe they are both superb works of art in their own genres.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: cwbroker on May 11, 2007, 09:43:16 PM
Having now read the SS and the screenplay, as well as having viewed the movie twice I am torn.  Movies and books that have affected me in the past have grabbed me.  By grabbing I mean that there was something in either that I "felt".  for something to really grab me I need to be able to feel the elements around me.  My favorite author, until now, was Caroline Chute and her "The Beans of Eygypt Maine" series.  In these writings I could feel the cold and deprivation of the characters and relate to them in a very real way.  In the SS and the movie I had that same grabbing feeling.  The emotions were palpable to me.  Raw desire, tenderness, love and loss.  It caused me to reflect back on my own relationships in the past and regret things left unsaid. I cannot decide which is better, the SS or the movie.  Both have merit.  The movie certainly did flesh out the story and give breath to the characters, but the SS although compact had literally the same effect on me as the movie.  I am addicted to both.  I look forward to reading more of AP's work soon.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Brokeback_1 on May 12, 2007, 04:13:13 AM
HI Kiska --

I can understand your opinion, many agree with you, I just want to say that opinion may be because you saw the movie first.  In my case I happened to read the story first, and it had the same affect on me that the movie had on you.  I had to read it over and over.  Each time I learned something new in the writing.  There is no wasted word, not even and or if or the.  We are not used to that.  Even as readers we tend to gloss over about 25% of what is on the page.  Annie Proulx distilled the story down to its essence.

It hit me so hard I didn't know if I would ever have the courage to see the movie.

But, as those of us with brokeback fever now know -- of course I could not resist seeking more answers, so I went to see the movie.  I would have sat through it again that same day if I had the time.  Instead I went back as soon as I could, and finally found this community.

I used to think the book was better, but in a very short time I came to believe they are both superb works of art in their own genres.
And every single COMMA, every single PERIOD, is placed there with and for an effect. It's incredibly brilliant.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on May 12, 2007, 08:15:03 AM
Welcome Kiska and cwbroker!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ACompadre on June 11, 2007, 12:50:25 PM
i need to get the book. i just watched Brokeback Mountain for the first time last week, maybe i will be sorry if i read it because books are usually better than movies.

AC
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on June 11, 2007, 01:48:07 PM
I think this time it's different - so many people seem to love both the book and the film.  They are the same, but different - both very powerful.   I hope you enjoy the book :).
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Brokeback_1 on June 12, 2007, 02:09:50 AM
i need to get the book. i just watched Brokeback Mountain for the first time last week, maybe i will be sorry if i read it because books are usually better than movies.

AC

Not this time, compadre! This adaptation follows the short story completely in its emotional impact. Certain things have been changed, switched around, true. But you will not be disappointed.

If you want to understand, it's best to know both.

Just remember that it is possibly the most brutally beautiful short story ever written in English in modern times [IMHO lol]. Be aware that it is a huge shock, even after the film. And remember that it is the only short story successfully written using the principles of Greek tragedy, in English at least.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 12, 2007, 07:11:55 AM
i need to get the book. i just watched Brokeback Mountain for the first time last week, maybe i will be sorry if i read it because books are usually better than movies.

AC

What the others all said!

You will not be sorry you read the story.

A year and a half after I first saw the film, my over-riding memory of the first viewing is how faithful the film was to the story. I sat in the theater with my jaw in my lap identifying lines of dialogue that came right from Annie Proulx, and scenes and images that I could swear were derived right from her narration.

A year and a half later I'm still noticing things for the first time. During the screening at Estes Park, I realized that the scene where we see Jack demonstrating the combine--just before the two old birds make the "pissant" comment right in front of Lureen--pretty well portrays Annie Proulx's description of Jack's work in the farm machinery business, right down to the big white hat.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on June 13, 2007, 04:53:38 PM
Yes, I noticed that too. I'd never read the New Yorker version so hadn't heard the white hat part until Rodney read it out the same day as the film was shown. The combination of hearing the story and seeing the film on the same day was altogether too much for me and I had to hide and avoid people for a long long while.

ACompadre, read the story. It's an essential part of the process.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: RodneyWY on June 13, 2007, 09:22:15 PM
i need to get the book. i just watched Brokeback Mountain for the first time last week, maybe i will be sorry if i read it because books are usually better than movies.

AC

Let me chime in a bit here . . . there are sufficient differences between the film and the short story that they both stand side-by-side as great achievements, cinematic and literary.  As much as I adore the film performaces, the short story versions of Jack and Ennis are quite vivid in description, and Ennis is infinitely more conversational, willing to talk to Jack about his feelings during the reunion.  And speaking of the reunion, that is one of the major differences between the film and the short story, and Annie Proulx herself was quite persistent in her insistence that the motel scene be filmed in closer approximation to the story.  Ang Lee, Dianna Ossana and Larry McMurtry virtually divided the motel scene for the film, choosing to place Jack and Ennis in the mountains for the "sweet life," "Earl and Rich" and "if you can't fix it" moments.  I can understand because of the cinematic aspect of that gorgeous mountain river scene.  The scene in the short story however has major impact and must be read and read again.  I urge you with all sincerity to read the short story and allow yourself to experience AP's original concept in your mind.  In addition, AP's vivid descriptions of the Wyoming landscapes are pure poetry to the ears!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: RodneyWY on June 13, 2007, 09:35:03 PM
And there are sufficient differences between published versions of the story.  Ministering angel referred to "white hat" that is included in the New Yorker version.  Actually the phrase is "wore Texas suits and a tall white hat."  The most recent Scribner version makes no reference to the suits or hat, but instead gives Jack a big heavy moustache!  The two-paragraph prologue was an editorial omission in The New Yorker, and without the prologue the story simply proceeds from 1963 rather than after 1983.  Annie Proulx says that she always intended the story to begin with the prologue, thus creating a 20-year memoir that Ennis relates.

You might ask how I know all of this . . . my reading version is a composite of all of the available published versions, and I started with the archived version from The New Yorker and proceeded from there.  I own several copies of various published versions of the story, including a signed 1st edition 1st printing of "Close Range," the anthology in which "Brokeback Mountain" is the final story.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on June 14, 2007, 12:21:52 PM
Rodney, I've heard it mentioned that later editions have even more changes. Is this the case? Apart from the original NY version I've not seen any other changes but then I haven't seen any reprints either.

The thing that intrigues me about those early changes is the insertion of the eagle feather refs. To me, this strengthens the idea of Jack's previous sexual experience and gives far more depth to the description of Ennis lying spreadeagle.

The moustache stuff and the bit about the steel tooth plugs (was that the word?) are also fascinating. When you spend so much time analysing this story, seeing how AP changed things - and wondering why - is high class entertainment indeed.

And a public thank you for those superb readings. You rendered me speechless. Still do. And that's saying something.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: RodneyWY on June 14, 2007, 02:54:46 PM
Marion, I would be happy to email you a copy of the archived version of the story from The New Yorker.  Just need an email address . . .

Yes, quite astute views especially regarding the eagle feather, omitted from The New Yorker version, but included in later published versions.   

Thank you SO very much for your thoughtful words -- I hope you realize that it was a complete honor and privilege for me to be able to do those readings!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: RodneyWY on June 14, 2007, 03:00:06 PM
I also have available my own scan converted to PDF of the original publication in the The New Yorker . . .
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on June 14, 2007, 03:42:37 PM
Yes please. That chilling moment that first readers must have experienced when they turned that page and found the word DECEASED. Ugh. I checked that out at Estes Park. Nice to know that even the typesetter (or whatever they use these days) got into the act.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 14, 2007, 04:21:35 PM
Friends, the material below is from a discussion at IMDb from March 2006 on the differences between The New Yorker and Front Range/Scribner's versions of Brokeback Mountain. I preserved it as a Word document, and I offer it here, for what it's worth, to those who might be interested in the differences between the various published versions of the story. What follows should not necessarily be taken as "gospel" (correct), but I think it makes interesting reading, especially the posts by "burosh."

I've been fascinated by the publishing history of the story, ever since I realized there were differences between The New Yorker version and the Front Range/Scribner's version, particularly with respect to the prologue.

I read somewhere that the prologue was left out of The New Yorker essentially by accident. That puzzles me. Surely Annie Proulx was sent proofs of the story and would have noticed if it were missing.  ;D Possibly it got left out when the magazine pages were made up after Annie had approved the proofs. The story was published during the years Tina Brown was editor of The New Yorker, so Lord knows what might have gone on in the magazine offices in those years.  ;)

In the text that follows, the *beep*'s come from IMDb's automatic deletion of profanity, even when it's in a direct quotation from a literary work. I haven't done any "editing" of the text as I preserved it.

The discussion of the difference in punctuation in the sentence where Ennis asks Jack if he has sex with other guys besides Ennis is by me. ...  ;D

Brokeback Mountain in The New Yorker

Re: Brokeback in The New Yorker     
   by - jmmgallagher (Thu Mar 23 2006 15:03:13)       

 Jeff, I think Annie has said that the opening paragraphs of the story as published in book form were added after the story was first published in the New Yorker. I've also read somewhere (although I do not know if it is true) that Annie added the famous phrase "Jack, I swear," during a telephone call to the fiction editor just before the issue of the New Yorker went to the printer--

Re: Brokeback in The New Yorker     
   by - newyearsday  (Fri Mar 24 2006 12:51:50)       

 A great thread. One point I might add re: changing the last sentence: I also I read (or heard) an interview with Annie where she mentioned adding the last sentence to the story just before it went to press. I was pretty sure she said "the last sentence," not Ennis' last sentence. So I took this to mean the addition of the very last sentence in the story, which is, "There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it, you've got to stand it." (getting major chills as I am writing that.) So I think it was the part about echoing the "if you can't fix it, you've got to stand it" that was significant as a last minute add, since it is also a pivotal sentence in the story. Then in a thread on the big board months ago, someone seemed to interpret this comment from her about adding the end at the last minute as the "Jack, I swear..." comment. I'd be interested in getting the truth if anyone knows for sure. And I'll try to find out too in my many hours of spare time!

Re: Brokeback in The New Yorker     
   by - JLScheib  (Thu Mar 23 2006 19:31:44)    

 Just to add my two cents, I agree in with John in that I have a memory that the opening of the story was added after Tthe New Yorker publication, but, unhappily, I can't recall where I read that. I read a copy of The New Yorker version over lunch today, and I am fascinated by the changes made after the magazine publication. Substantive? Maybe not, but they fascinate me nonetheless. Jack's midlife dental work is described very differently in The New Yorker. And the mustache came later--it's not in the magazine version. The change that fascinates me most is one tiny little change in punctuation. In the magazine version of the motel scene, Ennis say, "You do it with other guys, Jack?" In the revised version, Ennis says, "You do it with other guys? Jack?" That change in punctuation from the pause of the comma to the full stop of the question mark, which makes the "Jack?" into a separate sentence, I think helps to point up Jack's lie that follows *beep* no,' said Jack, who had been riding more than bulls, not rolling his own"--identical in the magazine and later version). Jack doesn't answer Ennis right away. Ennis has to prompt an answer to his question with the "Jack?" Then Jack lies.

Re: Brokeback in The New Yorker     
   by - burosh  (Fri Mar 24 2006 03:32:28)       

 UPDATED Fri Mar 24 2006 03:52:16
 There are other differences between the 1997 and 1999 versions. I posted the following on IMDB's Brokeback Mountain message board several months ago, but it's worth repeating here... *** Annie Proulx's original version of the story (published in the October 13, 1997 issue of The New Yorker) did not include the italicized prologue. Proulx included the prologue in the final version, which appeared in Close Range, her 1999 collection of short stories. But that's not the only difference between the 1997 and 1999 versions. Most of the differences are minor. These include punctuation changes, swapping proper names and pronouns (for example, replacing "he" with "Jack"), and adding, dropping or swapping small words (such as "a" and "the"). Proulx also made changes to some of the vernacular spelling--for example, changing "goddamn" to "goddam". But Proulx also made more substantive changes. Besides the addition of the prologue, she did the following:

1. She changed this passage near the start of the story by adding one line, highlighted here:  They found a bar and drank beer through the afternoon, Jack telling Ennis about a lightning storm on the mountain the year before that killed forty-two sheep, the peculiar stink of them and the way they bloated, the need for plenty of whiskey up there. He had shot an eagle, he said, turned his head to show the tail feather in his hatband. At first glance Jack seemed fair enough with his curly hair and quick laugh, but for a small man he carried some weight in the haunch and his smile disclosed buckteeth, not pronounced enough to let him eat popcorn out of the neck of a jug, but noticeable. He was infatuated with the rodeo life and fastened his belt with a minor bull-riding buckle, but his boots were worn to the quick, holed beyond repair and he was crazy to be somewhere, anywhere else than Lightning Flat. 

2. In the passage describing the time Ennis and Jack first ate together by the campfire (when they began to tell each other about themselves), Proulx changed "the military service" to "the draft".

3. Proulx also added the text highlighted in this next passage; she also changed "down her ribs" to "up her ribs":  "I guess," said Ennis, slipping his hand up her blouse sleeve and stirring the silky armpit hair, then easing her down, fingers moving up her ribs to the jelly breast, over the round belly and knee and up into the wet gap all the way to the north pole or the equator depending which way you thought you were sailing, working at it until she shuddered and bucked against his hand and he rolled her over, did quickly what she hated. They stayed in the little apartment which he favored because it could be left at any time.

4. In the passage in which Alma confronts Ennis, Proulx removed the text highlighted here:  "Don't lie, don't try to fool me, Ennis. I know what it means. Jack Twist? Jack Nasty. You and him--" She'd overstepped his line. He seized her wrist and twisted; tears sprang and rolled, a dish clattered. 

5. And in this passage, which describes Jack's physical appearance in his later years, Proulx rewrote the last line: Down in Texas Jack's father-in-law died and Lureen, who inherited the farm-equipment business, showed a skill for management and hard deals. Jack found himself with a vague managerial title, traveling to stock and agricultural-machinery shows. He had some money now and found ways to spend it on his buying trips. A little Texas accent flavored his sentences, "cow" twisted into "kyow" and "wife" coming out as "waf." He'd had his front teeth filed down and capped, said he'd felt no pain, and to finish the job grew a heavy mustache. In the 1997 version, that last line read as follows: He'd had his front teeth filed down, set with steel plugs, and capped, said he'd felt no pain, wore Texas suits and a tall white hat.

6. Then in her narration of the last time Jack and Ennis spent together, Proulx inserted another reference to the eagle feather in Jack's hat:  Going up, the day was fine but the trail deep-drifted and slopping wet at the margins. They left it to wind through a slashy cut, leading the horses through brittle branchwood, Jack, the same eagle feather in his old hat, lifting his head in the heated noon to take the air scented with resinous lodgepole, the dry needle duff and hot rock, bitter juniper crushed beneath the horses' hooves. Ennis, weather-eyed, looked west for the heated cumulus that might come up on such a day but the boneless blue was so deep, said Jack, that he might drown looking up. 

7. Finally, in the remaining passages of the story, Proulx changed the name of the rancher Ennis was working for from "Car Scrope" to "Stoutamire", and eliminated the single reference to the name of the ranch (the "Coffeepot") altogether. Interestingly, "The Coffeepot" became the title of another short story in Close Range, and in the opening line of that story, "Car Scrope" is introduced as the owner of the ranch.

Julie01, you may be partly right...     
   by - burosh (Sun Mar 26 2006 22:20:10)   

 It's hard to say what exactly accounts for the differences between the 1997 and 1997 versions. It may be that, when Proulx submitted the story to The New Yorker, the editors recommended minor changes to it (that she accepted) before it appeared in the magazine. Then later, when preparing the story for the book, Proulx may have reverted to her original version. Or, it may be that Proulx, in concert with her editors at Scribners, made additional changes after the story appeared in the magazine. Or, it may have been both. It's not unusual for author's to agree to minor changes that an editor recommends. Still, I suspect that the weightier differences (the prologue, the symbolic image of the feather in Jack's hat, etc.) were additions Proulx made on her own between 1997 and 1999; I can't imagine the editors at the magazine would have been so foolish as to delete such beautiful imagery, or that Proulx would have agreed to it. And I suspect the changes to the names of the ranch and rancher at the end of the story were also Proulx's, since she used the old names in the opening line of another Close Range story. Seems to me this is a question that the author herself can settle. Anyone know Annie's address??!!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on June 14, 2007, 04:33:36 PM
Thanks for that, Jeff. More reading for when I get home.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: RodneyWY on June 14, 2007, 07:46:08 PM
Thank you Jeff for posting that wonderful comparison between the published versions of the story.  I wish i had written an article myself, as my reading copy (in loose-leaf binder) is a compendium of all of the published versions of the story.  There is one little factor that is not included in that collection of posts, and that is the version published in the UK.  That version was patterned directly from The New Yorker version with the addition of the prologue.  However there is one small detail later in the story that differs in the UK version from the both the NYer and the Scribners version.  In the final camping trip when Ennis and Jack are talking abou their children, Alma Jr. is a nineteen-year-old in the UK version, 17 in all other versions.  As I have all of the language from all versions, it is really quite an interesting artistic choice for me when I read the whole story, and I'll pick and choose from the various versions.  Questions raised in your post are the same questions I would love to ask AP myself.  Perhaps one day I shall be privileged to do so.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 14, 2007, 08:29:44 PM
Thank you Jeff for posting that wonderful comparison between the published versions of the story.  I wish i had written an article myself, as my reading copy (in loose-leaf binder) is a compendium of all of the published versions of the story.

My pleasure, friend. Glad I had something to share!

Quote
There is one little factor that is not included in that collection of posts, and that is the version published in the UK.  That version was patterned directly from The New Yorker version with the addition of the prologue.  However there is one small detail later in the story that differs in the UK version from the both the NYer and the Scribners version.  In the final camping trip when Ennis and Jack are talking abou their children, Alma Jr. is a nineteen-year-old in the UK version, 17 in all other versions.

Yeehaw! In other words, you could say some (possibly) anonymous British editor corrected Annie Proulx's arithmetic--or talked Annie into correcting it! Think about it. In the story we learn that Ennis married Alma in December (1963) (comp. the film's November) and had her pregnant by mid-January (1964). Alma, Jr., was born in September (1964). The final fishing trip in the story takes place in May 1983. Alma, Jr., would have turned 19 in September 1983. So saying she was 19 in May of that year is still a little off, but it's closer than saying she was 17. That age of 17 is a detail that has annoyed me.  :-\
 
Apparently, though, they didn't correct the age of Jack's (in the story nameless) son? That child was 8 months old in June 1967, so he was born in approximately November 1966. So he would have turned 17 in approximately November 1983, making him still 16--not 15--at the time of the last fishing trip.

Quote
As I have all of the language from all versions, it is really quite an interesting artistic choice for me when I read the whole story, and I'll pick and choose from the various versions.  Questions raised in your post are the same questions I would love to ask AP myself.  Perhaps one day I shall be privileged to do so.

Actually, the questions I'd like to ask relate to why certain changes were made for the film:

1. The month of Ennis and Alma's wedding (December to November).

2. The name of Ennis's younger daughter (Francine to Jenny).

3. The month of the reunion (June to September).

4. The year of the final fishing trip (1983 to 1981).

In the larger picture, I guess none of those things matter, but that's kind of my point. If they don't matter, why were they changed?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jeff hanna on June 14, 2007, 10:08:48 PM
Jeff, thanks for that fascinating post. Always love to get new information.

  I was curious enough about why the 1983 date of the last trip into the mountains was changed to 1981 in the screenplay, that I asked the question in a gushing fan letter I wrote to Diana Ossana a year ago. Never received a reply, which didn't surprise me; I'm sure the authors made an early decision to not respond to most letters...they could end up spending endless time.

  Still, it is a mystery  -  as are your other questions. There just doesn't seem to be a plausible explanation. The big difference in the dates completely undercuts the importance of Jack and Ennis' relationship lasting twenty years  -  which was emphasized in numerous reviews. Of course, most moviegoers have not read the screenplay, and so wouldn't know about the discrepancy. Perhaps it was just a careless oversight like the one Rodney refers to in the British version of the short story (concerning Junior's age)? But surely, detail-oriented masters like Larry and Diana would not be guilty of "careless oversight!" Damn.  We'll probably never know.

  I mentioned to someone recently that my fantasy is a big, thick book entitled, "The Exhaustive, Illustrated Encyclopedia of Everything There Is To Know About Brokeback Mountain." There certainly would be a market for it.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on June 15, 2007, 01:38:39 AM
Alma Junior is seventeen in both my copies [UK].   I first read the story in a UK library book, and can't remember how old she was in that as it was just one reading. 

It's really interesting to hear about the changes in the stories.  I'm curious about the changes from story to film too.

May, August and November seem to have particular significance in the story - so maybe the wedding was changed to November to fit with that.   But that doesn't explain why the reunion was changed from June to Septemberr!

May - looks as if they first went up Brokeback in May [correct me if I'm wrong] and their last meeting is in May.

August - they come down from Brokeback, and the August meeting is cancelled at the end.

November - Thanksgiving, Ennis believed he was going to see Jack in November.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 15, 2007, 11:36:05 AM
Jeff, thanks for that fascinating post. Always love to get new information.

My pleasure, friend!  ;D

Quote
I was curious enough about why the 1983 date of the last trip into the mountains was changed to 1981 in the screenplay, that I asked the question in a gushing fan letter I wrote to Diana Ossana a year ago. Never received a reply, which didn't surprise me; I'm sure the authors made an early decision to not respond to most letters...they could end up spending endless time.

  Still, it is a mystery  -  as are your other questions. There just doesn't seem to be a plausible explanation. The big difference in the dates completely undercuts the importance of Jack and Ennis' relationship lasting twenty years  -  which was emphasized in numerous reviews. Of course, most moviegoers have not read the screenplay, and so wouldn't know about the discrepancy. Perhaps it was just a careless oversight like the one Rodney refers to in the British version of the short story (concerning Junior's age)? But surely, detail-oriented masters like Larry and Diana would not be guilty of "careless oversight!" Damn.  We'll probably never know.

I'm sure it was deliberate, though I can't fathom why it was felt necessary. I don't have any text in front of me as I write this at work, but I'm sure in the story Jack says something close to, "Count the few times we've been together in twenty years," and in the film I'm virtually certain Jack says, "Count the few times we've been together in nearly twenty years."
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: RodneyWY on June 16, 2007, 10:09:30 PM
The UK version that I have is a special paperback edition for Time Out London by Harper Perennial printed in 2005, with Annie Proulx listed as the copyright owner, 1997.  It is based on The New Yorker version, with the addition of the prologue, but refers to Alma Jr. as a shy 19-year-old with his beanpole length.  You know, the inconsistency shown both in this edition as well as other published editions could simply be indicative of the possibility that Jack and Ennis just didn't know the ages of their kids.  Don't forget, the film Ennis had never heard of Kurt!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on June 17, 2007, 03:21:41 AM
Maybe they're subconsciously avoiding that 20 years - they met when they were not yet 20.   
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 17, 2007, 06:25:10 PM
The UK version that I have is a special paperback edition for Time Out London by Harper Perennial printed in 2005, with Annie Proulx listed as the copyright owner, 1997.  It is based on The New Yorker version, with the addition of the prologue, but refers to Alma Jr. as a shy 19-year-old with his beanpole length.  You know, the inconsistency shown both in this edition as well as other published editions could simply be indicative of the possibility that Jack and Ennis just didn't know the ages of their kids.  Don't forget, the film Ennis had never heard of Kurt!

Sure enough, but film Ennis knows Alma, Jr., is 19 in 1984--which she was, until some time in September of that year.  ;)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Marge_Innavera on June 18, 2007, 07:38:51 AM
And remember that it is the only short story successfully written using the principles of Greek tragedy, in English at least.

Where's the chorus?  :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on June 18, 2007, 10:15:25 AM
I guess the Dave Cullen Forum is the chorus.  Either the chorus, or the peanut gallery.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on September 07, 2007, 12:38:25 PM
1st post in this thread. I was moved by the short story (Book) which I read in the New Yorker way back when, I just never thought it was long enough for a screenplay. I read the book later, and then when this blog and forum exploded, I thought, well, better check out the film. Saw it three times total, and simply was not moved at all by it. Not sure why, because it's an excellent film all around. I see by the poll I'm not in the majority here, but that's fine. Films rarely if ever 'move' me as well as the written word can, that's just me........
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on September 08, 2007, 06:43:02 AM
Flyboy, this is interesting. The story is written in quite a cool, flat fashion (although I assure you it moves me to tears - usually after I've read it through I end up hugging the book to me and crying) so in what way does it move you more than the film?

I think they are equally brilliant but I saw the film first.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on September 08, 2007, 11:32:19 AM
The written word always moves me, why, because Annie wrote this story in minimalist fashion. No excruciating details, she allows the reader to paint their own images of the different settings and situations. Even the characters. By the time the film came out, well, let's say my images from the book were already stampedo on my brain. And that could have been the whole key for me. I didn't want Ang or Dianna or Larry messing with my own private imaginations...........haha...........sounds odd I know, but that's how I read. My favorite line(s)? There was some open space between what he knew, and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it, you gotta stand it..........................."let be, let be"..................sigh................
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: AnthonyBam on November 25, 2007, 06:56:49 PM
Both the film and the book did the job..
I'm not usually a heavy crier after reading literature OR watching movies, but I actually SOBBED after both watching and reading. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on November 25, 2007, 07:25:25 PM
You may have had a bad case of Brokeback Fever.  Luckily it's not fatal though.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Nax on November 26, 2007, 03:26:21 AM
Welcome Anthony, I hope you find some solace here  ;)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on November 26, 2007, 05:03:24 AM
Anthony, you will fit in just fine. I can cry just by thinking about both film and book.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on November 26, 2007, 06:52:47 AM
Flyboy, I get what you mean about what the written word can do: '..hoping for the faintest smoke and mountain sage and salty sweet stink of Jack....etc.' Noted is one of the most difficult passages to get through, that I've ever experienced in literature. The book does so well, and so simply, and so matter of factly what it is so challenging to do with cinema-get INSIDE the character's head, in a way that the character may not even be aware of.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on November 26, 2007, 08:47:58 AM
OMG! Over two months and suddenly this thread woke up again! You just never know in this forum, do you? Welcome Anthony! Stay with us, there are a lot of warm, intelligent, understanding folks here who share the impact of the film and book. I'm not one who cries easily, (think Ennis here), and the book just left me dumbstruck, as they say. I saw too much of myself in Ennis, and the storyline is timeless, really. I think the reason the wriitten word moves me, is because I'm in my own Cocoon or private world when reading, and in a theater? Well, there seems to be a lot of folks and distractions around. LOL, I know, I'm picky; but I need a large Theater, lots of 'dark', and no distractions! (chomping popcorn, slurping drinks, cell phones) you get the drift here................anyway, I could read the story a 100 times and still gain some new insight with every reading.........just 'socks me good'!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: jwm on November 26, 2007, 10:48:47 AM
First time in this thread, but I just wanted to put in my two cents here. I loved the film, I loved everything about, its slow pace which I usually hate, of course the boys but I just love how it moved me. I love movies, I cry through them, but I have never cried for days after one. I couldn't get enough of it, and yes I read the SS but it didn't come close to what the film did to me.
Like Jack says "Old Brokeback got me good" that is an understatement. It is a story that is hard to discuss with someone that has a hard time even thinking about never mind talking about it. so this place was a god send to me, and I still have a really hard time understanding why and how most people can see it, and not be moved beyond words. I am old softy and Jack just broke my heart, too many times to count.

Wendy
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: chapeaugris on November 26, 2007, 11:41:05 AM
I saw the movie before I read the story. Stories and novels have made me cry, and so have movies, but neither of these did (at least, not the first time I saw the film). I simply walked around in shock for a week and couldn't figure out why. Real life has done that to me but never a piece of art. I read the story soon after, mainly to find out what Ennis was mumbling a few times, and I don't think it would have affected me as much as the film had I read it first. Toward the end of the story, it mentions the time  Ennis had called Jack about the divorce and Jack drove 1200 miles north "for nothing." The film turned those couple of words into several minutes of images that encapsulated something I had experienced over the course of several months. I probably wouldn't have made the connection between that period of my life to Jack's experience merely from the words "for nothing."
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: john john on November 26, 2007, 02:30:55 PM
I saw the movie before I read the story. Stories and novels have made me cry, and so have movies, but neither of these did (at least, not the first time I saw the film). I simply walked around in shock for a week and couldn't figure out why. Real life has done that to me but never a piece of art. I read the story soon after, mainly to find out what Ennis was mumbling a few times, and I don't think it would have affected me as much as the film had I read it first. Toward the end of the story, it mentions the time  Ennis had called Jack about the divorce and Jack drove 1200 miles north "for nothing." The film turned those couple of words into several minutes of images that encapsulated something I had experienced over the course of several months.  probably wouldn't have made the connection between that period of my life to Jack's experience merely from the words "for nothing."
Well said Kim, you put your finger on it.
Images transport us in a way that words can't.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Oregondoggie on November 27, 2007, 12:10:37 AM
Better?  Could see comparing two film versions based on the short story.  But not the story and the film as to which was better?  Our reactions are so personal.

I came to Brokeback through the book.  My own Ennis, my little darlin, was still out there.  I too was "suffused with a sense of pleasure" when he came into my dreams.  That short story, by an older straight woman, "rewarmed that old, cold time... when we owned the world and nothing seemed wrong..."  Proulx wrote with knives.  Our hearts were her manuscript.

Then the movie came along, clobbered me again and made me determined to fix it.  I wasn't going to stand it.  And, by golly, this fall, I did.  We've ended up friends. 

Beyond Brokeback, I love website, am wild with admiration for two young actors, and have learned to hum Santaolalla's music.  So much for apples and oranges.     

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on November 27, 2007, 10:19:38 PM
Better?  Could see comparing two film versions based on the short story.  But not the story and the film as to which was better?  Our reactions are so personal.

I came to Brokeback through the book.  My own Ennis, my little darlin, was still out there.  I too was "suffused with a sense of pleasure" when he came into my dreams.  That short story, by an older straight woman, "rewarmed that old, cold time... when we owned the world and nothing seemed wrong..."  Proulx wrote with knives.  Our hearts were her manuscript.

Then the movie came along, clobbered me again and made me determined to fix it.  I wasn't going to stand it.  And, by golly, this fall, I did.  We've ended up friends. 

Beyond Brokeback, I love website, am wild with admiration for two young actors, and have learned to hum Santaolalla's music.  So much for apples and oranges.     


So, you were affected by both the book and the film. Probably not uncommon, but for me, it was the book, I just could not get into the film at all, I tried believe me! Saw it three times in two weeks, and just could not be moved by it. The music and cinematography were superb and moving, but the acting scenes, I don't know, I 'expected' too much I guess......
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on November 28, 2007, 12:59:19 AM
To my surprise, I've found it's the book which has stuck with me more than the film.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mouk on November 28, 2007, 06:21:09 AM
I saw the film first, and like Chapeaugris, I would not have made certain personal connexions without the visual impact. Even then, it took 9 viewings  ::) for me to understand why I was so obsessed with this film. Then it acted like a psychoanalysis, inducing flashbacks, pulling out forgotten/repressed memories and emotions, and finally making some sense of very old unresolved issues. Amazing. The written word alone, as exceptional as it is in the case of this story, could not have achieved that. I think it was a mixture of :
- the editing : happy scenes taking you to a certain level of expectation and then cut short, taking everything away from you;
- the music and hearing/seeing J&E breathe, which take you inside them, make you feel what they feel;
- the photography over the shoulder, seeing E as if you were J and vice versa.

This is a film where you don't just see Jack and Ennis, you are drawn in so much that you 'become' one of them, or both.

I read the short story to better understand the film and at first reading found it harsh and cold, unpleasant and disappointing  :o Yet, the sledge hammer of the Dozy Embrace that was not what it looked like in the film, and of the final sentence had such power that I had to read again, and again. Also, the physical defects of AP’s boys make their love all the more real and moving. They see the hidden beauty in each other. These are real people, as you see them in remote, harsh and poor areas, shepherds, fishermen, small farmers, labourers. Rough and damaged and limited in their capacity to express themselves, but not in their capacity to feel and to connect and with a beauty of their own. For those of us who have had the privilege of experiencing it first hand, it is unforgettable and addictive. For those who have not, AP takes them pretty close. Genius. 

Ossana, MacMurtry and Ang Lee compensated for the extreme physical beauty of the boys in the film by making them more flawed in other ways than in the story: e.g. Jack’s lack of competence, Ennis’s extreme inner conflict and inability to communicate.

I am forever grateful to this forum and its amazing members who have been INVALUABLE in learning to appreciate the story more at each reading. The use of vocabulary, symbolism, ambiguities, the said and the unsaid…

Now, I can no longer dissociate film and story in my mind. They feed each other. The story adds depth and helps to follow what happens in the boys’ minds. For instance, to me now the DE flashback while Jack cradles collapsed Ennis in his arms is the moment when he melts again, feeling only deep, deep love for him and remembering only the best bits,  that moment of artless,  charmed happiness that Ennis made him experience (the No Quit moment). Then when he watches Ennis leave for the last time, uncertainty and despair take over again and he remembers that even in that moment of perfect happiness Ennis would not embrace him face to face because he did not want to see nor feel that it was Jack he held’. And the quit / no quit issue is raised...
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on November 28, 2007, 06:36:19 AM
What an excellent post, mouk.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mouk on November 28, 2007, 06:43:34 AM
Mini  :-* - and you know how much you contributed to making me love the short story, keeping me informed even when I had no access to the forum...
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on November 28, 2007, 05:00:09 PM
Yeah, Mouk, that was awesome..TDS material, really. I was advised  to come over an read it....! I really like what you say about them seeing the beauty in one another-No one can judge the nature of true love. Its there in that story, and it should be cherished.

I read the SS first, determined to be taken further by the movie-and I was. I tend to defer to the original, but it does nothing in terms of taking away any impact of the film; I am happy to exprience each in it's own beauty.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on November 29, 2007, 12:27:47 AM
I too have problems disassociating them.   Like you, Mouk, I can't watch the film DE without thinking of the book DE.   I read the book once (it was a library book), and it was a long time before I read it again, then I saw the film and it was a long time before I saw the film again.   So the two became a bit mixed up in my memory - some of the differences in the film jumped out at me when I first saw it, but in other parts I added in detail from the book - in my memory, the words in the motel conversation were much the same in both (although the 'scene' was different.   I had to sort it all out later when I bought both the book and the DVD.    I still don't manage to completely disentangle them.    I have never seen the film without having read the book, so the book has always been an influence on my viewing of the film - I'm sure if your 'firsts' are the other way round, then you will end up seeing visuals from the film while reading the book.   And now, some of the film scenes have replaced the book scenes while I'm reading - it's the film characters and settings that I see in my mind's eye.   I still have a good picture of book Jack, but book Ennis has almost been replaced by the film version.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Oregondoggie on November 29, 2007, 02:12:39 AM
Going to Wyoming and Alberta has added to the mix.  Brokenback Mountain in Wyoming...  Lightning Flat's sad abandoned house.  In Alberta, Cowley's parking lot and Ft. McLeod's laundry apartment house where you can walk around corners that disappeared in the movie.  The wind lurks with the tale.  Bursts out with it. 

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mouk on November 29, 2007, 03:58:22 AM
Oregondoggie, thank you for reminding us, this is so true.  And the places you mention are among the most moving.

Cowley in particular, used in the opening scenes, did not feel like a shooting set at all. The place was exactly what Signal could be, and the whole atmosphere felt just like in the film, it had not been made up. The wind, the light, the loneliness. The train. It felt completely like a pilgrimage, like visiting the place 40 years later, with exactly the mount of change and of non-change you would expect in 40 years in such a place... Plus the village kids playing in the street and chanting ‘Brokeback Mountain, Brokeback Mountain’, and the butcher's wife reminiscing.... BBM is part of their heritage now, of the history of this little town. Somewhat, Cowley has become Signal.

As for LF and Brokenback, what an incredible experience, a 'spiritual' experience indeed! That's where remembering the words from the short story had all its impact : the rearing lodge poles below them massed in slabs of somber malachite... the meadow stones glowed green-white were all there and there could be no better words to describe them. In the euphoric bitter air we felt suspended above ordinary affairs indeed and when purple cloud started gathering in a storm above distant summits, we could well imagine the mountain boiling with demonic energy
LF consists of one house, right on the Montana border , surrounded by the grieving plain and just off the gravel road stretching south... the only road Jack knew in his growing  years . The shallow cavity in the bedroom and the steep stair with a climbing rhythm of its own are all there, although not accessible now, there is a No Trespassing sign - understandably. The nearby  country cemetery fenced with sagging sheep wire, a tiny fence square on the welling prairie, a few graves bright with plastic flowers is particularly poignant. This is EXACTLY what it looks like. AP says she never went there, but I will never believe this. Every inch of the place whispers her words, the SS becomes so real it makes you shudder.

The story, the film, the places, the local folks who took part in the filming or witnessed it and reminisce fondly,  the sharing of experiences with other Brokies  - the magic of BBM is still growing.

PS – CSI thanks for your kind words and for your many enlightening insights….
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on November 29, 2007, 11:45:37 AM
mouk: wonderful post.
I, too, saw the film first, written word second.
They have melded in my mind as well.
Though lately I've tried to approach the stories separately,
and having a bit of trouble doing so. But I get into these
strict pedantic moods now and again. ;)

I can't help but feel that it is a disservice to the masterpiece that
is the film, to need to read the story to re-interpret the film maker's
intentions. And, of course, vice versa when reading the story.

I felt exactly the same as you did the first time I read Annie Proulx's
blunt words. I was taken aback a bit. But then I reread and was won over.
If I'm not careful, I still cry at the words: '...when they owned the world and
nothing seemed wrong.'

Yet, I agree, it is difficult not to combine film and short story.
And really, who says you're not supposed to?
Who says it has to be either/or?
I admit I am of two minds about it, still.

And you're perfectly right about how it affects us.
We do seem to become Jack or Ennis. Why is that?
I am a straight woman of a 'certain' age and yet I identified
with both these boys in certain ways from the very beginning,
and in truth, I did, for awhile find myself missing Jack from Ennis's
emotional point of view. (Maybe that just speaks to the human
in me and not the 'woman'.)

Oh, I've experienced emotional let-down or uplift from a movie
before but I can hardly remember it as being this intense.
I mean, my heart grieved.
A film that causes you to self-analyse....
How dangerous is that?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: mouk on November 29, 2007, 12:36:20 PM
I can't help but feel that it is a disservice to the masterpiece that
is the film, to need to read the story to re-interpret the film maker's
intentions. And, of course, vice versa when reading the story.

Oh Rosewood I did not mean that the story has to be read in order to re-interpret the film. The film is perfect as it is IMO.  As you say, they are distinct entities. Each is a masterpiece. What I meant is that reading the story has slightly changed my own interpretation of the film especially as regards the DE. When I discovered the DE as described in the SS this additional stab was such a shock that I can never see that scene without thinking of it. If Ang Lee had wanted to show it that way he would have found a way to do it. His intention was different, which is fine. 

Quote
And you're perfectly right about how it affects us.
We do seem to become Jack or Ennis. Why is that?
I am a straight woman of a 'certain' age and yet I identified
with both these boys in certain ways from the very beginning,
and in truth, I did, for awhile find myself missing Jack from Ennis's
emotional point of view. (Maybe that just speaks to the human
in me and not the 'woman'.)

Although BBM, film and SS, carries a very specific and important message about the devastating effects of homophobia, the feelings of love, loss, disappointment, longing, uncertainty, guilt, despair etc experienced by the boys are universal and can be understood by any human being who has experienced similar feelings, be it in very different circumstances.  A human heart is a human heart after all, no matter the shape of the body around it.

If homophobia did not exist, their love story would just have been a simple, normal love story between two human beings. Who knows, perhaps their connexion would have been less unique and their love less strong if they had not felt so 'different' and isolated??? But this belongs to the relationship thread.   
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Rosewood on November 29, 2007, 02:03:17 PM
I can't help but feel that it is a disservice to the masterpiece that
is the film, to need to read the story to re-interpret the film maker's
intentions. And, of course, vice versa when reading the story.

Oh Rosewood I did not mean that the story has to be read in order to re-interpret the film. The film is perfect as it is IMO.  As you say, they are distinct entities. Each is a masterpiece. What I meant is that reading the story has slightly changed my own interpretation of the film especially as regards the DE. When I discovered the DE as described in the SS this additional stab was such a shock that I can never see that scene without thinking of it. If Ang Lee had wanted to show it that way he would have found a way to do it. His intention was different, which is fine. 

Quote
And you're perfectly right about how it affects us.
We do seem to become Jack or Ennis. Why is that?
I am a straight woman of a 'certain' age and yet I identified
with both these boys in certain ways from the very beginning,
and in truth, I did, for awhile find myself missing Jack from Ennis's
emotional point of view. (Maybe that just speaks to the human
in me and not the 'woman'.)

Although BBM, film and SS, carries a very specific and important message about the devastating effects of homophobia, the feelings of love, loss, disappointment, longing, uncertainty, guilt, despair etc experienced by the boys are universal and can be understood by any human being who has experienced similar feelings, be it in very different circumstances.  A human heart is a human heart after all, no matter the shape of the body around it.

If homophobia did not exist, their love story would just have been a simple, normal love story between two human beings. Who knows, perhaps their connexion would have been less unique and their love less strong if they had not felt so 'different' and isolated??? But this belongs to the relationship thread.   

No, I understood that, mouk.
I think I was merely saying that SOME people might feel the NEED to re-interpret in
light of having read the story afterwards. Your reinterpretation is more of an 'aha!' moment.
Perfectly understandable when comparing film and written word. The short story served to give
you an ADDED DEPTH of understanding. I don't see any problem with that at all.
And you DO recognize that Ang Lee's intention WAS slightly different.
He could have done a voice over if he'd wanted to be specific about the moment.
In fact, a voice over moment by JG might have worked very finely.

Yes, love and loss is universal.
Hence my reluctance to call BBM a 'gay cowboy' film.
When it is obviously so much more.
If only labels could be done away with. ;)

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Oregondoggie on November 29, 2007, 02:43:48 PM
Short story and movie sure peeled my gayboy apples...  And yes, as Mouk writes, love and loss graze in every heart.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on November 29, 2007, 05:39:59 PM
Although I saw the film first, and read the story a week or two later, I "see" the SS pair in a quite distinct way, not like Heath and Jake at all. Although film and SS differ slightly, I feel as though the film is the real life view of two people, i.e. what you see as an outsider, albeit a very privileged outsider, and the SS is the hidden truth, the intellectual explanation for what is seen. A bit like reading a biography and getting the inside running on someone. Not that the film doesn't give you that as well, but the film is emotional rather than intellectual.

As for the locations - Lightning Flat and the cemetery are almost holy shrines. If AP has never been there, she certainly knows someone who has, and who took lots of photos, because they are exactly as described. You can understand how Ennis drove by those abandoned ranches and began to realise how far away from prying eyes the place was, how realistic Jack's plans had been. And that lonely house on the border, without even the scrubby trees of the film. And the huge sadness of the northern plains, And .....

For me, film, story and  reality blend so perfectly together that the very minor differences don't bother me at all. They are all just the one thing viewed through slightly different angles of a prism.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on November 29, 2007, 09:12:45 PM
I wonder how much more powerful for us to have seen the 'blank-eyed' houses in the weeds, as Ennis saw them-or to have him look back at that one road out. It may have seemed to heavy-handed to Ang Lee, but  I think it would have brought home the point a wee bit more-that Ennis was really 'seeing' his one true love for the first time.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on November 29, 2007, 09:17:59 PM
It might have been a good idea to include the odd blank-eyed house but, as with the deleted visit to the graveyard, I wonder if it might have been too much at a critical point. As it is, there are the bare essentials, and they are rip-your-heart-out stuff that's still almost too much to take in at such an agonising point.

For me, all rational thinking had fled by the time we reached this scene. It was all pure emotion, and still is.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on January 04, 2008, 05:51:28 AM
Watched our film again last night on an HBO station. Enjoyed it, but still not as moved by it. The Book still just 'knocks' me good.......not sure why. And to be honest here, last night was the 1st time I could really relax and enjoy the whole Film. I'm almost to the point of saying Jake's performance outshines Heath's..........seriously, I still think Jake was way, way underappreciated in that role, and his screen time and dialogue was equal to Heath's, IMHO........you understand?  ::)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 04, 2008, 07:45:20 PM
As far as I'm concerned they were both brilliant. Comparisons become meaningless. They played off each other superbly.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wintersweet on January 04, 2008, 08:10:13 PM
I also think Jake G. was underappreciated in the film somehow, the role of Jack was not easy to play at all. It needed to show a lot of different emotions, yet with some restraint.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on January 04, 2008, 09:17:24 PM
I also think Jake G. was underappreciated in the film somehow, the role of Jack was not easy to play at all. It needed to show a lot of different emotions, yet with some restraint.
Thank you wintersweet, why do I feel 'validated' now? Huh?  ??? I admit, there probably are not two other actors in the business who could have pulled off such an amazing performance as a couple on-screen.......soooo realistic...........
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: wintersweet on January 05, 2008, 11:26:56 AM
Yes, I agree, Flyboy, it's the best chemistry between two actors we could ever see.
However, the flavor? was changed somehow in Ang Lee's hands, he made the film into a more sophisticated romantic love story, short of rough western rawness. The more I read the OS, the more I'd like to see a film giving the OS's raw, unsentimental feelings between two ordinary undereducated western guys (they were not really cowboys) with a very tough background, in which the characters were molded. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on January 05, 2008, 12:05:27 PM
You and me both Wintersweet, I had read the short story long before they started filming. So, I admit, I was biased watching the Film. But, much like you, I expected some rough-looking ranch hands, not the cowboys, and gorgeous boys we saw on screen. The J & E admirers in here will probably knock me around again............LOL.... ;D ::)....getting used to it now!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on January 06, 2008, 04:16:46 AM
I hope this is the best thread for this …

Someone mentioned something to me about the shame/fear balance being different in the film and book, and I think it’s helped clarify some things for me, as well as explaining why, if I had to choose, it would be the book over the film.

The book gives us lots of signs of Ennis’s shame (or homophobia, or self-hate, or whatever you want to call it – the feeling that what he and Jack have is wrong).   The climax is when Ennis finds the shirts.   He realises that Jack loved him from the start, and recognises that they were meant to be together, two in one.   At the same time he remembers the punch – the moment when he set them apart.   The punch is removed from the film version.   So instead of Ennis’s guilt, we only really get Ennis’s regret.

Before he goes for the shirts, Ennis thinks about Jack’s childhood experience, and I believe he then starts to understand that he wouldn’t accept Jack (and his sexuality) – wouldn’t let Jack get it right with him.   That’s left out of the film.

Before that, Jack remembers the dozy embrace, and goes on to think of Ennis’s lack of acceptance.   It looks as if Ennis could accept Jack on Brokeback before he suspected he was gay, but couldn’t afterwards – it’s made clear the dozy embrace was a one-off, the only time they were both truly happy, and that this could only happen before Ennis started thinking about their sexuality.   None of that is made clear in the film – we just have a flashback to a tender time.   We don’t see Ennis’s avoidance and don’t get Jack’s thoughts about what it meant.

Before that, there’s the ‘Mexico’ argument.   In the book, I think it’s clear that it’s a continuation of the reunion discussion, when Ennis denied his sexuality and Jack lied and denied his.   We’re told that Ennis has always known Jack is gay (‘no news’) and it turns out that this is what has come between them.   As with the punch, Ennis makes it clear which ‘side’ each of them are on – he sets Jack apart again.   In the film, the reunion conversation has been removed, and although you could take the argument to be a continuation of the ‘queer’ conversation on the mountainside, it’s not nearly as clear.    Again, Ennis’s homophobia is played down, and many viewers have taken this scene to be about jealousy.

And the reunion – the scene Annie Proulx fought for and lost – is changed massively.  Some of the conversation is just moved around, but some is lost completely –  for instance, the KE conversation (which relates to the punch, which was changed in the film), Ennis’s admission about his denial on Brokeback (we don't see the same denial on Brokeback in the film - Ennis is more aware and more conflicted from the beginning), his confession of love, and his rationale about his own sexuality, and Jack’s lie (crucial to the 'Mexico' scene).   These are all lines which are important in the development of Ennis’s shame – the thing that keeps them apart. 

I could go on, but the more I look at it, the more Ennis’s shame and homophobia have been played down in the film.   The fear is still there (we still have the Earl story, although again, it’s played down), but with the change in balance it looks as if it was Ennis’s fear which kept them apart, not his shame.   His regret at the end is not that he couldn’t accept Jack, but that he didn’t have the courage to be with him – a different thing. 

However, flung into this is Heath Ledger’s performance.  I don’t know how much of that is Heath, and how much of it is Ang Lee, but I do think Heath starts to tip the balance back again.   He shows self-hating, conflicted Ennis through his body language rather than through the script, leading some people to say that film Ennis is much more homophobic than book Ennis.    No wonder Annie Proulx singled out his performance for special praise.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on January 06, 2008, 06:37:56 AM
Excellent post, des. Yes, it's odd how film Ennis is often said to be more homophobic. It's because we can see it up there on the screen, whereas in the story it is hidden from us as it is hidden from Jack.

Heath described Ennis as being "disgusted by the way he loved" and he carries this feeling onto the screen. In the story we only really get the idea when the Mexico question comes up, although there is also the reference to "them guys" in the motel. However, in the motel he doesn't seem to connect "them guys" with himself or Jack, whereas in the argument Jack is definitely on the other side from Ennis, hence one a them guys.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on January 06, 2008, 09:15:10 AM
..and AP herself called Ennis, 'self-loathing'. So H definitely took some cues from her in his acting; and I recall a radio interview, where he specifically called the Dozy Embrace, something that 'never happened again', so that has to validate what the author and filmmakers agreed upon as a very critical component, and that backs up Desecra's statement that it was a one-off. So you have to ask why it happened on BBM,. but not after.
The film is indeed a wonderful stand-alone; but I believe both are needed to fully round out the characters, for me, anyway.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on January 06, 2008, 09:53:03 AM
Yes it's a slow reveal in the story - what we know about who Ennis is and how he functions is massively different by the end of the story.   I suppose that's why I felt the need to work backwards in my post, rather than forwards.  In the film, there aren't these big revelations, and Ennis doesn't change so much - he starts off more withdrawn, conflicted, fearful, etc. than book Ennis, and continues that way - the mumblings, the mouth contortions, the avoidance of eye contact, etc. 

I still remember the shock of reading that DE passage in the book - it changes everything.   In the film, it's not such a shock - but then it doesn't have the same meaning.

Yes, in the book, at least, the reason why there's a DE on Brokeback but not later is the key to the whole story, I think.   Not so in the film, I'm beginning to understand.   We don't even know if it's a one off, and we don't know what it means.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on January 06, 2008, 10:46:27 AM
You and me both Wintersweet, I had read the short story long before they started filming. So, I admit, I was biased watching the Film. But, much like you, I expected some rough-looking ranch hands, not the cowboys, and gorgeous boys we saw on screen. The J & E admirers in here will probably knock me around again............LOL.... ;D ::)....getting used to it now!
Wouldn't it be wonderful to see the SS filmed in pure form, ie, without the Hollywood trappings? I love J and H, but frankly, I too read the SS right before, and found myself a bit flummoxed over the Jake casting-until I saw the acting. But always felt Heath was closer to the true Ennis, physically. I love that one pic that supposedly inspired AP for Ennis; not sure how handy it is to pull in here at this point, but you can see a kind of similiarity between that actual cowboy and the look that Heath brings to Ennis Del Mar.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: KZ on February 03, 2008, 09:24:46 PM
I finally read Proulx's story--a raw, bare-boned piece--and it made me wonder . . . would the movie have had less impact if the actors had been, in terms of looks, more in keeping with the original characters?  The author's Jack seemed far less physically appealing than JG.  Ennis, too, was likely meant to be less alluring than HL.  So, do you think a couple of plain or downright homely actors would have been able to pull it off?  Or are we movie viewers so accustomed to "Hollywood pretty" that we wouldn't have embraced the story, and the characters, quite so much if they'd been unattractive?   
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on February 04, 2008, 11:24:45 AM
KZ, there has been a lot of speculation on this --

1)  I read the story first, and to me the characters were so real and the story still had the same gut punch.  I couldn't sleep after reading it, and I read it repeatedly until I finally had the nerve to drag myself to the movies.


2)  Speculation on whether the actors were chosen to help make the movie more appealing:  possibly.  Your question about whether actors who weren't as beautiful as Heath and Jake could have pulled it off--

actually, most people wondered whether actors AS beautiful as Heath and Jake could pull it off.  Many people despaired of any hope the movie could be a serious portrayal, with those two actors. 

We were lucky they were both so good in their roles.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Marcos on February 06, 2008, 04:08:06 PM
KZ, there has been a lot of speculation on this --

1)  I read the story first, and to me the characters were so real and the story still had the same gut punch.  I couldn't sleep after reading it, and I read it repeatedly until I finally had the nerve to drag myself to the movies.


2)  Speculation on whether the actors were chosen to help make the movie more appealing:  possibly.  Your question about whether actors who weren't as beautiful as Heath and Jake could have pulled it off--

actually, most people wondered whether actors AS beautiful as Heath and Jake could pull it off.  Many people despaired of any hope the movie could be a serious portrayal, with those two actors. 

We were lucky they were both so good in their roles.
i think a huge amount of people who watched the movie wouldn´t ever do it if ennis and jack appeared something less attractive than jake  and heath...motion pictures are bound to entertain and seduce all kinds of people,that´s how things go in this business and apparently it is not going to change any sooner so if some holywood hotshots decided to put two lava-hot young promissing actors to perform low-life,plain looking guys from "deep america",so be it! I´m from Brazil,totally diferent zip-code,a whole different background and reality but i must tell you,that made no difference to me,anyway.I loved the book and a book is always a book...Annie proulx piece is soperb but was Ang Lee the one who set our souls on fire...Kisses
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Romeo164 on February 19, 2008, 02:32:49 AM
These back and forth posts are truly exceptional. They are very articulate. I've been going back and forth on which medium the storyline works better. Just when I thought I came to a conclusion, some posts here change my mind...again. I read to the short story first, when it first came out, in a rural community library, and was moved by it, but never thought the story had a real chance of being told outside the more intellectual circle. The film ito me in many ways is more of a continuation of the story. Everytime I go on a road trip, I usually carry the book with me to read and would try to read it after I watch the film again. Hard to decide really.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on February 19, 2008, 03:33:23 AM
It's okay, romeo! The best thing is that we don't have to decide. I think they are both exceptionally brilliant in their own way.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on February 26, 2008, 11:22:01 AM
Romeo, I agree, both were exceptional pieces of work. Each in their own way caused the audiences to react, and every reading or viewing seems to elict new thoughts and reactions..........at least for me.............
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BookJunkie on March 05, 2008, 12:22:51 AM
Difficult one - I think they were both wonderful, but I think I would have to go for the film, which I have watched many many times.  The book I have read about three times.  I think if someone said that I could only ever read the book or watch the movie in the future, I would have to choose the movie.  Heath and Jake looked nothing like the way I had imagined Ennis and Jack when reading the story, but my goodness, they certainly made those parts their own.  Heath is Ennis and Jake is Jack.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Marz on March 05, 2008, 06:44:16 AM
i love both but if i had to choose i would choose the film because i think heath and jake got there characters spot on and they literally bring the story to life and i really couldn't see anyone else in either of the roles
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on March 07, 2008, 02:43:25 PM
Hi Marz, for me it was the Book............the film performances and chemistry between the actors was unmatched for this material and screenplay, hats off to all the actors and crew.The written word always affects me much more than a performance, film or stage. Annie was able to convey sooo much with so few words, amazing writing..........I expected to be gut-punched, and just a wreck upon the first viewing of the film, but no, so I went back 2 more times, nothing. Yet I can pick up the Book, and it moves me every time; I always find some new nuance or phrase I missed before..........Jonn
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on March 08, 2008, 12:25:17 AM
It's still the book which is staying with me too.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Oregondoggie on March 08, 2008, 12:53:13 AM
This mountain that is the book looms larger and larger the further time passes.  New film versions with different nuances will come along down the years.  Perhaps a stage play as has happened in The Netherlands.  Like a great concerto, Brokeback Mountain will find new conductors and different orchestras.  The score is there... waiting. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Marz on March 09, 2008, 09:15:36 AM
Hi Marz, for me it was the Book............the film performances and chemistry between the actors was unmatched for this material and screenplay, hats off to all the actors and crew.The written word always affects me much more than a performance, film or stage. Annie was able to convey sooo much with so few words, amazing writing..........I expected to be gut-punched, and just a wreck upon the first viewing of the film, but no, so I went back 2 more times, nothing. Yet I can pick up the Book, and it moves me every time; I always find some new nuance or phrase I missed before..........Jonn

Im not really a very good reader so its easier for me to watch the film and also i love seeing the chemistry between heath and jake which obviously you don't get in the book
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on March 09, 2008, 09:26:34 AM
Actually, Marz, the characters of Ennis and Jack seem VERY real in the book.  No they don't look like Heath and Jake but it doesn't seem to matter, because we inhabit their inner thoughts and passions.

That doesn't mean you have to suddenly become a reader of difficult stuff -- many people find the prose of BBM very sparse and even unsatisfying.

NOT me.  Like others, I am finding even now that when I re-visit that powerful language of Annie Proulx, the power of the story rushes over me again.  Her words will endure
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on March 09, 2008, 11:08:53 PM
This mountain that is the book looms larger and larger the further time passes.  New film versions with different nuances will come along down the years.  Perhaps a stage play as has happened in The Netherlands.  Like a great concerto, Brokeback Mountain will find new conductors and different orchestras.  The score is there... waiting. 

Much as I love the book, I'm inclined to think the film will influence any future incarnations of the story, simply because it was more easily accessible emotionally than the SS.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Oregondoggie on March 09, 2008, 11:53:17 PM
Certainly agree that the film will influence future incarnations of the story.  As to which was more "easily accessible emotionally"... I would say that is a subjective opinion lying in the heart of each individual. 

Asking which was better is like asking whether the land is better than the ocean.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on March 10, 2008, 04:02:36 AM
Far enough. I was just making wild assumptions about movie audiences as opposed to book readers. However, it's probably not coincidental that sites like this one sprang up after the film rather than after the story.

BTW I love the SS as much as the film, and find its emotional impact equally overwhelming, but you have to work more when reading the story whereas the film just lays it all out for you, at least initially. Then the lifetime of analysis begins  :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Dal on March 10, 2008, 12:57:22 PM
~you have to work more when reading the story whereas the film just lays it all out for you, at least initially. Then the lifetime of analysis begins  :)
i know it has that effect on some people!!

(http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f104/vcdrtPH/psych1.jpg)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on March 10, 2008, 02:47:34 PM
DAL!!! hahaha..... ;D ;D.......thanks for the laugh... :)!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kula on March 27, 2008, 11:34:06 AM
Apologize in advance if this is in the wrong forum.  But this deal won't last long.

BbM Story to Screenplay Book for $0.01 at Bestbuy.com!!!

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7761219&productCategoryId=cat02049&type=product&id=1532479

That is all.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on March 27, 2008, 01:45:56 PM
Kula, haha........thanks for that post. can it be real?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Marz on March 27, 2008, 02:50:18 PM
doubt it
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kula on March 28, 2008, 09:39:45 PM
Kula, haha........thanks for that post. can it be real?
Yes it was real.  These were the books that Best Buy was giving away to customers free with purchase of the DVD back when it was just released.  It was a promotional item of which they had plenty of left over, so they were just clearing their inventory.

SOLD OUT!

Oh well.  :-\
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on March 31, 2008, 11:03:05 AM
Thanks Kula, who knew? Another way to clear out the storage room space, and avoid just trashing the merchandise...........
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: shakestheground on April 01, 2008, 02:48:16 PM
I was wondering if some one could tell me, is this a true story?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Zudos on April 01, 2008, 03:11:29 PM
I was wondering if some one could tell me, is this a true story?

Its fiction KM. BUt the most potent and movin fiction of all time :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on April 01, 2008, 10:34:11 PM
It's fiction, but Annie said herself she got the idea of Ennis's character from hanging out in a Cowboy bar, somewhere in Wyoming, Montana, can't remember now, but her story fit many a cowboy or sheepherder in those areas...........the Book still moves me way more than the film, just the way it is for me, the written word is always my choice over film.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BookJunkie on April 09, 2008, 08:50:39 AM
Both are wonderful and there's very few instances where I prefer a film to the a book.  However, this is indeed one of those instances.  While I love the short story, the film really moved something in me, and is my favourite of the two.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Marz on April 09, 2008, 02:34:20 PM
me too bookJunkie
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on July 07, 2008, 10:58:14 AM
In spite of being extremely moved by some passages in the book - as someone (Dave Cullen?) said, 'God, that woman can write!'- I have to say that the film has been the more overwhelming experience for me, though I've discovered more and more in both on repeated viewings/readings.

My only real criticism of the film, and I know this will have been said a hundred times before but I've got to get it off my chest, is that I think it's an artistic failure that Ang didn't show more of the time they had together after the SNIT, which must surely have been several weeks at least.  The lovemaking - and I can't believe that it was just sex - is so all-important to the rest of the film, and we need to see a little more of it.  Someone mentioned that the SNIT is a replacement for that, but that was only the beginning of their new relationship. I know that however much there was of it, we - and J and E - would still be heartbroken at the sudden curtailment of it by Aguirre, but at least I wouldn't have quite this sense of frustration.

And although the SNIT is a major divergence from the book, this later period is covered by both, and is so amazingly described in the book - the 'Let it happen.... flying in the euphoric, bitter air...' section.  Sorry, Ang, I do think this is a fault in your brilliant directing.

But overall, it's the film that has really invaded my consciousness.  I wonder how long it will last - it can't stay at this level for much longer!  Anyway I know that it will always be important to me.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on July 07, 2008, 12:16:52 PM
<looks at watch>

about 2 1/2 years and counting...

welcome Cally!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on July 07, 2008, 12:29:19 PM
Hi!  But what about the rest of my life?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on July 07, 2008, 12:37:50 PM
ahem --

see "how the Dave Cullen Forum affected me"

"How Brokeback Affected me"

"Friends and others' reactions to Brokeback" (clue:  usually they don't get it)

 ;D

But now you have US. 

Actually, I was exaggerating.  In about one year (more or less) you will come out of your Brokeback cocoon with new butterfly wings.  You will probably never be the same as before, but you will be okay with that. 

So just relax and enjoy it.  :D

ETA:  Site Map here:  http://davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=8878.msg236697#msg236697
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on July 08, 2008, 06:01:48 PM
Cally, although I would also have loved to see more of them together, I think Ang and Larry and Diana chose wisely in leaving us with that longing. It fits perfectly with the line in the story about time flying - never enough time, never enough. The weeks they spent together during "that distant summer" were so little when compared to the years of lonely waiting, and then the months and months apart. The happiness we derive from the film is as fleeting as their own happiness together.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on July 08, 2008, 11:48:21 PM
Yes, I'm one who has lamented the lack of more time together and sex in the film too.   But it's missing from the book as well.   The biggest part of the their time together in the book is the part before the FNIT, if I'm remembering right.    We're told that the sex goes on after the FNIT and what it's like and about their feelings at the time, but then it's glossed over - we don't see any more 'courtship'.   There are no more 'scenes'.  I'd have liked to have seen more in the film, but I suppose if extra scenes weren't needed in the book, then they weren't needed in the film either (apart from the SNIT, so that people could see they were in love).

Then the book is even more sparse than the film, I think.   We only see them together at the reunion and at the last meeting. 

So we probably get more sex and more time together in the film.   I have come to agree that the lack of time helps to show us how deprived they were.... I wanted to see the 'brilliant spark' at the last meeting, but then I think that last campfire scene is beautifully done and I think I understand why the sex was left out.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on July 09, 2008, 01:32:47 PM
Yes, Desecra and Mini (hope I'm not getting familiar too quickly, but it's a long name), but, but, but....

They did have several weeks together after the F and SNIT, at least I assume so, and although we do get the sense of their closeness at that time, we don't get the 'in the full daylight...at evening in the fire glow' etc, and it seems so unbalanced compared with the wonderful slow build-up to their first sexual encounter.  Even the SNIT is cruelly cut  - in mid-final cadence of the music - to the few seconds' playing in the sunlight before Aguirre's binoculars are harshly intruded into the scene (and in the book this was described as 'watched them .. one day', so no need to have it immediately following on). And the contraction in the film of this period of their sexual lives, in the book brilliantly conveyed by 'flying in the euphoric' etc, is contrasted with the time given to the portrayal of their marriages. I know that of course it was the major section of their lives, but again in the book there is a far lower proportion given to this.  And while during the rest of the film it is 'never enough time', they did at least have this brief period together.

So I do see this as a fault in the film, and hard to accept.

But you have to remember that all these emotions are very new to me, and I realise I'll have to come to terms with them.  Hope this all makes sense.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on July 09, 2008, 01:43:38 PM
Yes, Desecra and Mini (hope I'm not getting familiar too quickly, but it's a long name), but, but, but....

They did have several weeks together after the F and SNIT, at least I assume so, and although we do get the sense of their closeness at that time, we don't get the 'in the full daylight...at evening in the fire glow' etc, and it seems so unbalanced compared with the wonderful slow build-up to their first sexual encounter.  Even the SNIT is cruelly cut  - in mid-final cadence of the music - to the few seconds' playing in the sunlight before Aguirre's binoculars are harshly intruded into the scene (and in the book this was described as 'watched them .. one day', so no need to have it immediately following on). And the contraction in the film of this period of their sexual lives, in the book brilliantly conveyed by 'flying in the euphoric' etc, is contrasted with the time given to the portrayal of their marriages. I know that of course it was the major section of their lives, but again in the book there is a far lower proportion given to this.  And while during the rest of the film it is 'never enough time', they did at least have this brief period together.

So I do see this as a fault in the film, and hard to accept.

But you have to remember that all these emotions are very new to me, and I realise I'll have to come to terms with them.  Hope this all makes sense.


I actually yearn more for the brilliant spark -- and I still cannot see what harm it would have done to include even a little hint of that. 

Ang is brilliant beyond belief, practically, but even he does not know everything about how the finished product will strike people (don't tar and feather me --)

oh well, after all he was making a film, not writing the story.  And as Annie herself had to accept -- it is different.  So it may be that Desecra/mini are correct about the exacting brilliance of the sex scene decisions--

and OMG how we all obsessed over the Tent scenes and the Reunion kiss -- because they WERE so dramatic.  :D (and rare)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on July 09, 2008, 02:32:44 PM
I do know what you mean Cally.  It's frustrating that some parts of the short story were expanded on and new parts where added, but some parts seem to be minimised or even missed out altogether.   I can see why it was done that way, I think, but I would have liked to see more too.

I hadn't thought so much about the rarity of the scenes making them more striking, Tellyouwhat - that's a good point.   
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on July 12, 2008, 07:31:47 PM
I recall something, I think Ang or AP said, that they were deprived of so much,due to the homosexuality taboo, so we had to share in that deprivation, to understand it, or something like that. I mean, its almost hard to imagine, for me, and not a little scary, a serious love partner spending most of their time away from me. And I think we feel gypped by not witnessing, first hand, what they got gypped of experiencing ENOUGH of, first-hand. Ya know?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on July 12, 2008, 09:16:52 PM
There are plenty of brokies who never watch the film after the reunion, or even after the mountain scenes, because it's too upsetting. The frustration of those seemingly endless scenes of them living their "separate and difficult lives" is really heartbreaking. Much as I'd like more happy times, especially on the mountain, ultimately the film has to hurt and frustrate us in the way that it does. Therein lies so much of its power.

The mountain time was such a short space of time that we shouldn't have too much of it to cling to for solace. All they had were those few precious memories to sustain them.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on July 14, 2008, 07:07:25 AM
Quote

Insert Quote
There are plenty of brokies who never watch the film after the reunion, or even after the mountain scenes, because it's too upsetting. The frustration of those seemingly endless scenes of them living their "separate and difficult lives" is really heartbreaking. Much as I'd like more happy times, especially on the mountain, ultimately the film has to hurt and frustrate us in the way that it does. Therein lies so much of its power.

The mountain time was such a short space of time that we shouldn't have too much of it to cling to for solace. All they had were those few precious memories to sustain them.

I have a tendency to try to over-protect myself from emotional distress, particullarly when it's fiction and I don't *need* to suffer from it.  I know that this is probably immature of me, but there it is.  So yes, I have to have my mini-film with the happy ending ending at the SNIT (even the rest of the time on the mountain is starting to get precariously near Aguirre's death-sentence!).

But that doesn't mean I can never cope with or be uplifted by tragedy or ultimately be inspired by it, and as you say, the heartbreak and the if-onlies are the power of the film (and, slightly differently, the short story,), and one's retrospective perception of the BB idyll is enriched by this.

IMO, there's a big difference between a work that's depressing and leaves you feeling low, and a tragedy which is somehow life-enhancing - that's the catharsis, I suppose.  And so when I'm feeling strong I can watch the rest of the film.  I'm grateful too for recent posts which have made me realise that there are more positive aspects in the ending  (and prologue). On the whole I can be slightly more detached from the SS - it touches me deeply in parts, but the visual impact of the film is, to me, more devastating.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on July 14, 2008, 08:49:39 AM
I was thinking about this -- I know in all the times I went to the theater, I asked myself, do you think it will end differently?  But I never thought of leaving the theater early, in fact, it was the stretch of time after they left the mountain, leading up to the Reunion, that was the hardest to get through.  By the time Ennis gets that post card, the audience is dying for "some sign of life."  I think that was a brilliant device of the screenwriters and Ang Lee -- we have some knowledge of Jack, and some knowledge of Ennis, but they have no knowledge of each other until the postcard, and then the Reunion.

It is the release of joy we feel at the Reunion that keeps us going in the rest of the film -- wanting the depiction of their "separate and difficult lives" to take us back to the brilliant spark, which for me is why it's so devastating that we see scenes of them in small tiffs, but I also understand that is the filmmaker's way of leading up to the final confrontation, because there must have been some tension.

I still would have liked to see Ennis merely reach for Jack, after he says "sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it."  That part in the story is so satisfying, because it gives us that reward we have been waiting for throughout the story, a sort of "mini-reunion."  Just if he had reached for Jack to bring him closer in that moment, would have added so much to the experience of the film, IMO.

But of course what kept me there to the end every time (in theater visits) was to plumb every bit of emotion out of the on-going story of Ennis, the shirts, what does Ennis experience in Jack's childhood bedroom -- experience that with him, a little differently or deeper each time.

and the redemption of Alma Jr's visit at the end, when we clearly know Ennis is thinking of Jack.  This scene admirably fulfills the function of the prologue -- which can never be depicted on film because it is all internal thoughts -- but it shows us that Jack lives on in Ennis's thoughts every day, and the image of the shirts confirms our knowledge that this is true.

brilliant
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on July 14, 2008, 08:55:40 AM
Quote
I still would have liked to see Ennis merely reach for Jack, after he says "sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it."  That part in the story is so satisfying, because it gives us that reward we have been waiting for throughout the story, a sort of "mini-reunion."  Just if he had reached for Jack to bring him closer in that moment, would have added so much to the experience of the film, IMO.

Oh, yes - all of that.  I love 'Pulled him close,' 'slid his cold hand', 'undoing buttons.'

Sigh.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on July 19, 2008, 12:06:21 PM
Ellen,
I don't want to scare you, ;D but you and I think alot alike about the structure of the film and the way we are pulled to the denoument.

I too want just a tich more, and I always thought, even showing ennis get up from his camp chair, and then cut to the next scene, would've been more emotionally satisfying. To know that Jack had immediate impact on Ennis's emotions. sigh.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: morrobay on August 05, 2008, 02:00:04 PM
Don't know if this has been brought up before, I'm kinda new.  But I just noticed that there are no opening credits for the actors, producer, directer, etc, etc.  It's usually 3-5 minutes of print on screen and it's so annoying.  Even if you try not to read it, it's hard to concentrate on the scene under the credits.

It's amazing that a movie of this magnitude, with all the outstanding work from all involved, and they didn't insist on having their names plastered all over the opening.

Bravo.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on August 05, 2008, 06:29:11 PM
FWIW The Dark Knight doesn't even have a title at the start. Everything comes at the end. I love the stark beginning to BBM. We just have the title at the start and then again at the end, very in keeping with the story's circular feel. Also, note how there is no music over the title, just the sound of the wind.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Orleanas on August 15, 2008, 01:54:35 PM
Because they seem to enahance and/or complement each other so well, I'm of the mind that they are equal to each other. They each seem to fill the gaps that the other hasn't filled in, but in the end, the impact is the same. I read the short story for the open and intimate touches not presented in the film (ie. the reunion--so passionate a kiss that they drew blood, their truthfulness in the motel, Ennis reaching for Jack and "undoing buttons"). I watch the film for the splendor of the spaces they escape to, the hints, looks and actions that indicate their feelings for each other (ie. the tender head butting at end of reunion kiss, Jack smiling when Ennis opens up, Jack smiling broadly when Ennis shows up, though late, to one of their rendezvous, SNIT), and of course, the soundtrack of the film. Sometimes I merge both versions to fully satisfy me, though the ending in both is just as tragic. All in all, both are masterpieces.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Always on September 17, 2008, 12:37:07 PM
 2:53 PM - ’Brokeback’ author says says film is source of ’constant irritation’

By Arifa Akbar, Arts Correspondent
Wednesday, 17 September 2008

excerpt

It was an Oscar-winning film lauded for its sensitive portrayal of two lovelorn cowboys and their illicit passion in America's homophobic Midwest. But despite the success of Brokeback Mountain, starring the late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, the author on whose story it was based has complained that the tale has become "the source of constant irritation in my private life".

Annie Proulx, 73, the Pulitzer prize-winning author whose short story was made into the Hollywood film in 2005, said she had been pestered ever since by "pornish" mail sent by fans offering their interpretations of the story.

When the story was published in 1999, it was praised for its delicate handling of homophobia in the ranching country of Wyoming. But her fans feel she could have gone further in her descriptions of the love shared by the two central characters.

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Always on September 21, 2008, 05:23:08 AM
David Lister: Stop whingeing about your fans, Annie
Saturday, 20 September 2008

excerpt

Brokeback Mountain is not a film crying out for a sequel. When one of the characters has died on screen, and the actor playing the other has died in real life, then it's best to leave well alone. So it does seem odd that Annie Proulx, the author of the story on which the film was based, should be saying that she has been bombarded with ideas from people wanting to change her story. That she says the ideas are "pornish" is perhaps not so odd. The bombardment has, of course, not happened just as a result of the story published in 1999, but because of the 2005 movie, and that is why I mention the film (starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger). It is the film rather than the original story which has inspired numerous fans to tell Ms Proulx how the pornish quotient could be increased.

...snip...

So what sort of story ideas, pornish and otherwise, have they been sending to Annie Proulx? The new Brokeback Mountain stories on fan sites seem to range from the almost poetic "With their eyes closed, they shared an intimate moment of united longing, pain and beauty that would take a place in eternity" to the far from poetic "Your eyes are like the stars. Your touch is like the sun" to the downright opaque "They painted beautiful, plunged creative. The kingfisher, silent, did not remove his belt".

And there's the one that seems to be sponsored by a clothing manufacturer: "Everything about Jack and his jeans disturbed and tormented Ennis that summer of '63 until all he could think of or see was blue."

One fan, whose own take on Proulx's short story runs to a mere 23 chapters, sums up his opus thus: "Ennis learns that Jack is still alive from Lureen. Finds him in a hovel off the banks of Rio Brave del Norte. He learns on his way that Jack was left blind." Ah. Looks as if there could be a sequel after all.

I suppose it's easy to be either amused or, if you are Annie Proulx, annoyed by Brokeback fans trying to "fix" her story. Whether she was more annoyed by the pornish elements or by the fact that they were trying to "fix" the story at all, it's hard to know. I suspect it was the fixing as much as the porn that offended her. But I think it is wrong to mock or berate the fixers.


http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/columnists/david-lister/david-lister-stop-whingeing-about-your-fans-annie-936189.html
   
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on September 21, 2008, 06:32:56 AM
Always -- the above are interesting articles --

Just fyi, long passages should not be reproduced here, better to link to the original article.

Further discussion about Annie Proulx's recent WSJ interview should be moved to the Annie Proulx thread or to the Slash discussion.

thx
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: morrobay on September 29, 2008, 05:23:31 PM
Hated the SS
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on September 29, 2008, 05:49:38 PM
It's not everyone's cup of tea, crazylove.

IMO it is a masterpiece, and every time I return to it I am amazed again.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: morrobay on September 29, 2008, 05:54:13 PM
Copy that
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on September 30, 2008, 12:04:49 AM
crazylove, what about the SS did you hate? Anything in particular? Its harshness? Its brevity? The way the characters differed from the film? I'd be interested to know.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: morrobay on September 30, 2008, 08:16:56 AM
Good morning (or evening) Lady Marian,

I read it after seeing the movie, so that probably explains a lot.  After seeing how Heath (Ang, et al) interpreted Ennis's character, the ss was too raw for me.  Ennis certainly had no problem expressing his feelings in the ss, especially in the motel.  Yet in the movie, he could barely force words out.  I really absolutely hate the motel room scene in the ss.  Could the movie have been any more different??   I wasn't prepared.
There's a lot more, but suffice it to say I liked the movie better.  Love the movie.  And I adore this forum, I learn so much.


loony moggie   :)

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on September 30, 2008, 06:01:33 PM
Hi moggie

I saw the film first, having no idea of the story beyond the "meet one summer, part then reunite" outline. I read the story a couple of weeks later and was floored. It hit me all over again, although without the immediate emotional response which the film caused. It took until maybe my third reading before I came out of my shock enough to start crying over the story. Now I cry even thinking about some parts.

The prologue, the bathroom scene, the Dozy Embrace in its full beauty and tragedy, lines such as "They were no longer young men with all of it before them" - these are some of the things which you just don't get from the film. BTW my vote in the poll about is that they are as good as each other. I love them both.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on October 01, 2008, 09:27:28 AM
^^^and, just so you have no doubt --

It can happen the other way around.  I had no intention of getting drawn into the hype about the movie, so I read the story just to see what it was about.

That night I could not sleep.  I read the story over and over, thinking that I would get over it in a few days --- but I didn't.  It took me a few weeks to work up the courage to see the movie. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: morrobay on October 01, 2008, 01:41:23 PM
I wish we could do an in-person study group of this story!  I'm going to read it again (3rd time).........I'll be back
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: standingit on October 31, 2008, 03:48:08 PM
First time post here. I just found this site - it is amazing! I loved both the short story and the movie. But it is the short story that I find so incredibly powerful. I read it, but I also obtained the book on tape. It is read by Campbell Scott. Has anyone else "heard" it. It is amazing. I've listened to the short story about 15 times now. I still cry.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Nax on October 31, 2008, 04:17:14 PM
Welcome Standingit, you are in good company here ;)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on October 31, 2008, 07:21:17 PM
Welcome from me too, standingit. I love hearing the story read by other people as I always hear something new.

We have a series of threads  here (http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?board=34.0) and  here (http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?board=61.0) dedicated to discussion of story and film. Please drop by!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on November 01, 2008, 08:51:47 PM
First time post here. I just found this site - it is amazing! I loved both the short story and the movie. But it is the short story that I find so incredibly powerful. I read it, but I also obtained the book on tape. It is read by Campbell Scott. Has anyone else "heard" it. It is amazing. I've listened to the short story about 15 times now. I still cry.
hey, standingit! Welcome....I related totally to your name!!  ;D ;D


Listening to the SS read aloud, is a whole 'nother experience than reading it, isn't it? I had my eyes really opened when I attended a reading of it. I couldn't speak at the end...... :'(
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on November 01, 2008, 09:03:04 PM
Now that I think about it, I don't know how anyone can bear to read it out loud live.

I am sure I wouldn't get through the last paragraph without choking up.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Oregondoggie on November 01, 2008, 11:39:08 PM
I tried to read it to a group of friends a while ago.  Got as far as middle of the second paragraph.... "If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain".... had to stop.  Annie Proulx got it wrong.  The power of Brokeback Mountain is not imagined.

But as to which was better, maybe one could look at the story as the script and the movie as a play.  Or the recipe and a cake... with Heath and Jake as the icing!   
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on November 03, 2008, 09:16:24 AM
Is there a record of the film script writers thoughts on the subject of not enough 'brilliant charge' etc? :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on November 03, 2008, 10:23:46 AM
andy, that is the exact thing I asked Diana Ossana when I had the chance in Los Angeles in August!

Although this was not a question heard by everyone, because the people with the microphones didn't pick on me.  So I asked her after the talk, when she signed my program.

Her answer was "It was Heath."  I asked her what she meant, and she said by the time the scene happened, it seemed more natural to everyone for Heath to play it that way, and she said it really was his lead.

She said there had been other versions of the scene, but she didn't go into detail.

I posted in the L.A. reunion thread about this -- of course I accept her answer, but I am not satisfied!!  I do think Heath's Ennis could have reached out toward Jack at that time.  But I have been told by others that my obsession with this is unhealthy, so for now I will let be, let be.  :D
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on November 03, 2008, 12:14:15 PM
NO, no ,no. Keep at it Sue.

I want to know what reason H had for taking the lead as you say. Plot or social reasons?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on November 03, 2008, 12:36:55 PM
My name is Ellen  ;)

no worry, I just don't want others to be confused --

The best I could get from Diana Ossana was that it just wasn't Heath's concept of the scene.  So, she did not say it was an Ang Lee decision (as I might have suspected) or a script departure from the story.

But, in my best fantasies, I could imagine that at some point after Jack says "some times I miss you so much I can hardly stand it--" (which is the corresponding point in the story when Ennis reaches over to Jack and draws him near) -- that we could see our Ennis do that on film. 

In the story, I interpreted his reaching out to be a physical answer to Jack's remark (miss you so much I could whip babies) even though Ennis continued a conversation that was not related. (never a damn word about the sex.)  I really don't think it would have thrown Ennis out of character.  I think it would have made the confrontation scene all the more poignant.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on November 03, 2008, 01:23:30 PM
Sorry bout that Ellen. Am I mixing you up with another hat wearing Brokie?

I would say there is an in-balance... no shortage of scenes to tell us of the pain and angst but not enough to give us a reason for believing that Jack made the journeys that he did for more than a good shag! ::)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on November 03, 2008, 01:32:29 PM
Yes, Andy, even 'Ennis put his arm around Jack, pulled him close... Jack slid his cold hand between Ennis's legs... undoing buttons' etc during the last trip together, which is all there in the SS would have helped.  I do think it's a fault in the film.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on November 04, 2008, 04:12:35 PM
This is exactly why the SS affected me more, there is so much in the words that simply did not make it to the film, and to me, it just changes the impact of the film, on me at least. I had read the SS in the New Yorker years earlier, and then again when the Book came out, so, I admit, I had hopes and dreams about how the actors would play the scenes, and although NOT disappointed in the performances of ALL the cast, in total it left me sorta empty..............just sayin'..........I'm always more moved by the written word than any film or theater performance anyway...........
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on November 05, 2008, 03:02:47 AM
Now that would be some excercise don't you think? To have every scene from the book re enacted by our wonderful team of actors, esp JG and HL. Sighs. :'(
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on November 05, 2008, 03:18:20 AM
But if that last scene was played with physical contact, even the sort of sex-based, "we're not really getting into this" stuff in the SS, it would throw the last half of the film off-balance. There is no affectionate physical contact after the reunion apart from the welcome hug after the divorce - and Ennis puts a stop to that ostensibly because of the girls. Even in the scene where he gets out of his truck with total joy on his face at seeing Jack again, the greeting fizzles out into a quick quip about beans.

In the last scene Jack is laying his heart at Ennis's feet and seems to get nothing in return, but how could Ennis demonstrate he understood when he'd spent 20 years denying to himself that he was in love with Jack and vice versa?

I do like the way we see his arm across Jack as they lie asleep, as if the real Ennis kind of sneaks out in his sleep and responds to Jack the way he should. It also seems to indicate that sex followed the remark by Jack, as it does in the SS.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on November 05, 2008, 03:27:27 AM
I see those scenes Flyboy mentions as an appendix to the movie. I don't see the point of adding a damn thing to the movie, it stands fine as it is but to have our boys acting out those scenes that the OS say so beautifully would be a wonderful set of extras. I know this is pure fantasy but hey... :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on November 05, 2008, 07:03:40 AM
But if that last scene was played with physical contact, even the sort of sex-based, "we're not really getting into this" stuff in the SS, it would throw the last half of the film off-balance. There is no affectionate physical contact after the reunion apart from the welcome hug after the divorce - and Ennis puts a stop to that ostensibly because of the girls. Even in the scene where he gets out of his truck with total joy on his face at seeing Jack again, the greeting fizzles out into a quick quip about beans.

In the last scene Jack is laying his heart at Ennis's feet and seems to get nothing in return, but how could Ennis demonstrate he understood when he'd spent 20 years denying to himself that he was in love with Jack and vice versa?

I do like the way we see his arm across Jack as they lie asleep, as if the real Ennis kind of sneaks out in his sleep and responds to Jack the way he should. It also seems to indicate that sex followed the remark by Jack, as it does in the SS.

I don't see why you think it would throw the film off-balance, Mini.  IMO it's already off balance because of the inclusion of too much of their 'home' lives, so why would putting in a few seconds of what is in the SS do this?  Are you saying that it's because the film is a different story? Which of course to some extent it is.  Please could you expand on this :)?

But surely we can safely assume from both film and book that there was plenty of affectionate physical contact after the Reunion.  There were presumably no overtly loving words, but to live together for a week or so at a time, 2 or 3 times a year, with no signs of affection during or apart from sex - that would be hard to believe.  But perhaps that's not what you're saying?

And btw I personally don't read "Put his arm around Jack, pulled him close", while chatting about their children, as 'sex-based stuff'.  It led on to sex, but to me it conveys an affectionate, well, loving in fact, intimacy.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on November 05, 2008, 11:58:19 AM
I see those scenes Flyboy mentions as an appendix to the movie. I don't see the point of adding a damn thing to the movie, it stands fine as it is but to have our boys acting out those scenes that the OS say so beautifully would be a wonderful set of extras. I know this is pure fantasy but hey... :)
You are right, Andy, those words and scenes from the book will just have to be our fantasies. Which, isn't all bad..........I just love reading, and when a book becomes the basis for a screenplay, I almost always try to view the film version too. Sometimes it's better, or seeing on screen makes it better for me, other times, I wonder if the screenwriters even READ the book.... ::) ::).......gotta take the good with the bad. The fact that Heath, Jake and the film are still being referenced and talked about today says a LOT concerning the total impact of this story..........
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: standingit on November 05, 2008, 03:33:24 PM
Welcome Standingit, you are in good company here ;)

Thank you Nax - from reading the amazing posts - I see that I am in fabulous company!!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: standingit on November 05, 2008, 03:43:08 PM
Welcome from me too, standingit. I love hearing the story read by other people as I always hear something new.

We have a series of threads  here (http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?board=34.0) and  here (http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?board=61.0) dedicated to discussion of story and film. Please drop by!

Thanks Ministering Angel!!

I purchased the audio book from Amazon.com. The actor Campbell Scott reads it and has his own interpretations of the voices - Jack, Ennis, Alma, etc. and with inflections that differ a bit than the movie. It is stark, moving, beautiful, but incredibly, incredibly sad. The other night, after like the 15th reading, I burst into sobs - from my for Ennis having to stand it, and relating to a personal situation... 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: standingit on November 05, 2008, 03:44:47 PM
First time post here. I just found this site - it is amazing! I loved both the short story and the movie. But it is the short story that I find so incredibly powerful. I read it, but I also obtained the book on tape. It is read by Campbell Scott. Has anyone else "heard" it. It is amazing. I've listened to the short story about 15 times now. I still cry.
hey, standingit! Welcome....I related totally to your name!!  ;D ;D


Listening to the SS read aloud, is a whole 'nother experience than reading it, isn't it? I had my eyes really opened when I attended a reading of it. I couldn't speak at the end...... :'(

You are standing it too! We'll have to trade stories. Yes - listening to the story brings it to a whole other level!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on November 05, 2008, 04:19:05 PM

I don't see why you think it would throw the film off-balance, Mini.  IMO it's already off balance because of the inclusion of too much of their 'home' lives, so why would putting in a few seconds of what is in the SS do this?  Are you saying that it's because the film is a different story? Which of course to some extent it is.  Please could you expand on this :)?

But surely we can safely assume from both film and book that there was plenty of affectionate physical contact after the Reunion.  There were presumably no overtly loving words, but to live together for a week or so at a time, 2 or 3 times a year, with no signs of affection during or apart from sex - that would be hard to believe.  But perhaps that's not what you're saying?

And btw I personally don't read "Put his arm around Jack, pulled him close", while chatting about their children, as 'sex-based stuff'.  It led on to sex, but to me it conveys an affectionate, well, loving in fact, intimacy.

Do you feel the inclusion of their home lives throws it off-balance? I think those seemingly endless scenes of them apart tend to emphasise how little time they spent together. It's a revealing of "their separate and difficult lives".

I think if we had been shown a bit more physical intimacy in the camping trips then a reaching out in the last part would have been okay. Without it, however, we would end up with Jack nearly spilling his guts and Ennis responding to his pain, and then the argument the next day (or whenever). I could see some people wondering if the two were connected, that Ennis called off August because he thought Jack was getting too pushy, pressing his homophobia buttons.

I agree that the arm around Jack, etc. is intimate and affectionate but SS Ennis, it seems, couldn't connect the sex and the affection and realise they added up to love, so the deep friendship and the sex continued along parallel paths. I think he's feeling love when he reaches out to Jack but he keeps the knowledge of what he's feeling from himself by making it out to be about sex rather than love.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on November 06, 2008, 12:59:43 AM
Do you feel the inclusion of their home lives throws it off-balance? I think those seemingly endless scenes of them apart tend to emphasise how little time they spent together. It's a revealing of "their separate and difficult lives".

I think if we had been shown a bit more physical intimacy in the camping trips then a reaching out in the last part would have been okay. Without it, however, we would end up with Jack nearly spilling his guts and Ennis responding to his pain, and then the argument the next day (or whenever). I could see some people wondering if the two were connected, that Ennis called off August because he thought Jack was getting too pushy, pressing his homophobia buttons.

I agree that the arm around Jack, etc. is intimate and affectionate but SS Ennis, it seems, couldn't connect the sex and the affection and realise they added up to love, so the deep friendship and the sex continued along parallel paths. I think he's feeling love when he reaches out to Jack but he keeps the knowledge of what he's feeling from himself by making it out to be about sex rather than love.

No, I accept that the film is as it is, (and I’m sure you know how much I love it and the effect it’s had on me – why I’m here) but it’s the proportions that slightly bother me.  (Not a logical sentence, I realise :)) There are parts that I often almost unconsciously fast-forward: much of the rodeo stuff, and Jack’s Thanksgiving scene (when he finally turns on f-in-law it seems to indicate a character development - standing up to a father-figure – not founded on events before or after, unless you could see it as leading up to his ‘Try this one’ speech).  Cassie I’m not sure about, but I like her as a character and think that the relationship does bring out a believable aspect of Ennis’s personality.

But I can’t help coming back to the SS: so I can go along with the fact that there’s not more physical intimacy in the earlier camping trips (though I would like it, such a vital part of the 16 years - but as you say, revealing of their ‘separate… lives’).  But the last camping trip takes up nearly 20% of the story (just checked) and it seems almost perverse to me not to include that little bit of physical affection, and the sex that followed.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on November 06, 2008, 01:14:41 AM
I wasn't keen on the Thanksgiving scene.   I felt it was a bit out of character for Jack (he doesn't seem to seek confrontation) but I was very much in the minority.   I think you are probably right that it was in preparation for him standing up to Ennis in the last scene - but I actually see that as out of character too.   It takes 20 years to build up, and is something he comes out with under pressure.    But most people do see him as being confrontational and thought the Thanksgiving scene was in character.   Maybe it's just a case of looking at it from different angles.    After all, there is maybe a small element of confrontation in him insisting in talking about Ennis to his father. 

When I first saw the film, I felt I was on hold during the times apart, waiting for them to get back together - although maybe that was the point.   I still don't think the film is as 'neat' as the book in that way.   The book sticks to the point more.   But the film does go into other aspects with a bit more depth. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on November 06, 2008, 01:21:03 AM
Hi Des

Yes, I go along with all that ^^^^. I don't see Jack as confrontational, either - think of his face when he goes back to Aguirre the following year -  but that's why the last scene is so magnificent, when it does all burst out.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: chapeaugris on November 06, 2008, 06:38:21 AM
I had a sense that they traded the "cold hands and sex" physical contact for the embrace at the end of the confrontation scene because the latter doesn't exist in the book. The way that scene is written feels as stark as the non-response by the fire.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on November 06, 2008, 07:42:57 AM
^^^^

K, what do you imagine the torquing would have been?

I remember when I first saw the movie (and I knew the SS) I still did not know what to expect immediately after the embrace.  It is a segway to the dozy embrace.

I actually imagined (and longed for) the torquing to be more satisfying.  I have accepted now that the movie is brilliant as it was done, that of course the dozy embrace fit perfectly in that scene.  But my longing -- what I was looking for -- was different.


doesn't mean I should always get my way.  If I got my way, Jack would still be alive. 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: chapeaugris on November 06, 2008, 08:58:54 AM
^^^^

K, what do you imagine the torquing would have been?

Ennis collapses to his knees. Then SPROING! he's back up! While Jack sits in his truck going WTF?  ;D
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on November 06, 2008, 02:34:13 PM
^^^^

K, what do you imagine the torquing would have been?

Ennis collapses to his knees. Then SPROING! he's back up! While Jack sits in his truck going WTF?  ;D

But the torquing happens after Ennis has got up and after Jack has got out of his truck. It's something extra.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: standingit on November 24, 2008, 03:44:10 PM
New topic - not sure where to put it. And I am sure this must have been discussed somewhere on this site.

Why did Jack wait 4 years to find Ennis? What happened that made him reach out. Was it giving up rodeo? Why - when he just had a baby boy? In SS, after they made love in the hotel after reunion scene he says "swear I never thought we were gonna get into this again (pause) - yeah I did. I redlined it all the way from Texas." 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on November 24, 2008, 06:04:34 PM
Standingit, the question's been thrown around a bit on such threads as Character Analysis of Jack. It's intriguing. The film makes it to do with Jack's lack of acceptance into the Newsome family.

We don't know if Jack tried unsuccessfully to contact Ennis before. He may have been on the lookout every time he came back up to Wyoming. I tend to feel he had finally got the whole wife-and-child-and-white-picket-fence life and realised that they were nothing when weighed against his love for Ennis.

In the SS he's still rodeoing at the time of the reunion, and still driving his old truck, so he's not benefitting financially from his marriage, it would seem.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on November 25, 2008, 12:55:46 AM
In fact, it looks like he would be paid to leave the marriage. 

It seems to be the DE that keeps bringing him back to Ennis, and I wonder if having a baby in the house reminded him of that.   (Rocking and singing to the baby, etc.).
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on November 25, 2008, 03:56:02 AM
But then you get into an odd situation where Jack, rejected by his father, is willing to reject his own kid for Ennis. It's chilling that he says the kid can't get anything right on the last trip. Jack doesn't really have what it takes to be a good father. Hardly surprising.

But you might be right, Des, about the DE and the birth of his child. It would be nicely matched up with Ennis's coming to understand about Jack when he first becomes a father.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: standingit on November 25, 2008, 03:53:09 PM
Standingit, the question's been thrown around a bit on such threads as Character Analysis of Jack. It's intriguing. The film makes it to do with Jack's lack of acceptance into the Newsome family.

We don't know if Jack tried unsuccessfully to contact Ennis before. He may have been on the lookout every time he came back up to Wyoming. I tend to feel he had finally got the whole wife-and-child-and-white-picket-fence life and realised that they were nothing when weighed against his love for Ennis.

In the SS he's still rodeoing at the time of the reunion, and still driving his old truck, so he's not benefitting financially from his marriage, it would seem.

I never thought it was because he was benefitting financially. I thought it had something to do with his love (or perceived love) of the rodeo life. He thought that was his ultimate passion. In the motel after the reunion he goes on and on about why he is leaving the rodeo life - the injuries, not being a trained ath-a-leet (I love that, BTW, along with "crushed vertabrates" - you should hear Campbell Scott on the audio - speaking Jack's lines with accent) - thought there was some connection there to why the 4 years. You are right, we never learned if he had looked for opportunities other times he may have been in Wyoming. On that note, I wonder, even with his homophobia, if Ennis ever considered looking for Jack. He found his parents house okay in Lightning Flat upon Jack's death. I wonder because of these references in the SS (he felt as bad as he ever had and it took a long time to wear off...."the first sign of life in all those years"...he wore his best shirt..."you sure as hell look in one piece to me"..."I wrang it out over 100 times thinking about you"...he actually commenced the kissing at the reunion - even though he was the only one at risk with Alma and the family around...). We'll never know of course, but I wonder if Ennis had ever considered it in those 4 years??   
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on November 26, 2008, 12:26:05 AM
Surely he must have thought of it, but he says that when he realised what he felt, a year later, it was too late by a long time.   It's a line I've puzzled over and come up with various possible interpretations of what he could have meant, but I'd be interested to know if you have a new one!    He can't just mean that he was married, I think, because (a) he doesn't seem to see the marriage as in competition to Jack - he doesn't think of Jack as an extra-marital affair and (b) he's still married when they meet again, but it's no barrier to them getting together.   What do you think he means?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on November 26, 2008, 07:17:01 AM
In fact, it looks like he would be paid to leave the marriage. 

It seems to be the DE that keeps bringing him back to Ennis, and I wonder if having a baby in the house reminded him of that.   (Rocking and singing to the baby, etc.).
Ah, good insight. After all, Alma JR brings Ennis to think of Jack..that would be a neat little closure, all tied up in the dozy embrace, ie, rocking, humming, complete love and acceptance, as one would give unconditional love to a child.

It would tend to suggest the dozy embrace as  the peak moment for both men....whereas I've always seen it as something Ennis is somewhat clueless about, with regards to it's impact on Jack.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: CANSTANDIT on November 26, 2008, 07:22:15 AM
OTOH- ;D

I've seen Jack's continued attempts at rodeo as a way to almost beat his feelings for Ennis out of himself...He goes down to Texas to forget, and just happens upon Lureen. I don't know how calculating he was, so much as opportunisitc-he saw an op, and seized it, which I think, was mostly about being poor and finally getting some relief from that. The baby was the price, and he understood that. I always try to remember that he too, would have had a degree of homophobia, just by cultural osmosis. So he understood the need to stay under cover, and play roles.

I think his feelings just overwhelmed him, and he knew, as has been pointed out, that 'nothing compares to you', as in "Ennis".
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on November 26, 2008, 10:07:51 AM
welcome to standing it!

so glad you share our passion for the story.

If you would like to look at previous discussions of conversations about the story specifically, it is located in the book threads -- I'll find the link and post it here.

Meanwhile, if the conversation is veering into specific scenes, maybe you have already gone to the threads in scenes and elements for discussion.

Lots of good details to work out.  ;)


ETA:  Link to discussion of SHORT STORY ONLY (http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=12416.msg592702#msg592702) (archived discussion, but lots of questions//answers)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: cinimini on February 17, 2009, 02:20:51 PM
HI :) This vid is made by my friend oldwifemountain. I really enjoy it.

Reunion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkKJlmtHK4Y
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on February 17, 2009, 05:27:37 PM
Damn, that was good, Steffi. :'(
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Desecra on February 18, 2009, 12:23:13 AM
Thank you - I hadn't heard the audiobook yet.  Is the music from the audiobook or added to the video?   It worked well.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: cinimini on February 18, 2009, 12:25:53 AM
The music is added and I think it sounds great and fits to the story. oldwifemountain did a very good job in my opinion.

she did more vids but only available in German yet. But she will add the English audio soon.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on February 18, 2009, 01:16:06 AM
I've never heard the audio either.  It was really interesting hearing/seeing it fitted in with the film.  lovely music too.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on February 18, 2009, 03:19:54 AM
I've never heard the audio either.  It was really interesting hearing/seeing it fitted in with the film.  lovely music too.

I have it Sara. Maybe we can put aside half an hour to listen on the 7th?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on April 17, 2009, 10:21:24 AM
This is not really a question of "which is better" -- but it's a long article about the process of taking the written story and turning it into a film.  Brokeback Mountain, specifically.


http://hig.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:200890/FULLTEXT01


Thanks to Bay City John for finding this.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: suelyblu on April 17, 2009, 07:31:34 PM
The film was visually breath taking. The scenery, the two drop dead gorgeous guys and everything else that goes with it. The book give a better impressionof how dirt poor the guys are "(Ennis).....pulling off his boots and jeans..no drawers,no socks. Everything in the film always seemed that bit too organised for two young guys living on their own in camp.In the book one line says "....thinking of the dirty spoons sticking out of the cans of cold beans balanced on logs ". That sounds more lifelike to me. The short story has a " grubbiness " about it that doesn't come across in the film.  There were some nice touches in the book that were never put in the film Like the one night sitting around the camp fire "Ennis put his arm around Jack,pulled him close.......Jack slidhis cold hands between Ennis's legs. What a great scene that would have made.There were other tiny bits and pieces I would have liked to have seen included in the film but there you go. Other than those few ideas the film was the most beautiful, life changing thing I have ever seen.  I kid you not.

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: suelyblu on April 17, 2009, 07:42:59 PM
This is an addition to the post above : I always thought when I watched the film they always went back to Brokeback Mountain on their meetings but in the book it states they never went back there,  everywhere but there.  This is not mentioned in the film.   O.K. ?  I'll go now !!!!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ministering angel on April 17, 2009, 08:26:54 PM
In the film you see them returning to Brokeback, or at least somewhere close to it. It's something which is entirely different between the two.

And as Desecra has detailed on other threads, the things which are left out of the film tend to directly link to how much awareness Ennis had about himself. In the film he is aware right from FNIT whereas in the SS he seems to drift along in a haze of denial. Denial in the SS, shame in the film.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on April 17, 2009, 08:50:04 PM
This is an addition to the post above : I always thought when I watched the film they always went back to Brokeback Mountain on their meetings but in the book it states they never went back there,  everywhere but there.  This is not mentioned in the film.   O.K. ?  I'll go now !!!!


Ang Lee said in an interview on Charlie Rose (late night show in the U.S.) "They went back to Brokeback Mountain" -- he was talking about the on-going fishing trips.

This struck me as a wrong interpretation but I was a purist in those days.  :-\


So you were right sueley, if you got the impression they went back to Brokeback.  Ang Lee might have missed that little line in the SS, and in the screenplay it wasn't really specified.


Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Goby on June 01, 2009, 12:48:47 PM
Eventhough I like the book and the film, I need to say that the film wins for me.
The film hit me emotionally very hard and I felt more connected to the characters in the movie than those in de book. When you add de magnificent shots and the gorgeous soundtrack, I say the film is better (for me!)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BayCityJohn on June 03, 2009, 07:31:16 PM
For anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area.

(http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj282/SanFranciscoJohn/Image2-1.jpg)

Barnes & Noble

Hillsdale
Hillsdale Shopping Center
11 West Hillsdale Blvd.
San Mateo, CA 94403
650-341-5560
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on June 03, 2009, 08:28:15 PM
Are you going John?

That looks really interesting!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BayCityJohn on June 03, 2009, 08:33:37 PM
Are you going John?

That looks really interesting!

I don't know yet.

I'm supposed to be in Portland on the 26th and I was gonna drive, but if I can get an early flight on Friday I'll probably make it to the discussion.

I'm not sure if they're discussing the film or book, or both.

But either way I think I'll be prepared  ;D
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: suelyblu on June 18, 2009, 06:52:53 PM
Film  v Book ?? Well these are probably not answers and reasons you are looking for . I love the book. Why ? I take the book all over the world with me. I pack it in the bottom of my suite case where no one can see it or make a joke of it! It has so far been to Turkey (3 times) Florence Italy (Twice)Spain (1) Greece (Twice)and various places in England. And when I go to  Calgary and the Rockies in September, Iwill take it there...be like taking it home.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Ellen (tellyouwhat) on June 18, 2009, 09:03:00 PM
sueleyblue, the book was my introduction to BBM and I have read it over and over.  You are right.  The prose is amazing and it never loses its power to captivate me.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BayCityJohn on July 25, 2009, 11:26:54 AM



Adaptation Week: Brokeback Mountain – the choices we make and those we don’t

July 23, 2009 by annebrooke

I must admit I was delighted when Vulpes announced they were having a book/film adaptation week and that Brokeback Mountain was one of the subjects on offer. It’s a story I’ve loved for years, along with the whole of Annie Proulx’s original collection (Close Range: Wyoming stories), and I’d been singing its praises for a long time before Ang Lee even picked up his film script to begin – or whatever it is directors do first.

Let me put my cards on the table from the off and say that while I do love the film (it may actually be the best adaptation of a book since The English Patient), I think that the story in its original form is even better. There are things you can say in text that you can’t fully and deeply convey in a visual medium. I’m not sure, for instance, how on earth Mr Lee could ever have hoped to express the opening paragraph of Proulx’s story in film, a paragraph all but shimmering with memory, loneliness and loss:

Ennis Del Mar wakes before five, wind rocking the trailer, hissing in around the aluminium door and window frames. The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft. He gets up, scratching the grey wedge of belly and pubic hair, shuffles to the gas burner, pours leftover coffee in a chipped enamel pan; the flame swathes it in blue. He turns on the tap and urinates in the sink, pulls on his shirt and jeans, his worn boots, stamping the heels against the floor to get them full on. The wind booms down the curved length of trailer and under its roaring passage he can hear the scratching of fine gravel and sand. It could be bad on the highway with the horse trailer. He has to be packed and away from the place that morning. Again the ranch is on the market and they’ve shipped out the last of the horses, paid everyone off the day before, the owner saying, “Give em to the real estate shark, I’m out a here,” dropping the keys in Ennis’s hand. He might have to stay with his married daughter until he picks up another job, yet he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream.

Really, it’s all there – all the aspects and themes of the story are contained in this paragraph, but the reader isn’t allowed to know the full meaning of them yet. It’s one of those astonishing paragraphs that are incredibly punchy to start with, but when you come back to them after you’ve finished the story they take on a whole new meaning: the shirts; the poverty of Ennis’ life; the transitory nature of the work he does; the choices he makes and doesn’t make; his difficult family situation; the way he saves the mention of Jack until the very end of his thought process; and how that opens out a whole baggage of painful emotions that both breaks through into and is contained by the physical facts of his life. Hard to get all that into film then, no matter how good the actor.


http://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/adaptation-week-brokeback-mountain-–-the-choices-we-make-and-those-we-don’t/[/url (http://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/adaptation-week-brokeback-mountain-–-the-choices-we-make-and-those-we-don’t/)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: foreverinawe on July 26, 2009, 02:23:52 PM
Hi folks,

I'm new to this group, although I've been a member of the BBM yahoo group for years. I just got curious, and decided to look around. Surprise! You've got some wonderful posters, and in the past two days I've read all 50 pages of Film vs Book — Which was better? Like a lot of you, I long ago decided that each is a masterpiece, and while they certainly have differences, they mesh in my mind as a perfect symbiosis.

My handle, if you didn't notice, is foreverinawe. That's meant literally and figuratively.

Most of this thread is from the first year of the movie, and while I love it all, I'm not here to re- plow this rich ground. I was recently inspired to do something unusual, and to be perfectly honest, I'm a bit proud of it. It's a video. I'd like you to see it.

Do you remember when the stageplay Les Miz began?

I do and I don't. I live in Tennessee, a long way from Broadway: I have never been there. But of course I heard the music via TV and radio, so I did become familiar with the songs as time went by. I just wasn't aware of when it started. And time, of course, has dimmed my memory even of the songs.

Enter Susan Boyle. The world, it seemed, was bowled over by her.

Me too, but not because of Susan, although I think she is a treasure. It was because of "I Dreamed A Dream", which I had forgotten, and Brokeback Mountain, which I never will. I was awestruck by how well they go together, as easily as the right key turns the lock tumblers, as someone said.

In my mind, these two disparate masterpieces cried out to be united, and so that's what I did.
I tried to tell Ennis's story, post Jack. (Pardon my narration, I just couldn't find a volunteer, but I tried.)

Disappointingly, Youtube's sound track does not keep up with the video, and there is a lot of starting and stopping as the buffer keeps running out. If one is willing to let the entire video download to the buffer before starting Play (about six minutes), it plays properly.

Here's the Youtube link (hit Pause, then let the buffer fill completely before hitting Play!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1CzvPxLGs4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1CzvPxLGs4)

I must warn you: this is not about pretty faces or happy trysts. It is how I think Annie saw the story, certainly how I see it. I'd love to hear what you think.

   ~~~foreverinawe

PS I would be happy to post it to YouSendIt, if anyone is interested enough. It would play on Windows Media Player (or any other video player), and eliminate the audio hitch. It's 34 megs.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BayCityJohn on July 26, 2009, 03:27:36 PM
Welcome to the forum foreverinawe!

I'm watching your video. It's great.


This is a good thread to read. The original "How Brokeback Affected Me" thread from 2005:

http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=101.0 (http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=101.0)

If new members have questions, try "New Members Ask - Experienced Members Respond "

http://davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=4687.0 (http://davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=4687.0)

We also have a site map here:

http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=8878.0 (http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=8878.0)

You might also be interested in our book:

Selected from among the most compelling writing on The Ultimate Brokeback Forum, the stories in Beyond Brokeback: The Impact of a Film convey the remarkable power of the film Brokeback Mountain to affect the lives of all sorts of people—straight and gay, old and young, male and female—on six continents. Ranging from the amusing to the emotionally devastating, the pieces collected in Beyond Brokeback crystallize the deep, frequently life-changing reactions of its often-unsuspecting viewers.

http://www.davecullen.com/brokeback/book/ (http://www.davecullen.com/brokeback/book/)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: katkrimar on July 27, 2009, 02:07:44 AM
yesterday evening I had a Brokeback evening.

I drink some wine, watch the movie, go to bed, read the short story.

And yes.

Next day feel very sad again.

Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: foreverinawe on July 27, 2009, 07:59:47 PM
Reply to BayCityJohn's post #737

Thanks for the link to the Adaption Week BBM article.

Anne Brooke's discussion is breathtaking in scope and insight. Her sensitivity to the humanity of the ladies in the movie is just wonderful.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BayCityJohn on July 27, 2009, 08:01:06 PM
You're welcome  :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: suelyblu on July 27, 2009, 08:19:34 PM
Hi  BCJ, is the book  " Beyond Brokeback " available in England . Have no ref to it so far over here? Thanks and waiting for your reply.  sue x
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: BayCityJohn on July 27, 2009, 08:26:05 PM
Hi  BCJ, is the book  " Beyond Brokeback " available in England . Have no ref to it so far over here? Thanks and waiting for your reply.  sue x

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Brokeback-Members-Ultimate-Forum/dp/1595941223/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1248747926&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Brokeback-Members-Ultimate-Forum/dp/1595941223/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1248747926&sr=8-1)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: suelyblu on August 01, 2009, 11:30:00 AM
Hi BCJ only just looked on this thread. Thanks for the info.   xx
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on August 01, 2009, 01:44:02 PM
I was so moved by foreverinawe's tribute movie. It was so masterfully put together with great insight and sensitivity. After hearing his words in Ennis' thoughts say, I just hurt, all I do is hurt, I felt the whole agony of the original effect of the movie's ending on me. Well done and maybe you'll do some more. We need another song, right?

If you hadn't done this, I would for ever have listened to Susan Boyle's rendition of the song and heard only the voice, but you've made me listen to the words. thanks.

Andy. :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: suelyblu on August 01, 2009, 02:45:55 PM
Hello Andy,  Would it be possible to tell me more about your last post? If not.....thats o.k.         sue x
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on August 01, 2009, 05:08:56 PM
Hi Sue. All I know is what I saw on the utube clip that's posted on TDS. Here, scroll down towards the bottom...http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=37195.msg1637588#msg1637588
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Flyboy on August 01, 2009, 07:39:31 PM
Very nice video, very nice, and the song is so fitting too..........thanks so much foreverinawe............... :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ChrisW on August 02, 2009, 02:17:04 AM
Hello foreverinawe, and thanks for posting your video. Welcome to the Forum!

You're right, it's very jumpy, and I would certainly like the chance to watch it without the jumps, so if you upload it somewhere, I'll download it.
Your words are what moved me most, I think, although the song does fit very well. Here in the UK we may have been overexposed to the song recently, but I don't think it's possible to be overexposed to Heath as Ennis. That shakes me every time.

There was a discussion about overnanalysis in Topic of the Week a couple of weeks ago. (BTW that was a good idea, have we run out of topics or is it just that Chuck is on holiday?) Your video, like many responses I suppose, defies analysis, and a good thing too.
What hit most of us was that raw emotional power, that's certainly what hit me, and both book and film had the same effect. The differences are interesting but the power is there in both cases.

That comes across in your video.

Big hugs and thanks, Chris
 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ChrisW on August 02, 2009, 02:46:47 AM
Anne Brooke's discussion is breathtaking in scope and insight. Her sensitivity to the humanity of the ladies in the movie is just wonderful.
- and you may live in Tennessee, but she's an English Eng Lit lady, it seems, if you follow the links. I am always impressed by the female insights. Thanks to whoever posted this - BCJ!
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lovelyamazing on August 02, 2009, 04:16:16 AM
Disappointingly, Youtube's sound track does not keep up with the video, and there is a lot of starting and stopping as the buffer keeps running out. If one is willing to let the entire video download to the buffer before starting Play (about six minutes), it plays properly.

Here's the Youtube link (hit Pause, then let the buffer fill completely before hitting Play!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1CzvPxLGs4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1CzvPxLGs4)

I must warn you: this is not about pretty faces or happy trysts. It is how I think Annie saw the story, certainly how I see it. I'd love to hear what you think.

   ~~~foreverinawe

PS I would be happy to post it to YouSendIt, if anyone is interested enough. It would play on Windows Media Player (or any other video player), and eliminate the audio hitch. It's 34 megs.

Welcome to the forum foreverinawe
Just saw this beautiful video. Wow!

It downloads easily from youtube. The audio-synch and start-stop problems aren't there when you play from the downloaded file.

I've tweeted the link out so that many more can view it. I believe people will be deeply affected.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ChrisW on August 02, 2009, 04:40:50 AM
- thanks - but help, I don't know how to download from youtube, sorry for my ignorance.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lovelyamazing on August 02, 2009, 04:47:47 AM
- thanks - but help, I don't know how to download from youtube, sorry for my ignorance.

A download button comes up at the top right of the video as it starts playing. See if it works?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on August 02, 2009, 06:38:12 AM
I see no download button, Maya.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on August 02, 2009, 06:40:54 AM
''If one is willing to let the entire video download to the buffer before starting Play (about six minutes), it plays properly.''

Don't forget this instruction. I did it and it played perfectly. Once the video starts to play, press pause and wait for the  thingy to go right across. When done, just press play again. :)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lovelyamazing on August 02, 2009, 06:47:02 AM
I see no download button, Maya.

It seems reserved for me Andy!!! Right click on the video - see if it gives you a download to real player option. But I see you have no problem buffering so you don't need it.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: foreverinawe on August 02, 2009, 08:51:04 AM
Re: Brokeback Dream

I know many folks have trouble with youtube, part of the reason being that yt sends out updates occasionally that not everyone gets, such as the capture feature. Anyhow, I have uploaded Brokeback Dream to yousendit, and if you care to download it, here it is:

https://download.yousendit.com/MnFqaXRMTEQ4aU4zZUE9PQ (https://download.yousendit.com/MnFqaXRMTEQ4aU4zZUE9PQ)

When it starts, it asks if you want to play or save the file: choose Save. Where? The desktop.
It takes about :06 minutes (hardly more than letting the yt buffer fill up).

Once it's finished, it's permanently on your hard disk, and you don't need Internet at all to play it. All you have to do to play it is click its icon on the Desktop (it will automatically play in Windows Media Player). There's a full screen toggle in the lower right corner. There's some pretty scenery in there, and it looks even better in a darkened room.

Yousendit only provides the file for 7 days (or 100 downloads, whichever comes first). A hundred downloads seems highly unlikely, so probably the last day to get it will be Aug 9.

Thanks for so many kind comments, and I hope I haven't overlooked any messages. Being new to the group, I'm still a bit lost in navigating it, but I'm making progress (I think!) My apologies if I haven't acknowledged you; only navigatin' I'm used to is around the coffee pot, y'know.

   ~~~fia
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on August 02, 2009, 08:51:53 AM
Sorry, nothing, right click or left. The pic you sent me doesn't appear on my screen either. Don't forget I'm pretty darned computer stupid... but all the same... ::)
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lovelyamazing on August 02, 2009, 08:56:30 AM
Sorry, nothing, right click or left. The pic you sent me doesn't appear on my screen either. Don't forget I'm pretty darned computer stupid... but all the same... ::)

You are so cute LOL. foreverinawe explained that in the post above yours. All in all youtube=big pain. But problem has been solved with the yousendit link.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lovelyamazing on August 02, 2009, 08:58:01 AM

Thanks for so many kind comments, and I hope I haven't overlooked any messages. Being new to the group, I'm still a bit lost in navigating it, but I'm making progress (I think!) My apologies if I haven't acknowledged you; only navigatin' I'm used to is around the coffee pot, y'know.

   ~~~fia

Good to have you with us. LOL at the coffee pot ;D
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on August 02, 2009, 09:04:28 AM
Thanks fia, good to have you on board. :)

Double your posts and you'll be able to communicate via pm with any of us here.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: andy/Claude on August 02, 2009, 09:37:34 AM
Fia, I've just been spending some time with your video and I can't get over how profoundly moving it is, bringing to the surface all the heartache of the OS.

As a Brit, your voice to me seems so evocative and just right.

Before this, I had but a casual acquaintance with the song and of course, that by way of Susan Boyles's recent success with it. The recording you use is not her, is it?

Reading the words of the song, they take on the most powerful meaning after your effort here. I can't ever imaging hearing this song again without seeing Ennis and Jack, especially Ennis.

I found it especially good where you played the last stanza of the song but cut to your own voice(on behalf of Ennis) for the last line; tell me this can't be... I see the beauty turned to shame...life has killed the dream i dreamed  Brilliant!

I take my hat off to you sir, and I suspect you have given us all here something beyond moving by which to commemorate this, our story.

Andy.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: foreverinawe on August 02, 2009, 12:42:27 PM
Fia, I've just been spending some time with your video and I can't get over how profoundly moving it is, bringing to the surface all the heartache of the OS.

Grows on you, eh? Only chiding, it's been growing on me for three and a half years. Finally got so bad I decided to change my name to foreverinawe.  :D
 

As a Brit, your voice to me seems so evocative and just right.

I had hoped to persuade someone with a voice like Ennis's to do the narration, but I discovered two things: no one I knew sounded like him (and I really do know a lot of people), and when it came time to put the tracks together, I decided to change the dialogue. Well, if I had a narrator, that would have meant getting him back to re-do the part that changed, and that was simply impracticable. So I wound up doing it myself, many times.


Before this, I had but a casual acquaintance with the song and of course, that by way of Susan Boyles's recent success with it. The recording you use is not her, is it?

No, it's Judy Kuhn, an American Broadway star. I found this version on youtube, made when she performed it at the White House for President Reagan over 20 years ago. I love the way she gradually sharpens the edge on her voice — to palpable outrage. Anyone who's dream has been killed is entitled to that.


Reading the words of the song, they take on the most powerful meaning after your effort here. I can't ever imaging hearing this song again without seeing Ennis and Jack, especially Ennis.

It's strange. When I first heard "I Dreamed A Dream" 25 years ago, I thought "My God, that's one of the darkest, most heartwrenching songs ever written." I think I may have pushed it into my subconscious just because it was so depressing. Honestly, I forgot it!

Brokeback Mountain happened thereafter, and Susan Boyle followed. That's when it all came flooding together for me.


I found it especially good where you played the last stanza of the song but cut to your own voice(on behalf of Ennis) for the last line; tell me this can't be... I see the beauty turned to shame...life has killed the dream i dreamed  Brilliant!

Yeah, that's the very line where I really wanted Ennis's voice. But I'm beginning to think it doesn't make much difference. For Brokies, they get it. For anti-Brokies, I don't care if they never get it.


I take my hat off to you sir, and I suspect you have given us all here something beyond moving by which to commemorate this, our story.

Thanks, Andy. I've said this on many occasions, but Brokeback Mountain is the finest story I've ever read. And Brokeback Mountain is the finest movie I've ever seen.

   ~~~fia
 
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: foreverinawe on August 02, 2009, 12:53:21 PM
Oops, I meant to give you the link for Judy Kuhn's song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYEJqZQOsHg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYEJqZQOsHg)

   ~~fia
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: lovelyamazing on August 02, 2009, 09:00:48 PM
Oops, I meant to give you the link for Judy Kuhn's song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYEJqZQOsHg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYEJqZQOsHg)

   ~~fia

This is awesome. I love how she says it's her turn now.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: ChrisW on August 03, 2009, 03:49:38 PM
Hi all, and thanks for the good advice from all quarters. I can report that the download to my Acer netbook running linux ubuntu has worked just fine, just now,  and it's clearly going to be able to play this file  :D :D :D :D :D
So any other linux users reading this - it should work for you too.
Thank you, thank you, I am sure my reaction will be somewhat along the lines of Andy's.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kathy on January 25, 2010, 07:33:51 PM
 :) Hi - I'm relatively new to the forums, but I'm trying to catch up!
I have to tell you that I believe the FILM is better.  Oh, I do like the story, but to be truthful I was not prepared with the way Ennis & Jack were described in it.  Guess I'm too used to the handsomeness of Heath & Jake. But I do admire Ms. Proulx and her story.  Maybe I'm just being an opinionated Virgo.

But the FILM - this beautiful, lovely film - has never left me.  The beautiful screenplay written from the story is like a dream, taking sparse words from pages and bringing them to life!  I can't begin to tell you how much I love BBM (the film), and the way it has effected me from day one.  I cry every time. 
Everything -- superb acting, directing, screenplay, score, cinematography, etc. -- is perfect.  I knew from the beginning that things were NOT going to be happy for Ennis & Jack.  Such a tragic love story.  With our dear Heath now passed, it is even sadder.  That rotten "academy" and their cohorts
 willfully & happily denied it from getting best picture, and denied Heath & Jake awards too.  I truly believe (as so many do)  that those "heffalumps" and their cowardly kind deliberately did this; they are and always have been mean-spirited cowards.  To give best picture to "TRASH", something soooo bad,  so unworthy, is beyond my comprrehension.  This will never be forgotten.  I know I've written this before, but I'm so furious. Hope I got my message across. 

Good night, dear heart.
Good night, good night.   
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on January 26, 2010, 02:13:21 AM
:) Hi - I'm relatively new to the forums, but I'm trying to catch up!
I have to tell you that I believe the FILM is better.  Oh, I do like the story, but to be truthful I was not prepared with the way Ennis & Jack were described in it.  Guess I'm too used to the handsomeness of Heath & Jake. But I do admire Ms. Proulx and her story.  Maybe I'm just being an opinionated Virgo.

But the FILM - this beautiful, lovely film - has never left me.  The beautiful screenplay written from the story is like a dream, taking sparse words from pages and bringing them to life!  I can't begin to tell you how much I love BBM (the film), and the way it has effected me from day one.  I cry every time.  
Everything -- superb acting, directing, screenplay, score, cinematography, etc. -- is perfect.  I knew from the beginning that things were NOT going to be happy for Ennis & Jack.  Such a tragic love story.  With our dear Heath now passed, it is even sadder.  That rotten "academy" and their cohorts
 willfully & happily denied it from getting best picture, and denied Heath & Jake awards too.  I truly believe (as so many do)  that those "heffalumps" and their cowardly kind deliberately did this; they are and always have been mean-spirited cowards.  To give best picture to "TRASH", something soooo bad,  so unworthy, is beyond my comprrehension.  This will never be forgotten.  I know I've written this before, but I'm so furious. Hope I got my message across.  

Good night, dear heart.
Good night, good night.    


Hi, Kathy.  It's good to have you writing on the forum.

When I first read the short story I would have agreed with you, but now I know it better I see so much in it, and I'm overwhelmed both by what she does with the characters and by the skill and beauty with which she uses language.  I love and admire both the film and story equally, but in different ways.

It's funny - I don't care about the Oscars at all.  Those awards seem meaningless and unimportant to me.  I'm sorry, because I can see you are passionate about it (you do get your message across  :D), as I know other people are.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kathy on January 28, 2010, 07:37:21 PM
Hi to Cally: I'm glad to hear from you.  Pls. - I am NOT passionate about the "oscars".  No way.  They just proved again that they are stupid and insignificant by their awful anti-BBM attitude.  It is just that I am and will always be furuious  >:( because those heffalumps, in their supreme stupidity, gave away a "best picture" award to something sooo evidently bad and unworthy as ("TRASH").   Of course, Heath, Jake, Mr. Pietro should have won also. 
(Yes, I am passionate that Peter O'Toole didn't win as best actor as LOA in Apr. 1963; it is his immortal role.  And they've been rotten to him time and time again).   

Well, I'll talk again later!  Bye.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on January 29, 2010, 11:04:28 AM
Hi to Cally: I'm glad to hear from you.  Pls. - I am NOT passionate about the "oscars".  No way.  They just proved again that they are stupid and insignificant by their awful anti-BBM attitude.  It is just that I am and will always be furuious  >:( because those heffalumps, in their supreme stupidity, gave away a "best picture" award to something sooo evidently bad and unworthy as ("TRASH").   Of course, Heath, Jake, Mr. Pietro should have won also. 
(Yes, I am passionate that Peter O'Toole didn't win as best actor as LOA in Apr. 1963; it is his immortal role.  And they've been rotten to him time and time again).   

Well, I'll talk again later!  Bye.

Sorry, Kathy, if I put words in your mouth :D.  Yes, they are pretty heffalumpish, aren't they?
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: kathy on January 29, 2010, 02:52:59 PM
Hi Cally:
YES -  THE MOST HELLALUMPISH BUNCH IN THE WORLD.  ROTTEN, STUPID COWARDS -  ALL OF THEM. 

Bye for now.
Title: Re: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?
Post by: Sara B on April 11, 2010, 05:26:21 AM

(from TOTW 80)
Perhaps it is because the film is more aesthetic. The SS more raw and gritty. It does as you say depend on what you want from it. And no I don't desire all things to be  "pretty" just think they did a good job with making a heartbreaking SS into a darn good film. I still believe a lot