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Author Topic: How Brokeback affected me  (Read 1474906 times)

Offline Dave Cullen

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How Brokeback affected me
« on: December 28, 2005, 09:26:08 AM »
Hey, normally I like to start these off with a few thoughts to get you going, to maybe respond to, but here I want to keep it simple.

We have seen such an outpouring of the ways Brokeback has affected people here--sometimes like a fist to the skull the first time you saw it or read it, sometimes it snuck up on people and overwhelmed them gradually.

Whatever you have experienced, we want to hear about it. Here would be a good place.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2006, 09:20:28 AM by Dave Cullen »

Offline mountain boy

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2005, 09:34:01 AM »
I've been thinking about that. Main thing I'd say is it has made me feel lonely for the first time since 1992. I'm no more alone than I ever was. I mean, I have a partner, no complaints. But I'm aching to see old friends again, and maybe to know the friends I never knew.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2005, 09:38:28 AM by wdj »

Offline adamblast

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2005, 10:11:40 AM »
I'm a 47-year-old solitary gay man in a rural setting, with no prospects for love.  The movie affected me as you might expect: it devestated me and made me cry: for Jack and Ennis, for the state of the world, and for myself. It has also made me face my lonliness and emptiness again for the first time in years.

Offline BillN

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2005, 10:47:34 AM »
I too have had loneliness return as a result of the movie and can empathise with Adamblast in being in a location with small prospects of meeting a life partner, but that doesn't mean I can't do anything about it. For some time after the death of my partner 11 years ago I felt I was lucky to have several close friends and part of my family being very supportive; the movie forced me to recognize nothing can subsitute for the love of that single person.

Adamblast, you said no prospects of ending the loneliness where you, is it possible to change the location? Thats what I am now thinking about doing.

Offline Charlie

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2005, 10:57:20 AM »
It makes me miss my brother, who went to that great Brokeback Mountain in the sky in 1992.  He had his Ennis in the early 80's and the pain was with him until he died.

Offline adamblast

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2005, 11:03:00 AM »
...is it possible to change the location? Thats what I am now thinking about doing.
Here I have a reliable job (10+ years) and a home of my own.  Do I give up my only clear shot at financial security because there aren't enough gay men around?  Tough call.

I don't move because 1) starting over again career-wise is a daunting prospect for a 47-year-old of modest income and 2) moving into a gay urban ghetto would just probably just make a wallflower out of me anyway.  

Offline BillN

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2005, 11:23:30 AM »
Adamblast, I understand your questions and share some of the same concerns. I too have a comfortable home and don't want to start over, particularly in trying to meet new people. I lived in San Francisco for a number of years and still have some friends there, that is where I'm thinking about going back to. It is easier for me since I retired a little early and so don't have the same concerns with work that you have, but it would mean a change in the budget. Life can be tough in giving you some of what you want, but not the thing you want value most. You can email me at Napa_eskies@Yahoo.com if you'd like to discuss further, Bill

Offline Sam in Chicago

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2005, 11:45:19 AM »
For me, an out, urban, 43 year-old gay man in a 19-year relationship, it has has affected me in powerful, surprising and sometimes paradoxical, ways. To start with, I've very rarely felt so close to any character in a film or story as I do to these two guys. They just won't get out of my head. This is the "haunting" quality that so many people have referred to. After watching the film the first time, I felt completely spent, weak and numb. The second time I watched it, I was even more of a mess, just unable to hold anything in for the last half of the film. I read the story after that, and at the end of it had a good, cathartic cry.

In the subsequent hours and days, I began to evaluate things in my life vis a vis Ennis and Jack and what they went through. On the one hand, their story makes me feel so lucky--it has shown me that things have been so easy for me, and that I should I really appreciate everything I have. On the other hand, it makes me feel like such a coward for not being bolder about living my life more fully, as who I really am. Since it has all been so easy for me, why didn't I do more, try harder, have higher expectations, rise to challenges rather than just settling or making easy choices in my life? Other people have said it, and it's so true--Brokeback has made me realize the triviality of so many things in my life, and has made me want to distill my life down to what is important and essential.

For adamblast and BillN--I send strength and love to you guys.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2005, 02:52:55 PM by Sam in Chicago »
It's because of you, Jack, I'm like this...nothing...nowhere....

Offline BillN

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2005, 11:58:00 AM »
Sam, thanks for the kind words. I lived in Chicago for a year, unfortunately it included the winter of 1984 when the wind chill on Christmas eve was 78 below. Was very glad to move back to CA and less chilly weather.

I think we all can look back and see opportunities and challenges we wish we could take on again. One of the reasons the movie is so haunting because it forces us to address that, and leaves us empty for Ennis's situation. We always want a happy ending, and real life does not deliver it very often. On the other hand, the movie is so powerful because it does bring those things to the surface, that makes a great movie and watching experience.

Offline aceygirl

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2005, 01:21:05 PM »
There was a Dec. 18 article in the NY Times about "real-life" gay cowboys, including one who almost committed suicide. There is also an op-ed piece by Frank Rich optimistically predicting that within years, even the obligatory "as long as it's not called marriage" reservation that some have about gay/lesbian unions will evaporate. I wish I could provide links but you have to pay for them on the site now.

I was looking forward to this movie for months, because I loved the idea of two hot guys going at it on the big screen. I love Ang Lee's stuff, and I already loved the work of Gyllenhall and Ledger (particularly in  Monsters Ball). But I didn't know this movie would affect me so profoundly. Seeing it a second time only made me cry more, not less. It just cuts little holes in my heart, letting every sentimental, "why can't we all just get along," "why can't true love prevail" girly romantic heartstring underneath my cynical chest spit blood.

As a naive college frosh, I developed a crush on an older guy who had the same kind of blond, boyish good looks that Heath Ledger has. I soon found out that he had left the college for five years due to being gay-bashed. By the time he returned, our liberal arts college had launched a big "multicultural" progressive wave and was quite different. He truly was one of those friends who changed the way I looked at life, expanded my cultural horizons and enriched me...him being gay had absolutely  nothing to do with any of it. But the idea of someone like him having to leave the school because of ignorant "college-educated" bigots was shocking and woke my suburban-LA-coddled self to what cruel reality can be like.

I'm very spoiled having lived in diverse communities of LA and NYC all my life. Even when I dated women, it was more socially acceptable and even considered "hot." While truly annoying and offensive, those reactions from men weren't life-threatening. Brandon Teena, Matthew Shepard, and countless other incidents show that reactions can be much worse. And this movie, a work of art, depicts tragedy on so many levels...including the victims like the wives. Nobody comes out a winner when love is thwarted by fear and bigotry.

In my dreams, Ennis stops Jack from getting back into the truck and driving to Mexico...why did he tell him he was getting divorced, anyway, thus getting his hopes up like that? :(

Offline Dru

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2005, 01:28:38 PM »
How BBM has affected me...

I appreciate everyone's willingness to share on this thread...

The film has affected me tremendously because it reminds me of that once-in-a-lifetime love that so few of us are lucky enough to truly experience -- usually a love that's experienced in our late teens or early twenties that, for one reason or another, will never work.  Ennis and Jack have that kind of love and, despite the obstacles, find a way to hold on to it.  It's heartwrenching and bittersweet and beautiful and sad.  How many of us live our lives remembering times like the second night in the tent, or the embrace by the fire, or the reunion on the stairs?  And BBM gives us the opportunity to see moments like that from our deepest imaginations and memories come to vivid, brilliant life.  It's the first time ever that I've wanted to jump into a movie.  Of course, the honesty of the performances and the perfection of the screenplay makes all of that possible, and makes me appreciate the film on every level, from the costuming to the music.  This film experience is perfect, truly.
Dru

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Offline brokebacktom

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2005, 07:44:31 PM »
It open my mind that I need to change or be like Ennis. I a 38 w/ no relationships ever. Only friends I have are co-workers. 

Also I need to stop thinking about the movie, but I can't.  I even came up w/ continuing story, one of Ennis finally finding love and happiness. The story is,of course, very erotic.

So, please someone tell me how to get over this.  I plan on going again w/ co-workers and maybe talking about my feeling w/ them afterwards.

Ennis is tragic character, full of self hatred (homophobic) and self disctruction (a time bomb).  I am not that tragic, Thank God.
I do plan on changing. It won't be easy, but I will try. Ennis should have got in that truck w/ Jack in the first place.

Tom

Offline PetterG

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2005, 08:12:03 PM »
It open my mind that I need to change or be like Ennis. So, please someone tell me how to get over this.  I do plan on changing. It won't be easy, but I will try.

I think many of us here are in the same situation as You. We see 'Ennis' and/or 'Jack' in our own life.

I'm 41 and single and exactly as I think Ennis thinks in the last scene (I haven't seen the movie.): what will I do the rest of my life? - I'm thinking like that: how will the rest of my life be?
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Offline darryl

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2005, 08:25:36 PM »

Ennis is tragic character, full of self hatred (homophobic) and self disctruction (a time bomb).  I am not that tragic, Thank God.
I do plan on changing. It won't be easy, but I will try. Ennis should have got in that truck w/ Jack in the first place.

Tom

Tom, while I agree that Ennis is a tragic character I don't think he is full of self-hatred or self-destruction.  It's more like he's shell-shocked.  The beauty of Brokeback Mountain is what Jack and Ennis shared, and how it enriched both of their lives.  One of the lessons here is to be like Jack.  Be open to love and when you find something that you want don't be afraid to ask for it.

Only in the realm of Praising should Lament walk, the naiad of the wept-for fountain...

Offline BillN

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Re: How Brokeback affected me (that's you)
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2005, 08:35:43 PM »
Agree Darryl that Ennis is confused and very much at odds with himself. He can't get the tire iron out of his mind, and it takes a divorce that Alma starts to get him out what he thinks he is supposed to do - get married and have kids. And yes, Jack is more decisive in knowing what he wants and expressing it. Most of us have experiences with conflicts over who we are versus what others expect of us; my mom and dad didn't stop asking me when I was going to get married until I was in my mid-30s. By then I had settled in CA and I think they finally figured it out (we've never discussed but as they have gotten older it has mattered less to them I think).