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Author Topic: All other scenes including truck scenes, Thanksgiving scenes, alley scenes, and other  (Read 315773 times)

Offline Melisande

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Compare and contrast the Thanksgiving scenes. Or just talk about either or both.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 06:30:09 AM by peteinportland »
let be, let be

Offline peteinportland

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I want to bring up something interesting about Alma. She divorces Ennis who is the epitome of the rugged, Marlboro man cowboy: quiet, tactiturn, not afraid to whoop some ass. She then marries Monroe, who is by far the most effeminate man in the movie. This is especially true when one juxtaposes the two Thanksgiving scenes. In one, the "stud duck" stands to carve the turkey with a real knife and "real men" watch football. In the other, the man of the house sits down and carves the turkey with an electric knife (after his wife nods her permission for him to do so), watches Ice Skating after the meal (I think that was what was on TV), and sits meekly while he wife is under attack in the kitchen.

IMO, those two Thanksgiving scenes are classic works of film making. They almost pitch perfect mirror one another and offer some of the movie's best insight into the two women and their perceptions of and relationships with masculinity and the classic Western male/cowboy. Jack and Ennis both respond violently when their masculinity is threatened, and in doing so, emasculate the "real" men both Lureen and Alma look to for protection. There is even more contrast in the children's interactions with their fathers, and in the wives disparate responses to Jack and Ennis asserting their masculinity.)

Offline ImEnnisShesJack

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IMO, those two Thanksgiving scenes are classic works of film making. They almost pitch perfect mirror one another and offer some of the movie's best insight into the two women and their perceptions of and relationships with masculinity and the classic Western male/cowboy. Jack and Ennis both respond violently when their masculinity is threatened, and in doing so, emasculate the "real" men both Lureen and Alma look to for protection. There is even more contrast in the children's interactions with their fathers, and in the wives disparate responses to Jack and Ennis asserting their masculinity.

not entirely disparate.  Both Lureen and Alma react to their men.  Alma can't help but smile when Ennis regales his short career as a bronc rider and Lureen almost shows teeth at the fact that someone ANYONE has finally stood up to her windbag father.  The worst part is neither man sees it.
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That all the world will be in love with night."
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Offline brokebackLJ

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Does Alma really smile? It almost seems as if she is forcing some sort of recognition out of herself because I think she is entirely uncomfortable with the whole situation. I think she still has so much bottled inside about Jack and Ennis that the only thing that is easing the tension for her is seeing her daughters happy....btw, I love Anne Hathaway's reaction after Jack flips out on the Dad. And then she gives little Bobby a look, like "See, your father is the man of the house." Which I think shows Lureen's need for that masculinity/protection that she wishes she had more from Jack...which I think is why she's so quick to cover up her husband's death. Or partly why anyway.

Offline brokebackLJ

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INT: CHILDRESS, TEXAS: JACK & LUREEN'S HOUSE: THANKSGIVING: DAY: 1977

JACK and LUREEN'S home. Wall-to-wall carperting, fairly luxurious, particularly in comparsion to ENNIS'S life. Many photos of LUREEN winning barrel-racing tropgies. One of JACK, the one taken in the arena the day they met.

JACK, LUREEN, BOBBY, age ten, LUREEN'S long suffering MOTHER and L. D. NEWSUME, Jack's prick of a father-in-law. The table is set for a full Thanksgiving dinner, huge turkey and all the trimmings. As everyone shuffles into their places at the table, WE HEAR the TV in the background. Football game.

JACK is at the head of the table and has just reached for the carving tools, when L. D., older but no kinder, takes them right out of his hands.

L.D. NUSOME
Whoa, now, Rodeo....the stud duck does the carving around here.

JACK, having been trhough this kind of scene many times before, tries nonetheless to be gracious.

JACK
You bet, L.D....just thought I'd save you the trouble.

BOBBY is riveted by the television set.

LUREEN notices.

LUREEN
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.

LUREEN flashes a look at JACK, who then gets up from the table, turns off the television, sits back down.

BOBBY slumps back in his chair, pouts.

JACK
You heard your mama. You can eat your dinner. Then you can watch the game.

L.D. NUSOME sets down the carving tools. Goes to the TV, turns it back on.

LUREEN
Daddy? (pauses) Daddy!

L.D. NUSOME
(picks up the carving tools)
Hell, we don't eat with our eyes.
(looks at Lureen)
You want your son to grow up to be a man, don't you, daughter?
(direct look at Jack)
Boys should watch football.

JACK
(stands up--barely maintain composure)
Not until he finishes the meal his mama spent three hours fixin'.

LUREEN, BOBBY and LUREEN's MOTHER are all startled. JACK has never stood up to L.D. like this before. They watch, silent.

Now L.D. stands again, goes to the TV again, but before he can turn it back on, WE HEAR:

JACK:
Sit down, you old son of a bitch.

L.D. stops dead in his tracks, his hand poised about the TV dial. Doesn't move.

JACK
This is my house! This is my child And you're my guest! So sit the hell down, or I'll knock your ignorant ass into next week....

L.D. is so startled, he automatically obeys.

LUREEN, though trying to keep a bleak demeanor, is secretly pleased.

BOBBY goes bacj to eating his drumstick.

JACK slices the turkey.

Offline David

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Anne Hathaway in her CHUD interview said that she played Lureen as someone who was really trying to believe in her husband, to really love and make a life with Jack. She said that Lureen became disillusioned over the years and became "hard" as a mask to cover up her hurt. She said that, in playing her character, that the smile she gave during Thanksgiving dinner was one moment she really felt proud of Jack. The rest, though, was pretty much downhill.
The huge sadness of the Northern plains rolled down on him.

Offline DaveinPhilly

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These were terrific scenes bringing much color to the characters. Odd that so many critics think they were somehow artificial - yeah, not in the short story, but...

I second peterinportland's word completely.
It could be like this, just like this, always...

Offline muse

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i particularly love alma jr.'s obvious, abundant love and affection and total admiration for her father in their thanksgiving scene. i love the brief shot of her in the background stroking ennis' back as she walks by him while he is clearing the dishes from the table. her maternal nature with him in the later parts of the film is so touching. for me, it was just so great to see ennis be able to and, more importantly, allowed to, demonstrate his love for his daughters. his existence is so bottled up and his love for jack is simply not allowed in his universe. his daughters are the outlet for all of his affection. i am one who feels that alma, jr. knew about her father, and probably, knew about her father and jack. children remember and jack reenterd ennis' life when she was old enough to recognize the effects the relationship had on the family, and specifically, her mother. her desire to protect and care for her father reflects this knowledge. i just love that whole relationship. i think thanksgiving is when we really see it begin to to flourish.
"...in a slow-motion, but headlong, irreversible fall."

Offline peteinportland

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Muse, I agree. I definitely see hero worship in their eyes in this scene. There is a bit of a different reaction from Jack's son. I haven't worked out yet why we see such different reactions from the children to their fathers in these two scenes. It has been percolating in the back of my brain but I have no revelation as of yet.

Offline DaveinPhilly

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Muse, I agree. I definitely see hero worship in their eyes in this scene. There is a bit of a different reaction from Jack's son. I haven't worked out yet why we see such different reactions from the children to their fathers in these two scenes. It has been percolating in the back of my brain but I have no revelation as of yet.

I think Jack's son is embarassed by his dad who isn't, like him, the spitting image of his grandpa - that loathesome newsome. After all being called Rodeo and all the other horrid names from the other "macho" guys in texas. If he only knew what a real man his dad was...
It could be like this, just like this, always...

Offline muse

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jack's relationship with his son is a bit confusing for me. when ennis introduces jack to alma, jack mentions his son and simply says "(he) smiles a lot." it sounds a bit emotionally detached. other than a brief scene with little bobby on jack's lap driving farm machinery, there is little interaction between the two and little exporation of their relationship. meanwhile, ennis' relationship with the girls is a vital part of the film. jacks interaction with lureen's father at thanksgiving seems to be less about standing up defending his role as a father as it is about him standing up defending his manhood. mr. newsome has been mocking jack's masculinity for years and when he does it in front of bobby (by reminding him that real boys should watch football), it is the last straw.
"...in a slow-motion, but headlong, irreversible fall."

Offline peteinportland

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There are two scenes with Jack and Ennis standing at a truck waiting to drive away. The first is when the two come down off BBM and they are about to part ways. It is commonly referred to as the "Gonna do this again next summer" scene.

The other is when Jack drives 1,200 miles after Ennis and Alma divorce, and Ennis introduces Jack to his daughters and then dashes Jack's dreams of them living a life together.

This is the thread to discuss either of these scenes, either separate or together.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2006, 04:53:29 AM by peteinportland »

Offline pdxbennett

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The first truck scene played out like I would have expected.  How many of us (especially in the younger years) have been carried to the mountain on the wings of wishful possibility only to have it collapse into a deep sink hole by cold hard reality.  Some connections no matter how intense and emotionally charged are just not the stuff of long term relationships.

The other truck scene is quite differant.  Ennis initiated contact.  Most likely this was the first and only time he had done this.  He had to know how Jack would react.  Ennis treated him so shabbily and disrespectful.  The "King of the Road" should have finally realized that Ennis would never be capable of anything more and moved on to find the kind of happiness that he needed with someone else.    Ending up in Mexico could not have been much of a joy despite the carnal release it provided.   

Jack should have finally learned.   What he had was basically a "one night stand" that played sporadically for twenty years.

Offline 909dot

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The first truck scene played out like I would have expected.  How many of us (especially in the younger years) have been carried to the mountain on the wings of wishful possibility only to have it collapse into a deep sink hole by cold hard reality.  Some connections no matter how intense and emotionally charged are just not the stuff of long term relationships.

The other truck scene is quite differant.  Ennis initiated contact.  Most likely this was the first and only time he had done this.  He had to know how Jack would react.  Ennis treated him so shabbily and disrespectful.  The "King of the Road" should have finally realized that Ennis would never be capable of anything more and moved on to find the kind of happiness that he needed with someone else.    Ending up in Mexico could not have been much of a joy despite the carnal release it provided.   

Jack should have finally learned.   What he had was basically a "one night stand" that played sporadically for twenty years.

Yes, "but one moments reprieve from loneliness can illuminate a lifetime"...(NY Times Review}
"maybe you should get outa there...move someplace different...maybe Texas."

Offline mwiersma

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The other truck scene is quite differant.  Ennis initiated contact.  Most likely this was the first and only time he had done this.  He had to know how Jack would react.  Ennis treated him so shabbily and disrespectful.  The "King of the Road" should have finally realized that Ennis would never be capable of anything more and moved on to find the kind of happiness that he needed with someone else.    Ending up in Mexico could not have been much of a joy despite the carnal release it provided.   

Jack should have finally learned.   What he had was basically a "one night stand" that played sporadically for twenty years.

OHG.  Have you seen the movie?  Tragic though it is that Ennis coudn't love Jack the way Jack wanted and needed, they still LOVED each other, through it all.  They did what they had to do, but it never interfered with their devotion to each other, even after Jack is killed. 

It COULD have been a one night stand, after the first drunken, clunking sexual encounter, but it turned into lovemaking the next night, and presumably (mabye just in my mind) better and more fulfilling after that. 

It COULD have been a one-summer affair, but the love affair never cooled or abated, and the fire never weakened between them enough for them to part ways, even though Jack became increasingly disillusioned and sad.

I can only hope to experience such love, whatever the circumstances.