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Author Topic: All other scenes including truck scenes, Thanksgiving scenes, alley scenes, and other  (Read 315774 times)

Offline morrobay

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I'm sure this scene has been discussed here, but I don't know when...the 4th of July scene with the bikers and fireworks. 

Did Ennis threaten the bikers to prove his manhood to Alma and himself?  And this was the first time she had seen this side of him, she'd never seen him violent before?

Just trying to get others' ideas on what they were thinking...
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Offline CANSTANDIT

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Great question.   That scene I'm guessing is much more complex than just showing Ennis's insecurities. ?? 

Offline royandronnie

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"Probably stopped givin it to her when the kids was born." Pretty provocative statement to anyone, and in cowboy country, I'd say "them's fightin words." But for Ennis--they're lookin at him like they know. So yeah, he's got to prove his manhood. From her reaction, I'd say it's the first time Alma has seen this side of him, but she already knows, from the flipping scene, that he's not all sweetness and light. He'll make her do something she hates. But importantly, she has yet to be disillusioned, so she reacts with shock and fear. Later, that confrontation wouldn't have moved her that much.

Ironic, ain't it, that the cause of the scene, Ennis objecting to their language, is overshadowed when he yells "you want to lose about half your fuckin teeth?"

Can I mention (again) my biggest pet peeve about Brokeback? That the fat, gray bikers are a HUGE anachronism? In the late 60s, they'd be about Ennis' age, maybe up to 10 years older. The biker era was the late 50s, early 60s. They'd be mid 30s, tops. But Ennis wouldn't have had it so easy, given that there were 3 of them, if they'd been young men. They'd have kicked his ass.

"…in the family homestead of his dead lover, the shirts they wore while cowboying together long before: shabby denim and weary cotton, wrapped in each other's arms." Like this. Always.

He either fears his fate too much
Or his deserts are small
Who dares not put it to the touch
To win or lose it all

Offline CANSTANDIT

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It does appear to take that particular line to set him off, when he's kept his cool up to that point. So he is being outed to an extent in his mind only-at that point, Alma's knowledge of him and Jack is something she
buried away after the kiss on the landing. Clearly, Ennis has probably assumed it was not fully realized by her, despite the fact that 'she saw what she saw'.

This is another example of where the writers of the screenplay claimed that every bit of the SS found it's way into the movie, in one form or another.

As to the selection of the bikers, they are really just modern-day cowboys, with their modern horses/hogs, aren't they? ; I think in the backdrop of the fireworks, it's another bit of filmmaker metaphor, where up to that time in history, homophobia still "won", ie, victory fireworks, after Ennis knocks them on their respective arses.

Offline royandronnie

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It does appear to take that particular line to set him off, when he's kept his cool up to that point. So he is being outed to an extent in his mind only-at that point, Alma's knowledge of him and Jack is something she
buried away after the kiss on the landing. Clearly, Ennis has probably assumed it was not fully realized by her, despite the fact that 'she saw what she saw'.

This is another example of where the writers of the screenplay claimed that every bit of the SS found it's way into the movie, in one form or another.

As to the selection of the bikers, they are really just modern-day cowboys, with their modern horses/hogs, aren't they? ; I think in the backdrop of the fireworks, it's another bit of filmmaker metaphor, where up to that time in history, homophobia still "won", ie, victory fireworks, after Ennis knocks them on their respective arses.

It looks like you're saying this scene is after the Reunion, when it's actually before…
"…in the family homestead of his dead lover, the shirts they wore while cowboying together long before: shabby denim and weary cotton, wrapped in each other's arms." Like this. Always.

He either fears his fate too much
Or his deserts are small
Who dares not put it to the touch
To win or lose it all

Offline CANSTANDIT

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It looks like you're saying this scene is after the Reunion, when it's actually before…
oops my mistake! ok, so if I remove that point....I think it still stands. Ennis would not want to be outed in any way...but this makes the impact even worse on Alma, as she has no real reason to guess what's underneath his violent aggression-yet.

One other thing: There is a bit of a bookend with the SS here: in the SS, Ennis grabs Alma's wrist so hard he leaves a burn; and tells her he'll make her eat the floor (with Bill) after she outs him in the kitchen. It's an example of where the writers said they used everything in the SS for the movie. Its like his denial has come full circle-Alma was the first construct, and now she no longer is part of that; she is like the only one not part of the construct of denial, by that point. Even Jack is to an extent-but Jack never calls Ennis what he is-homosexual. ('I'm not like you....I can't make it, etc.'-Last Scene) But Alma kind of does.

The scene is also just another example of how Ennis has the classic male reaction to a threat to his masculinity-"let's go kick some ass."

Offline Ministering angel

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"Probably stopped givin it to her when the kids was born." Pretty provocative statement to anyone, and in cowboy country, I'd say "them's fightin words." But for Ennis--they're lookin at him like they know. So yeah, he's got to prove his manhood. From her reaction, I'd say it's the first time Alma has seen this side of him, but she already knows, from the flipping scene, that he's not all sweetness and light. He'll make her do something she hates. But importantly, she has yet to be disillusioned, so she reacts with shock and fear. Later, that confrontation wouldn't have moved her that much.

Ironic, ain't it, that the cause of the scene, Ennis objecting to their language, is overshadowed when he yells "you want to lose about half your fuckin teeth?"

Can I mention (again) my biggest pet peeve about Brokeback? That the fat, gray bikers are a HUGE anachronism? In the late 60s, they'd be about Ennis' age, maybe up to 10 years older. The biker era was the late 50s, early 60s. They'd be mid 30s, tops. But Ennis wouldn't have had it so easy, given that there were 3 of them, if they'd been young men. They'd have kicked his ass.
That last bit first - I watched the scene and then read the script. Oddly enough, they are described as being about Ennis's age but one (the longhaired one in the film) is described as having a club foot, thus putting him at a slight disadvantage when confronted by a fast-moving chap like Ennis. I'm not sure that's obvious in the film, although he comes across as a bit the worse for wear, and they certainly aren't the same age as Ennis. But them being older is okay historically. If they'd returned from WW2 in their early twenties (and the huge movement with bikie gangs began as a response to the end of the war, according to accepted lore) and the scene is set in 1966 as the event announcer says, then they could be around mid-forties. I note that the fitter of the two, the one with the bandana, is taken by surprise by Ennis, who simply kicks him full in the face while seeming to address the other one who has stood up. Neat trick.

If I recall correctly, after the Thanksgiving scene when Ennis steps in front of the truck, the driver calls him an asshole, and the bikies do too. Maybe just coincidence but maybe not. Apart from daring to drive while Ennis is in a foul mood and stomping in his path, the driver doesn't do anything untoward except yell at him to mind where he's going, or whatever, and call him an asshole. Sensitive area for Ennis, perhaps.  ;)

There's definitely a direct connection between the line about not giving it to his old lady any more now the kids have arrived, and Ennis's response. He knows why it is he's stopped having vaginal sex with his wife, even if she doesn't, and the bikies are just implying he's a sexual dud rather than that he's queer - typical "can't get it up" insult. So I see it as Ennis having to stop the truth coming his way, just as he attacks and threatens Alma when she starts to stray onto dangerous territory, and how he thumps Jack when he gets too up close and personal. Once the knowledge he denies starts getting too clear in his mind he has to react violently against it.

I recall someone mentioning eons ago that 4th July would have been the 3rd anniversary of FNIT. Something to do with full moons in June or somesuch. They argued that Ang Lee might have had such an idea in mind.

Offline Ministering angel

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There's a few posts about the scene beginning HERE, where, surprise surprise, I mention the moon as well as how I read the scene. I don't think my views have changed much in eight years.

Offline Desecra

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It's a while since I've watched the film, so this is from memory (and I can't remember the exact words in this scene), and I'm probably mixing up the book and the film a bit, so apologies!   It did seem that the bikers pushed just the right/wrong button - sex with Alma is how Ennis manages to tell himself that he's not queer.  The children are supposed to be living proof of his straightness.   The bikers have actually hit the nail on the head - with two kids as proof, Ennis doesn't need to make so much effort to keep up the facade, and the implied frequent sex after the marriage (he got her pregnant quickly) is now the occasional kind that doesn't make babies.  (And although Ennis is in denial, surely he must know that this is the same act as with Jack?  By this time, he's been sitting and thinking and convinced himself that he's definitely straight and it's OK to think about Jack sexually ... he must know why he only wants anal sex with Alma?).

Alma looks shocked, if I remember, so I imagine this isn't the way she would expect Ennis to act.  It's this specific attack on his manhood/sexuality that provokes this reaction.   He might be trying to prove his manhood to himself and Alma, but he kind of ends up proving that it's an issue for him. 
Unless, I say otherwise, I'm probably talking about the short story, not the movie. :)

Offline royandronnie

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The full moon for July 1963 was actually July 6th. But, it's pretty close. Surely the thought crosses Ennis' mind at some point as he sees the moon waxing to full in the July sky.

I have tried to see something symbolic in the holiday re:Ennis, but the best I can come up with is that it's one of the big FAMILY holidays, but Ennis' secret truth isolates him from the family, and never more than here--and Thanksgiving. He can never really fit in with other people who are not persecuted for being who they are, especially being in denial, not ready with a smooth lie, and always afraid something is going to come to light. In this way the two holidays are alike: in the first, Ennis just overreacts to what is after all a pretty inflammatory comment that he was meant to hear. In the second, perhaps to show how the secret-keeping is wearing on him, or the secrecy deteriorating, or both, he is actually accused by the only other person who knows for sure.
"…in the family homestead of his dead lover, the shirts they wore while cowboying together long before: shabby denim and weary cotton, wrapped in each other's arms." Like this. Always.

He either fears his fate too much
Or his deserts are small
Who dares not put it to the touch
To win or lose it all

Offline suelyblu

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From SS.

Why was it made out to be such a big thing by Jack's father that Jack was "cut"...
(circumcised) ..or was it just something else for him to despise Jack for ?Jack made a point of mentioning it himself too.
Was it so rare back then for boys to have it done to them ? Did it make them less of a man or something?

Sorry if this has been talked about before.
"I  know that ghosts have wondered on the earth,
 Be with me always. Take any form. Drive me mad,
 only do not leave me in the dark alone, where I cannot
 find you.
 I cannot live without my life.
 I cannot die without my soul.
                                          .

Offline Ministering angel

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We've mulled over this scene before but that's no reason not to do it again ;)

I don't know that Jack's father made much of it - after all, he presumably had some say in whether or not Jack was circumcised - but it was clearly something which had an effect on Jack. His relating of it is in very negative terms. "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." So he's missing something which his father has, he's different to his father, he's marked like a piece of stock, and he'll never get it right with his father.

This scene explains to me why Jack is always so compliant, so willing to give in to Ennis's rules, and so ready to come back year after year, even when the promise of "that distant summer" is nearly faded away. I have always assumed that Ennis is uncut and that he, in some way, is a replacement for Jack's dad, the alpha male who Jack tries to make it right with. On the mountain, Jack and Ennis's relationship really takes off after the evening when Ennis comes in and washes himself in front of Jack's observant eyes. I suspect that Jack's (presumably) first glimpse of Ennis in his glory might have helped things along.

Offline CellarDweller115

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