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Author Topic: All other scenes including truck scenes, Thanksgiving scenes, alley scenes, and other  (Read 310807 times)

Offline aceygirl

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Wrong wrote: "I'd call 20 years of rejection or stringing someone along when you know you can't commit abuse. pull you in, cut you loose, pull you in, cut you loose. Or more plainly, love you, reject you, love you , reject you. We see the toll it takes on Jack through the years. pretty sad."

 I don't think he was stringing Jack along. And I don't think he was rejecting him either. Ennis sacrificed to be with Jack. But there was never a hint that he was going to give more. Sure, Jack hoped for more. And he suffered because he didn't get it. THey both did. I think when you use language like "when you know you can't commit," you're not describing Ennis. THat's not the way his mind worked. I think you'd act differently in Jack's shoes. More power to you. But in the fictional story, it is perfectly believable to me that Jack stuck around all those years. He had hope. But I think in that final look of the older Jack as Ennis drives away we can see that his hope has finally died.

This is a good point. Ennis puts forth his boundaries right after they reunite..."Now we can get together once in a while..." and Jack accepts it. He doesn't like it, but he knows that's all Ennis can handle. He just didn't know at the time, perhaps, that it was also something he COULDN'T handle--he would want much more than Ennis could give.

That happens in so many relationships--no matter how wonderful, there is something, or some time, when you can't give the other person exactly what they want. This was certainly a more extreme example. Ennis didn't have money, a therapist, the personality,or any kind of world experience to help him handle the situation. Jack does understand and accept this. It's just that in the end, he realizes it will never be enough for him. He could have stopped going on trips with Ennis at any point throughout the 20 years. But he loved Ennis. Can't blame Ennis for that, even though we can certainly find many flaws and much responsibility in his role.

That said, I think the scene of Jack driving to Mexico is just about one of the hardest to bear in the whole movie. And that's a tribute to Jake's acting.

Offline kappadappa

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In response the the difference in the relationships between Ennis and his girls and Jack and his son:
In general (Oedipal and Electra complexes) boys bond with their mothers and girls worship their daddies.  So, to me, these relationships seemed absolutely on track.

And Jack's "Smiles a lot" line seems pitch perfect to me because the situation (meeting the wife of the man you love after you were just kissing him 2 seconds ago) is so awkward.  Also, in the book, there is mention of how hard Jack is shaking and the electricity that passes when he and Ennis brush hands.  So it makes sense that his brain is a bit overwhelmed and he spits out the first thought in his head.  I loved it!
gay: a guy primarily attracted to men, sexually (i.e., much more toward men than women) [Dave Cullen]

Offline In Tears

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......The discussion about the Jack/Ennis relationship here has been interesting and it does seem that Jack's disillusionment was real, though it did take a few more years to finally surge through, with a crash, during the final encounter between them. I think this is what we see in the contrast between the two images of Gyllenhaal's face when he gazes at the departing Ennis - adoringly in the perfect flashback, but haunted and desperate in the later image that immediately follows it.

Oh, what an expressive face! Among my favorite Jack faces: 1. The shot when Ennis is bathing, 2. The come-on to the clown, and 3. the reaction to Randall's come-on. Each of these gestures is reductionism at its finest. If the script is beautifully tight, Jack's faces more than do it justice.
"Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives."

Offline peteinportland

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Well, I'm glad there are some people taking up for Ennis. I DO think Ennis defines his boundaries because of his fears, but all in all, I think Ennis was by far the more honest of the two characters. As already stated, Ennis never leads Jack on in regards to the terms of their relationship. In fact, he tells Jack this more than once. Remember the line, "I already told you, it ain't gonna be that way. I'm stuck with what I got." He then goes on to tell Jack, "Two guys living together? No. We can get together every once in awhile way the hell out in the back of nowhere..."    And this is the way Ennis defined the relationship for Jack and the way it was for 20 years. Ennis never, not once, led Jack to expect anything more than that.

Remember Jack was the romantic. Lureen says so on the phone with Ennis. "But knowing Jack, it might be some pretend place where the bluebirds sing and there is a whiskey spring."  Jack's father says so when he tells Ennis, "But like most a Jack's ideas it never come to pass." Proulx makes sure we understand the heart of a romantic beats in Jack. Even though Ennis was always upfront with Jack and very clear of his boundaries, Jack still dreams a romantic's dreams. I'm sorry, but I personally think that a partner so clearly defining his boundaries is the opposite of any sort of emotional abuse. Ennis gave Jack everything he told him he would. He even told him, "ain't no reins on this one" signaling to Jack that as long as he was willing to accept the limits, then their relationship could go on forever.

The other thing that no one seems to mention is that Jack certainly had other options with Ennis and with his own life. Why does Jack wait four years to find Ennis? Why doesn't Jack ever divorce Lureen and move closer to Ennis so maybe they can spend more time together? Why is it that Ennis always has to give up his life in order to be with Jack? Ennis quits his jobs, so they can spend time together. Jack accepts this even though he knows Ennis is poor and has a family. If Jack lived in Wyoming they could spend more time together and do it on Ennis' normal days off, so they could see one another without Ennis quitting the jobs.

Jack asks Ennis to move to Texas away from his children. Jack throws a fit because Ennis can't get time off a job he needs to keep (to pay child support) even though Jack stays in a cushy situation 1200 miles away where he has no financial worries and can take off when he wants. Jack tells Ennis he wants to quit him, even though we never hear Ennis make such a nasty comment to Jack. Jack pressures Ennis to give him more than Ennis can give to him. Jack shows a willingness to toss aside his son for Ennis, but Ennis refuses to cut his daughters from his life, even for Jack. In my view, Jack always demands and demands from Ennis in spite of what Ennis makes clear he can give, and really, even though he says he is willling to do so, never gives up anything much in return. Who is it that loses the most due to this relationship (not counting the emotional hardship which affects both of them equally)? It ain't Jack Twist. 

We even see this on the mountain. Who is it that won't eat beans? Who hates sleeping with the sheep in the pup tent that smells like cat piss? Who insists on illegally killing an elk? It is always Jack wanting more. And who takes care of him? Ennis. Throughout the movie, Jack always wants more, and Ennis gives him all that he possibly can while remaining true to the last part of himself he can (a good cowboy and a father who provides for his children). Jack would take that from of him as well if Ennis would let him.

Don't get me wrong. I love the character of Jack Twist, and I feel his need and his pain. I also understand the romantic and the dreamer who often finds the dream and the wish safer and more secure than the hard, cold reality.  I don't begrudge Jack for what he wanted, nor for what Ennis gives up for him. However, in my opinion, to suggest that Jack is a poor victim who has to endure a lifetime of emotional abuse at the hands of Ennis is a far cry from the truth of the movie I watched and the book I read. Both of these men are victims, but not of one another. They are victims of a society that says two men can't love and can't live together and remain part of their community or remain true to the men they are supposed to be.

Offline mary

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Well, I'm glad there are some people taking up for Ennis. I DO think Ennis defines his boundaries because of his fears, but all in all, I think Ennis was by far the more honest of the two characters. As already stated, Ennis never leads Jack on in regards to the terms of their relationship. In fact, he tells Jack this more than once. Remember the line, "I already told you, it ain't gonna be that way. I'm stuck with what I got." He then goes on to tell Jack, "Two guys living together? No. We can get together every once in awhile way the hell out in the back of nowhere..." And this is the way Ennis defined the relationship for Jack and the way it was for 20 years. Ennis never, not once, led Jack to expect anything more than that.

...
Don't get me wrong. I love the character of Jack Twist, and I feel his need and his pain. I also understand the romantic and the dreamer who often finds the dream and the wish safer and more secure than the hard, cold reality. I don't begrudge Jack for what he wanted, nor for what Ennis gives up for him. However, in my opinion, to suggest that Jack is a poor victim who has to endure a lifetime of emotional abuse at the hands of Ennis is a far cry from the truth of the movie I watched and the book I read. Both of these men are victims, but not of one another. They are victims of a society that says two men can't love and can't live together and remain part of their community or remain true to the men they are supposed to be.

Thank you pete, I've felt the condemnations of Ennis almost viscerally myself. I agree both of these men suffer but I never doubted that they love each other and tried to make the relationship work as best they could. If I thought otherwise I don't think the story would move me as much as it does. They have so many obstacles to overcome, some in their own minds but they didn't get there without some basis in their life experience
never enough time, never enough....

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Offline gnash

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michael -- you've really done your research! i think that maybe this was just a slip up. maybe they just wanted to have ice skating on the television to show the difference between jack's house (football) and monroe's house (skating), and ang wasn't too concerned with the actual date of the skating as it related to the movie. what's amazing is that you caught the name of the top defensive player!! who was it? and was there anything overheard from the tv when the skating was shown?

bookgirl -- that scene has me thinking too... it seems alma was kinda pissed off from the start. maybe because she was pregnant and possibly feeling irritable or under the weather? it seems that the comment ennis made about the girl's "wings" (as he tugs on jenny's ear) got her goat too -- as if the alma jr's and jenny's ears (maybe he felt they stuck out, unlike his?) were from alma's side of the family, and not his... after he said that, alma had an angry look on her face. then, they cut away to the scene of monroe hacking away at the turkey with the electric knife.

so, when she's in the kitchen, she's already seething, or so it seems. maybe she just had to work up the courage, and anger, to approach ennis. while alma starts it off with "me and the girls worry about you being alone so much..." she then starts in with her recounting of the tackle box note.. it seems that ang lee wanted to convey that she had been planning to say this to him, to finally let him know that she knew about his trysts. it was a delicate subject, something she'd been holding in for YEARS, and finally, it came out.

it's odd that she chose to do this on thanksgiving, with the girls and her new husband in the other room, but it sure made for a great, explosive scene.

to answer your question, yes, perhaps it solidified ennis' fears with this scene. it certainly set him off! but somehow i don't feel that without it ennis might have been more open to jack and their living together. my feeling is that ennis was so trapped in a cycle of fear that hardly anything would have changed his mind, except of course, the loss of jack. "you don't know what you've got till it's gone" type of thing...

i love how ennis says, about his bronc riding career, "...only about three seconds i was on that bronc, and the next thing i knew i was flyyyyin' through the air..." it's so cute how he says "flyin'."

ennis was effective at charming his children and maybe that's why alma was angry, because she felt ennis was trying to show up monroe, or something... maybe she was angry that ennis wasn't all he was cracked up to be, that she really did still love him, and would rather be with him than with monroe. ennis was, afterall, her first true love, and he was the father of her children. his secret ruined her marriage, her dreams were shattered, and their marriage vows fell to the wayside. her heart was broken. it's no wonder she spouted out "jack nasty!"

it's so sad, really... but the destruction of family life in the movie is excellently portrayed, showing viewers how homophobia can ruin the lives of men and also the people around them.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2006, 07:07:49 AM by gnash »

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Offline michaelflanagansf

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michael -- you've really done your research! i think that maybe this was just a slip up. maybe they just wanted to have ice skating on the television to show the difference between jack's house (football) and monroe's house (skating), and ang wasn't too concerned with the actual date of the skating as it related to the movie. what's amazing is that you caught the name of the top defensive player!! who was it? and was there anything overheard from the tv when the skating was shown?


Gnash, you're probably right about the placement of the skating - and I should add that I _really_ wasn't looking for flaws - I just noticed that it was Olympics related and was trying to figure out if that was really a Thanksgiving scene (this was before I got the Screenplay) - and was confused since the Winter Olympics happen in February.

As to the defensive player - SORRY!!!  I didn't take the name down in my notes - just that they say 'top defensive player of 1977' in that scene.

When it comes to sports I'm kind of like the dog in the Gary Larson cartoon (blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, GINGER, blah, blah, blah).

_Maybe_ I'll listen for this on time 5 (which - I'm pacing myself here - I'll do next week).
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

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Offline Castro

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so, when she's in the kitchen, she's already seething, or so it seems. maybe she just had to work up the courage, and anger, to approach ennis. while alma starts it off with "me and the girls worry about you being alone so much..." she then starts in with her recounting of the tackle box note.. it seems that ang lee wanted to convey that she had been planning to say this to him, to finally let him know that she knew about his trysts. it was a delicate subject, something she'd been holding in for YEARS, and finally, it came out.
Gnash. I'm in total agreement.  Alma looked mad all through the scene at the table, and I took her kitchen-sink comment ("Me and the girls,"etc.) as an awkward way of getting into the subject she really wanted to talk about.  She probably resented the girls' unreasonable (from her point of view) devotion to Ennis.  In fact, this scene that makes me think that in the future she would probably be dropping spiteful  insinuations about Ennis and Jack to AlmaJr and Jenny. Never coming out and telling; just hinting. 

Offline DaveinPhilly

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Peter, Mary, (is there a Paul in there) thanks you guys for standing up for Ennis. These were two wonderful loveable and falible men. Maybe just like the rest of us.
It could be like this, just like this, always...

Offline scot5636

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Why doesn't Jack ever divorce Lureen and move closer to Ennis so maybe they can spend more time together? Why is it that Ennis always has to give up his life in order to be with Jack? Ennis quits his jobs, so they can spend time together. Jack accepts this even though he knows Ennis is poor and has a family. If Jack lived in Wyoming they could spend more time together and do it on Ennis' normal days off, so they could see one another without Ennis quitting the jobs.


I thought about this too, but wondered if Ennis would really let that happen.  When Jack drives up after the divorce, Ennis is concerned about what someone driving past on the road might think while he and Jack are talking.  In Ennis' mind, spending all that time together would have been a little too close to living together, and I think Ennis would have rejected it as readily as he rejected every other suggestion Jack made.

I can't help but sympathize with the romantic in Jack.  He needs Ennis in a way that Ennis never comprehends.

I also wonder if Ennis' devotion to his daughters is not partly colored by the traditional, hetero, family screen it provides for him -- something Jack was always ready to toss aside.

Offline In Tears

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Why doesn't Jack ever divorce Lureen and move closer to Ennis so maybe they can spend more time together? Why is it that Ennis always has to give up his life in order to be with Jack? Ennis quits his jobs, so they can spend time together. Jack accepts this even though he knows Ennis is poor and has a family. If Jack lived in Wyoming they could spend more time together and do it on Ennis' normal days off, so they could see one another without Ennis quitting the jobs.


I thought about this too, but wondered if Ennis would really let that happen. When Jack drives up after the divorce, Ennis is concerned about what someone driving past on the road might think while he and Jack are talking. In Ennis' mind, spending all that time together would have been a little too close to living together, and I think Ennis would have rejected it as readily as he rejected every other suggestion Jack made.

Well, I'd ask if the story, expertly crafted as it is, rests upon the physical distance between them. Doesn't Proulx need that device to create loneliness, despair, longing, regret, as well as exhilaration, passion, and, above all, hope? Yes, J could call E and suggest they move to Denver but, if he did that, we would not all be here.


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Offline Scott88

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Well, I'd ask if the story, expertly crafted as it is, rests upon the physical distance between them.  Doesn't Proulx need that device to create loneliness, despair, longing, regret, as well as exhilaration, passion, and, above all, hope?  Yes, J could call E and suggest they move to Denver but, if he did that, we would not all be here.

Well, I think it's unfair to say it's just a device; this ongoing situation develops organically from the characters' histories and personalities.  As Scot5636 pointed out, Ennis wouldn't have been able to tolerate living closer to Jack (regardless of who made the move) because his own paranoia about the relationship and self-loathing wouldn't have permitted it. 

As Ennis said, they could "meet out in the middle of nowhere every once in awhile"--but that was about the extent of it.  IMHO, this "arrangement", though deeply unsatisfying for Jack, allowed Ennis to compartmentalize his relationship with Jack and thereby make it easier for him to cope with his inner torment.  To "stand it."

Though, we know that by the final fishing trip, Ennis's stoicism had given way to the admission that he couldn't stand it anymore...

Offline gnash

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but but but,, what about the ears??? LOL

i think that phrase  was included to anger alma. maybe that was another reason for her to take a jab at ennis in the kitchen. angel wings! hahaha. eeks. if you take ennis' "once burned" comment in relationship to his "only i didn't have wings like you" line, it makes sense that there was mutual tension going on between both alma and ennis. ennis, on edge as he was sitting in the dining room of his wife's new husband, and alma, having to endure the unease of hosting her ex in her new husband's home.

castro -- i agree on the devotion line of thought.. i can't read into the future, but i did sense that alma, especially with alma jr. probably did talk to her about the trips. i mean, a teenager isn't going to ignore the fact that her mom is so depressed and sullen when daddy goes "fishin'."

when alma jr. tells cassie "maybe he's not the marryin' kind" it seemed to me that it implied that maybe alma  jr. was a little more perceptive about her father than the movie let on...

michael -- i will look for that line coming out of the TV at the twist house next time. i'm pacing myself too. once a week at most for a while!

sports? it's the same for me. i don't even know what a first down means. but i did perk up when i saw ice skating on monroe's tv. i'm a huge fan of (especially the male) skaters. i hate the quad. so many try but they usually blow it. i'd rather see a flawless performance with a triple or two, than attempts at a quad that fails.

i cried from the sheer beauty of it all when rudy gallindo skated to swan lake in his hometown of san jose a long while ago... he was like a delicate snowflake, a butterfly fluid and graceful. and openly gay to boot. soo loved it.

i'm such a fag! lol  -- no offense to the straight gays on this board ;D

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Offline michaelflanagansf

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sports? it's the same for me. i don't even know what a first down means. but i did perk up when i saw ice skating on monroe's tv. i'm a huge fan of (especially the male) skaters. i hate the quad. so many try but they usually blow it. i'd rather see a flawless performance with a triple or two, than attempts at a quad that fails.

i cried from the sheer beauty of it all when rudy gallindo skated to swan lake in his hometown of san jose a long while ago... he was like a delicate snowflake, a butterfly fluid and graceful. and openly gay to boot. soo loved it.

i'm such a fag! lol  -- no offense to the straight gays on this board ;D

rotfl...hmmm...well, I was a Jr. High Basketball Cheerleader (before I went all Symbionese Liberation Army)...does that count as sports?  Still I'm into sports enough that I'd be willing to buy Bode Miller a six-pack.

Me, I'm not so big a fan of the skating - but I'm a big fan of Canada, so when I saw in the credits that it was Canadian doubles I perked right up - and I'm pretty sure that's what is on in the Monroe/Alma household.

I was unable to pick out which football game (which teams - what bowl game) was being played in 1977 (at the Twist household), but I'll keep an eye out for that too.

There is a credit for an Edmonton boxing match in 1978, but I don't recall where that was in the movie either.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

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Offline peteinportland

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I'm not sure I think it is a device either.

I'm going to answer my own question (when I asked why Jack does not move closer to Ennis). I don't think Jack CAN leave his life and move closer to Ennis. We know Jack is a romantic, a dreamer. It is the nature of dreamers to dream the impossible dream knowing that they can never have it.

I think Jack and Ennis both realize that their relationship only works as an ideal and that it would never work as a true functioning day-to-day relationship. Their relationship is hermetically sealed as a perfect place to which each of them can escape.  But this perfect place is only obtained through isolation in the natural world and through the scarcity of their couplings. The depth of their love is maintained through the years because for each of them that love represents the best of themselves and the best of their lives. You know, one can make it through the shitty weeks and months if one knows that a perfect place awaits him (where he is a perfect man) two or three times a year. I think one would learn to hold onto that and to understand that it is such a perfect and special time because of its rarity. I think Jack knows this and does not want to jeopardize the mythical BBM.

I also think Jack has become accustomed to the good life he has in Texas and the cover his marriage allows him in pursuit of both Ennis and of other sexual trysts. Jack is also a cowboy, and in spite of his romantic nature, he is as aware of Ennis of the dangers that await a public display of his sexuality. We see in the second truck scene Ennis looking at the truck driving past he and Jack, but Jack sees both the truck and Ennis reaction to it, and I think he fully understands and accepts what it is Ennis fears. I think Jack fears it too; however, he cannot help but be true to his nature and hope against all hope that the dream can be true.

"It can be like this, just like this, always." It gives the reader/viewer hope that the tragic elements can be overcome; however both Ennis AND Jack both know the lie that statement represents. Jack ain't no dummy.