The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Poll

Which do you rate as 'better'?

The Film
207 (44%)
The Book
45 (9.6%)
Equal
195 (41.5%)
Haven't seen/read both yet
23 (4.9%)

Total Members Voted: 432

Author Topic: Film vs. Book -- Which was better?  (Read 168848 times)

Offline David

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #45 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.
The huge sadness of the Northern plains rolled down on him.

Offline jim ...

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #46 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.


Offline aceygirl

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #47 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.

Offline happycamper

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #48 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.

Offline sotoalf

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #49 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  ;)

Offline jack

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #50 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
"through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall..."

Offline wjp58

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #51 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.
"There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe..."

Offline wjp58

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #52 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.
"There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe..."

Offline Scott88

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #53 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. 

Offline wjp58

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #54 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.
"There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe..."

Offline scot5636

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #55 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.

Offline David

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #56 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.
The huge sadness of the Northern plains rolled down on him.

Offline scot5636

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #57 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.

Offline lena

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #58 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

Offline aceygirl

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Re: Poll: Film or Book -- Which was better?
« Reply #59 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.