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Author Topic: At Jack's Parents  (Read 372319 times)

Offline cricket99999

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #105 on: January 21, 2006, 08:41:00 PM »
odd any mother would let bloody shirts just sit there..that always struck me as odd..i'm certain she knew they were there

When asked about them, Jack undoubtedly told his mother to "leave them be" and "don't wash them."
Hope Ennis thinks to say so to Alma Junior if he moves in with her (as per short story: might have to stay with married daughter until he finds work.)

Remind me it is fiction!

Offline raku

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #106 on: January 21, 2006, 09:43:02 PM »
I'm interested to know what people make of the shirts being at Lightning Flat instead of in Childress. I would have thought Jack would keep the shirts with him.  I know they're with Jack's parents in the short story, and I don't think Ang Lee changes much from the novella so much as omits events in the novella, but I had some trouble reconciling the clear importance of the shirts to Jack, with their location where he don't hardly never see them.  Seemed a bit odd.


Hi Raku,

I think Jack thought of the shirts as safest there.  He appreciated that his mother never changed things around in his boyhood bedroom.  Contrast that with Jack asking Lureen where his parka went; he coulda swore it was in that room, and we see him look in that closet and it's her office supplies...

Of course the real reason Annie Proulx had the shirts in Wyoming is that Ennis never would have found them if Jack kept them in Texas.

Yeah, that parka -- I considered that was partly a way of showing the differing econ circs of Jack and Ennis -- Ennis is still stumbling around in various inadequate jackets, and Jack is turning up for reunions in increasingly nice clothes, including a parka.  Plus, it gives Jack a reason to see Lureen at work, which he describes to Ennis later.

But the shirts still bother me -- IMHO they should be with Jack; they're too important to be left behind.  20 years later, he certainly hasn't left Ennis behind.  Ah well.  AP's story, not mine. 

Offline raku

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #107 on: January 21, 2006, 10:17:26 PM »
Something occurred to me tonight while watching the film for the seventh time.  The exact sequence of these lines:

Mr. Twist:  Tell you what, we got a plot and he's going in it.

Ennis:  Yes sir.

Mrs. Twist:  (Pleading in her eyes.) You'll come back again sometime.

She's telling Ennis to come again ... because she's going to switch the ashes on the old bastard and give them to Ennis.  (I know that's the last thing Ms. Proulx meant, but I'm trying to find at least one bright spot in this movie.)

And here's something else about this scene, specifically the cake.  She offers him a piece of cherry cake but when you see it, you realize they are so poor there's only one cherry in the actualy cake.  That always makes me laugh and cry.

Yes, tedh, that cherry cake really hit me too.  Out in the absolute back of beyond -- where the hell did she get cherries? It struck me as such a brave gesture, not to mention she actually has a cake ready in case anyone comes by.  Doesn't look like they get tons of guest traffic at their house, and yet here's cherry cake ready to go.  Amazing.  And then she's right there with the spare paper bag -- you can see Jack gets his optimism and care for others (grabs Lureen's hat so's it doesn't get squashed) from her.

dudnkink

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #108 on: January 21, 2006, 10:43:24 PM »
There's a rather moving review over on Yahoo (among all the trash) that is especially in love with this scene:

http://movies.yahoo.com/mvc/dfrv?mid=1808403312&s=rc_d&rvid=255-628017&i=1&spl=1&ys=YRVWHtUTldPEcu5q0YqHOg--


This is an old post, and I'm playing catch up --but thank you for this link.  For those who don't know, this gorgeous review is written by a senior (gentleman?)  OH Dear God, did I cry when I read this review.  I SOOO much want to show it to my mom and dad and make them see this brilliant work of art!  I noticed in every one of my viewings, the audience demographic is suprisingly older people.  What's up with that?  Gay kids?  The "Western" genre?

Offline DaveL

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #109 on: January 21, 2006, 11:34:19 PM »
phmale, no not odd.  They were in a hidden recess.  She must have guessed their significance at some point.  Mothers usually go through all a child's belongings left behind, especially an only child's.  She probably knew the second shirt was not J's, and knew why it was carefully placed inside the first.  She wouldn't have disturbed it.  And she gives permission to E to visit the room.
"Ennis del Mar wakes before five....The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft..It could be bad on the highway with the horsetrailer.He has to be packed and away from the place that morning...The wind strikes the trailer like a load of dirt coming off a dump truck, eases, dies...."

Offline fishinbuddy

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #110 on: January 21, 2006, 11:36:46 PM »
My take on this scene is unchanged aftert ten viewings: It is obvious Jack's mom knows who Ennis is. She picked it up, as people do, from the way her son talked about him, the way he'd say his name, the way he looked when thinking and talking about him. And she loves Ennis for loving Jack and for bringing love into Jack's life. As for Jack's dad, he is I think quite what he seems, an old bitter man who has never been happy, never loved another person. It's clear from the way he says "Ennis Del Mar, Jack used to say" that he is using a mocking tone, mocking Jack's caring for this man, making as dramatic and gay-like voice as he can manage. He knows (even he picked it up from how Jack spoke), but has never approved. Never approved of Jack either. As for the mention of the 'other man this spring..." I believe Jack said it, and the old man is still mocking Jack. He has made it clear in the cold and hard way he said "I know where Brokeback mountian is" that he knows and knows Ennis was involved with Jack in some way...and that he disapproves of it (spits, figuratively on them). They both know why Ennis has come for the ashes and not letting him have them is one way of asserting himself over Jack again and repudiating what his son had become, denying Ennis's right to the ashes. I am sure the mom wouldn't have washed the shirts as she never changed anything in the room. They were obviously a shrine in their special location. And were there to keep them away from having to explain them to Lureen. I think it's marvelous how Heath had Ennis with tears in his eyes, weeping the entire time from when Jack's dad mentions the other guy, through the departure, without ever bawling. If you notice the tears in his eyes downstairs before he goes up, then when he sets the little figurine down and for just a split second the light reflects off his face, you can see it's wet under his eye where he is fighting crying but failing. The shirt scene is possibly the most human moment I have seen in a movie; so potently basic to our being, so common to so many of us who have faced loss, yet never discussed, never mentioned. There is a shirt incident in my past, too. unfortunately more than one, and I think it's great she put it in. As for Jack's dad not objecting to the shirts being taken, I don't think he cared. If he did he probably figured he had pushed Ennis as far as it was safe to go.
When I feel that lonesome prairie wind, I let my soul get back to you again...I will never let you, I will never let you, I will NEVER let you go!

Offline peteinportland

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #111 on: January 21, 2006, 11:47:09 PM »
Fishinbuddy, welcome!

Just so you are aware, you may not write lines like these:

"The shirt scene is possibly the most human moment I have seen in a movie; so potently basic to our being, so common to so many of us who have faced loss, yet never discussed, never mentioned. There is a shirt incident in my past, too."

They make the moderator cry, and I'm sure that is disucssed in the terms of use as something you should not do (especially as he has cried twice now in just three threads).

That was very beautifully put. Thank you.

dudnkink

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #112 on: January 21, 2006, 11:54:03 PM »
Oftentimes, Pete, reading these posts makes me cry more than when I actually see the film!   :'(

Offline crcj

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #113 on: January 22, 2006, 12:20:00 AM »
Tonight was the second viewing of the movie for me.  I went in a larger group this time and that was bad.  The movie has such a personal connection for me, that I was not able to appreciate everyone else's reactions.  Some people were not that emotionally touched by the film, and I found myself actually resenting that.  I feel emotionally spent and I wish I had my own Jack to turn to for comfort and love.  Alas, I am alone in my bed feeling very sad.

The magic of the second viewing is that you can forget about catching the story and focus on the nuances.  The two guys were so amazing when they were together.  I love Ennis a lot more after the second time, and I feel that Jake's performance has been so underrated.  He was truly spot on all the way through.

The scene with Jack's parents hit me in a different way tonight.  First, the lead-up to the scene was more powerful tonight.  I saw all of Ennis' anguish and the power/depth of his love tonight.  He wanted so desperately to be with Jack, but his fear so dominated his life.  The paradox of the longing with the absoluteness of his refusal to take a risk had to have crushed him.  By the time we got to this scene, I was so convinced of his love and commitment to Jack.

This set up a bit of a devestating second interpretation of the scene and the final "I swear" scene.  I think that as he sat in the kitchen with the parents, he had to have realized that his fears may have been misfounded to a degree.  He was interacting with the parents of his dead lover.  They welcomed (to a degree) him into their home.  He was not ridiculed or hated.  Instead, Jack's mother wanted him to feel welcome and connected to her son.  She let him take the shirts, and asked him to come back to visit again.  He had to have been struck with the reality that Jack's dream was more possible than Ennis had ever imagined.  Maybe they could have been together on that ranch.

The final scene then plays out a bit different as well.  I saw no more doubt in my interpretation.  Ennis was devestated at having lost 20 years of time with Jack.  His eyes were teary when talking to his daughter and he was practically breaking down when touching the shirts.  He recognized the lost opportunity to experience the happiness of Jack more fully.  And it was overwhelming for him.  Plus -- where did he have to go with those emotions, that trauma?  Nowhere.  How incredibly poignant and sad.  I wanted to reach out and hold him and comfort him.  And to have him comfort me in return.  How crazy is that!!!  So much for keeping fact and fiction separated.

Offline DonFL

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #114 on: January 22, 2006, 02:05:27 AM »
I agree that Jake's performance is seriously underrated. Heath did some tremendously fine acting but it wouldn't be the movie it is if jake hadn't been just perfect.

To you guys who posted earlier that its  strange that Mrs Twist had a cherry cake prepared, you must be city folk! My grandmother baked  a couple of times a week on a farm. You baked for your husband. He was home for lunch and  dinner and dessert was always part of the meal. Its not just about serving company.

Don
Jack (holding Ennis): "It's okay"

Offline shonuff07

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #115 on: January 22, 2006, 04:44:07 AM »
                             Thanx dudnkink'
I never saw the interview link....this old man with fine eyes really hit the nail on the head with Jack's mother didn't he?



 "    In our opinion one of the best parts in the entire movie occur when Ennis goes to the ranch of Jacks parents. Mrs. Twist feels an immediate connection with him and tries to mother him with Cherry cake and coffee. She has heard the name Ennis Del Mar often from Jack and in her heart of hearts she knows WHO he is. In order to confirm her thoughts she invites him to go up to Jacks childhood room knowing what Jack had put in the closet twenty years ago. As Ennis comes back down the stairs she sees the contents in his hand and knows there could be only one other person in the world except Jack that would know the importance of it. The look in her eyes and her small gestures as she hands him the sack is simply heartbreaking. You can almost hear that mothers heart shattered by the loss of a child scream out "I loved my boy Jack and I don't know and I don't care why you were so important to him but I know you were and I love you for it." But all she can actually say is that he is welcome back anytime. You can feel her total isolation as she watches him leave knowing she has just lost another piece of her sons life. Roberta Maxwell as Jacks mother is pure perfection   "

mmmm.  Moms :'(
« Last Edit: January 22, 2006, 04:50:45 AM by shonuff07 »
" Do I look like I can afford a roping horse ? "

Offline phlmale

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #116 on: January 22, 2006, 07:41:06 AM »
I agree that Jake's performance is seriously underrated. Heath did some tremendously fine acting but it wouldn't be the movie it is if jake hadn't been just perfect.

Don

an amazing film that brought together a brillant cast, crew, director, screenwriters, music and original story...this could have flopped so badly...regressing to cheap sentimentalism..but it didn't...they all understood what the focus was....and look at the reaction..I never go back to see films again in the movie theater (sure, maybe later with dvd, on tv )..yet I've seen BBM 3 times, and the only reason I haven't gone back for the 4th time is that I need to function in real life, and this movie rips my soul a little more each time...

for me it's Heath's portrayal that was just perfect..from all the comments similar to the one above throughout the threads, i suspect we all connected so deeply to the movie because we see something about our lives on screen, and we connect with that character....I have to say though that while my first viewing was dominated by Ennis' storyline, as he's the lead, the 2nd viewing let me watch Jack's situation and plot line..it was as if I went to see a completely different film that night.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2006, 07:43:22 AM by phlmale »

Offline DaveL

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #117 on: January 22, 2006, 08:26:40 AM »
fishinbuddy, you are correct.

"He had some half-baked idea the two a you was goin a move up here, build a log cabin, and help me run this ranch and bring it up.  Then this spring he's got another one's goin a come up here with him and build a place and help run the ranch, some ranch neighbor a his from down in Texas.  He's goin a split up with his wife and come back here...."

Father does not mention the sex of the "other one".  I don't think Jack told two stories, one to Ennis and one to his father a few days later.  In both instances, I think he talked about fooling around with the rancher's wife.

The first mention was in response to Ennis' mention of the "woman in Riverton".  I think both were "lies" mentioned by the author.  But the father used the reference, twisted it into the statement above. No doubt to punish Ennis. (And in the beautifully acted scene in the film, he succeeds: Ledger's eyes are filled with tears from that point on, something I didn't notice before.  Father's statement also lets Ennis know how far Jack had developed his dream of a life together.)

Both parents knew Jack's orientation.  Father started teaching him to ride on the "woolies", then stopped, wouldn't share his expertise, a form of rejection I think because he sensed Jack's orientation.  As many have said already, mothers always know.

As bitter as father is, there is still some deep residue of the parental bond.  The most devastating loss is the death of a child, particularly an only child.  So, keeping him in the family plot, while it also thwarts Ennis and disregards the deceased's wish, reflects that father, like mother Lureen and  Ennis, all have a claim on Jack in death.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2006, 10:53:25 AM by DaveL »
"Ennis del Mar wakes before five....The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft..It could be bad on the highway with the horsetrailer.He has to be packed and away from the place that morning...The wind strikes the trailer like a load of dirt coming off a dump truck, eases, dies...."

Offline In Tears

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #118 on: January 22, 2006, 10:55:50 AM »
The shirt scene is possibly the most human moment I have seen in a movie; so potently basic to our being, so common to so many of us who have faced loss, yet never discussed, never mentioned. There is a shirt incident in my past, too. unfortunately more than one, and I think it's great she put it in.

Indeed.  Bless you for this beautiful and brave insight.

I don't find that I care about the location of J's ashes; it is the shirts' resting place that is sacred to me!

"Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives."

Offline DaveL

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #119 on: January 22, 2006, 10:58:07 AM »
Also, the performance of the actor playing Jack's father is just as brilliant as the other two in the "wake" scene.
"Ennis del Mar wakes before five....The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft..It could be bad on the highway with the horsetrailer.He has to be packed and away from the place that morning...The wind strikes the trailer like a load of dirt coming off a dump truck, eases, dies...."