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Author Topic: At Jack's Parents  (Read 360434 times)

Offline scot5636

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2006, 11:31:07 AM »

Scott, that's my take on that scene on the bench as well. Randall is just a tempting physical outlet, a poor replacement for Ennis. That look on Jack's face in that scene when Randall mentions the fishing...he knows what's going on, and he looks so tortured. During the silence before the women come out, his eyes are downcast, sad. He's thinking about Ennis. He only wants to be with Ennis. You really feel the agony Jack is going through.
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Jack's look in that scene had escaped me the first two times I saw the movie.  Somebody (possibly you, Lauren) had mentioned it in another thread, so I paid closer attention the third time.  It's pure desolation -- he's thousands of miles away. He just stares off into the distance, with a completely wounded look on his face.  There's aboslutely no sign of pleasure or excitement at the invitation that has clearly been made.  He wishes it was Ennis sitting next to him.

Offline 909dot

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2006, 11:38:29 AM »

Scott, that's my take on that scene on the bench as well. Randall is just a tempting physical outlet, a poor replacement for Ennis. That look on Jack's face in that scene when Randall mentions the fishing...he knows what's going on, and he looks so tortured. During the silence before the women come out, his eyes are downcast, sad. He's thinking about Ennis. He only wants to be with Ennis. You really feel the agony Jack is going through.
Quote

Jack's look in that scene had escaped me the first two times I saw the movie.  Somebody (possibly you, Lauren) had mentioned it in another thread, so I paid closer attention the third time.  It's pure desolation -- he's thousands of miles away. He just stares off into the distance, with a completely wounded look on his face.  There's aboslutely no sign of pleasure or excitement at the invitation that has clearly been made.  He wishes it was Ennis sitting next to him.

Agree...there is not the slightest hint of excitement in the prospect...just empty at the thought of it not being Ennis
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Offline Jack Nasty

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2006, 11:49:16 AM »

Scott, that's my take on that scene on the bench as well. Randall is just a tempting physical outlet, a poor replacement for Ennis. That look on Jack's face in that scene when Randall mentions the fishing...he knows what's going on, and he looks so tortured. During the silence before the women come out, his eyes are downcast, sad. He's thinking about Ennis. He only wants to be with Ennis. You really feel the agony Jack is going through.
Quote

Jack's look in that scene had escaped me the first two times I saw the movie.  Somebody (possibly you, Lauren) had mentioned it in another thread, so I paid closer attention the third time.  It's pure desolation -- he's thousands of miles away. He just stares off into the distance, with a completely wounded look on his face.  There's aboslutely no sign of pleasure or excitement at the invitation that has clearly been made.  He wishes it was Ennis sitting next to him.

Agree...there is not the slightest hint of excitement in the prospect...just empty at the thought of it not being Ennis

I think I agree with you but wasn't this right after Ennis asked him if he thought other people out on the pavement were looking at him funny? Guessing about him. I wonder if he was shocked at being spotted so easily. I am sure those country boys had no concept of gaydar!
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Offline scot5636

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2006, 12:30:35 PM »
Just a personal opinion, but i think Jack was aware that other people might know his secret since he hit on that rodeo clown.  He  may not have been happy about it, but I don't think it bothered him like it would Ennis.  Concern about how easy it was for Randall to figure him out might be what's written on his face, but that's not the way I read that scene.

Offline Jack Nasty

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2006, 01:10:10 PM »
Just a personal opinion, but i think Jack was aware that other people might know his secret since he hit on that rodeo clown. He may not have been happy about it, but I don't think it bothered him like it would Ennis. Concern about how easy it was for Randall to figure him out might be what's written on his face, but that's not the way I read that scene.

Yeah. I am kinda thinking it is a combo. Scared about being hit on (he is outgoing but deffo not OUT), wishing it were Ennis, anguish that it isn't Ennis,  and somewhat turned on at the prospect of a man in closer proximity.
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Offline outrageous4u

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2006, 02:44:50 PM »
thanks for the clarification everyone :)

Offline lauren

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2006, 03:50:32 PM »
Just a personal opinion, but i think Jack was aware that other people might know his secret since he hit on that rodeo clown. He may not have been happy about it, but I don't think it bothered him like it would Ennis. Concern about how easy it was for Randall to figure him out might be what's written on his face, but that's not the way I read that scene.

Yeah. I am kinda thinking it is a combo. Scared about being hit on (he is outgoing but deffo not OUT), wishing it were Ennis, anguish that it isn't Ennis,  and somewhat turned on at the prospect of a man in closer proximity.

I agree with Scott that I don't see the scared of being hit on in this scene. He wasn't as concerned about this as Ennis is. He is aware of it in that clown in the bar scene but he just gets out of that situation. He is fearful there, but generally I don't think it's on his radar in that way.  (later when Ennis asks him about whether he believes anyone knows, Jack shrugs). It's not fear in his eyes in this scene, but sadness (and discomfort at what's taking place) at not having Ennis sitting next to him, as Scott said. 

Offline Jack Nasty

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2006, 05:11:53 PM »
I agree with Scott that I don't see the scared of being hit on in this scene. He wasn't as concerned about this as Ennis is. He is aware of it in that clown in the bar scene but he just gets out of that situation. He is fearful there, but generally I don't think it's on his radar in that way. (later when Ennis asks him about whether he believes anyone knows, Jack shrugs). It's not fear in his eyes in this scene, but sadness (and discomfort at what's taking place) at not having Ennis sitting next to him, as Scott said.

Okay. I guess I'm convinced (for the most part). ;)
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Offline peteinportland

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2006, 09:18:10 PM »
This thread has gotten sidetracked to the Jack and Randall thread, but I think it is important to work out what was meant by Jack's dad, so I will continue the thoughts:

Someone else pointed out that when Jack says "You wanna dance" he is looking right at Randall. I noticed this and there is a very shocked look on Randall's face. Then LaShawn says yes. Watch for that next time you see the movie. I also think we get the message when LaShawn is telling Jack that Randall isn't any good at fixing cars that Randall might bat for Jack's team (although I find it interesting the writers use a blatant stereotype of this sort about gay men when the movie is in some ways about breaking down such stereotypes). Randall hitting on Jack is subtle to the point that if Jack were not gay, he would not know he was being hit on, but since he is, he knows exactly what is going on. It is the way gay men in rural areas still hit on one another today (with great care and subtlety).

Back to Jack's parents: frankly, I find it odd that Jack would tell his dad about either Ennis OR Randall. What would his dad think, Jack divorcing his wife and moving to the ranch with another man? I have always found this an odd note in the book and film. And why does the old man even mention it? To let Ennis know that he knows what went on between him and Jack? Do we think the father put two and two together? And why does the father mention Randall? To hurt Ennis? It is the one part of the movie/book where my suspension of disbelief is not complete.

Offline aintnoreins

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2006, 11:01:34 PM »

Back to Jack's parents: frankly, I find it odd that Jack would tell his dad about either Ennis OR Randall. What would his dad think, Jack divorcing his wife and moving to the ranch with another man? I have always found this an odd note in the book and film. And why does the old man even mention it? To let Ennis know that he knows what went on between him and Jack? Do we think the father put two and two together? And why does the father mention Randall? To hurt Ennis? It is the one part of the movie/book where my suspension of disbelief is not complete.

I struggled with this one too! I just can't picture that conversation happening between Jack and his father. Unless Jack's dad gave him trouble over abandoning the ranch (being the only son and all), and Jack, to ward him off on a few different levels, promised to bring Ennis and later Randall to help run the place. Which would explain part of John Twist's bitterness about Jack's plans never coming to pass - partly because they didn't, and partly because if they had happened as Jack wanted, that situation wouldn't have been to his father's liking either.

That said, did Jack ever mention going to live at his parents' place to Ennis? The only two suggestions I can recall (I loaned out my screenplay  :-\) are that they get a "little cow-and-calf operation" going "somewhere" and, later, that Ennis move down to Texas. Do we think Jack could have brought Ennis home with him, just like that? Maybe as an act of defiance against his father, but I'm not convinced.

I think John Twist mentions Randall to first gauge Ennis's reaction in order to confirm his own suspicions about his son, knowing that if they're true, the remark will hurt Ennis, which (imho) is his intention. Or at least to cast some doubt in Ennis's mind, enough to make him back down about Jack's ashes perhaps.

I don't know... I'm still all conflicted about this part; this is the best i've come up with so far, but I'm still scratching my head.
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Offline Ranchgal

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2006, 11:18:15 PM »
My own thought is that Jack did probably tell his dad he would bring Ennis up to help---but the fact that he never asked Ennis to actually come there and help--is also significant to me.  It meant that as much as Jack might want it, he was dreaming, and he knew it couldn't have happened esp. not on his father's place.   He never brought it up to Ennis, cause he already knew it would fail.    AND I believe, if he would have asked Ennis to come up there and help with some specific tasks/chores---Ennis probably would have.   But Jack was as afraid of failing in this as Ennis was to even consider it.

PLUS I did not get the feeling that Jack's Dad really wanted any help---and he certainly was not going to hand over any income to Jack or anyone with him for helping do whatever needed to be done---He would have taken the help--but I for one never saw him offering an actual HOME even to Jack, and Jack knew it--that is why he only passed through occasionally, and never tried to get any stock of his own to run with his dad's.   Dad ran the place, and will till he dies---and NO ONE will ever be on there that doesn't take orders from him.  Stud duck is the right phrase for him.

I also think Jack knew full well Ennis would never leave where he was---no matter what---TX was out of the question.

Offline DaveL

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2006, 05:23:22 AM »
Ranchgal, reply 41: I agree totally.  One thing about the author's technique, it captures the extreme compression of speech common in the early settlers throughout the midwest and west.  the father's "angry, knowing" look when he first sets eyes on Ennis, I think, only comes from inferences drawn from J's mention(s) of bringing E up to "lick the ranch into shape".  J would never have referred to E to the parents in the sense of setting up housekeeping with him.  As I said earlier,  father thinks back to J's (probable) mention of the story about the "rancher's wife" (only mentioned once in the book), guesses (like the screenwriters) this may be another "outlet" (without any evidence this is really the case) and then changes the gender and throws the remark in E's face to punish him.  Another point about father's posture in the "wake" scene:  How would you like it if someone you never met before showed up at your door and offered to take your only son's remains and scatter them on some hillside?  Would you bring up the "half-baked idea" that involved that son's dream, then twist it in such a way as to punish your son's partner who thwarted that dream?  Maybe. That's what close relatives do sometimes at wakes.
"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 DaveL

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2006, 05:46:26 AM »
Peteinportland, Yes, I noticed that the invitation to the dance and the cutaway to "Randall" implied all that you say.  It also points up, imho, how very different the film is from many aspects of the book, though of course certain crucial scenes are almost verbatim from the book (final parting at trailhead, wake scene).  Viewers of the film need to remind themselves that "Randall" does not exist in the book, and "rancher's wife" and "woman in Riverton" are mentioned only  once in passing.  I think of the book as transcending the stereotypes; as you indicate, some of the screenwriter interpolations, on the other hand, rely on them as crutches to move the story to that medium.  Did they really have to do that? And did they really have to resort to the Hollywood ending?
"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 ImEnnisShesJack

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2006, 06:56:39 AM »
Quote
Jack's look in that scene had escaped me the first two times I saw the movie.  Somebody (possibly you, Lauren) had mentioned it in another thread, so I paid closer attention the third time.  It's pure desolation -- he's thousands of miles away. He just stares off into the distance, with a completely wounded look on his face.  There's aboslutely no sign of pleasure or excitement at the invitation that has clearly been made.  He wishes it was Ennis sitting next to him.

Agree...there is not the slightest hint of excitement in the prospect...just empty at the thought of it not being Ennis

And the even emptier thought of not being alone.  (if that makes sense)
"And when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night."
~~Heath Ledger 1979-2008~~

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Offline marius

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2006, 11:08:49 AM »
Does anyone remember what a sadistic man this father of Jack is? that's how Jack found out the One physical difference between him and his father  :o
The way I see it is: this man is too selfish to care about his son's sexuality. Hence his complain doesn't go beyond the lack of help he could have got from the boys.
After all he never taught his son anything and never went to see him ride...
And the selfishness has turned sour than vinegar with age.
By the way, I have my little doubts about his sexuality. To pee all over his son just to punish him? sounds more like an inhibited pervert to me :-[
(it's in the book)

Marius