The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Poll

What scene on BBM did you like best (other than the tent scenes)

Jack naked in the river washing clothes
16 (2.4%)
Ennis naked by the tent washing himself
38 (5.7%)
Ennis alone in the field on their last day on BBM
86 (13%)
Water-walking Jesus scene
44 (6.7%)
Jack smiles when Ennis talks so much and then dances around
206 (31.2%)
Jack tries to wash the blood off Ennis' face
115 (17.4%)
Ennis looks up from washing dishes and sees Jack far above
86 (13%)
Untangling the sheep and then Ennis telling Jack he might run them off again
41 (6.2%)
Other--post below to tell us
29 (4.4%)

Total Members Voted: 384

Author Topic: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain  (Read 342026 times)

Offline Sara B

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 42255
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1905 on: September 02, 2013, 04:45:21 AM »
Sorry if I was lazy in my brief reply. I wasn't referring to my own opinions of homosexuality, but to what I inferred about the effects on Ennis of seeing the carcass. I have no doubt that there's a deliberate link with Earl's abused body as seen by the small Ennis, and all its implications, only revealed to the audience at the reunion.
There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs....

Offline BlueJeanJeannie

  • Old Brokeback got me good and it sure ain't over
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6727
  • Team Jake. Always.
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1906 on: September 02, 2013, 06:16:42 AM »
I agree too, but I also think that it is perfectly possible to read cruising/flirting into it if you so desire - ambiguous in the same way that so much of the short story is. And IMO this continues right up until the shaving scene. If you want signs of dawning awareness they are there, but they are also open to other interpretations.

Well, at least I've got them up the mountain :D.

 :)  Sara, do you think Ennis is 'flirting' with Jack when he (Ennis) is shaving? I mean, he doesn't seem to mind to take his shirt off in front of Jack. Love that scene!

Guilt. Sin. Earl.

Absolutely!
Chaos is order yet undeciphered.

Offline Sara B

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 42255
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1907 on: September 02, 2013, 07:33:44 AM »
:)  Sara, do you think Ennis is 'flirting' with Jack when he (Ennis) is shaving? I mean, he doesn't seem to mind to take his shirt off in front of Jack. Love that scene!



Hmm - I think he probably is, although he may not be aware of doing it. I mean, "Balls big as apples".... ;) But Jack is SO aware of him while he's washing, even though he dare not look at Ennis - his uneven breathing, the little swallow he makes, the faint flush on his cheeks... I love it too.

And now I look at it again (first time for months), when Jack is complaining about being away in the pup tent in I think he's quite taken aback by Ennis's offering to swap with him. And disappointed too - not what he had in mind. Whether he had any definite plans for a night with Ennis I don't know though.
There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs....

Offline BlueJeanJeannie

  • Old Brokeback got me good and it sure ain't over
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6727
  • Team Jake. Always.
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1908 on: September 02, 2013, 07:41:39 AM »
Hmm - I think he probably is, although he may not be aware of doing it. I mean, "Balls big as apples".... ;) But Jack is SO aware of him while he's washing, even though he dare not look at Ennis - his uneven breathing, the little swallow he makes, the faint flush on his cheeks... I love it too.

 :)  :)  Me too!

*goes to YouTube to re-watch that scene immediately*
Chaos is order yet undeciphered.

Offline gattaca

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
  • How do you hide when you are running from yourself
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1909 on: September 02, 2013, 09:13:32 AM »
Hmm - I think he probably is, although he may not be aware of doing it. I mean, "Balls big as apples".... ;) But Jack is SO aware of him while he's washing, even though he dare not look at Ennis - his uneven breathing, the little swallow he makes, the faint flush on his cheeks... I love it too.

Those early opening scenes when Ennis and Jack first meet are indeed subject to interpretation couched in the story's context and a viewer's experiences.  While I definitely recognize Jack's gaze, body movements and stance after exiting the truck as expressing much more than checking out the job competition, I am not sure, from either perspective of:  1) knowing the story or 2) Naivete ..  that Ennis is really doing more here than checking out the job competition.  We are just not shown Ennis checking out Jack after that initial glance... so I can see both plays from both perspectives.  Until we learn that Aguirre is going to hire two men this season both Jack and Ennis (and us) think it's either him or me for this summer job which both need badly.

In the scene mentioned above, you nailed the description and perception of what's happening.   It's a quite powerful sequence and brilliant direction by Lee.  The scene composed a sharp focus on Jack in the foreground, therefore intensifying the moment for Jack (and us), while clearly showing Jack deeply struggling with what he knew, and we are shown is happening in the background with Ennis bathing.  Jack wrenches to remain focused on peeling the potato and is torn with wanting so much to just glimpse Ennis bathing.  Those feelings, that inner turmoil,  as he's grown more fond of Ennis were HELL all signified in THAT "little swallow he makes and faint flush on his cheeks.."   That IS Jack's inner struggle / torment captured perfectly.  It was a hell of a sequence from Lee, Ledger and Gyllenhaal. Thank You.  V.

« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 01:31:35 PM by gattaca »

Offline andy/Claude

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 11000
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1910 on: September 02, 2013, 09:54:56 AM »
I'm reminded how marvellously all the different perspectives over the last few posts work to make this forum the special place that it is. I am, and have been guilty of taking too much in the movie at face value, failing to look deep enough to see all these aspects of performance and directing that you guys point out - I love that!

As for personal opinions on 'sin' etc, I doubt they have much to do with this story and how the religious beliefs of the day would have had their part to play as observed and realised by Annie Proulx. Jack and Ennis, though not well versed in biblical terminology as the pre-FNIT scene shows us, would, none the less, be very much affected by the popular understanding of 'sin', however far removed from the true interpretation it may be - or not.
the shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft.

Offline B.W.

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1254
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1911 on: September 02, 2013, 12:03:15 PM »
I'm reminded how marvellously all the different perspectives over the last few posts work to make this forum the special place that it is. I am, and have been guilty of taking too much in the movie at face value, failing to look deep enough to see all these aspects of performance and directing that you guys point out - I love that!

As for personal opinions on 'sin' etc, I doubt they have much to do with this story and how the religious beliefs of the day would have had their part to play as observed and realised by Annie Proulx. Jack and Ennis, though not well versed in biblical terminology as the pre-FNIT scene shows us, would, none the less, be very much affected by the popular understanding of 'sin', however far removed from the true interpretation it may be - or not.


I personally don't think the religious beliefs of their day had much of an impact on Ennis and Jack's romantic and sexual relationship on Brokeback Mountain.  I have never read Annie Proulx's short story as I have mentioned before but I'm guessing she didn't intend for religion to play a huge role in the story overall.  I don't think 'biblical terminology' really has anything to do with the pre- first night in the tent scenes or even much to do with the story.  I don't think Jack and Ennis would have been much affected by the 'popular' understanding of 'sin' even if it was 'far removed' from the 'true interpretation' of the word.  As I said, I personally don't believe in 'sin' as I am an atheist and an atheist cannot believe in such a concept. So, that means that I don't believe there is a 'true interpretation' of 'sin' nor do I believe there are 'far removed' interpretations of 'sin' because I don't believe that there is such a thing as 'sin'.

Every religious person has an different idea of what 'sin' is to begin with as well as their own idea of what sort of activities constitute as being a 'sin'. There isn't much agreement about that. Why do you think there are over 34,000 different Christian denominations, branches, sects, splinter-groups and movements for instance? They can't and don't agree on very much.  I personally don't believe that non-harmful feelings and activities such as same-sex attraction or gay sex should constitute as being 'sins'. One reason so many LGBT youths kill themselves is because of religiously-inspired homophobia, biphobia ,transphobia and anti-sexual views.  'Sin' is a man-made religious concept that is non-existent to me and one that largely causes great harm most of the time.  One scene on Brokeback Mountain has Jack telling Ennis that his mother was a Pentecostal but he didn't know what the Pentecost referred to. He mistakenly believed it concerned the 'end of the world' which is not true. I am a former member of 20 religions including the Pentecostal movement and Jack's view of the Pentecost is not correct. Ennis mentioned his parents were Methodists. A later scene reveals that he doesn't like attending services at the Methodist congregation that Alma and his daughters attend because of the people there and their 'fire-and-brimstone' view of life.


Come to think of it, Ennis and Jack weren't really religious. I am sure they believed in a god and an afterlife but I don't think either of them were really involved with organized religion and considering the homophobic, transphobic and anti-sexual passages written in the Jewish and Christian texts that many view literally, it is probably a good thing that neither man was really involved with religion. That scene on Brokeback Mountain where Jack mentions his mother being a Pentecostal and a few other scenes in the film seem to pretty much show that religion was not something Ennis or Jack really cared for.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 12:30:12 PM by B.W. »

Offline B.W.

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1254
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1912 on: September 02, 2013, 12:19:45 PM »
Sorry if I was lazy in my brief reply. I wasn't referring to my own opinions of homosexuality, but to what I inferred about the effects on Ennis of seeing the carcass. I have no doubt that there's a deliberate link with Earl's abused body as seen by the small Ennis, and all its implications, only revealed to the audience at the reunion.

I didn't mean that your comments on Ennis seeing the dead carcass of the sheep was a referral to your own views on homosexuality, Cally.  I think that the dead sheep and the murder of Earl are sort of an implication as well.  It's really horrifying to know that Ennis was exposed to such a horrifying sight as a child. Seeing a dead man with his penis torn off! It no doubt had to have traumatized Ennis unlike anything else.  He even suspected that his father might have killed Earl himself. What kind of pervert takes a child around nine years old to see the dead body of a man who was killed simply for being romantic and sexually involved with another male?! Earl and Rich's relationship was no one else's business regardless. Kind of like what Jack said to Ennis after their first night of rough love-making in the tent.

Offline BlueJeanJeannie

  • Old Brokeback got me good and it sure ain't over
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6727
  • Team Jake. Always.
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1913 on: September 02, 2013, 01:10:16 PM »
In the scene mentioned above, you nailed the description and perception of what's happening.   It's a quite powerful sequence and brilliant direction by Lee.  The scene composed a sharp focus on Jack in the foreground, therefore intensifying the moment for Jack (and us), while clearly showing Jack deeply struggling with what he knew, and we are shown is happening in the background with Ennis bathing.  Jack wrenches to remaining focused on peeling the potato and is torn with wanting so much to just glimpse Ennis bathing.  Those feelings, that inner turmoil,  as he's grown more fond Ennis were HELL all  signified in THAT "little swallow he makes and faint flush on his cheeks.."   That IS Jack's inner struggle / torment captured perfectly.  It was a hell of a sequence from Lee, Ledger and Gyllenhaal. Thank You.  V.

That is a beautiful comment, V.

I could never express myself like that, no matter how hard I try, because English isn't my native tongue - but as long as there are posts like this, I'm more than happy to read them and just think: yes, that's it!  :-*

If only I could write in Dutch how I feel... but then, none of you would be able to read it  ;)
Chaos is order yet undeciphered.

Offline QuickSilverA

  • Feet Wet
  • **
  • Posts: 36
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1914 on: September 03, 2013, 07:57:31 PM »
Ever notice their darn fifths o’ whiskey was bottomless… :P

Offline Sason

  • The Proverbial Swenglish Axegirl
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 36687
  • Bork bork bork
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1915 on: September 07, 2013, 04:03:19 PM »
Guilt. Earl. Maybe?  I personally don't think 'sin' had anything to do with it. Hell, I don't believe in 'sin'. ' Sin' to me is a fictional concept that is often used by religious people to dehumanize non-harmful feelings and behaviors that don't affect them.  Homosexual sex is not a 'sin' in my eyes and neither is same-sex attraction.  Makes me glad that I am now an atheist after belonging to 20 religious groups. The concept of 'sin' and having guilt over non-harmful feelings and engaging in behaviors that don't effect anyone can be so destructive.  I think Ennis felt bad I think over having temporarily gotten distracted over his responsibilities.

Too bad Ennis didn't think to ask you what he should feel about the dead sheep.

Düva pööp is a förce of natüre

Offline suelyblu

  • Striped socks and dusty shoes
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 25637
  • .
    • suelyblu
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1916 on: December 07, 2013, 04:24:56 PM »



Do you think that when Ennis emerged from the relative safety and warmth of the tent...bringing to mind the warmth and safety of Brokeback they had found..... and into the unexpected icy....biting cold  world on that morning....it was depicting  the cold unfriendly world he was all to soon having to go back to....and the " worse storm coming" really meant to depict their four years apart and all the misery the next 20 years would bring ??

( didn't know where to put this. Elements ansd Themes....just didn't seem to fit  :) )
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 05:34:20 PM by suelyblu »
"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 gattaca

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
  • How do you hide when you are running from yourself
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1917 on: December 08, 2013, 11:10:05 PM »
Yes, absolutely.  There are so many foreshadowing elements in the film, Lee is just amazing.  V.

Offline B.W.

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1254
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1918 on: December 15, 2013, 06:55:41 PM »
Too bad Ennis didn't think to ask you what he should feel about the dead sheep.



 I understand what you are saying Sason but I must say that I don't share Ennis' perspective.  I think the dead sheep incident was purely an accident.  I don't think Ennis would have to ask me about what he should feel over the dead sheep. He would be  entitled to his opinion. I do think it would be a shame if he viewed it as being the result of " sinning". It had nothing to do with " sin" to me. The sheep getting killed was not something that Ennis intended to happen. Sure he was ignoring his responsibilities and he shouldn't have but the deed had already been done.  I think organized religion in particular is something Ennis didn't really care for.  Most religions are not accepting of LGBT people, particularly those LGBT people who refuse to repress themselves that are in romantically and sexually-active relationships. Ennis was probably indoctrinated by his Methodist parents at a young age. I imagine he was told what to think and not how to think. Ennis didn't like attending the fire-and-brimstone message that Alma and her daughter's Methodist church congregation espoused. Try going to a meeting at a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall or a service at a Latter-day Saint ( Mormon) Stake Center. ( I am also a former Mormon). A JW elder will just tell you that Yahweh's army is going to kill you and all other non-JW's at the battle of " Armageddon" and you shall remain dead for eternity and miss out on living on a newly-restored earthly paradise for eternity ( SDA's also hold this view, except you are annihilated twice; the second time is being annihilated by fire after Armageddon when Jesus tells all the " evil" people what they did wrong) while a Mormon Bishop will say you will either be put into one of the two lower kingdoms of heaven or be separated from Yahweh where you will be tormented for eternity by your own thoughts.



Religiously- inspired prejudice is often viewed as acceptable by far too many societies and no doubt Ennis had to have heard homophobic remarks from the pulpit growing up. Jack's mother was a Pentecostal and she seemed to be accepting of Jack and Ennis' relationship despite the fact her religious texts views same-sex relationships as " abominable", " shameful lust",  an "error" " unnatural " and is " punishable by death", for which they " receive recompense for their error" and reads that same-sex couples " will not inherit the kingdom of Yahweh".  I personally don't believe same-sex relationships are " abominations", " shameful lust", " error", " unnatural" nor do I think gay sex  should be " punishable" by death nor do I believe having gay sex is an " error" for which gay people will " receive recompense" and I think that if there was a loving god, if it also just happened to be Yahweh that same-sex couples should be able to inherit Yahweh's kingdom. Religiously-inspired prejudice comes in many forms. I mean, the Bible does  support the holding and beating of slaves, Yahweh most certainly endorses genocide towards the pagans by the Israelites and it promotes the submission of women. Jesus even calls a gentile woman a " dog" ( a racial slur at the time) for being apart of a different culture. These are views that I certainly cannot and don't find acceptable.

For instance, Ennis would have been familiar with arguments that religious fundamentalist used in the 1960's to prevent integration between whites and African-Americans. Many of these same arguments have been used towards women and the LGBT community in one way or another.



I really have no problem with LGBT persons that want to be religious whether that be Christian, Muslim, Jewish , Buddhist, Hindu, Baha'i or whatever but I still think that most religions say and do many horrible things about and to the LGBT community. If some LGBT people can find a way to live life as an authentically gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered person and still be religious, then great. It still doesn't change the fact that most religious groups deny sexually-active gay , lesbian bisexual persons in same-sex relationships  or transgendered people who have gone through a sex-change operation membership in their groups if you ask me . It doesn't change the facts that most religious texts text have very homophobic passages written in them and some other prejudices I think are wrong that these texts contain such as the ones towards cross dressers, people of other religions. This is just how I view it. I think that the views and practices that most religious texts take towards same-sex relationships, cross dressers and women are wrong and I think they should be condemned for the harm that they caused. I think such passages and practices should not be taken literally and should even be ignored.


As I said, I am formerly religious, I was never homophobic, for which I am quite glad. I think it is important to question one's beliefs. Most religions don't allow you to question your beliefs. I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness for 22 years of my life so I know what can happen if you dare to question your beliefs. The JW's shun former members. It is a requirement. I'm lucky in that my father happened to be a liberal Seventh-day Adventist ( I am a former SDA as well). I think he helped me stay sane. I never had a good relationship with my controlling and self-absorbed mother who gets mad if you don't do everything her way ( the JW way) all the time. Becoming an atheist was not an easy conclusion to come to. It isn't easy to abandon one's religious beliefs, if you are an atheist who was once involved with religion. No formerly religious atheist in their right mind would describe it as an easy or enjoyable process. It isn't.  I have always been liberal and I realized that I couldn't go on belonging to so many religious groups that I ended up disagreeing with.  It just made me feel so dishonest. I always questioned things. I had to question things. I couldn't deal with having a religious authority tell me what to think and what to feel.

Anyways, the dead sheep to me was just an accident. Sure this scene may be a from of foreshadowing and the sheep's death might have had a religious meaning to Ennis, I can accept that Ennis felt that way but I personally don't  share that perspective.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 07:03:21 PM by B.W. »

Offline B.W.

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1254
Re: Scenes on Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1919 on: December 15, 2013, 08:05:46 PM »
I will also say about Sason's reply to my earlier comment which I am not discussing again, that I personally don't see any convincing evidence for the existence of a god or afterlife. Even if there was a god, I don't think  it would necessarily mean that that deity is worthy of worship to begin with. This is just my own personal worldview. If Ennis viewed the dead sheep in a religious manner, I can accept that but as I said earlier,  I personally don't hold to that same perspective.


Another scene liked was where Ennis teased Jack about running off the sheep by playing his harmonica. I thought that was cute. Ennis was smiling as he made this remark and Jack seemed to smile back at this comment. This was one thing that helped show me in a small way that their relationship was more than having good mind-shattering sex. I never thought their relationship was entirely based on them having sex to begin with just so you know.  Jack seems to like it when Ennis teases him. Ang Lee couldn't make their relationship entirely lovey-dovey because that wouldn't be realistic. There had to be some tension between them. Jack and Ennis may have gotten frustrated with each other but at the end of the day they were still deeply in love with one another. They still cared about each other. Just like me and my husband. At the end of the day, we may not always agree on everything but we still love and care about each other.  

It makes me wonder what Ennis' parents relationship was like? Who can say? I imagine his mother was a very loving person but probably had a hard time living with what would probably have been a hard-ass man for a husband. Ennis' father strikes me as trying to be what he would consider the " ultimate man".  Ennis' father was clearly homophobic and I'm guessing he viewed homosexual men as somehow being " less manly". Did he really kill Earl? Who knows? I think that is for each viewer to decide.
I think it's possible but I wouldn't say I know for sure.

So much of BBM is ambiguous but that's part of what makes it so interesting, in my opinion. I like it when filmmakers allow the viewer to come to their own conclusions.  It makes me think of when BBM was first released and some people were saying that the film had a political " agenda. So what? Gay marriage was a huge political issue at the time the film was released. It was purely coincidental to me. So gay people want to be treated equally to their heterosexual peers, like that's such a bad thing? It isn't a " bad thing" at all to me. I simply viewed BBM as a love story between two men who happened to be cowboys.  Look at a film like " The Passion of the Christ".  That film clearly had a religious agenda to the fundamentalist Christians who saw the film. Even though I am an atheist but I am also a Humanistic Jew. I participate in secular Jewish culture. I can understand why religious Jews raised a fuss over TPOTC being " anti-Semitic" because the film was based on a play from the Middle-Ages that was intended to vilify the Jewish people, particularly as " Christ-killers". Now, did Mel Gibson intend for " The Passion of the Christ" to have a religious agenda? Maybe. It's possible, he is a very fundamentalist Roman Catholic so I wouldn't put it past him.  Who really knows or cares?  Many fundamentalist Christians thought the film would inspire more people to convert to Christianity. But which denomination, sect, branch, splinter-group or movement should they choose from exactly? I mean, there's over 34,000 Christian groups that exist. Many Protestants it seemed would have dismissed the film as being a Catholic " missionary tool" . I can just imagine what the Seventh-day Adventist response would be. The SDA Church is very anti- Roman Catholic.



I'm sure there's a lot of people who saw TPOTC who were non-Christians that didn't convert to Christianity because of this film due to the fact they already disagreed with the beliefs and practices of Christianity and wouldn't want to join the religion to begin with. I thought it was hilarious and stupid all at the same time that people thought BBM was "intended to convert" people into "becoming gay". Exactly how does one do that? The only people who said that were folk who were already prejudiced towards the LGBT community to begin with. Was " Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" supposed to recruit people into interracial relationships? No. I doubt it. There are some people who were already either prejudiced or uncomfortable with interracial relationships to begin with. BBM was simply intended to be a love story and nothing more.



I do think BBM helped people see same-sex relationships in a less stereotypical light but that was due to the audiences reaction towards the film.