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Author Topic: Opening Scenes  (Read 195533 times)

Offline Melisande

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Opening Scenes
« on: January 07, 2006, 01:09:52 PM »
Discuss anything about the opening scenes here.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 06:37:46 AM by peteinportland »
let be, let be

Offline gnash

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2006, 06:27:42 AM »
thanks for posting these melisande!

"LET THE GAMES BEGIN!" ;D :D ;)

let me just say the opening scene says so much about the movie. it defines the two main characters and sets the tone of the movie with the no-nonsense attitude of joe.

the sign, "trespassers will be shot, survivors will be shot again" on the door of the trailer indicates the social climate at the time. could you imagine something like that on the door of an employment agency or the like in this day and age?

brokeback movie "got me" from this first scene. jack blew me away when he leaned on the truck and gives ennis the once over... i swooned inside. ennis broke my heart with his story about his folks in the bar -- shit, that's hard, says jack.

poor kid didn't even have a lighter. "can i?" he asks jack (i think) when he wants to light his cigarette.

YES, YES, YES!!!

the movie hit me like a f*%*ing ton of bricks.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2006, 07:09:24 AM by gnash »

"Brokeback is about a lost paradise, an Eden."  Ang Lee


Offline peteinportland

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2006, 07:01:30 AM »
Actually, interestingly enough, the very first shot we see is of the big semi truck going down the highway at dawn. The mountains are in the background. Many people just think this is a bit of filler. Then we see the semi stop (it is daylight now) and Ennis hops out clutching a paper bag (a cowboy's suitcase). What makes this beautiful is that the very last scene of the movie (when Ennis leaves Jack's parents house) before what I call the epilogue (the "I swear" scene) is of Ennis driving down the highway in his truck. This time, it is sunset. And guess what Ennis has in the truck? Yep, a paper bag with the two shirts.  Ang seems to be telling us we are seeing the dawn and the sunset of Ennis' life, or at least his relationship with Jack. It is the most understated, yet beautiful opening and closing sequence I have seen in a movie, and it truly frames everything that happened in the movie.

I will also point out something someone on the Board brought to my attention. Before we tighten in on the parking lot and trailer, we see the train go by, and we get quick snapshots of Ennis, like with a camera, between the moving cars of the train. The sound in this moment is great: the train is barrelling down the tracks, and we hear: click, click; click, click; click, click--just like the shutter on a camera (and with each click, click, we get a snapshot of Ennis). IMO, Ang is signifying to us that we are going to see a series of snapshots that will put together a story. He warns us not to look for long, linear scenes, but to instead be prepared for snapshots of the character's lives that will ultimately tell the story. (And a film student or industry professional might have a better interpretation of this.)

Now, after these first two very important minutes, then we get to the scene in question which is the parking lot scene and meeting between Jack and Ennis (extending into Joe's trailer and the bar). Hey, folks, it just goes to show there are no wasted seconds in this movie. Lee truly is a master.

jiml

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2006, 12:12:31 PM »
As I work through these new threads, I vow to resist the urge to follow up on each of PiP's posts by saying, "That was a remarkably insightful post!" All of Pete's analytical posts are amazing. Thanks, Pete!

Offline konrad

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2006, 12:34:11 PM »
Original Jim, I agree!  I absolutely love reading your posts, Pete in Portland!  I've seen the film 6 times, now, and your able insight and analysis has enriched my experience each time.  Thank you!
"-too early in the season to be sick o' beans..."

Offline PetterG

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2006, 12:36:12 PM »
Please add me too among the the fan group for PiP  ;)

but this was very OT

(Dave & co: we need a topic for PiPs fans!)
if you cannot fix it - you've gotta stand it
if you cannot stand it - you gotta fix it

Offline canmark

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2006, 04:01:11 PM »
I agree, also. PinP, you're the top! (No pun intended.  ;))
... yet he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream.

Offline peteinportland

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2006, 05:17:19 PM »
Hmmm...well, thanks (blushes). But I think it is my job to gently guide this back on topic and resist the urge to respond to the "top" comment.  ;D

I've said before, and I will say again that I think the scene in the parking lot may become an iconic movie scene, so that in years to come when people see a scene with two cowboys across from each other, their hats pulled low, peeking at one another from underneath the rims, people will automatically think of BBM.

Offline DaveL

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2006, 09:40:20 PM »
Just a small cavil. The film has Aguirre toss E a wristwatch to keep time, to be on time for the Friday noon rendezvous. The book more accurately, for the early 60's, has it as a pocket watch. Cowboys and rodeo riders, as I recall from my own brother, favored the pocket watch and levis in fact has a small pocket for such a watch; the wrist watch would have been much more vulnerable to damage. And the ticking of the "round watch" in the final scene (flashback) in the trailhead lot, is a device which ties E's heartbeat to the notion of timelessness, or the enduring embrace which is timeless (also "sexless"). Also, compare this scene in the book with the very opening of  the Quentin section (June 2, 1910) of The Sound and the Fury.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2006, 09:51:27 PM 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 konrad

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2006, 07:10:33 AM »
So - at the risk of over-analyzing the film and its powerful images, especially with regard to Christian symbolism... There is a scene in the opening when the truck enters town, just before Ennis disembarks, where we see three telephone poles in the foreground, arranged with one more central and prominent than the others.  Couldn't help it... it reminded me of images I've seen in Renaissance paintings which show Golgotha (the hill where Jesus was crucified) and the three crosses. 


"-too early in the season to be sick o' beans..."

Offline Nado

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2006, 12:39:29 PM »
Hope I'm not digressing from the topic being discussed but did anyone notice how the opening landscape scene is almost an exact replication of the artwork on Annie Proulx's original BBM book cover?
"It could be like this - just like this always." - Jack Twist

Offline scot5636

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2006, 07:39:35 PM »
Let me pile on my accolades, Pete.  This is about the third or fourth post of yours that I've read and had this forehead-slapping, OMG, chills down my spine reaction.  As someone who rarely goes onto any message boards of any kind (other than the odd college sports board), the level of discourse on this board has been eye-popping.  Incredible observations and insights, beautifully and artfully phrased.  As someone who had the fever pretty bad (it still lingers a bit), I've gotta say that the whole experience has been made substantially richer by reading the posts of the people on this board.  I thank my lucky stars I stumbled onto it.

Thanks, again, lucky stars.

Offline lauren

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2006, 10:37:07 AM »
Actually, interestingly enough, the very first shot we see is of the big semi truck going down the highway at dawn. The mountains are in the background. Many people just think this is a bit of filler. Then we see the semi stop (it is daylight now) and Ennis hops out clutching a paper bag (a cowboy's suitcase). What makes this beautiful is that the very last scene of the movie (when Ennis leaves Jack's parents house) before what I call the epilogue (the "I swear" scene) is of Ennis driving down the highway in his truck. This time, it is sunset. And guess what Ennis has in the truck? Yep, a paper bag with the two shirts. Ang seems to be telling us we are seeing the dawn and the sunset of Ennis' life, or at least his relationship with Jack. It is the most understated, yet beautiful opening and closing sequence I have seen in a movie, and it truly frames everything that happened in the movie.

I will also point out something someone on the Board brought to my attention. Before we tighten in on the parking lot and trailer, we see the train go by, and we get quick snapshots of Ennis, like with a camera, between the moving cars of the train. The sound in this moment is great: the train is barrelling down the tracks, and we hear: click, click; click, click; click, click--just like the shutter on a camera (and with each click, click, we get a snapshot of Ennis). IMO, Ang is signifying to us that we are going to see a series of snapshots that will put together a story. He warns us not to look for long, linear scenes, but to instead be prepared for snapshots of the character's lives that will ultimately tell the story. (And a film student or industry professional might have a better interpretation of this.)

Now, after these first two very important minutes, then we get to the scene in question which is the parking lot scene and meeting between Jack and Ennis (extending into Joe's trailer and the bar). Hey, folks, it just goes to show there are no wasted seconds in this movie. Lee truly is a master.

Pete, I hadn't thought about the two bags. That give me chills.

Offline 909dot

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2006, 08:19:37 PM »
...and the look the boys give each other while Aguirre is on the phone...priceless...they just miss each other...

Todd
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Offline lovebbm

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2006, 07:58:16 AM »
I'm curious what others think about the shot of Jack shaving.  Is the point to show how Jack was already interested in Ennis and he was 'grooming' for him, or otherwise doing some subtle flirting, or is it an attempt to establish the characters as 'masculine' or 'rough and ready' cowboys... or a little of both?

Just wondering.