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Author Topic: Opening Scenes  (Read 195557 times)

Offline sotoalf

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2006, 08:56:24 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.

A bit of both.

It's fairly obvious that Jack is crusing Ennis; I doubt that Ennis, in sneaking looks at Jack, is showing anything other than shy curiosity. After all, he's going to spend a whole summer with this guy.

Offline 909dot

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2006, 09:50:06 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.

A bit of both.

It's fairly obvious that Jack is crusing Ennis; I doubt that Ennis, in sneaking looks at Jack, is showing anything other than shy curiosity. After all, he's going to spend a whole summer with this guy.

I agree...i think they are just sizing each other up...(in more ways than one for Jack)....
"maybe you should get outa there...move someplace different...maybe Texas."

Offline mn5

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Re: Opening Scene
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2006, 07:38:44 PM »
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 also noticed that about the bags (after seeing the film 3 times) and it gave me chills to think how this bookended Ennis' and Jack's life together.  But I never associated the sunrise and sunset scenes as the sunrise and sunset of their relationship ... brilliant observation!

Offline chaya

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2006, 04:03:31 PM »
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.

A bit of both.

It's fairly obvious that Jack is crusing Ennis; I doubt that Ennis, in sneaking looks at Jack, is showing anything other than shy curiosity. After all, he's going to spend a whole summer with this guy.

Hmmm... I think there's a little more to this scene than shy curiousity! To me it forshadows much of what transpires in the film. The mutual attraction and sexual tension begins here. While leaning against the truck (in a totally hot way, whew  ;D), Jack stares very openly and directly at Ennis, and Ennis shyly looks down. It seems to me that if Ennis was more inclined to be straight (don't want to trigger the whole are-they-gay-or-not discussion), he would have stared Jack down, as in "what are YOU lookin' at?" Like the rodeo clown did to Jack in the bar. Or, Ennis would have walked over and introduced himself. I think Jack picked up on Ennis' tortured vibes, and Ennis' practically blushing response confirmed it. Ditto the scene in the trailer w/ Acquirre, where they both keep sneaking bashful little peeks at one another.  Love it love it love it! As for the shaving? Not sure - maybe showing that Jack was more of a "dandy" than Ennis was, cared more about his looks?

"Three puppies belonging to one of the blue heelers went in a pack basket, the runt inside Jack's coat, for he loved a little dog." Annie Proulx, BBM

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
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Offline lovebbm

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2006, 07:28:42 PM »
Yeah, that makes sense.  You know, although if this scene were in a different movie and these guys weren't gay, I think we would have interpreted their behavior in a totally different way; i don't think we'd be thinking---'gee, these guys seem to be flirting with each other, or attracted to each other'.  Rather, a rather ordinary sizing each other up (not in a sexual way) and/or displaying their different personalities. 

On a slightly different theme, as I think about how radically contrasting the body language was about these two, how significant to foreshadow their relationship to come...

Offline Particle_Man6

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2006, 10:58:22 AM »
Hmmm... I think there's a little more to this scene than shy curiousity! To me it forshadows much of what transpires in the film. The mutual attraction and sexual tension begins here. While leaning against the truck (in a totally hot way, whew  ;D), Jack stares very openly and directly at Ennis, and Ennis shyly looks down. It seems to me that if Ennis was more inclined to be straight (don't want to trigger the whole are-they-gay-or-not discussion), he would have stared Jack down, as in "what are YOU lookin' at?" Like the rodeo clown did to Jack in the bar. Or, Ennis would have walked over and introduced himself. I think Jack picked up on Ennis' tortured vibes, and Ennis' practically blushing response confirmed it. Ditto the scene in the trailer w/ Acquirre, where they both keep sneaking bashful little peeks at one another.  Love it love it love it! As for the shaving? Not sure - maybe showing that Jack was more of a "dandy" than Ennis was, cared more about his looks?

I read in Savage Love that a way for teenage lesbians to detect each other is to pay attention to who is looking at the walls, ceillings, etc. (i.e. ANYTHING but other naked female bodies), in the gym locker room.  Maybe this is something similar.
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Offline chaya

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2006, 08:13:29 PM »
Hmmm... I think there's a little more to this scene than shy curiousity! To me it forshadows much of what transpires in the film. The mutual attraction and sexual tension begins here. While leaning against the truck (in a totally hot way, whew  ;D), Jack stares very openly and directly at Ennis, and Ennis shyly looks down. It seems to me that if Ennis was more inclined to be straight (don't want to trigger the whole are-they-gay-or-not discussion), he would have stared Jack down, as in "what are YOU lookin' at?" Like the rodeo clown did to Jack in the bar. Or, Ennis would have walked over and introduced himself. I think Jack picked up on Ennis' tortured vibes, and Ennis' practically blushing response confirmed it. Ditto the scene in the trailer w/ Acquirre, where they both keep sneaking bashful little peeks at one another.  Love it love it love it! As for the shaving? Not sure - maybe showing that Jack was more of a "dandy" than Ennis was, cared more about his looks?

I read in Savage Love that a way for teenage lesbians to detect each other is to pay attention to who is looking at the walls, ceillings, etc. (i.e. ANYTHING but other naked female bodies), in the gym locker room.  Maybe this is something similar.

Hmmmm...Dan Savage talking about teenage lesbians?  Wonder who gave him that info!  I never got caught looking directly at girls - did teenage guys look directly at one another in the locker room?  Sadly, I never hooked up w/ anyone during high school or later. I was too busy looking at the walls, ceilings, etc. to notice who else was doing the same thing....  :-[

"Three puppies belonging to one of the blue heelers went in a pack basket, the runt inside Jack's coat, for he loved a little dog." Annie Proulx, BBM

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline plc

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2006, 06:37:18 AM »
In addition to the paper bag bookend element, there is also the trailer itself.  Jack begins his journey hanging out at a trailer waiting for a job and the story ends with him living in a trailer, waiting for life to pass him by.

Offline Lucee

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2006, 12:16:24 PM »
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.

Loved that bit in the scene.  I took as Jack just doing something he needed to do but definitely taking it as an opportunity to check out Ennis.  I don't think people try to catch hidden glances of each other like that unless there's something a little more behind it. 

I actually thought is was very odd that neither of them spoke to each other until they came out of trailer.  Maybe it's that I'm one to introduce myself to someone in a situation like that because that stony silence would have killed me!  But it did build up such a tension for me that I was almost fidgeting so I guess it worked!  And agreed in those few moments the tone is set pefectly for their personalities.
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helen_uk

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2006, 04:49:50 PM »
Ennis lives by hiding his feelings, sometimes so deeply he doesn't even know the feelings exist.  I think he had heard somewhere about what two guys can get up to together in the mountains in summer, and although he very definitely didn't have a conscious thought about it, I do feel that once he'd heard about the job going with Aguirre, his subconscious took it in and he decided to go for it.  In his conscious mind he would be doing it for the money for him and Alma.  Subconsciously there was the male company aspect.

Again when he's eyeing up Jack, I bet consciously he was telling himself he was just looking to see what this fella he'd be spending the summer with was like.  Subconsciously he's attracted.  He can't admit these things, even to himself so they stay hidden.

I also think that their being on the mountain alone with each other for months on end was the only way Ennis' subconscious thoughts would become conscious ones.  If they had been with other people, in society, Ennis would never have opened himself up like he did, and nothing would have happened.

But he did, and although he went back into society at the end, with thoughts that he would forget what had happened, he couldn't.  It had gone too deep.  Too deep even for him to hide away again.

Offline phlmale

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2006, 06:20:54 PM »
I actually had a hard time with the opening scene the first time I saw the movie...what I got from the short story was the sense that this relationship blind-sided both of them unexpectedly....and yet in the movie, they had Jack looking like a gap/A&F ad cruising Ennis 5 mins into the film...

reading the short story again, i admit there are paassages there suggesting this wasn't the first time jack sought out men....

why wasn't Jake G. outfitted with more thread-bare clothes in the beginning?  I look at Heath's character...2 shirts to his name, you can just about smell the stink from having to wear the same clothes day after day..Ennis and jake should have been in similar circumstances early on before Jack marries rich.

Offline Scott88

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2006, 06:32:41 PM »
Quote
and yet in the movie, they had Jack looking like a gap/A&F ad cruising Ennis 5 mins into the film...

He's definitely checking Ennis out, but I wouldn't say he's "cruising" him, at least not in the sense we're using the term.  Jack probably had some inkling that he was attracted to men, but he was still a young man whose awareness and understanding of his sexuality was quite minimal.  His interactions with Ennis bear this out, IMHO.  He has a very young, innocent quality that I find very endearing.

Offline 909dot

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2006, 06:38:39 PM »
I actually had a hard time with the opening scene the first time I saw the movie...what I got from the short story was the sense that this relationship blind-sided both of them unexpectedly....and yet in the movie, they had Jack looking like a gap/A&F ad cruising Ennis 5 mins into the film...

reading the short story again, i admit there are paassages there suggesting this wasn't the first time jack sought out men....

why wasn't Jake G. outfitted with more thread-bare clothes in the beginning?  I look at Heath's character...2 shirts to his name, you can just about smell the stink from having to wear the same clothes day after day..Ennis and jake should have been in similar circumstances early on before Jack marries rich.

Don't forget, Jacks the preener...he fancies himself more than he actually is....he has to have a certain look for the "rodeo gigs"...I mean, he shaves in front of Ennis in the first half hour they meet...in a way, he has his shit together... Ennis is probably wearing his brothers old clothes...hand-me-downs....
     Annie writes of Jack.."he was infatuated with the rodeo life and he was crazy to be somewhere, anywhere else than Lightning Flat." he is a mover and a shaker...Ennis is as still as the land.

Todd
"maybe you should get outa there...move someplace different...maybe Texas."

Offline phlmale

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2006, 06:46:45 PM »
yet Jack looks at Ennis repeatedly outside and inside the trailer..not so with ennis..and while Jack is shaving..check out what is in the mirror..Ennis!

Offline Scott88

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2006, 06:53:42 PM »
Well, clearly, Jack shows more interest than Ennis because he has more awareness than Ennis does about such things (and, as you pointed out, the story hints that he's had at least a little bit of experience).  On the other hand, Ennis is as repressed and closed-off as one is liable to get, so his shy glances are more in keeping with his character.  But notice he DOES sneak a peek at Jack in the trailer.