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Author Topic: Opening Scenes  (Read 192731 times)

Offline sarah

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2006, 06:19:52 AM »
Hi, I'm going through all of these wonderful posts, drinking in the passion and well-articulated observations  :)with the hope that I can incorporate some off these insights into the college courses that I teach on Family and Sexuality  and on American Violence.  As soon as BBM comes out on DVD, I will show it in its entirety to each of my classes, with a slightly different emphasis depending on the course.

The posts on the opening scene lend themselves well to studying the main characters in terms of courtship rituals, physical attraction, and assortive mating (a sociological term used in the Family and Sexuality text I use.)  The observation -- which I missed -- about the No Trespassing sign on Aguirre's trailer, fits in well with the Violence course, particularly our look at rural violence.

I can't thank you all enough for the glimpses into your really astute analysis of this work of art.  I mentioned to my current Sexuality class that next semester I will be showing BBM, and the young urban males indicated they will not sign up for any course in which it will be shown!!  A young woman in the class reported that people walked out of the theater during the kissing scene (though not the actual sex scene!)  And the college campus is 15 minutes from Manhattan.  I find that some urban youth today (working class/first generation college students) to be as "redneck" (in different ways) as their rural counterparts! :o
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Offline ottoblom

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2006, 08:06:12 PM »

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 have to say I don't like to see Jack described as "cruising" Ennis, although quite a few  have.  I think Jack was looking.  And he was open and curious, but "cruising" has a 2006/Chelsea vibe lightyears from Jack.  There are of course, sexual feelings hidden down deep, and we can savor these hints of what's to come, but "cruising" denotes that those sexual feelings are at or near the surface, and I think at this stage, they are still pretty deeply hidden.

Offline Scott88

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2006, 08:12:37 PM »
Totally agree with the above, Ottoblom.  Jack may have been more open to his feelings than Ennis (and clearly was attracted to Ennis), but his awareness and understanding of his sexuality was pretty minimal at the start of the film.

Offline David

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2006, 08:15:07 PM »

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 have to say I don't like to see Jack described as "cruising" Ennis, although quite a few  have.  I think Jack was looking.  And he was open and curious, but "cruising" has a 2006/Chelsea vibe lightyears from Jack.  There are of course, sexual feelings hidden down deep, and we can savor these hints of what's to come, but "cruising" denotes that those sexual feelings are at or near the surface, and I think at this stage, they are still pretty deeply hidden.

Ditto here. Jack is more of a character seeking/demanding attention...I think he is just posturing here.
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Offline Timothy

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2006, 08:27:07 PM »
Quote
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.

Jack had parents and presumedly a bit of a better life.  His mother would have done what she could to see that he had clothes to wear.  Ennis was orphaned and other than a brother and sister had no one to care how he dressed.

Offline peteinportland

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2006, 08:48:24 PM »
Hmmm...I don't agree and never have (although many were scandalized when I first made observations in past threads that there was "cruising" going on from the start).  Remember this is 1963 in rural Wyoming. Obviously, there would never be any sort of 2005 Chelsea cruising going on (and probably still isn't in rural Wyoming).

I think Jack has an interest from the first time he sees Ennis. Annie and Diana Ossana have both pointed out that Jack was more experienced and more comfortable with his sexuality. We see Jack actively cruising later in the film (the rodeo clown, the Mexican hooker) and being actively cruised by Randall. So, it is not as if Jack is not shown in the film as having an understanding for cruising and picking up guys.

Plus, after Jack does his little posturing move, we see him look squarely at Ennis, lean back and look down, and then look at Ennis again. The next frame we see Jack shaving with Ennis framed in his mirror. Why put this in there if we are not supposed to notice Jack looking at Ennis? They could show him shaving without showing us Ennis in the mirror.

I don't think Jack was cruising Ennis in a fashion where he would jump his bones right then. But a 19yo gay boy, who we know has had some experience (he is a sinner), is obviously going to check out the obviously cute guy he is going to be alone with all summer. Even in 1963 Wyoming. Obviously, Jack is being circumspect and respectful, but he is just as obviously looking. I do think it takes time for the two of them to fall in love and that Jack does not start scheming to get Ennis in the sack as soon as he sees him standing against the trailer. But I don't for a minute think he was unaware of Ennis as a possible, well, possibility.

I also think Ennis is mostly clueless here, although he catches Jack looking and returns a couple of puzzled looks of his own. This may be the very first subconscious nudge Ennis ever has to look at a guy in more than a neutral way. Ennis is probably not used to being the object of anyone's attention for any reason, and while he has no idea why Jack is looking at him, he feels a bit uncomfortable just the same.

Offline sotoalf

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2006, 08:58:42 PM »
Hmmm...I don't agree and never have (although many were scandalized when I first made observations in past threads that there was "cruising" going on from the start).  Remember this is 1963 in rural Wyoming. Obviously, there would never be any sort of 2005 Chelsea cruising going on (and probably still isn't in rural Wyoming).

I think Jack has an interest from the first time he sees Ennis. Annie and Diana Ossana have both pointed out that Jack was more experienced and more comfortable with his sexuality. We see Jack actively cruising later in the film (the rodeo clown, the Mexican hooker) and being actively cruised by Randall. So, it is not as if Jack is not shown in the film as having an understanding for cruising and picking up guys.

Plus, after Jack does his little posturing move, we see him look squarely at Ennis, lean back and look down, and then look at Ennis again. The next frame we see Jack shaving with Ennis framed in his mirror. Why put this in there if we are not supposed to notice Jack looking at Ennis? They could show him shaving without showing us Ennis in the mirror.

I don't think Jack was cruising Ennis in a fashion where he would jump his bones right then. But a 19yo gay boy, who we know has had some experience (he is a sinner), is obviously going to check out the obviously cute guy he is going to be alone with all summer. Even in 1963 Wyoming. Obviously, Jack is being circumspect and respectful, but he is just as obviously looking. I do think it takes time for the two of them to fall in love and that Jack does not start scheming to get Ennis in the sack as soon as he sees him standing against the trailer. But I don't for a minute think he was unaware of Ennis as a possible, well, possibility.

I also think Ennis is mostly clueless here, although he catches Jack looking and returns a couple of puzzled looks of his own. This may be the very first subconscious nudge Ennis ever has to look at a guy in more than a neutral way. Ennis is probably not used to being the object of anyone's attention for any reason, and while he has no idea why Jack is looking at him, he feels a bit uncomfortable just the same.

You are exactly right, Pete. Those who insist that Ennis was curious about Jack from the start are engaging in wishful thinking. If anything, Ennis is made nervous by Jack's rather insistent cruising in those first scenes; there is no evidence to suggest that he thinks Jack is hot (this will come later).

Offline Danny

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2006, 09:41:39 PM »
Sorry Folks... I dont see this opening scene as A N Y kind of cruising, flirting, etc.  I just see Jack shaving to look good for a job interview.  I am a six time viewer and have studied this scene many times myself with interest.  I paid attention to how Ennis looked and he is a light haired young man and he has no/little facial hair, ie: appearing clean cut.  Jack, having a 5 o'clock shadow see's Ennis, first as a threat ( a great contradiction considering how the story plays out) because he is there for work and would be assumed this other person who has showed up early too (Aquirre wasnt even in yet) was vying for a job.. or maybe the only job available.  We learn that Jack is a RETURNING contender but we know he was employed under a 25% loss when the lightning storm got the sheep and maybe another candidate might look good to Aquirre.  Remember Jack thought he was "going to affixiate from the smell"  "Aquirre got all over my ass like I can control the weather." he told Ennis later in the bar.  He was probably trying to have a better "image" by shaving.  Im sure he had probably thought no one else would show up for the job... but now there is competition and he needs to find an edge.  Some people may say, "oh but it was a roughneck job on a mountain, why would he need to shave for that?"  Well, in that day and time appearance for ANY kind of job could persuade a boss as to how respectful of a person you are to authority.

Also someone else had mentioned in a post earlier something about Jack being more experienced in the ways and quoted Ennis saying "You may be a sinner but Ive have not yet had the opportunity"  Apparantly Ennis was a virgin (sweet considering he lost it with Jack) but there is nothing from the movie (I havnt read the book) indicating Jack is anything but a virgin himself.  I dont believe at this point Jack knew anything about "cruising" anyone.  Sure, maybe he was aware of his curiosity of other guys somehow, but cruising?   ...uhh-uhh.   Someone also mentioned him cruising the rodeo clown later.. well that was really only after his experience with ennis.

least thats how I see it.
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Offline kaboyz

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2006, 10:37:16 PM »
My third time watching the movie all I did was focus on E's unspoken emotions. 

I was shocked to see in the opening scene how many times J looks at E then E looks at J and on and on...I didn't catch that at all when I saw BBM the first two times. 

I don't think J was 'cruising' E, I just think they were both checking each other out, J was just much more obvious then E. 

I interpreted it as if I myself was checking out a guy, without him noticing, and say one of my friend was looking on, my friend would be able to notice my obvious glances.  I think that is what they were showing here, we were the on lookers but their glances weren't exchanged acknowledged or reciprocated, E was checking J out and J did the same, no direct eye contact.   
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Offline Danny

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2006, 09:24:36 PM »
Two Questions to anyone?

1) This is silly but what does "QT" mean in regards to a mountain?  In the beginning in the trailer, Aquirre says something about "pitching your tent on the QT. dont want no fires..."      I've heard this before but cant fiqure out what it means?
QT???

2) When Jack and Ennis are at the "drop off" point before proceeding up brokeback, and Jack is struggling with the horse... he says that line about never seen a horse that can throw him... then says something to Ennis about "blah, blah, blah... tying knots all day..."     six viewings and I cant figure out what that line is...?     Help!?
"'watchin Lureen punch numbers in her addin machine till she gets more zero's, her eyes gettin smaller and smaller, its like watchin a rabbit tryin to squeeze down a snake hole with a coyote on its tail.."

Offline Scott88

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2006, 09:45:49 PM »
I think the difference of opinion here emerges from different meanings attached to the word "cruise."  To me, it connotes a sexual awareness and a straightforward determination to get sex that Jack simply does not possess at the start of the film.

Don't get me wrong, Jack is definitely curious and shows signs of physical attraction to Ennis from the get-go. (Though I also agree that some of it is posturing, consistent with Jack's attempts to assert himself to compensate for low self-esteem.) 

I just don't think "cruise" is the appropriate word to describe the interaction here.  Curiosity? Yep. Jack physically responding to Ennis's figure and subtly checking him out?  Sure.  Cruising?  Not in my book.  Jack is a 19-y-o young man who still has a lot of soul searching left concerning his sexuality.

Offline angela_toronto

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2006, 10:12:00 PM »
Two Questions to anyone?

1) This is silly but what does "QT" mean in regards to a mountain?  In the beginning in the trailer, Aquirre says something about "pitching your tent on the QT. dont want no fires..."      I've heard this before but cant fiqure out what it means?
QT???


i googled this one.  QT is a derivatioin of the word "quiet"; something that is done unofficially, outside of regulations.  i've heard this term before but never been inspired enough to follow up on the meaning.

Offline Vince

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2006, 10:17:49 PM »
When Jack and Ennis are at the "drop off" point before proceeding up brokeback, and Jack is struggling with the horse... he says that line about never seen a horse that can throw him... then says something to Ennis about "blah, blah, blah... tying knots all day..."     six viewings and I cant figure out what that line is...?     Help!?


From the screenplay:

                                                                               JACK
                                                                       (cocky)
                                           I doubt there's a filly that can throw me.
                                           Let's get, 'less you wanna stand around
                                           and tie knots all day.
Tent don't look right.

Offline Wolfgang

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2006, 05:27:24 AM »
Just a bit of period detail.  The freight train passing Ennis as he leans on Aguirre's trailer in the beginning has no caboose.  All freight trains had cabooses in 1963.  During the 1980's, rules were changed eliminating the need for cabooses.

Offline justmeincal

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2006, 07:24:11 PM »
Just a bit of period detail.  The freight train passing Ennis as he leans on Aguirre's trailer in the beginning has no caboose.  All freight trains had cabooses in 1963.  During the 1980's, rules were changed eliminating the need for cabooses.

Wolfgang,

Good catch!  My dad was a station agent in a small midwest town.  As a child, I used to run down to the depot every day in the summer when the train came through town.  The guys on the train would help me up into the caboose and I would ride the train to the next town, where we turned around.  All the cabooses had a window box at the top and you could climb the ladder to it and watch the scenery as you rolled down the tracks.  I felt like I was 'King of the Road' in those golden days.  They would drop me off back at my dad's depot on their return.  Thanks for dredging up some wonderful memories.

Steve