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Author Topic: Opening Scenes  (Read 195487 times)

Offline Danny

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #45 on: January 26, 2006, 10:58:32 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.



Thanks Vince!!   now does anyone want to take a shot at what that is all about??  I know that after he says it,  Ennis kinda looks like... What the F*ck did he mean by that?

me too...
"'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 Vince

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #46 on: January 26, 2006, 11:41:16 PM »

                                                                               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.


Thanks Vince!!   now does anyone want to take a shot at what that is all about??  I know that after he says it,  Ennis kinda looks like... What the F*ck did he mean by that?

me too...

I don't have much to offer in the way of interpretation, but I think it's interesting how the character of Jack and Ennis is micro-encoded in almost every scene.  Here we see Jack, rambunctious, raring to go, cavorting on the horse.  Ennis is stodgy, cautious, making sure the supplies are tied on securely, taking care of business, as he always does.   It's an early exposure to Jack's more adventurous spirit, which I think Ennis finds attractive, and it also comes after Ennis warns Jack that the horse has a low startle point.

Maybe Ennis is just taken aback by this taste of Jack's impulsiveness, which is so alien to his own existence?

I also think this scene, just before they go up the mountain, is beautifully mirrored by the later scene when they have to leave the mountain.  This time Jack ties the knots holding the supplies on the horse, and Ennis sits alone in the grass, brooding on leaving the happiest place he's ever known.  Jack takes his lariat and ropes Ennis, trying to break him out of his mood, essentially assuring Ennis that "it's all right," as he does several times in the story.  Their roughhousing leads up to the punch.  Ennis has a low startle point as well. 
Tent don't look right.

Offline fishinbuddy

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2006, 12:25:39 AM »
I don't think Jack is shaving for any reason other than to look at Ennis. Aguirre doesn't give a damn if Jack is clean-shaven; and Jack has met him, so he knows - and this isn't really an interview - they've been sent by the agency - they're the two he's getting unless he wants to put off sending the sheep up and look around for others. No reason at all for him to be doing it THEN other than secretively looking at Ennis. I remember when I was young enough and in situations where it was risky trying to find any way I could to look at the guys I liked without being obvious. Hell, I still do.

I'm not sure but that Jack IS cruising at first when he blatantly stares at Ennis. I think Jack is VERY aware of his sexuality and has no questions other than how to get some without getting the crap kicked out of him. It's obvious he has no real interest in women; it's only after Jimbo doesn't accept his advance (and I think Jimbo is just representative of the fact that Jack IS trying to find a man, probably Jimbo's not the only one) and it's been a couple dry years sexually for him that he turns finally to the only outlet available to him: Lureen. It's after he gets no direct response from Ennis in this scene that he figures he'd better cool it and not be so obvious. Jack is a gentle soul, no violence in him -even the later confrontation with his father-in-law is unpleasant to him, so I don't think he's doing a challenging man-to-man kind of staring; it's gotta be cruising. You have to realize, and I've noticed this all my life, straight guys, especially in areas like that, don't even consider the possibility a man could be looking at them THAT WAY (unless the guy lookjig is obviously effeminate in the extreme.. It MUST be something else. Ennis is also looking at Jack. With interest. I didn't catch it during the first screening, but during the second, I did:, because by then I knew Ennis better: Ennis never looks at anyone else like he's looking at Jack that first scene. Now I don't think Ennis is cruising but I do know that men who haven't yet accepted that they are attracted to men are still attracted, no matter that they don't understand it. They still look and are drawn. They may just block the realization that they are,  or they may make excuses to themselves, but they still look and want to be near those guys.. So here we see Ennis looking at Jack with open interest though he may not entirely realize all of what's going on inside him. Let's face it: compared tothe other guys, normal guys of he period and locale in this movie, Jack is friggin' beautiful and surely would draw the eye of anyone interested in men. Ennis may be repressed but he's neither blind nor stupid. And he IS 19 years old. A very hormonal time.

Quote
When Jack is leaning against his truck, arms out, looking so directly at Ennis - it's very sexual, almost provocative.  And Ennis responds by looking down, scraping his boots in the dust, acting like a blushing school girl.

Love that 'blushing schoolgirl' line. I think Ennis is aware of Jack's interest on some level and he IS reacting to it - on a very basic, hormonal way. He is drawn to him, too (even if he doesn't realize why), and so this reaction. I'm sure we can all identify with this.

And on the scene when they're ready to go up the mountain:

 
Quote
Here we see Jack, rambunctious, raring to go, cavorting on the horse.  Ennis is stodgy, cautious, making sure the supplies are tied on securely, taking care of business, as he always does.   It's an early exposure to Jack's more adventurous spirit, which I think Ennis finds attractive

I agree wholeheartedly. The way Ennis looks after Jack when Jack says 'Let's git unless you want to stand around tyin' knots all day" and Jack turns and starts ridingoff, to me looks like a dawning fascination. He is drawn to Jack now not just by looks but also by personality. I think throughout the movie it's one of the chief things Ennis likes about Jack : his irrepressible, open nature, so unlike Ennis's own, so exciting compared to his 'work-and-be-lonely'-only existence. I can see it in the scene with Jack's parents when his dad makes the remark about none of Jack's ideas coming to fruition. It's not just that Ennis feels bad that Jack's biggest idea, them living together, didn't come true, it's in large part because that excitable dreamer is what he most loved about Jack - even while he felt he had to put the brakes on it. Ennis wasn'[t a dreamer and this quality in Jack must have seemed wonderful to him. And he hates that someone dismisses it so casually and mocks it.
When I feel that lonesome prairie wind, I let my soul get back to you again...I will never let you, I will never let you, I will NEVER let you go!

Offline peteinportland

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #48 on: January 27, 2006, 12:58:40 AM »
You know Buddy, we all view art through our own lenses of perception.

I grew up in rural Texas (born in 1969), and I was aware of my strong interest in guys since the 7th grade (had my first boyfriend then, too, definitely on the QT). Damn, but I remember the very careful manner I had to approach guys. There was absolutely no way I could let myself be outed due not only to the danger of physical violence but also because of the society I inhabited: Christian High School and then a year at Houston Baptist University. I found a few guys in my teen years, and I checked out every guy I met, I think, but it was such a careful thing.

This is why I am convinced the two of them were carefully checking one another out. I've said before that Ennis was more in a reactionary mode (a bit puzzled about Jack and those looks of his and maybe the first subconscious stirrings of his own sexuality). But IMO, Jack was treading carefully, wanting to look but knowing not to get caught. I've been there myself so many times.

Again, my lenses, my perception, my truth. (And still an iconic movie scene.)

Offline David

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2006, 02:24:50 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.

Scott, well said. Again, "cruising" is a modern term and action that neither Ennis nor Jack would have had any comprehension of. Some may argue that, even if Jack didn't know what cruising was, he was still doing it. I disagree strongly. I think Scott's take sums up the situation accurately. If we asked Annie P., I bet she'd laugh at the notion that either boy was "cruising". She has repeatedly remarked (in interviews) about these boys' lack of self-awareness.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2006, 02:35:38 PM by David »
The huge sadness of the Northern plains rolled down on him.

Offline westexer

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2006, 08:44:31 PM »
You know Buddy, we all view art through our own lenses of perception.

I grew up in rural Texas (born in 1969), and I was aware of my strong interest in guys since the 7th grade (had my first boyfriend then, too, definitely on the QT). Damn, but I remember the very careful manner I had to approach guys. There was absolutely no way I could let myself be outed due not only to the danger of physical violence but also because of the society I inhabited: Christian High School and then a year at Houston Baptist University. I found a few guys in my teen years, and I checked out every guy I met, I think, but it was such a careful thing.

This is why I am convinced the two of them were carefully checking one another out. I've said before that Ennis was more in a reactionary mode (a bit puzzled about Jack and those looks of his and maybe the first subconscious stirrings of his own sexuality). But IMO, Jack was treading carefully, wanting to look but knowing not to get caught. I've been there myself so many times.

Again, my lenses, my perception, my truth. (And still an iconic movie scene.)

Yeah, I thing so too.

Did y'all happen ta notice how similar Ennis' body language ourside tha trailer is so similar ta when Cassie drug him out on tha dance floor.  Shy, lookin down, sorta, scratchin with his boots.  On tha dance floor, he has his hands jammed down in his pockets, lookin down and scratchin at tha dancefloor with his boots.  Totally closed body language.  Whereas both Jack and Cassie are extroverts that draw him out.  Jack subtly checkin him out and Cassie strutin like a banty rooster!  Ennis is so closed off that is takes a really strong personality ta bring him out: Did your parnts stop at Ennis?  Why Ennis Del Mar, that's tha most you talked ta me in a month.  That's tha most I've talked in a year. etc.

Offline peteinportland

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #51 on: January 29, 2006, 01:22:29 AM »
LOL, westexer. I pointed this out somewhere before. I think the dance scene with Cassie is a parallel scene to Jack and Ennis meeting.  Cassie and Jack both introduce themselves first, but with Cassie, Ennis, after a pause after saying Ennis he remembers to say Del Mar. Ennis follows both Jack and Cassie. As another poster pointed out, when Ennis follows Jack to the bar he is behind him almost trying to mimic his steps. Both Cassie and Jack get to know Ennis over a drink in a bar. They talk about their professions and how bad it is (Cassie serving drinks and Jack on BBM the summer before). They both do most of the talking and draw Ennis out by asking him personal questions.

There is a very studied contrast to these scenes as well. With Cassie, the song "It's So Easy to Fall in Love" is playing on the jukebox. Cassie sticks her feet right in Ennis' lap and tells him she wants a foot rub. Cassie gets to dance close to Ennis in a public bar. She can be aggressive and forward where Jack has to be careful and coy. In just minutes after meeting him, she can inhabit Ennis' personal space in public in a way Jack will NEVER be allowed to do. However, Jack does get to light Ennis up in the bar the first time they meet  ;D. We get the impression Cassie never does.   

As for the "earlier today I was castrating a calf" and how that fits the parallel between the scenes, I will let someone smarter than me figure that out.

Offline leopoldo

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #52 on: January 29, 2006, 05:34:46 AM »
I don't post much and try to limit how much I read here - I can easily lose myself in wistful reverie and melancholy and not notice a whole day passing...

Still: I agree with all those commentators who refer to the iconic status of this opening. The character delineation here sets up the pattern for the whole film: Ennis is driven to Aguirre's and then is in stasis, his body language turned inwards, his eyes almost closed. He is then assigned the static role on the mountain. He follows Jack to the bar, almost as though learning how to walk.
 
Jack arrives too fast, not quite in control of his pick-up (as he'll be not quite in control of his mare, his desire, his family) and preens and postures. He is explosive and expressive, showing too much perhaps at once. He is immediately mobile - the insect on the hillside, as Proulx I think describes him, and finds it difficult to be still without performing stillness (he's acting that stance - and Gyllenhaal captures this perfectly).

The patterns of movement that follow echo this opening - Jack's driving and constant restlessness (even if it's just going round in circles with his son), Ennis' profund stillness - the furthest he's travelled is round the coffee pot for the handle. He only becomes mobile with Jack - on their trips, when they swap roles.

what an amazing film.

Offline danniboi

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #53 on: January 29, 2006, 09:54:19 AM »
You don't notice it at first, but neither Jake nor Heath get the opening line of the film, and more than that it is actually quite long time before anyone says anything at all. But in that time so much is set up and revealed. The beuaty of the mountains in the very opening shot, Ennis' introverted and fearful character and Jack's clearly more confident and agressive stance. The back and forth looks between them are very subtly done, but are totally realistic in my opinion. Also does anyone remember there is one moment outsidre the trailer where Jack looks Ennis over but then looks down and seems to sign like he's disappointed or thinking 'I'm never going to get him' or something like that . . . just wondering what ppls views are on that.
'Jack, I swear' . . I won't stand it anymore . . perhaps the greatest message to take from BBM

Offline chaya

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #54 on: January 30, 2006, 02:18:32 PM »
As for the "earlier today I was castrating a calf" and how that fits the parallel between the scenes, I will let someone smarter than me figure that out.

To me, Ennis makes this remark in the hope that maybe it will gross Cassie out and she'll leave him alone!
"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

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Offline chaya

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #55 on: January 30, 2006, 03:31:39 PM »
You don't notice it at first, but neither Jake nor Heath get the opening line of the film, and more than that it is actually quite long time before anyone says anything at all.....

Also does anyone remember there is one moment outsidre the trailer where Jack looks Ennis over but then looks down and seems to sign like he's disappointed or thinking 'I'm never going to get him' or something like that . . . just wondering what views are on that.

Great observation, how no one speaks for a long time. Isn't it Acquirre the first person to speak? It's a mesmerizing opening. The  part where Jack looks down and seems to sigh - I've wondered about that too. Maybe when Jack looks down, turns to the left, poses and looks off into the distance, he's just giving Ennis a chance to check him out? (which Ennis does  ;) ) But Jack does seem to be muttering something as he's looking down, or it's a sigh? Maybe it's a sigh of hope/despair - hope that something might develop w/ Ennis, despair that he'll be rebuffed and stuck on Brokeback with no companionship? I'll watch for that next time, yet another excuse to see it again!
"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

lynn

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #56 on: January 30, 2006, 04:02:40 PM »
The  part where Jack looks down and seems to sigh - I've wondered about that too.

That always jumps out at me, and I assumed that Jack was in some way aware of his attraction to Ennis, or at least his interest, and so was thinking something like, "well, what do we have here, this looks to be an intersting summer..."). It's that little smile that gives him away.

And about the character we see revealed in this short scene: I also notice that when Aguirre arrives and heads up the stairs into the trailer, Ennis starts to follow, then is stopped short as Aguirre virtually slams the door in his face, then almost sheepishly backs down the stairs again. Always obediently following the rules, or the leader.... Jack waits until Aguirre yells for them to get moving. And notice inside the trailer, after Aguirre is finished with them, takes a call, then glares at them until they get the message to leave. Ennis immediately snaps to attention and turns to go. Jack takes a bit more time, and has a sullen expression on his face. Very subtle.

Offline ellye

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2006, 04:24:53 PM »
more than that it is actually quite long time before anyone says anything at all.....

Great observation, how no one speaks for a long time. Isn't it Acquirre the first person to speak? It's a mesmerizing opening. The  part where Jack looks down and seems to sigh - I've wondered about that too. Maybe when Jack looks down, turns to the left, poses and looks off into the distance, he's just giving Ennis a chance to check him out? (which Ennis does  ;) ) But Jack does seem to be muttering something as he's looking down, or it's a sigh? Maybe it's a sigh of hope/despair - hope that something might develop w/ Ennis, despair that he'll be rebuffed and stuck on Brokeback with no companionship? I'll watch for that next time, yet another excuse to see it again!

Acquirre IS the first person to speak, unless you count when Jack arrives and kicks his spluttering truck in frustration, saying "Shit!" as he does it! lol!  ;D Always makes me chuckle, that bit!  ;D

I was impressed at how long it was before anyone spoke as well, but there's not much said in a lot of this film, it's carried perfectly instead by body language.

Speaking of which ... absolutely LOVED the bit in the trailer when Acquirre is on the phone and Ennis and Jack sneakily glance across at each other, one after the other. Perfectly choreographed, that!  :)

Offline BestLoveStory

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2006, 12:51:14 AM »
Does anyone know where I could watch this scene? I'd like to see it again!  ;D

Offline lucky123

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Re: Scene: Opening Scene
« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2006, 03:53:17 PM »
I also noticed that, in the beginning, the semi is driving from the right to the left of the screen.  When Ennis leaves Jack's parents, he is driving from the left to the right.  It ties in with the sunrise, sunset with Ennis driving to his destination in the opening and then returning from it at the end.