The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Author Topic: Brokeback's Impact on Women  (Read 225276 times)

Offline Spunabout

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Re: Another woman who loves Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #60 on: January 06, 2006, 05:06:31 PM »
Hmm; I have tried more than once to post this "hello" -- thought I had a little while ago.  Let's see how I do this time.  These beginner's mistakes are no doubt due to the fact that I'm not a joiner.  I do not typically join and post at a board like this.

I am a married woman and I love this movie.  It stunned me.

My reaction to being knocked flat is to try to figure out why.  In this case, how did this movie bowl me over?

I do like romances but am not a big devotee of them.  Last movie I saw, other than kid stuff, was Serenity.  I'm definitely eclectic about movies.

One of the compelling aspects of BBM is that this is a story of exalted love, so much so that nothing and no one can make it tawdry.  But the movie is so gripping for reasons beyond that.

I also found myself wondering: why are most on this board apparently more attracted to Jake Gyllenhaal?  Can't help but note that the Jake thread tends to constantly be about twice as long as the Heath thread. It seems to at least partly be that more identify more closely with Jack, regardless of gender.  I do not believe it can be a matter of him being the more attractive star.  These stars are both very nice looking young men and they create characters in this film who are equally, achingly, beautiful.  Yet, the posters here are focused on Gyllenhaal.  And most of the male reviewers out there are focused on Ledger.  I'll bet those reviewers identify more with Ennis.

*Both* of these actors deserve an Oscar.  Neither could be convincing unless the other was also convincing.  These performances are two halves of a whole.

My husband also liked the movie.  When movies came up at work, he simply said to his colleagues, "It's one of the best movies I've ever seen."



Offline ImEnnisShesJack

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Re: Another woman who loves Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #61 on: January 07, 2006, 06:50:35 AM »
I have been enjoying this website and Brokeback Mountain threads for about a week now.  Although it is nice to see so many straight women enjoying the film and commenting here, I haven't seen many posts from women who are gay.  I saw this great film with my partner and gay friends.  We all cried seeing Jack's fate as we have friends who have been bashed because of who they are. 
I applaud the two incredible and "A" list actors who took on the challenge to show two gay characters that have never been seen before on mainstream media. 
The thing that is most remarkable about this movie is the fact that it does not have to be a movie about two "gay cowboys."  It could have been about two women or a man and a woman from different backgrounds.  Anyone could place themselves in the this role and know what sort of pain the characters feel.  This movie is about a love that is denied.  An unrequited love relieved by short spurts of passion.
I can't wait to see it again.

See my "My Brokeback" story post.  My partner and I are posting on here, OBSESSED with this film because it parallels our lives so closely.  Neither of us is an OUT lesbian (we both consider ourselves bi - as we find there are a few men out there we aren't quite over. she pines away for Colin Farrell, and I am currently ALL over Jake G. -  or sure would like to be. :)  :o    ), but we are in a growing relationship together.

I've never been this obsessed with a movie in my life.  I've never been so protective of the story and man, I better not hear anyone make fun of it or bash it - especially if you haven't seen it! (like the homophobic assh*les I work with.)  I've never been so acutely aware of box office stats and award noms.  My lover and I *are* Brokeback Mountain.  It's not a gay cowboy movie.  It's not even really about two men at all.  (okay, it is BUT) THIS is a love story.  It's about what if's and choices made and regrets and coping and moving on and healing.  The main characters are easily identified with.  I'm sure that there are even het couples out there who feel BBM is about them. 

"And when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night."
~~Heath Ledger 1979-2008~~

Carol8159@yahoo.com

Offline Spunabout

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Re: Another woman who loves Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #62 on: January 07, 2006, 12:21:27 PM »
You are right about that, I'mJackshe'sEnnis.  My husband and I are a very ordinary looking middle class couple, plus child.  If you passed us on the street, you might not even notice us, unless you notice his laser like blue eyes and mane of wavy graying hair.  He's going to look like Peter Graves someday.  In many ways, the IT guy I'm married to is the “new man,” but he's also as emotionally stove up as they come with the massive commitment phobia that goes with that.  We wound up getting married because I was so willing to leave despite our white hot relationship.  I'm only quietly emotional, but I couldn't stand the cold.  I was shocked to find that he wasn't willing to lose me over his commitment phobia.  As quiet as I am, he still teases me about being a “flake.”

There are a thousand examples of how he reacts like Ennis on an emotional level.  I'll limit myself to one.  After I was treated for my first bout with cancer, we bought a house and moved from the one we had rented for years.  As we prepared to leave the empty house for the last time, my child – then seven -- started talking about the good and bad that was being left behind, including my hair that had been lost during chemo and had gone into the compost heap and so would forever be a part of this yard.  I sat on the floor of the finished basement room we were in, back against the wall, and cried.  She put her arms around me and cried, too.  He stood down the hall a ways, toward the stairs, and cried, too, but wouldn't join us.  Later, when I said, “You know, you never once told me that you wanted me to live,” he left the room.

So, he agrees to take me to see Brokeback Mountain.  I am stunned into silence for a long time.  He has teared up, but won't let me see.  As the credits come on, under his breath he says, “Oh. my. God.”  Afterwards, at home, I am talking about identifying with Jack, especially being the sort to want to reach out to the world for what I want even if I don't always know what I'm doing or how, but keep trying, etc. etc.  After a while, I ask him, “So, did you identify with any character in the movie?”  He says, “No.”  The conversation ends.  Its just his way.

Two days later, we're in the kitchen, doing ordinary stuff and he starts talking.  I can't believe what I'm hearing.  “By the end of the movie, I was empathizing so strongly with Ennis, I could barely watch it,” he says.

I turn away so he doesn't misunderstand my smile because what I am thinking is, “Is there any real difference between identifying with a character and empathizing with them to the degree he is describing?,” and I decide that the answer is “No.”

So, yes, a heterosexual couple can feel that BBM is about them.  Or, at least, the woman can.

lynn

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Brokeback's Impact on Women
« Reply #63 on: January 07, 2006, 03:54:39 PM »
Brokeback's Impact on Women

Why are so many women in love with this story?

What do we see that men don't (and visa versa)?

What impact will it have on OUR lives??

How closely do we identify with the main characters?

Everyone's welcome to post!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2006, 12:28:58 AM by Dave Cullen »

Online Melisande

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Brokebacks Impact on Women
« Reply #64 on: January 07, 2006, 10:08:00 PM »
Thanks Lynn for suggesting this new thread!
let be, let be

Offline dave754

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Re: Brokeback's Impact on Women
« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2006, 01:35:31 AM »
The reasons straight women have been giving for loving this film are the SAME reasons I love it. (I am a 51 year old gay male). The review at latimes.com by Meghan Daum is my favorite of all the reviews I've read. (If I remember correctly,thanx to Lynn for the link). It's not only straight women who are turned on by masculine men  showing emotion and vulnerability.

Offline dave754

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Re: Brokeback's Impact on Women
« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2006, 01:47:12 AM »
Regarding my previous post-I have to clarify : I don't mean "turned on" in the sense that it makes me "horny". It's just a beautiful thing to see. I am convinced that this film is an important and major cultural event.

Offline ImEnnisShesJack

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Re: Another woman who loves Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #67 on: January 08, 2006, 06:56:12 AM »
I'm sorry I hadn't read your reply earlier...I've been caught up in so many other threads that I didn't see your post.  But now I am crying into the dregs of my cup of coffee. 

why is it that our culture is so clenched about showing emotion? humans are a highly organized social animal species.  in fact, biologically, we use our own species' social structure to compare other animals' social development. 

So why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we judge a couple based on their anatomical plumbing fixtures rather than the integrity and depth of their feelings for one another?  I'm not talking in terms of religion - organized churches can impose their own hypocritical moral canon down their sheep's throats all they want.  ANd I'm not talking about politics, although I'm finding myself more and more wanting to be active in same-sex social union rights.  I'm talking about society.  Why can't two people in love walk hand-in-hand down ANY street without fear of violence or ridicule?   

Why do our men have to be strong and tough and never be seen as weak or cry or NEED, or if they do, then they're seen as a pussy?  Why is it that women have to be soft and compliant and meek or be seen as butch?  Why, even in a het relationship, do [some] men find it so hard to just open up and be honest with their partner, their SOUL MATE?  Have we [society] imposed such strict unspoken unbendable gender rules that it forces relationships to fall apart rather than allow one or the other partner to show feelings? 

Cut any one of us, male or female, gay or straight, and we BLEED.  We're all the same. 

Here is where I hope Brokeback Mountain begins a paradigm shift.  I'm truly hoping that people begin to see love as love.  And see what happens when imposed social stricture chokes off the freedom to love oneanother as needed.  Spunabout, I am touched by your story. Thank you for sharing something so obviously personal and painful.  Let's hope for healing all round.
"And when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night."
~~Heath Ledger 1979-2008~~

Carol8159@yahoo.com

Offline andrew

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Re: Brokeback's Impact on Women
« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2006, 04:22:29 PM »
Thinking about why the loves scenes might seem so intense to so many women...(I am a gay man).

To women following this thread...
What do the second tent scene and the embrace from behind in BBM feel like, compared to heterosexual love scenes in other films,   When you see a heterosexual scene with a beautiful man, does the woman character get in the way, distract with her talk and appearance, keep you from flying into the screen?  Does she absorb too much of his masculinity?  As in, man minus woman equals zero, whereas in BBM man plus man equals two, one more than you were even hoping for?  Stated arithmetically that probably sounds feeble.

There may be one difficulty in answering these questions, though: the scarcity of heterosexual romance films which feel real, where the passion is reallly what the film is about.  It's remarkable Schamus thought he had to go way back to Titanic for a model, and that that was the best he could come up with.  Sex in most films is so gratuitous.

The seminal forces in this great film are definitely Annie Proulx, Diana Ossana and the lunar side of Ang Lee.  Ultimately it owes the most to them.  And then I believe, to Michelle Williams' effect on Heath, and Jake's mother's and sister's on himself.  One of the interviews with Jake in Venice mentions how he started tearing up talking about his mother.

lynn

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Re: Brokeback's Impact on Women
« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2006, 04:58:30 PM »
Andrew, thanks for a wonderful post. There are so many good ideas in there I won't even try to quote them all!

I agree with the first statement: actresses often distract me during love scenes, with their perfect hair and makeup, etc. I DON'T identify with them. One of the few love scenes I could claim would be Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood in "Bridges of Madison County", since they weren't young starlets but more realistic mature people. (It's the teenage girls that identified with Rose and Jack in Titanic, not me, although I still saw it twice).

But put that aside. I don't think I put myself into the Ennis / Jack scenes. Or maybe, I put myself into THEM, if that makes sense. They express a sort of raw animal passion that's both foreign to most of us and very exciting. As an example, if my husband ever slammed me into a wall and kissed me like Ennis did Jack, he would probably crack my skull open. But there is a part of me that WANTS to know what that feels like, and I can, vicariously, through the actors.

That applies to the more passionate scenes, tent scene 1 and the kiss. The other two you mentioned are different. Here, the appeal is the expression of the tender vulnerability that men usually hide. It's witnessing something so private and at odds with their usual stoic / masculine outer shells ... to see men (especially Ennis) who are normally so closed off expressing a secret part of their hearts... maybe we recognize the effort it takes to do that, and the enormous love and trust required to open up, especially to another man... well... it's a feeling hard to put into words. It's a combination of an electrical charge, because the actors ARE sexy, and a warm glow ... if that makes any sense  :) Usually we just say we "melted"....

The other part of this is that the actors made it SO REAL, we covered that in many posts here and on the old blog... it really is like you're spying on two lovers.... eegad...

lynn

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Re: Another woman who loves Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2006, 08:05:21 PM »
HI LADIES!

I'm glad we all found our way to this forum to share our astonishment and joy at discovering this great story. Because there are so many of us gals here trying to sort out some of the same issues, we have created a special thread focusing on Brokeback's Impact on Women.

You can find it by navigating to "Brokeback-Related Topics" under "Related Topics". After you post your introduction in this thread, please stop by for some lively discussion on topics near and dear to our girlish hearts, as well as insights from our guy friends.

Hope to see you all there!

~Lynn

Offline ImEnnisShesJack

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Re: Brokeback's Impact on Women
« Reply #71 on: January 08, 2006, 08:40:30 PM »
I react to this on so many levels it's difficult to know where to start.  First, my life *is* Brokeback Mountain.  My username (and my lover's username) reflect this directly.  I am Jack, she is Ennis.  I am willing to quit it all to be with her, she is always fighting some unseen demons in her upbringing and her past.  And so on and so on and so on. 
*deep cleansing breath*
Next layer, I am in a lesbian relationship, and yet, I have ALWAYS been ooked out by gay male physicality.  Don't know why, but it's never tripped my trigger.  Then I found this movie - AND I DREADED THE SEX SCENES!  Maybe it's because this movie is more than just "gay for pay" gratuitous porn - there is so much emotion and passion and RAW animal need - but something made it okay for me.  I've had that moment where I pushed my "Ennis" up against a wall and kissed her like the world was ending - not caring at that precise split second who or what was around us.  Yes, Jake and Heath are VERRRRY easy on the eyes, but it's more than that.  Because I don't see Ennis as particularly handsome in this movie (not Heath, but Heath's portrayal...he's not meant to be necessarily good looking I don't think).  I love the scene of the two boys wrestling outside the tent - young and playful and free.  PURE.  That's the word I keep finding myself using to describe the love between Jake and Ennis.  It's PURE.  Love in it's highest distillation.  But even that first rough sex scene I am finding to be incredibly sexy.  Maybe it is the intensity with which both young men couple.  But I find myself being very proprietary and protective of their relationship.  I get angry when Agguire spies on them.  I feel like I should enfold them both and protect them from the outside world.  The anguish and pain they feel more as they age eats away at me.  Perhaps it is because my life is so parallel to the movie that this is happening, but I am just taken in by message that Love is a force of nature.  It makes me angry that there are so many Jack's and Ennis's out there who are forced to live apart because of society and politics. 
I know I am too close to the movie to be objective any more.  I've read the book, the script, all the reviews [and Gene Shalit pulled a Tom Cruise and went nuts IMHO] and the discussions on this thread are about all that's left to help me cope. 
The movie is eating me alive from the inside out.  I am completely consumed.  I have NEVER been like this about a movie before.  Ever.  Brokeback Mountain done got me good.
"And when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night."
~~Heath Ledger 1979-2008~~

Carol8159@yahoo.com

kumari

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Re: Brokeback's Impact on Women
« Reply #72 on: January 08, 2006, 08:46:36 PM »
What I think appealed to me most about this story is that so much of the excess you find in our modern culture is stripped away. I am educated, middle class and I was raised in a liberal and intellectual household.
The romantic stories that we are fed are designed to please women, because that's supposed to be our "natural" domain, right?
But so much of what we see in the movies and on television have little or nothing to do with love, in its pure form. It's all about celebrity worship, how many carats are in your ring, and how many bedrooms your house has.
In films like "Sleepless in Seattle" and "Father of the Bride," there is what one film critic once called "casual opulence." The houses are big, the clothes are to die for, and everyone looks fantastic all of the time.
This is what we (women) think we want.
BBM shows us what we really want.
Intimacy, eroticism, a deeper connection to ourselves and to our partners: this is romance.

lynn

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Re: Brokeback's Impact on Women
« Reply #73 on: January 08, 2006, 08:55:16 PM »
What I think appealed to me most about this story is that so much of the excess you find in our modern culture is stripped away.

Yes, in the beginning both these guys were dirt-poor, and Ennis never was more than that, and yet we envy the intensity of their love.... quite a change from "Pretty Woman" selling herself to the highest bidder, huh?

Ladies, thanks for your thoughts.

Andrew, don't forget to come back with your reactions!

lynn

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Re: Brokeback's Impact on Women
« Reply #74 on: January 08, 2006, 09:00:11 PM »
But even that first rough sex scene I am finding to be incredibly sexy.  Maybe it is the intensity with which both young men couple.  But I find myself being very proprietary and protective of their relationship. 

ImJack, I noticed the same dichotomy within myself. On the one hand, the two of them together was incredibly hot... on the other hand, I just wanted to give each of those poor, sad boys a big hug.