Jan. 25, 2006

The Gay Cowboy Movie

I saw Brokeback Mountain last night with Sheryl. Ang Lee has created some amazing films, and this is another. I loved The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Eat Drink Man Woman in particular (Hulk not so much...). A covert gay relationship between taciturn cowboys in the early Sixties is a provocative subject, but I felt that the film handled it well and gave an illuminating look at the subject of homophobia in "Marlboro Country".

Brokeback Mountain was filmed in Alberta's Rocky Mountains and I spend part of my career as a geologist in that region. It gave me chills seeing an approximation of my old life in the outdoors up on the big screen. Beautifully filmed... My experience wasn't quite as sexually charged though. Nor did it involve horses or so many sheep.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal gave powerful performances as the impoverished ranch hands Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist. I also noticed that the sets of actors playing Ennis' growing daughters were particularly well cast. To me the tale boiled down to Ennis and Jack being caught by a desire they couldn't acknowledge and a choice they couldn't make. The film captures the tragic consequences; Ennis pushes away everyone that loves him and Jack's agonizing unfulfilled need drives him to dangerous choices.

Brokeback Mountain is a thought-provoking film that may open a few more minds. Sadly though, some husbands may have a tougher time getting away for fishing weekends. :-)

Listening to: The Boys Of Summer by The Ataris from So Long, Astoria.

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