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March 27, 2006

Comments

Jack Malebranche

Good luck, folks.

When I finally arrive in Hell, I'll probably be assigned to read and re-read the entries for the rest of eternity.

So I'll catch them all then, and try to ignore them in the interim.

April 4th on DVD, eh? (I know the date now...see how well maketing on blogs works!)

Does this mean I will actually watch this film now, at my convenience, in the privacy of my own home, expending the least amount of money possible to study it for purely anthropological reasons?

Only time will tell.

Queer Conservative

Hmmm. I still have no great desire to see it.

Tina

Well I'm sure this is not the story you are looking for, but Brokeback Mountain affected me very profoundly nevertheless. I've done a lot of thinking about why BBM felt so personal to me, despite the fact that I'm a str8 woman in a 9-yr heterosexual marriage. I think it spoke to me on several levels. First of all, after nine years of marrigae, our passion has waned. So, this movie reminded me of what passion looks like again. Secondly, I felt a very deep sense of sadness that Jack and Ennis felt they could not be together. It really hit home to me that Mathew Shephard died 3 years after Annie Proulx wrote this story. It was supposed to be a period piece and yet is unfortunately timeless. So, I felt a call to action that we all own the fight for gay rights. As Martin Luther King said, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." And finally, being a mother, I really felt for the children - particularly Ennis'. Our society made Ennis feel that he had to hide who he truly is and he spent so much energy and anxiety struggling with himself that there was little left over for his children. It touched me in other ways as well - the wives (but I have mixed emotions about that because I think they played a role in that devastation) - but mostly how important it is to hold onto true love. It has made me appreciate my marriage more and work harder to re-spark the passion and love that we once felt for one another.

Doug

Being a gay man I was compelled to see the movie with my husband (in Canada, at least) and I came away with a very warm feeling. I didn't stand in lines on opening day, but rather waited until it moved to the 'burbs so I wouldn't have to drive 20 miles to see it. The wait was well worth it. The cast and crew were able to put on screen many feelings that I have felt over the years but have not been able to publicly express. It brought me one step closer to being 100% out and open. I am out with all my family and friends but not co-workers. Yet. After seeing it, just once, I found myself on e-bay, searching for memorabilia, and came away with a copy of the signed screen play, an 8X10 signed photo of Jake and Heath, a copy of the March 10th issue of Daily Variety with 'the ad' and a 4X6 FOOT poster, which doesn't have a home on a wall yet. Silly as it may seem, sharing these items and stories at work is helping me to be completely open with the last group of people that don't know me 100%. But, my husband has now cut my spending off and he can't wait to get a copy of the dvd so we can relive the movie experience again and again. Long live Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar!!

Andrew

I am a Resident Assistant at a southern, mostly conservative, private university. As an RA, part of my job is to create, plan, and implement intellectual and cultural activities for the student body.

One of my (straight) coworkers suggested that our staff show Brokeback Mountain because he had seen it in theatres and heard a lot of press about it. I thought it was a good idea, but there were a lot of issues: How would we get a copy of the movie before its release date? How would we finance the project? Would the students here take time out of their busy lives to see a movie about the GAYS?

First, we had to research how to order a film not-yet available on DVD. It turned out that there was an office willing to help us; however, the fee for the rights to show the movie to a crowd cost $650. We only have about $550 in our staff budget to cover programming costs for the entire year. Additionally, we wanted to provide pizza and beverages at the screening. At about this point, we also decided we wanted to have a student-led discussion after the movie. It was very important to us that the students feel free to speak their minds, so we didn't want the faculty to moderate the conversation.

Our first thought was to apply for a grant from a certain office at the university. However, the grant was denied because the movie/discussion idea was not in line with their mission statement or what-have-you.

We also turned to campus organizations. Here, we had some luck. The gay/straight alliance (New Directions) agreed to help with publicity and fund the pizza and soda. The president of the confidential support group for GLBT people agreed to help lead discussion and provided funding. A university action committee and the male student government also added monetary support.

After raising the money, our next concern was getting people to actually attend. This can be very hard to do, because the average student here has lots of homework and a meeting or two on the average weeknight. Factoring in the general atmosphere of homophobia, we were worried.

We made fliers (I photoshopped a cowboy hat onto an Oscar statue), chalked sidewalks with ads, made a banner for the student commons, emailed faculty, posted in an electron newsletter, and invited students on a social networking site called the Facebook... but even with that much publicity, we were uneasy. Only 13 students RSVP'd. With such low numbers, it would have been cheaper to buy each attendee two or three copies of the DVD.

Fast forward to tonight, the night of the screening.

We filled an auditorium with seats for 90+ people, with people in additional seating in the back. The 10 pizzas we ordered were gone in five minutes, as was a box of chocolates someone decided to bring (somewhat randomly). About 10 minutes into the movie, about 6 guys in grass-stained shirts entered together (part of the ultimate frisbee team). Overall, I'd say about a third of the audience was male.

After the movie ended, at least 30 people stayed to participate in a discussion of the film and the issues it has raised. Some students admitted to seeing gay relationships in a new light, and a few members of the faculty were educated about what it means to be a gay student at our school (i.e. "But we don't have 'gay-bashing' here, do we?").

To sum it up: Brokeback Mountain provided the student body a chance to start a dialogue about GLBT sexuality, something that rarely happens here in the capital of the Confederacy. As one student put it, "I always felt like it was taboo to talk about this here. I'm glad this movie came along. Helloooooo, it's 2006."

Tina

Andrew, you win! What an amazing story. What an amazing event. Kudos to you for going to the lengths you did to start such an important dialogue.

Will

The first time I learned about this beautiful movie was when it won its first acknowledgement as a grand prix winner of Venice Film Festival, last summer. I had heard some of those rumors about Heath getting attached with the project sometime before, but never put any deeper thoughts or expectations on it…
But now, that the film was done and real, my excitement grew simply overwhelming. Such an important storyline, such an important issues for me; in so many ways the idea of seeing it made me shiver.
So it was more than LONG before Brokeback Mountain made its way to silver screens here, in my little home country on the far edge of Europe on 24th February. So much excitement and so many expectations! By that time the film had risen to the highest levels in cinematographic history and it only fed my yen for it, enormously, to say the least.
And yet the idea of finally getting to see it made me sort of terrified. I was scared, so scared how that brilliantly simple and most honest film had changed lives of viewers for weeks, paralyzing their minds, making them constantly think about it… how could that affect me? Will I ever survive it?
I did survive. The big fear that the film could emotionally throw me up on the wall into the million pieces didn’t come true.
Love is a very natural and original feeling that could happen between two people. It is devastating, that prejudices can choke it so easily. Love should be something that makes us stronger, irrepressible; unfortunately in that time, in that situation it became fatal. And yet we saw it blossom, even if it was just for a brief moment.
It seems that the love story in “Brokeback Mountain” affected audiences and critics the most. But the feature that made me completely powerless was poorness, which the characters had to live with. So oppressive, so breathtaking! Especially in final scenes in Jack’s parents house and in Ennis’s trailer. To me it was truly heartbreaking and unbearable. It’s really not something I have suffered in my own. Definitely not! Maybe it is a sign of my insecurity in that subject, who knows. It was actually same with “In America” and “Dark water”. I hope that Fellows, that have seen those movies, know what I’m talking about.
But one thing I know for sure, a movie that makes me feel, makes me think, is truly a good movie. That’s why I’m a honest fan of “Brokebacke Mountain”. It made wonder in my head and in my heart!


avi

i'm so obsessed i've never seen it because i couldn't bear for it to end.

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