Article written

  • on 24.09.2010
  • at 09:30 PM
  • by The Editor

Five Things about Brokeback Mountain (2005) 1

Sep24

Love is universal. It’s not just man and woman. It’s a story between mother and her child. Grandparents and their grandchild. A guy and his car. A woman and her shoe collection. A kid and his pet. Woman and woman. Man and man.

Brokeback Mountain has had a long history of trying to stretch the definition of  love. It’s been five years since Taiwanese director Ang Lee released the controversial drama to public. But until now, the problematic same-sex relationship hadn’t found any bright light just yet. Some love chose to lurk behind the misty mountains, and found comfort far from society’s judging eyes.

They were raised on small, poor ranches in opposite corners of the state, Jack Twist in Lightning Flat, up on the Montana border, Ennis del Mar  from around Sage, near the Utah line, both high school drop out country boys with no prospects, brought up to hard work and privation, both rough mannered, rough spoken, inured to the stoic life.

The story of Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) started in 1963 Wyoming. The quiet Ennis, and the more extrovert Jack met on a job. The two were assigned to herd sheeps for a local ranch owner. The serene and beautiful mountain scenery witnessed how two strangers met and forge a bond. It started of as a friendship, the two men spent time keeping each others company. And then, one night, things started to go where they never imagined before.

After the job is done, the two men that climbed up the mountain as strangers, came down, as something else. The invisible connection that tied them both ended abruptly. What they both shared is impossible to keep. The world did not provide a place for such love to exist.

Years passed, and Ennis is now married to Alma Beers (Michelle Williams) and father of two daughters. Jack himself married a rich farm equipment trader’s daughter, Lureen Newsome (Anne Hathaway). Although they never met each other after 1963, Jack and Ennis never forgot what happened there.

Four years later, Ennis received a postcard from Jack. He’s willing to take the chance to rekindle what Brokeback Mountain brought to them. Without any hesitation, Ennis agreed to meet him again on the mountains. To each their wives they told, that they are going for a fishing trip. The two men meet again. What they were never sure before, they are certain now. Even while bound by society’s norm, and guilt to their families, they still couldn’t deny the fact that they loved each other.

This simple yet complicated love story was cherished and loathed by many. It’s never easy to bring such a sensitive topic to public viewing. Not in 1963 Wyoming, or even 2005 Hollywood screening. Ang Lee wisely explored the depth of Ennis and Jack’s relationship with such delicate care. The movie focused on their internal struggle, and rarely focused on the carnal pursuits. The fine portrayal of love across the border won a lot of hearts, and went critically acclaimed.

Brokeback Mountain was a beautiful and rare motion picture. We would be too blind to not admit that the movie had awoken our unnurtured sense about love on the other side of the line. We may reject the idea of same-sex companionship, but we have to accept the fact that it exists. Brokeback Mountain became an overnight campaign for freedom. Not from war, not from political agenda nor terror, but from the unfriendly, often violent treatment of society towards the minority.

Since it hit the screens, many have decided to came out of their closet. Gay men, lesbians, even transgenders and bisexuals alike. It doesn’t only open our eyes about the tragedy that happens everyday in our world, it also became the gleam of hope for the minorities to be understood, if not welcomed.

Like many tragic stories about forbidden love, Brokeback Mountain ended in a pool of blood. What was left for Jack and Ennis, is twenty years of memories about love, fear, and deeply kept secrets. As Ennis kept Jack’s shirt as a reminder of what they both had, we all have our share of keepsake too. It’s tears on our cheeks, and smeared blood on our hands.

This is a love story that neither fails nor succeeds, but lives. The reason why these two men loved each other may will only be known by it’s writer. But like every tale of love, it cannot be completely told with words. It can only be felt.

These are Five Things about Brokeback Mountain.

1. ANNIE PROULX

Brokeback Mountain came from the tip of Annie Proulx‘s pen. The American author/journalist was born on August 22, 1935. Writer of more than ten titles, and winner of numerous awards, Edna Ann Proulx started her writing career in 1963. She first published her fiction, The Customs Lounge, in the same year. She gained wide recognition after her success with The Shipping News. The book won her a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1994. The book also had been brought to the silver screen by director Lasse Hallstrom.

Brokeback Mountain was also one of her famous work. It won O. Henry Awards Prize Stories, also National Magazine Award, both in 1998. The story was first published in The New Yorker on October 13, 1997. The short story was later compiled with her other short stories on Close Range: Wyoming Stories.

2. HEATH LEDGER

The world mourns when Australian actor, Heathcliff Andrew Ledger, died on January 22, 2008. A promising career and bright future ended on a dim room in Lower Manhattan.

Ledger, born in Perth, April 4, 1979, had his first major break in Hollywood with Ten Things I Hate About You. Since then he had taken part in nineteen movies, that includes, The Patriot, A Knight’s Tale, The Dark Knight, and Academy Awards winner, Brokeback Mountain.

His portrayal as Ennis del Mar is impressive, although he lost the Oscar to Phillip Seymour Hoffman‘s Capote. Rolling Stone magazine’s, Peter Travers said, “Ledger’s magnificent performance is an acting miracle. He seems to tear it from his insides. Ledger doesn’t just know how Ennis moves, speaks and listens; he knows how he breathes. To see him inhale the scent of a shirt hanging in Jack’s closet is to take measure of the pain of love lost.”

It was a victory delayed, because on 2009, Ledger finally won the golden trophy for his amazing work as the Joker.

In 2005, actress Michelle Williams gave birth to Ledger’s daughter, Matilda Rose. After the actor’s tragic death, Ledger’s family gave most of his fortune to Matilda Rose, citing her as the family’s “absolute priority”.

3. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN POSTER

If you’re looking for a different version of Brokeback Mountain poster, here it is.

We don’t really know where Moviefone got this poster. It may not be real, but imagining the possibility that the studio that released the movie is willing to bend its own strategy just to comply with the demands of those who hate them, is plain sad.

4. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN SPOOFS

The internet is the perfect place to find parodies and spoofs. Spoofs are not always made to mock a movie, some are purely for entertainment. Five Things think positively, and considered these spoofs as the makers way to say, “Lets have some fun!”

Spoofs goes political. These are some of the examples.

Okay, so Bert and Ernie are long time friends. Both are single. Slept in the same room. Share everything. We’re not intending to get you to jump into conclusion. We just want to share this.

And this one is something for the Twilight fan. James Franco would enjoy this.

Brokeback Mountain clips are all over Youtube. Here’s one of them that includes crocodile. Ayy!

Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow decided to join the fun too and make their own Brokeback video. Check it out here.

5. BI SHEPERD, GAY COWBOYS

Brokeback Mountain had been widely known as “the gay cowboy movie”. We’re going to set the record straight for you now. Prepare to be enlightened. Here’s the fact: Ennis and Jack were shepherds, not cowboys. They didn’t work with cows, they herd sheeps. Cowboys are macho man, these guys are lonely nomad herders. Annie Proulx even straightened the fact for you, how about it:

“Excuse me, but it is NOT a story about ‘two cowboys.’ It is a story about two inarticulate, confused Wyoming ranch kids in 1963 who have left home and who find themselves in a personal sexual situation they did not expect, understand nor can manage.”

And these guys, apart from their apparent love scene, are both married and have children with women. They might not be all gay, and impossibly straight, but perhaps a little bi? You’ll be the judge of that.

Thanks for your patience in reading this long article. Stay tuned for more Five Things about the movie you’re probably reluctant to see!

Sources:

“Brokeback Mountain Facts”
“Brokeback Mountain – Fun Facts and Information”

“Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow Film ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Spoof”

“Video: Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow send up Brokeback
Mountain in New Duet”

“Brokeback Mountain”

“Brokeback Mountain – What Gay Cowboys?”

“Brokeback: Bi Sheperds, Not Gay Cowboys”

“More Condescending Marketing for Brokeback Mountain”

“GLAAD Endorses Brokeback Mountain, Zero Humans are Surprised”

“Teacher Sued for Showing ‘Brokeback Mountain’ to Kids”

“James Franco Compares ‘Twilight’ to ‘Brokeback Mountain’”

“Homo on the Range”

“He is in Love with Him”
“Heath Ledger: The Times Obituary”
“Accolades Flow After Heath Ledger’s ‘Dark Knight’ Win”
“Exclusive PJH Interview: At close range with Annie Proulx”
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Brokeback Mountain DVD:

I still haven’t got any feedback about the best place to buy/rent DVD online, so I’ll just stick with these first. I’m not paid to advertise these sites, although I would love too (free DVDs would be excellent)! Haha, anyway, check these out if you’re collecting:

Brokeback Mountain DVD on Amazon.
Brokeback Mountain DVD on Blockbuster.
Brokeback Mountain DVD on Buy.com.
Brokeback Mountain DVD on Netflix.

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  3. Five Things about Inception (2010)
  4. Five Things You Should See in October 2010
  5. Welcome to Five Things

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  1. roclafamilia says:

    Helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more!

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