Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Reflections on Brokeback Mountain

What happens when you deny who and what you are? When you can’t be who you are, your full self? When culture and society don't allow it? That’s what Brokeback Mountain was about, and it left me extremely grateful for living in the bubble that I live, but inspired to help others that don’t and to work towards tolerance and respect in all communities for those of us who are gay, lesbian, queer, etc.

Watching Brokeback Mountain I saw something I have never ever seen before: a gay love story, outside of the stereotype, and so gritty and real, and beautiful and sad. There were no “just Jacks” in this movie. It’s cowboys. Manly men. Men of the land, of ranching, of farming, who one summer while sheepherding for months on end on Brokeback Mountain, forge a connection that is unidentifiable within their frame of life and mind. “I’m not queer” is muttered, while actions and emotions tell a different story. 20+ years going back to that mountain as fishing buddies, while marrying and partitioning their lives back home. Never fully being in one side of their lives or another. It meant they were never fully committed to either. How painful and sad that is. And how beautiful their love was.

What does it mean when you aren’t your true self? I don’t know, because I live my life outside of the closet. But the glimpse into lives that are not as free as mine, is frightening, and enlightening. Why do we teach hate and fear of gays to our children? Why do we hate those different from ourselves? It doesn’t make sense to me. What is being feared is love. And that seems like an incredible disservice and waste.

Go see Brokeback Mountain for the soundtrack, the beautiful cinematography, incredible acting, and a glimpse into lives that may be different, or similar to your own. I know it will stay with me for a long time.


Kathryn said...

I think LBCG and I will be going on Friday evening with Shelly and Angie (from Pack of 2!)

I can't wait, and thanks for the preview!

Anonymous said...

Lelo ~ Seriously, your commentary is much more succinct and profound than any review I've read so far. I'm really excited to see this film now.

Jay said...

Everyone I know can't say enough good things about this movie, and I so wish I had the time to go see it.

Anonymous said...

"What is being feared is love."

You hit the nail on the head there.

Great review! I might have to wait for the DVD, but I'm definitely going to see it!

Asher Abrams said...

Lelo, thanks for the word! I will go see it.

I read the original short story in Anne Proulx's collection "Close Range: Wyoming Stories" some years ago, and idly wondered whether such a great (though troubling) story would ever be made into a movie. I'm glad it has. From your post, it sounds as if the movie did justice to the original story - a rare thing indeed.

I'll see it as soon as I can.

Anhoni Patel said...

Lelo, I LOVED Brokeback Mountain and couldn't agree with you more. It's the best movie of the year and won a well-deserved place on my favorite movies of all time list. The story is universal and anyone, queer or nor, could relate.

LeLo said...

Anovus...Okay. Your final words of emptiness and compulsion by the individual place complete ownership on the individual versus what the strength of the film is: demonstration of society's wrongful placement of being gay being an abomination. That is what fuels a lot more than emptiness and compulsion.
If you want to point to aspects of gay culture, I'd suggest we look at popular culture and its portrayal of women for something that is more disturbing and much more vast in its acceptance.
Finally, I'm not sure what brought you here, except for what my statcounter is pointing to, which is a yahoo search for "hate brokeback mountain." Trolling for negative reviews? Not here.

Alda said...

I remembered that I'd seen something about the film on your blog a while back, so returned looking for it. Saw Brokeback Mountain two nights ago and felt devastated. Very powerful film - and interesting to read people's takes on it.