A Brokeback Mountain Update
There's so much press right now on Brokeback it's almost impossible to keep up with. Thanks to everyone who has sent me items. Here's your morning cup of cowboy coffee:
A new report on the Wyoming screening, where feelings for the movie were very positive and emotions were running high.
The Washington Post announces that Gay Moviegoers Tip Their Hats to a Love Story> and talks about the "herd mentality" that seems to have greeted the arrival of Brokeback among gay moviegoers.
Big article in the L.A. Times today that asks the next logical question in the Brokeback saga. Will audiences come?
The conservative family groups are predicting the film's demise because of lack of interest. Predicts one conservative: "'Brokeback' will not only encounter resistance, but empty theaters. My wife and I watched the trailer in a theater a few days ago and sensed an audible revulsion to two men passionately embracing and kissing on the big screen." However, the Times presents evidence that in regional markets like Tennessee and rural Texas, interest for the film is running high. A theater outside Plano, Texas, where it will open on two screens this Friday, has sold more pre-opening tickets online for Brokeback than for King Kong.
The Seattle Times asks the same question: . An interesting side note in their story, which retells the journey of Brokeback from page to screen, is that author Annie Proulx was actually called as a juror in the Matthew Shepard trial but didn't serve. The story was actually written before that tragedy but seems "prescient" in light of it.
The Boston Herald asks, "Have the Golden Globes Gone Gay?" Why, in fact it seems they have always been pretty gay.
I have neglected to mention that The San Francisco Film Critics have awarded Brokeback best honors as well.
The sexy Brenner Thomas offers up a great piece on a Brokeback promotional handkerchief he received. Betcha can't remember what the hanky code for "navy" is...
Here's a few days old news piece from FOX about how the wingnuts are all in a tizzy that the film doesn't have an NC-17 rating because it has gay themes. You know, they may be afraid people might actually go and see how much pain repression and bigotry put on people's lives. James Schamus, Focus Features' co-president said “We assumed it would be R; it was R. It was totally fair. It’s an adult, grown-up movie. It’s a movie I think young people could see or should see in the context of their parents talking to them about it. That’s an R rating to me.”
And here's some interesting insight into the voting behind the New York Critics Circle awards earlier this week where it seems there was a battle royale between Brokeback and The History of Violence. Outward civility prevailed, and eventually, so did Brokeback, by 4 votes.
Blog The Bloody Red Carpet gives it a thorough once-over and has "disparate feelings" about the love affair: "One, we just loved seeing the boys rustle up some cowbooty and swap spit, and two, we hated feeling that they were justified in hiding their love. We had to step back and realize that yes, indeed this was a period piece – sadly with some present day equivalents, but still and all not indicative of a modern gay lifestyle. Rural Wyoming was probably not a safe haven for the gays in the mid 1960s. And ultimately, this film isn’t about the right to self expression, it’s about the inability for some men to express themselves at all."
From Black Table: "The largely gay audience I was with at first seemed to expect (or hope) that Brokeback Mountain would parody the rugged machismo of the Western genre by exposing the buried homoeroticism underneath. (It was as if some patrons saw Brokeback as a means to get revenge on that most manly -- and straight -- of genres.) But Lee doesn't see his homosexual lovers as revolutionaries or gay-right liberators or anything so grandiose, and he isn't here to reinvent genre clichés. In truth, Brokeback Mountain returns to the same thematic terrain as The Ice Storm -- the complete and utter unhappiness that is the modern world."
From The Simon: "In Brokeback Mountain, everyone suffers because of manly western myths, and no one suffers more acutely than Ennis. Yes, antihero Jack does meet one of the time-honored antihero ends at the hands of the vile side of civilization that simply cannot abide his “natural” identity. But our hero Ennis, our upstanding frontier man who stays close to the land but resists nature’s temptations, and who wants—but mostly fails—to do right by his adoring daughters has an arguably more painful fate (and Ledger makes you feel that pain).
Still, Brokeback isn't making everyone happy, including gay blogger Joe.My.God. who is angry that "fake gays" are playing gays: "Unlike many others, I'm not dying to see two fake gays playing "straight guys who fall in love", especially after enduring unending soundbites of these fake gays reassuring worried America that they do indeed enjoy poontang in real life. I resent that what may turn out the be the best critically received gay love movie ever, has no gay actors in it. I resent that if two gay actors had been cast, this movie would have zero visibility, regardless of its merit. I resent that America will only come to watch fake gays making fake love and I resent that casting the fake gays was the right business decision to make. And I resent that this is how it probably always will be."
Queerty responds: "In a perfect world we’d like to see more gay actors playing gay parts. But sadly there are not many gay actors we can think of to choose from. And Tom Cruise is just way too old for this film. Actors do just that, act. We would not want gay actors to be limited to play only gay roles. So why would we want to limit straight actors to only play straight.