Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Brokeback Mountain (2005)- R

Brokeback Mountain is simple an excellent, beautifully filmed, movie. It is so much more than a painful story of sexual love between two men. It is a story about being bi-sexual. It is a story about secrets within two families. It is a story of sex not just between two men but also between the men and their wives. It is a story about fathers loosing the love of their children. It is a story about sex. At its heart, it is a story about how the love you cannot have, tragically separates you from the love you have.

Two cowboys Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar (Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger) are hired to heard sheep in the Canadian Rockies. They are provided with few supplies including only one small tent. Though the men have little conversation and slow less emotions, once inside the tent there is an eruption of erotic passion. This summer of erotic passion ties up these two men for the next twenty years. We follow the men through these twenty years. The men marry and have children. They struggle with in-laws and employment. They struggle with parenting. Throughout these twenty years they continue their secret love affair through “fishing trips” back to Brokeback Mountain. The secret is revealed at least to Ennis wife (Michelle Williams) who sees the two men kissing. Though not confronting Ennis until years later after their divorce, the fact of the secret leads to estrangement of the men, their wives, their children and in-laws.

This movie is a first in Sex in Film in a number of ways. First, despite the popular press depicting the film to be about gay cowboys, it is really a film about bi-sexual men. The film shows the men having erotic pleasurable sex with both men and women. This is very different than popular sexual trends that glorify bi-sexual women yet ignore bi-sexual men and become hysterical about gay marriage. We ignore what I believe is the more common male gay experience, namely being bi-sexual. Second, I believe this is the first critically acclaimed film that shows real erotic affection between men. A number of films have shown men kissing. However, Brokeback Mountain shows men with real love, affection and erotic passion for each other. As a heterosexual male, I found the scenes loving and tastefully done. Brokeback Mountain truly deserved the Best Picture nomination and I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for publically stating what I've felt since seeing the movie! Jack is relatively comfortable with his bisexuality it seems. Ennis seems like he might have been happier with one love-- Jack-- in this life.

As a bisexual female, I do not feel my sexuality is glorified by the current culture... I feel I'm being lampooned on a regular basis. I have no desire to go to straight bars and make out with drunk girls with acrylics and highlights, and thus I don't enjoy any benefi other than the fact that a) sex with women is lower risk in terms of disease, and b) it's not "real sex" in the eyes of the culture.

I do recognize that male bisexuals have a much more difficult time expressing their sexuality. That's why I thougt BBM was so brilliant-- it showed the way that hate and invisibility makes happiness impossible.

The story by Annie Proulx (a queer woman, yay!) communicates the love between the characters much more clearly. In the novella, each knows that the other cares deeply, and really enjoys the sex. The translation of this story into a "GAY COWBOY MOVIE" shows that even commonplace sexualities are still misunderstood and invisible.

Thanks again!