Wednesday, December 07, 2005

One man's thoughts on Brokeback Mountain

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From the QueerNorthCarolina & QueerSanfrancisco Yahoo! Groups: Brokeback Mountain - No thanks... I recently read "Brokeback Mountain" Over the past few days the blogosphere has been buzzing with reaction to the movie version of the story which opens this week. Conservative Fundie- mental-Cases are going berserk over two cowboys falling in love. Closeted men everywhere will be horrified by the sight of two men kissing on screen (and I have a sneaking suspicion that straight women will be fascinated by it and not admit as much.) Yet with all the hype the movie has generated I honestly don’t feel the urge to rush out and get in line to see it. Don’t get me wrong it is a powerful story and from what I have seen, heard and read even more powerfully filmed. But I just can’t get excited about it. For one thing I don’t subscribe to the idea that any and all exposure of homosexuality in the wider media is a step forward. Negative portrayals are not better than no portrayals at all. And here we have a story that (without giving too much away..) does not have a happy ending. Our two lovers are not Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Love does NOT conquer all. The end while poignant is terribly, terribly sad. I guess I am tired of gay movies where the characters lead these awful lives of quiet desperation. Is it too much to ask for a gay love story where nobody: - Has, gets, or is forced to deal with - HIV - Thinks about, attempts or is forced to deal with - Suicide - Gets bashed, tormented or killed or has to deal with their partner getting bashed, tormented or killed. Mainstream Hollywood has taken a big step forward with "Brokeback Mountain" and I applaud that. But it is still something of a step back in a way. Back to the days when the only portrayals of Gays and Lesbians in movies were either as tormented victims or creepy villains. Add to this the statements by both actors and the director about the story. Statements like "Well, I don't think you can call these characters 'Gay" because they both got married." Give me a break, when you give another man a tonsil cleaning with your tongue and enjoy it and go back to do it again, and again, you are GAY, not confused, not "Caught in limbo of society's norms", you are gay. And I for one would like to see Hollywood do the really brave thing - make a movie where the two cowboys ride off into the sunset together. Is it so much to ask for a movie where the boy gets the boy and they live a normal life, somewhat happily ever after? How shocking would that be? Original Source


It wouldn't be shocking at all. It's my life, essentially: I've been with my partner for eight years now and we're both happy as clams.

I'm not sure we'd be as compelling to watch as Brokeback Mountain is, though.

I think the film does two important things; it valorizes love and it demonstrates how love can be thwarted by social prejudice.

Always worthwhile messages, I think.