Author Topic: lovable subtle details  (Read 245745 times)

Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #400 on: May 02, 2007, 12:47:53 pm »
HI Amanda,

I believe that the Notice Anything So Subtle thread's content has been reposted by an indefatiguable poster named
True Oracle of Phoenix.  Can't wade through the entire IMDb board right now to find it, but I'm sure a version of the original thread is still up there.

Casey

Casey,

This is a link to the original thread.  Oddly enough, the original is still around.  I never needed to repost it!

Notice anything so subtle in the film???I did...scene spoilers   --  by anml-lvr   

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388795/board/nest/36287482

"TOoP" / bjblakeslee

Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

Offline Casey Cornelius

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #401 on: May 02, 2007, 11:51:52 pm »
Hey bjblakeslee:

Grateful for the link.  Thanks...
From your comment should I gather that your moniker is True_Oracle-of_Phoenix
on the IMDb Brokeback Board?
What Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand ...

Offline fernly

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #402 on: May 03, 2007, 01:12:01 am »
Quote from: Casey Cornelius
Jack...nervously wiping his face again as Aguirre is seen walking back and forth in the trailer and Ennis has his back to Jack.  I like to think that Jack is furtively wiping his face again not for the sake of impressing Aguirre, but this time to make sure he looks his best for Ennis.
It's not mentioned in any of the versions of the three screenplays I have, so credit must be given to Ang Lee and Jake Gyllenhaal for this detail in a film with countless such subtle and meaningful touches.
Casey Cornelius

Hey Casey...great to see you here!

At the same that Jack is wiping his face, Ennis nervously shakes the paper bag.
And maybe I'm reading way too much into it, but that and Jack's gesture together seem to possibly bookend the end of the film, when Ennis carries the other paper bag, after Jack wasn't able to wipe his face clear of the blood that killed him.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 01:21:25 am by fernly »
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Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #403 on: May 03, 2007, 06:56:23 am »
Hey bjblakeslee:

Grateful for the link.  Thanks...
From your comment should I gather that your moniker is True_Oracle-of_Phoenix
on the IMDb Brokeback Board?

True_Oracle_of_Phoenix, I am.  As "bjblakeslee" on IMDB I was a regular poster, but when I ran out of things to say, I became TOoP the Archivist.  (I have saved what I could, but alas, I was unable save everything.  For example, you once began a separate thread on BbM's theatrical poster and it's resemblance not just to Titanic's, but to the double-headed figure of Janus, and to a legend of a same-sex duality archetype in Plato's Symposium.  Did you perchance save that thread?  It eluded my capture.)
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

Offline miniangel

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #404 on: May 03, 2007, 07:02:31 am »
Fernly, you aren't reading too much into that bag shake. The opening scene and the scene at the Twists have mirror actions and shots, going from the edge to the centre of the film, i,e, starting and ending with the landscape shots. E.g. Jack waits at the bottom of the stairs, his mum waits at the top, Mr T and Aguirre are the first and last to mention Brokeback and each of their speeches is interrupted, etc. etc.

The story also sets the two scenes up as complements of each other.

Offline Casey Cornelius

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #405 on: May 03, 2007, 10:25:25 am »
fernly and miniangel:

I'd confirm miniangel's thoughts that film folds in upon itself with the certainty that it is something we need to explore more.   We've spent hours seeking out bookends and mirrors which are obvious and evident throughout the whole film, but I'm convinced that these are all arranged in a symmetry which miniangel has alluded to.

I've always been obsessed with the idea that the film is exactly symmetrical around a central image which has haunted me since about my 5th theatrical viewing of the film.  

At precisely the 1:07:59 timing of the film, there is a shot of Ennis entering his bathroom in his Riverton apartment to retrieve his toothbrush.  As he does so he opens his bathoom medicine chest which creates an image of his face mirrored symmetrically in the centre of the frame. This is followed immediately by a reverse shot from the rear of him exiting the bathroom which exactly mirrors the previous shot of him entering.  If you trace outwards from that moment, one can track plot, verbal and visual elements which are exactly symmetrical on either side of that moment which is close to the exact chronological centre of the film's 2:14 running time.
In addition to those point out by miniangel my initial random observations would see :
1 - the Jimbo the Clown scene mirroring the Mexican Alley scene, Jack attempting to pick up another man;
2 - Alma and Ennis innocently frolicing in the snow mirroring the Thanksgiving debacle with the snow gently falling outside;
3 - exactly tracing out from the previous elements - Ennis self-inflicting pain on himself in the Signal alleyway, whimpering inchoately and yelling at an anonymous by-passer mirroring his picking a fight with an anonymous truck driver with the unconscious intent of stupidly inflicting pain upon himself with the beating in the road
4 - Ennis picking a fight and kicking with a balletic kick the biker in the presence of Alma and his daughters at the Riverton July 1 fireworks mirroring his picking a fight with Alma in the presence of his daughters and kicking over the ash-bucket with a balletic kick as a substitute while the girls play on a swing-set [with its appliqued star decals a possible visual symmetry with the fireworks, but that might be a little too much !]
5 - the obvious one which we've all mentioned of the opening and closing scenes taking place in similar looking trailers, Aguirre's and Ennis's, but adding to this the idea [discussed just last night in the chat room with Ellemeno, Meryl, azt and others] that the first meeting of Jack and Ennis has elements of a marriage ceremony mirroring the discussion of the same in Alma Jr's marriage to Curt.
6 - the final shot with the wind blowing through the grass visible in the open window on the right hand side of the frame balancing the icons in the closet on the left of the frame as homage to Jack's intensely felt absence from Ennis's life mirroring an opening shot of the film with Jack's  impressive, confident profile on the left side of the frame balancing the wind blowing through the grass visible on the right side, the first time Ennis ever laid eyes on Jack.  This use of symmetry within the frame is an obvious use of a technique championed by Michelangelo Antonioni, a film-maker whom Ang Lee has declared one of his major influences.

Just a few thoughts "for what its worth", but I am convinced that these are not random.  True, it could be argued that the film uses so many of the same visual and verbal elements throughout that there is bound to be some repetition.  But I have a gut feeling that the exact symmetry of the film which reads to me like the equivalent of a palindrome is an intentional structural feature by Ang Lee much as composers such as Bartok and J.S. Bach have been shown in musical analysis to have mapped a similar two-dimensional symmetrical structure on top of the fluid chronological, psychologically experienced medium of their multi-movement compositions such as the Music for Strings Percussion and Celeste or the St. John Passion.


Casey
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 10:45:12 pm by Casey Cornelius »
What Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand ...

Offline Daniel

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #406 on: May 03, 2007, 11:17:45 am »
Casey, it's good to see you on the boards. I too have pondered the concept of mirroring and symmetry in this film. It seems to be more apparent than in other films, and very possibly Ang's attempt to bring a Hitchcockian resemblance to the film. What I have been more captivated by is the spiritual and psychological transformations that the film seems to be alluding to.

For example, we could say that in that brief moment when Ennis is in the bathroom, he opens a mirrored medicine cabinet. The mirror is present but he does not look into it. Instead he reaches behind it. His mind is set, rather than on the present, on the future and he quickly moves beyond this moment into the rest of the film. The opportunity was there, to look into the mirror. To listen to what Alma was saying and what that meant for his future and his past. But he didn't.

Recently I have been reading a startling book of.... well, I suppose we would call it applicable philosophy: The Translucent Revolution So far, it has brought up some startling parallels between consciousness transformation and the less-acknowledge events of the film (in my opinion). And I will gladly share my readings and interpretations on my personal blog thread.
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Offline LauraGigs

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #407 on: May 03, 2007, 11:52:28 am »
Quote
Ennis picking a fight and kicking with a balletic kick the biker in the presence of Alma and his daughters at the Riverton July 1 fireworks mirroring his picking a fight with Alma in the presence of his daughters and kicking over the ash-bucket...

One thing Atz, Latjoreme & I pieced together on another thread:  In each scene of outward conflict between Ennis/Alma and Jack/Lureen, ashes are spilled (in the scene above and just before Jack asks LaShawn to dance.) Followed by the final conflict between Ennis/John over where Jack's ashes will be spilled.

It's also worth mentioning that after the spectacular fireworks scene, no fire burns brightly again in the film. (Jack and Ennis' campfire, raging and blazing in the 2nd tent scene, is low and dying in their subsequent camping trips. And then there's the beautiful and devastating segue to the ashes/dying campfire in the dozy embrace flashback.)

(We could go on and on about this couldn't we!)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 12:29:54 am by LauraGigs »

Offline miniangel

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #408 on: May 03, 2007, 12:02:45 pm »
We could! It's fascinating.

The point you made, Casey, about the bathroom scene being the middle is most interesting. That is the moment when they begin the pattern of the rest of their lives together - camping out the back of nowhere.

Offline Casey Cornelius

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #409 on: May 03, 2007, 12:09:23 pm »
Exactly miniangel:

I've always thought of that bathroom mirror shot essentially as Ennis acknowledging the end of his conventional marriage with Alma and the the start of his 'open', committed relationship with Jack.

Okay, that does it !!

This needs to become a separate thread - would lauragigs, Daniel and you miniangel re-post your comments if I copy my post to start a new thread.
This is too significant a discussion to be an adjunct to Amanda's  thread and I do not want it to capsize hers !!

EDIT:   Okay there's a new thread posted in the Open Discussion - Brokeback's filmic structure as a palindrome?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 12:17:05 pm by Casey Cornelius »
What Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand ...