Author Topic: TOTW 14/07: Is a cigar just a cigar?  (Read 6234 times)

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: TOTW 14/07: Is a cigar just a cigar?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2007, 09:44:11 pm »
I wonder what Monica and Bill's thoughts are on whether a cigar is just a cigar?















 :laugh:  I'm so sorry, I couldn't resist.


I still think this could easily morph into a discussion on the use of cigarettes in BBM.  ;D

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Offline serious crayons

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Re: TOTW 14/07: Is a cigar just a cigar?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2007, 03:18:32 pm »
I have occasionally read really in-depth symbolism analysis that made me think, "Oh, come on, now you're getting carried away." But probably 8 out of 10 of those times, as I gave it further thought or explored the ideas more carefully, I would realize they had merit.

Most people must recognize that the movie and story are chock-full of symbolic references. So to shrug off any particular one seems short-sighted. If the wind can represent Jack, and Jack's bedroom can represent the campsite, and the dead sheep can represent this and beans can represent that and so on ... Then who's to say snow can't represent something? Or water? Or the color red? Or the little horses? Or Aguirre's conversation on the phone?

I laughed at FRont-Ranger's bucket thread when I first saw it! And after I read it, I wasn't laughing ...  8)

So now I'd much rather give those possibilities a chance. And when I see someone automatically dismiss some idea as reading too much into something, or protest that some line that I think has subtextual meaning is "just there to advance the plot" ... well, I feel like that person is missing out on some really interesting aspects of the movie.


Can anybody think of specific ideas they've heard mentioned that they thought were ridiculous? Or maybe ideas that they initially thought were ridiculous but eventually came to agree with?


Offline Penthesilea

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Re: TOTW 14/07: Is a cigar just a cigar?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2007, 03:56:19 pm »
Can anybody think of specific ideas they've heard mentioned that they thought were ridiculous? Or maybe ideas that they initially thought were ridiculous but eventually came to agree with?

Not ridiculous, but questionable and far streched.

The number 17. Brokeback Mountain has 17 letters. 1+7=8 --> August is the eighth month of the year, and August is also the month they miss twice. There were more examples around the number 17.
And: we know the number was chosen deliberately by someone for some reason because it already appears in earlier scripts.

On the other side: whoever it was could have chosen the number 17 for any personal reason. It may have been his/her wedding day or birthday.

I'm still sceptic about the number 17. At most I could imagine it to be a bookend/reference/reminder of the fact that they missed August twice and now it's too late. They never will have another August, or any other month for that matter :(.
But why should it be important that the title has 17 letters? How should this be connected to the number of Ennis's mailbox?  ???

But I have learned much too far about this movie in the last one and a half years to dismiss the idea flatly.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: TOTW 14/07: Is a cigar just a cigar?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2007, 06:43:32 pm »
Good example. I've never heard any explanation of the 17 that I found fully satisfying. And yet it gets so much attention from the camera, it seems like it must mean something.

Another one I heard is that Lureen's score at the rodeo is 16.9, so Ennis comes out just ahead of her. But again, what's the point?

The explanation I like best was Mikaela's, I think: that 1 plus 7 equals 8, and 8 on its side is the symbol for infinity. That's poetic, though I don't know if that's necessarily what the filmmakers had in mind.


Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: TOTW 14/07: Is a cigar just a cigar?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2007, 09:20:46 pm »

I agree that the numbers are among the hardest things in the movie to figure out.  Definitely 17 is one of them... but also the number 3.  Katherine (and other old imdb-ers) do you remember that really funny old thread at imdb (long, long ago) that got way out of hand with people trying to connect WAY too much to the number 3?  I think the number 17 eventually got dragged into that topic too somehow.  But, there are definitely a lot of noticeable 3's in the movie too.  Some seem significant (like Aguirre's "no, no, no") and some seem a bit odd like Jack's reference to Lureen working hard over Thanksgiving dinner for a whole 3 hours  ( :laugh: ). 

In general, I think with the numbers, there's a potential to take things too far.

With the nature symbols (and certain other categories of symbolism), I think it's much easier to convincingly analyze them in pretty serious depth.  I think the emphasis on nature as an overt emphasis in the film and most-definitely in Proulx's writing actually make an analysis of at least some symbolism related to nature essential to understanding BBM.
the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline Dal

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Re: TOTW 14/07: Is a cigar just a cigar?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2007, 02:13:44 am »
I still think this could easily morph into a discussion on the use of cigarettes in BBM.  ;D
Why not?  ;) "Joe Aguirre, wavy hair the color of cigarette ash and parted down the middle," etc.  Ashes parted down the middle is what will eventually become of poor Jack.

Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: TOTW 14/07: Is a cigar just a cigar?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2007, 02:22:19 am »
Why not?  ;) "Joe Aguirre, wavy hair the color of cigarette ash and parted down the middle," etc.  Ashes parted down the middle is what will eventually become of poor Jack.

And sometimes a Cigarbutt is just a horse named Cigarbutt...

(unless someone can argue that it isn't...)
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

Offline Dal

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Re: TOTW 14/07: Is a cigar just a cigar?
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2007, 02:55:58 am »
I think that Cigar Butt is just representing Ennis's wishful thinking!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: TOTW 14/07: Is a cigar just a cigar?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2007, 10:37:04 am »
Why not?  ;) "Joe Aguirre, wavy hair the color of cigarette ash and parted down the middle," etc.  Ashes parted down the middle is what will eventually become of poor Jack.

Wow, great observation, Dal! I'd never noticed that.


Offline Artiste

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Re: TOTW 14/07: Is a cigar just a cigar?
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2007, 10:50:25 am »
In that photo, we look at someone taking a photo... who is it??

And who took that photo of that man there too?

And who is looking in part in the right corner of that photo?

May I ask?

Hugs!!!