Author Topic: Interpreting the Brokeback poster  (Read 20294 times)

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: Interpreting the Brokeback poster
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2007, 09:12:35 pm »
Went I look at that poster now, I am transported back two years. My eye is clear and my heart is jumping just a bit. Everything about the image before me is crisp and clean and wholesome.

You have the two guys, but looking down, both with an ever so faint grin upon their mouths, well at least not a frown. They are facing in different directions, almost oblivious to one another, (Ships passing in the night) leads me to think they are actually exiting on two different planes, different places, (otherwise Jack's right shoulder should be there, right?) yet they are linked. Ennis is in the forground, as it is essentially his story. Jack, in the back ground, he looks like he is moving forward, like his is travelling. They are alone with a secret, they cannot look it or you in the eye. I can relate to that very well.

They are set against a back drop of beauty, the Tetons, a lake, a grassy place, a reflection of the Tetons, they are alone, they are the only two people, period.

And there is the text, the prominent name BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. It is ominous. I have never understood why Proulx came up upon that name for the setting, for the name, but it is very effective. It broke them in a way, it sets a tone that somethings going to be broken. It is like a Venus fly trap, beautiful and seductive, and heartbreaking.

And the last thing you read: Love Is A Force Of Nature. You know what the movie is about, You are being given a universal truth. It is like a shield against whatever adversity comes its way. It is saying: This is real, this is true, like it or not, you are going to have to face this.
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Interpreting the Brokeback poster
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2007, 02:51:23 am »

Heya,

It occurs to me that the way Jack and Ennis are juxtaposed in the poster reminds me (generally) of how they're arranged in the motel scene...

<img src="http://www.divshare.com/img/midsize/3121410-ad8.jpg" border="0" />

although of course, there's an entirely different situation going on with arms and Ennis is in profile in the poster... but, the way their head's appear joined and Jack's placement seem particularly similar to the poster.

<img src="http://www.divshare.com/img/midsize/2746499-dd4.jpg" border="0" />



the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline myprivatejack

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Re: Interpreting the Brokeback poster
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2007, 12:09:18 pm »
Yes,it seems to have an a analogy...But,as in the dozy  embrace,could it be because Ennis didn´t want to  see that was  a man whom heo was embracing?I mean, could the poster simbolise  there was an eternal denial to put them face to face to each other,it´s to say,with their reality?.
I like your silences,quiet conversations of evident sensations,where our words are life´s tinsels.
The lost illusions are the found truths.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Interpreting the Brokeback poster
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2007, 03:36:22 pm »
Heya,

Yes, I think it's definitely possible that Ennis's position in the poster and particularly with the image of Jack right behind him (almost in the position of a "thought bubble") that the juxtaposition is meant to imply something about Ennis's denial.  I think it may be a double-edged thing.  When I think about the poster with this "denial" idea in mind it also strikes me that the position of Jack could imply that Jack is always on Ennis's mind (a driving force in Ennis's thought-process constantly and the factor around which he built his life, etc.).

I think Ennis's rather determined denial and the constant presence of Jack in his thoughts are two huge themes in the film.

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Interpreting the Brokeback poster
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2007, 04:07:24 pm »
Ennis's position in the poster and particularly with the image of Jack right behind him (almost in the position of a "thought bubble")

Interesting! It could almost be seen as a picture of Ennis with Jack in his thoughts.


Offline myprivatejack

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Re: Interpreting the Brokeback poster
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2007, 07:31:50 am »
Interesting! It could almost be seen as a picture of Ennis with Jack in his thoughts.


Jack in his thoughts when they were away from each other or,unfortunately,when this was the only place he can recover Jack,already not in physical sense...And also,as it's been said if I remember well,a way to protect Jack,the way Ennis was protecting him against inopportune glances or gossip but above all,against society's intolerance-his "hobbyhorse" in which,by the way,he was unsuccessful-.Does this also make sense?.
I like your silences,quiet conversations of evident sensations,where our words are life´s tinsels.
The lost illusions are the found truths.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Interpreting the Brokeback poster
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2007, 01:04:21 pm »
Jack in his thoughts when they were away from each other or,unfortunately,when this was the only place he can recover Jack,already not in physical sense...And also,as it's been said if I remember well,a way to protect Jack,the way Ennis was protecting him against inopportune glances or gossip but above all,against society's intolerance-his "hobbyhorse" in which,by the way,he was unsuccessful-.Does this also make sense?.


I like the idea that Ennis's position might suggest a protectiveness or defensiveness in blocking the viewer's access to the image of Jack.  We've seen repeatedly discussions about Ennis's protectiveness regarding Jack so this makes good sense to me.  I also think the image could imply that Jack is also being protective of Ennis in the sense that he may be interpreted a bit like a guardian angel (a little surreal with the distorted anatomy here, and also in a hovering position)... this falls nicely in line with the "ministering angel" description of Jack from the story and may be particularly poignant if this is an image of Ennis' remembering Jack following the accident/murder.

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline Sandy

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Re: Interpreting the Brokeback poster
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2008, 10:11:15 am »
I think that I have a slightly different take on the poster.

When our boys first met and were heading to the bar, Jack walked with his head high whilst Ennis walked behind him, facing the ground.  In this poster however, they are both facing down.  Is Ennis’ fear changing Jack?

Let’s say that Ennis is moving forward.  Jack can’t move forward, because he is almost side on to Ennis.  It appears that Ennis is moving on from Jack. 

Taking it further however, does anyone have any thoughts as to why Jack is looking down at the path Ennis is leaving?  Is he now watching Ennis’ back, as opposed to Ennis watching Jack’s?

The poster is of them when they were younger, in the first flush of their love.  To me, Jack looks disappointed so maybe this picture shows them as they felt when they parted.

You will see that I am not really expressing my opinion, rather asking questions of you all!  When I first watched the film, this poster summed it up and I’m really not sure why   ???

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Interpreting the Brokeback poster
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2008, 11:56:41 am »
Hey Sandy!

I think your questions and suggestions are really intriguing.

It's definitely a puzzle why Jack would be behind... since he's usually positioned in the lead throughout the movie whenever Jack and Ennis are moving (walking to the bar, Jack is in the lead when they move the sheep, etc.).  I think the main explanation for this is to foreground Ennis as the protagonist for an uninitiated viewing audience of the poster as an ad.

However, I think it is smart to see Ennis as blocking Jack... and I think this can be interpreted in many ways. 

I don't see Jack here as looking disappointed... he looks wistful to me... or almost like he's sleeping.  Maybe something like his facial expression in the dozy embrace... or in the motel scene where his eyes are closed.  But, this is all purely personal interpretation... I'm sure there are zillions of ways to read his facial expression.

And, I think that showing Jack and Ennis while they're young, again serves at least two purposes.  It emphasizes the importance of the Brokeback phase of their lives and the ideal aspects of the beginnings of their romance.  And, from a more cynical marketing point of view... they're shown young because that's the phase when it's probably assumed that audiences will find them most attractive (pre-moustache-of-disillusion and pre-fisherman's hat, etc.).
the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline Sandy

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Re: Interpreting the Brokeback poster
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2008, 12:29:33 pm »
Hello Amanda, thanks for your reply!  I forget that the "money-men’s" purpose of the poster is to promote the film! 

I agree with your comments that the positioning of Ennis in front of Jack shows the delicate balance between the characters that the film achieves.

You’re correct, disappointment is probably too strong a word to use here, but I think if he was wistful he would have his head raised and be looking at Ennis?  I think the fact that he has his head lowered shows his hopes being dashed, but maybe again that is too strong. 

Their youth in the frame?  Agreed.  Although Ennis says that it is a “one shot thing”, as their feelings develop on the mountain, the viewer has complete faith that they will be together (as in most love stories).  And of course, Heath & Jake’s good looks get the vote!