Author Topic: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault  (Read 86153 times)

Offline wolf

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2006, 11:01:01 pm »
YEE HAW - great post Ruthless!

Welcome to you  :).  I do hope we get to keep you, feed you beans and cherry cake, a little whiskey   ;).  It's posts like yours that have us falling in love with the movie all over again.  Look forward to reading more!

W

Offline newyearsday

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2006, 11:19:15 pm »
Hiya Ruthlessly (or how about r.u.?)

I'm too tired right now to read your post and do it justice, but I am posting to remind myself to read it in the next day or two. From what people are saying I can tell you I look forward to it. We love new insights on our beloved boys here, and there seems to be no end in sight to the discussion, thank god. Welcome here, and nice to know you, ruthelessly unsentimental.

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Offline Ray

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2006, 01:23:58 am »
Welcome Ruthetc. I hope you love it here.  The folk 'round here are the best!  And thankyou for your post.  A HUGE maiden speech to be certain!  An unsentimental journey perhaps?!
~A good general knows when to retreat~

ruthlesslyunsentimental

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2006, 01:35:58 am »
YEE HAW - great post Ruthless!

Welcome to you  :).  I do hope we get to keep you, feed you beans and cherry cake, a little whiskey   ;).  It's posts like yours that have us falling in love with the movie all over again.  Look forward to reading more!

W

Well, I'll have a cup of coffee, but I can't eat no cake (or beans) just now.  Thank you.

I'm a little choked up.  What a nice, warm welcome from so many.  I can't begin to tell you how good I feel.  I hope I make -- at the very least -- an interesting addition to the bettermost community.  I'll try if I can to keep my posts shorter than this one.  I'm sure I can learn somethin' new here, maybe add a little somethin', or maybe throw in a twist or two here and there.

You have so many different boards, threads, and posts here.  I'll try if I can to read 'em all, but seems there ain't never enough time... never enough.

Anyway, thanks for the warm reception.  I feel like I just got kissed by a man running down to greet me after four years of absence.  (Hope no one was lookin'.)      :)

vkm91941

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2006, 02:47:42 am »
Well, I'll have a cup of coffee, but I can't eat no cake (or beans) just now.  Thank you.

Ahh Honey you are gonna fit right in  :D you knew the secret response and delivered it without even being prompted....Yessiree you're gonna fit right in here.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2006, 03:10:30 am »
I'll try if I can to keep my posts shorter than this one.

Please don't try too hard. For one thing, your post was well worth every word. For another, the more people besides myself who write long posts, the less I feel like a thread hog.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2006, 11:03:36 am by latjoreme »

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2006, 10:26:57 am »
Sigh, Ruthlessly.  I just read your post again.  And your observations make Ennis' finding of the shirts even more heartbreaking than it already has been.  Because right then, he realizes how much they misunderstood each other that last day on the mountain 20 years before, and how that's led to everything else that happened the way it did.  As you said, Ennis was beginning to understand and know that Jack had really been in love with him all those years because of Cassie turning the lightbulb on for him (what brilliant screenwriting that was, by the way), and by Lureen and then John Twist reinforcing it with their revelations.  And while finding the shirts after feeling the sting of John's words had to have been somewhat of a relief, how it must have smacked him right between the eyes, as you've said, to realize how pivotal that day was and how, maybe, just maybe, if he'd taken the lead that day when Jack finally failed, everything would be different.

 :'(

As Katherine said, just when you think you've gotten everything out of this beautiful piece of art that you can, someone comes along out of nowhere and illuminates yet another aspect of it - in fact opens up a whole new level of understanding of it for you to explore.  Thank you. 

« Last Edit: June 27, 2006, 01:28:40 pm by ednbarby »
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2006, 01:14:09 pm »
Of all the great ideas in your post, Ruthlessly, I especially love the ones in this passage:

Quote
Then Jack, Jack who had just dismantled their life together, comes up and makes a game of it.  Sure, we all know Jack was just trying to get in a playful tussle, but it was the wrong time for it.  Ennis wasn’t ready for leaving the mountain and he had no idea what lay ahead in the real world for him, or for him and Jack.  So he lashed out at the object of his disillusionment (at that time) –- Jack. ...

...When they got back to Jack’s truck, watch Ennis very closely.  Look at his body language and the few words he uses.  And remember he had just had the wind knocked out of him by having his life with Jack abruptly ended.  And, what did Ennis always allow Jack to do?  What did Ennis always WANT Jack to do?  Take the lead.  And this is where Jack made the biggest mistake of his life, this is where he failed Ennis the most.

... Ennis was just begging for Jack to take the lead and to say something – ANYTHING – about their relationship.  Ennis needed this more than anything else.

So often I have seen that sequence described as being about Ennis struggling to detach himself their life together, to tuck in his shirt and get back to the real world. Supposedly he lashes out at Jack as a way to deny or suppress his own feelings. Supposedly their parting is awkward and uncommunicative because Ennis doesn't respond to Jack's cues about meeting again next year.

But I have never seen those scenes that way. In my view, when Ennis rides up just as Jack is dismantling the tent -- site of their most intimate moments -- he is crushed by the sight, and by Jack's nonchalance. He is hurt again when Jack fails to catch what he's hinting at in his complaint about Aguirre and the money, and again later, when Jack acts all perky and cheerful instead of upset. Ennis doesn't punch Jack because he's angry at himself or can't deal with his own feelings; he punches Jack because he's angry at Jack for not appearing equally devastated. But of course Ennis can't broach the subject directly -- how many of us could, under the circumstances? How easy is it for anyone to express hearbreak to someone who appears not to share it? And of course it's impossible for someone like Ennis.

When they're parting in town, Ennis is NOT eager to cut the ties and get away and go back to his other life, as some have suggested. On the contrary, he lingers there, hoping Jack will break the communication barrier. His "And you?" his hesitant, "Well, I guess I'll see you around, hunh?" his long pause before turning and walking away ... he's desperate for Jack to acknowledge what they have between them, because Ennis can't do it alone.

Ennis needs Jack to take the lead, and not just because Jack is better at it and has done it all along. In this case, Jack is the only one who could say something because so far he hasn't, and Ennis can't take the risk of exposing his feelings to someone who, at this point, from what Ennis can tell, may not clearly reciprocate. (On top of that, he's afraid Jack is still sore from the punch.) Sure, Jack hints that he hopes they'll see each other again. Even if Ennis picks up on that, it's not enough. He needs Jack to come right out and say something. Neither of them is able to do that, so they part without any word or touch.

Which is why the contrast in their reunion four years later is so particularly intense and beautiful.

*MODIFIED to fix my bungled quote and /quote in the original.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2006, 03:12:16 pm by latjoreme »

ruthlesslyunsentimental

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2006, 01:55:13 pm »

Quote
Ennis doesn't punch Jack because he's angry at himself or can't deal with his own feelings; he punches Jack because he's angry at Jack for not appearing equally devastated.

Exactly!  I do think Ennis was also going over his own inability to deal with himself, no doubt -- but the fight and the punch was all about "How could you do this to me?  You roped me in.  I gave you everything I could think to give.  Now, you're leaving me.  F- you for leaving me!"  I think that the fight scene is just another example in Ennis' mind of how people leave him -- his parents died, his brother and sister each wed.  Now we all know that when his parents died it wasn't because they were trying to leave Ennis, same for each sibling getting married, but in Ennis' mind, at least, it's that people left him.  Now that's a significant contributing factor to what has made him a loner.  But the interesting irony here is that Ennis pushes people away from himself.  Often times people become what they fear or hate the most.  Ennis became what he believed he "was worthy of" -- being abandoned.  And he himself ends up doing the abandoning -- most importantly, on an emotional level.


Quote
When they're parting in town, Ennis is NOT eager to cut the ties and get away and go back to his other life, as some have suggested.

Exactly-amundo!  Why else would he have broken down a few moments later?


Quote
On the contrary, he lingers there, hoping Jack will break the communication barrier. His "And you?" his hesitant, "Well, I guess I'll see you around, hunh?" his long pause before turning and walking away ... he's desperate for Jack to acknowledge what they have between them, because Ennis can't do it alone.

Ennis needs Jack to take the lead, and not just because Jack is better at it and has done it all along. In this case, Jack is the only one who could say something because so far he hasn't, and Ennis can't take the risk of exposing his feelings to someone who, at this point, from what Ennis can tell, may not clearly reciprocate.

How true, my Brokeback Buddy (BBB    ;)   )!   There are only a few minutes of scenes in the film after the second night in the tent until Ennis rides back into the dismantling of their camp.  I've watched those scenes over and over.  Jack is always nonchalant and not doing anything that overtly says "I love you" -- because he just goes with the flow and he believes it's going to continue.  But in all of those scenes, it's Ennis who is making little gestures and speaking little words of love or affection -- Ennis starts the playful tussle by tapping Jack...  Ennis, like a wide-eyed little boy, shows Jack the piece of hail -- lookey how big this one is! -- while Jack just tends to the business of getting them secured in the tent... Ennis is the one who dismisses Jack's "f- Aguirre" comment -- by saying "What if we need to work for him again?" -- ENNIS is the one who actually verbalizes that they may be together again after this summer... Ennis teases Jack about his harmonica playing... and Ennis is the one who initiates the dozy embrace (which I believe is properly placed at this point in the film).  Post-SNIT, it's Ennis who does all of the overt affection showing.

SUCH a contrast to Jack pre-SNIT and throughout the rest of the film post-reunion kiss (which was initiated by Ennis).

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2006, 02:58:00 pm »
Do you know, Ruthlessly, that all this time, I've never properly seen this movie from Ennis' perspective?  The first time I saw it, I was just letting the story unfold for me - I hadn't read the short story yet so I knew nothing of what was to come.  The second time, I saw it very Jack-centrically.  And I don't think I've ever come much further than that.  Until your postings here.  Thank you again.  Like I say, it's opened up a whole new level of understanding into both characters from which I can discover it anew.

(And now I'm *really* jealous of you Fox viewers to be...  ;))
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