Author Topic: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault  (Read 77562 times)

ruthlesslyunsentimental

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2006, 06:14:20 pm »
you might consider changing the subject line to entice others.


OK.  I'm open to suggestions...


All I can come up with is: A Clinical Analysis and Discourse on the Effects of Misunderstandings in Communication between Two Homoerotically-Charged Individuals in a Remote Rural Setting

But that's kind of boring...

How about: Jack Done Him Wrong?

Or: The Truth Revealed?

Or: Please Read My Post?

Or: Ennis' Unfulfilled Expectations? ...

Or: It Happened One Day... By the Truck

Or: The Day the Mountain Stood Still

Or: Love and Loss on Brokeback Mountain

Or: Gone with Jack's Wind

Or: ...

I'm just kidding.

Really, I am open to suggestions.      :-\

Offline nic

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2006, 06:20:20 pm »
Hi R (the ultimate abbreviation!)

I agree a name change to the thread is in order - it is a great thread started by your excellent first post. I love reading long posts if the topic is right, just as much as the shorter posts.

I quite like Ennis's Unfilled Expectations, as this is angle on things some people may not have fully understood, or as I find on many aspects of BBM discussion, I have thought it but it's mixed up with so many thoughts I haven't been able to crystallise it.  That is the beauty of this kind of discussion  :)
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Offline JennyC

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2006, 06:29:44 pm »
For some reason, this sort of explation doesn't apply to me. No events in my "real life" would predict a greater empathy for Ennis -- in fact, according to Barb's reasoning I would be a Jackophile. I don't know exactly what causes those preferences. (Well, OK, I do have one theory, but it's too shallow to get into here.)

Katherine,

I want to hear your theory.  Nothing you say is going to be too shallow, seriously.  I agree Barb's explanation probably applies to some people, but I don't think I am one of them.  I can’t say that I have experienced abandonment in my life.   I love both Jack and Ennis and can see myself being Jack or Ennis in different situations, but I have to say that I care for Ennis more.  I am struggling to understand why the movie has such an impact on me and why particularly Ennis made my heartache.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2006, 07:11:23 pm »
Ruthlessly,

Welcome "home," and THANK YOU for the awesome initial post. Yeah, I'll join in the chorus suggesting a change to thread title. I have to admit that if Katherine hadn't called attention to it on another thread, I never would have read it, based on the title. There's never enough time, never enough. ... And when I think what I would have missed! Yikes!

I can't quarrel with anything you said, except for the following very small point, which takes nothing away from your main points:

Quote
When they first met, they checked each other out, on a couple of levels.  For example, before they went into Aguirre’s trailer, I think that Jack was looking at Ennis and wondering “Who is this guy who may be here to get MY job?”  Jack worked alone the summer before.  One job for one guy.  And, Jack knew that Aguirre had blamed Jack for the sheep loss the previous summer.  In the trailer, he looked relieved when Aguirre announced it was going to be a two-man job this summer.

I don't think Jack worked alone in 1962. I'll be clear, however, that my assumptions about Jack's previous experience on the mountain are not derived from anything directly observable in the film, and are derived a lot from the Annie Proulx story.

Annie writes: "That spring, hungry for any job, each had signed up with Farm and Ranch Employment--they came together on paper as herder and camp tender for the same sheep operation north of Signal."

I interpret that quotation as meaning that in both story and film, they show up at Joe Aguirre's office that morning because they had been told to report there by Farm and Ranch Employment, and they probably even knew they would be working with somebody. (I can't explain Jack's "looked relieved" because I've never noticed that--maybe it's relief that he's actually going to be working with that handsome feller he'd been trying to cruise in the parking lot.  ;D )

I figure Aguirre initially makes Jack the herder but Ennis the camp tender because Jack is the one with experience in the job. But I also don't think Jack was up on the mountain alone the previous summer because, well, I don't think that makes sense. In her essay in Story to Screenplay, Annie mentions a rancher who always sent his herders off in pairs (so they could "poke each other" if they got lonely  ;D), but it also would have been too dangerous for one man alone. If one man alone got thrown by his horse and broke his leg, or something, he could be dead before someone found him. More to the point from the sheep owner's perspective, if something happened to one man alone, the flock could be scattered and destroyed by predators.

We just don't know anything about Jack's putative partner in the job from the previous summer. It has been speculated elsewhere, however, that it might have been this partner who initiated Jack into homosexual activity--which would mean that Jack was no stranger to it when he took the initiative with Ennis.

But none of this detracts from your wonderful and fascinating analysis.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2006, 07:55:47 pm »
I'm just kidding.

Really, I am open to suggestions.      :-\

These made me laugh, so for that reason I like all of them. Particularly the first one, but that won't fit into the alloted space. As for "The Truth Revealed," sorry, but I have copyrighted that subject line for use on all of MY threads.

I would use something with "Ennis" in the title, because IMO your perspective on him is the part that's the most startling and groundbreaking and potentially controversial.

Katherine,

I want to hear your theory.  Nothing you say is going to be too shallow, seriously.

No. Really. Take my word for it, it is. It's nothing i haven't rhapsodized about on many, many other threads. (See, for example, "Heath Heath Heath" or "Your Age and Favorite Cowboy" ((over 35, Ennis))). But it seems out of place in the context of this solemn and scholarly analysis. (I don't think I'm the only one influenced by that sort of thing, but in any case it only partly explains my sympathy for Ennis. It's not even entirely clear whether this factor is a cause or an effect of that sympathy.)

Ruthlessly, how do you see Ennis explaining his feelings to himself? As Mikaela put it yesterday, Ennis would have to be sleepwalking not to notice that what he feels Jack approximates love, even if he calls it "this thing" instead of that actual word. That's exactly how I see it -- if his feelings are that obvious to viewers, if his behavior shouts "love" at every turn, how could he fail to recognize that himself? But my understanding from your post is that you don't think Ennis admits to himself that he loved Jack until the end, because doing so would force him to consider the possibility that he is "queer." Right?

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2006, 08:01:24 pm »
I agree Barb's explanation probably applies to some people, but I don't think I am one of them.  I can’t say that I have experienced abandonment in my life.   I love both Jack and Ennis and can see myself being Jack or Ennis in different situations, but I have to say that I care for Ennis more.  I am struggling to understand why the movie has such an impact on me and why particularly Ennis made my heartache.

My explanation was just a shot in the dark, really.  What makes any of us feel more drawn to some people than to others?  There are kind of universally attractive and universally repellent people, but when you have two people (or characters, ah, but we know they are real people...) who are on the same plane of physical attractiveness and who each has more than his share of endearing (as well as aggravating) personality traits, why does one engage one's sympathies more than the other?  Not to try to be flippant, but maybe there is no reason for matters of the heart - maybe they just are.
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ruthlesslyunsentimental

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Re: Hello - I'm new here
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2006, 08:45:34 pm »

Ruthlessly, how do you see Ennis explaining his feelings to himself? As Mikaela put it yesterday, Ennis would have to be sleepwalking not to notice that what he feels Jack approximates love, even if he calls it "this thing" instead of that actual word. That's exactly how I see it -- if his feelings are that obvious to viewers, if his behavior shouts "love" at every turn, how could he fail to recognize that himself? But my understanding from your post is that you don't think Ennis admits to himself that he loved Jack until the end, because doing so would force him to consider the possibility that he is "queer." Right?



Yes.  That is one of the points of what I wrote.  It all goes back to "I ain't queer."  This is a fear-based statement -- especially in light of what we later learn Ennis' father did to him.  Ennis' fear is, to put it into a very small nutshell, the entire theme of the movie.  It all started with him encountering that bear -- his fears -- and getting spooked off his horse -- off of himself -- meeting up with a few more bears (Alma, the bikers, etc.) and culminating in the final bear, Old Man Twist.  (Actually, there is one more after OMT.)  In the original bear scene, Ennis ran off scared trying to scramble together what he could for Jack; in the Old Man Twist bear scene, Ennis climbed Old Brokeback Mountain (the stairs) to find Jack once again (the shirts) and Ennis conquered this bear (OMT, Ennis' fears) by defiantly walking past him, determinedly holding Jack (the shirts), sort of in public.

Throughout the whole movie, Ennis ain't queer.  At least not in his mind.  It's just a thing that grabs hold of him.  I find this wholly real-world based on two notions: 1) People who are fear-based are often in denial -- often to the point of complete and utter disassociation from the reality of the object of the great fear (here, his homosexuality); and, 2) Sadly, there are far too many people who do not recognize love even when it's right under their own noses.  Ennis displayed loving behaviors, gestures, and words to Jack -- all throughout the movie.  WE see that.  WE know it.  And Jack recognized it as such (though even he had his (understandable) misgivings about it).  But not Ennis.  He would always want to please Jack.  He would always want to say cute things to him.  But even though he knew what they were doing was "forbidden," he thought of it as "this thing," not as love.  To Ennis, what his father showed him was two men who had shacked up together and got punished for it -- not two men who were in love.  The former would be easier for a nine-year old Ennis to understand and process; the latter, not so much so -- a nine-year old boy would ask himself "Why couldn't they love each other?"

This is why Ennis' anger at Jack in the final lake scene is not about jealousy.  It's about fear.  That's his controlling emotion.  It's not that Ennis was jealous of Jack being with another man.  It was that Ennis was mad as hell at Jack that he broke their one-shot pact, their "I ain't queer" pact.  Because by breaking it, Jack said "I'm queer."  And that would make Ennis queer.  And his fears would not allow him to accept that reality.

Offline welliwont

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Here's a suggestion for re-naming the thread
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2006, 08:46:07 pm »

Really, I am open to suggestions.      :-\


How about "It wasn't all Ennis' fault after all"   :D  ;)


J

PS:  Ruthie, did you get to see the alternate scene of Ennis Crying, or what?  I thought you might be interested since your OP addressed the finding the shirts scene...  I am interested in hearing what you thought of it if you did see it! ???   :)

Jane
Then the clouds opened up and God said, "I hate you, Alfafa."

Offline welliwont

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Ok, instead of finding in this thread and quoting the passages where this was mentioned, (never enough time, never enough)  I would just like to throw this out there:  after the punch, after they leave their campsite, after they go up to the sheep, with the mules and all their equipment, and gather the sheep, and get the sheep (the whole thousand a them!) down the mountain, and back to the jump-off spot, a lot of time must have passed.  As in, could they really have done all that in one day?  Did they perhaps have to overnight it somewhere, either with the sheep up on Brokeback, or ??

If they did take more than one day to accomplish all that, do you think that they just stopped speaking to each other until they parted by the truck, or ??




Then the clouds opened up and God said, "I hate you, Alfafa."

ruthlesslyunsentimental

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Re: Here's a suggestion for re-naming the thread
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2006, 01:54:47 am »
How about "It wasn't all Ennis' fault after all"   :D  ;)


J

PS:  Ruthie, did you get to see the alternate scene of Ennis Crying, or what?  I thought you might be interested since your OP addressed the finding the shirts scene...  I am interested in hearing what you thought of it if you did see it! ???   :)

Jane


First, EXCELLENT new name for the thread.  I think I'll go with it.  I mean it's got "Ennis" (which has been suggested) and it builds intrigue ("fault") and it sounds so groundbreaking and authoritative ("after all").  (Not that I believe my post is either groundbreaking or authoritative, but it sounds good, huh?)


Second, one thing you should know about me... oh, boy!  Here I go! ... I am probably in a minority when I say that I am totally against any extra scenes ever being shown or put on a "special edition" DVD.  To me, the film, as it has been presented to us, is a pristine and complete product.  I feel that any extras would only bastardize that.

Great big BUT time...

BUT... when I heard the description of the extra few seconds of footage of the shirt scene, it sounded way too good to pass up.  And, the description I heard of it sounded as if it would completely fit the film as presented without adding something unnecessary or extraneous.  So, hypocrite that I am, I watched it.  And I LOVED it!  Those few extra seconds gave me a sort of closure for that scene that I had never before experienced.  Yes, I know... those extra few seconds did change something for me.  Not the film, though -- it changed my experience of the film... in a way that I needed.

I have only one other example of something I’ve seen that was extra that didn't "ruin" the film for me.  There's a promo picture (or something like that) floating around that shows Jack and Ennis in the sunlight at the final lake scene, hugging.  (I assume it was the final lake scene because of the clothes and equipment.)  The fact that Ennis didn’t verbally respond to "Sometimes I miss you so much..." always bugged me.  And then it really depressed me that the next shot shows them sleeping in the tent, clothed, with Ennis simply hanging his arm over Jack from behind.  I really wanted SOME concrete show of affection between them that would have occurred during their final trip together -- they seemed sooooo distant from each other.  That picture gave me what I needed.  So, hypocrite that I am...


 
Quote
Ok, instead of finding in this thread and quoting the passages where this was mentioned, (never enough time, never enough)  I would just like to throw this out there:  after the punch, after they leave their campsite, after they go up to the sheep, with the mules and all their equipment, and gather the sheep, and get the sheep (the whole thousand a them!) down the mountain, and back to the jump-off spot, a lot of time must have passed.  As in, could they really have done all that in one day?  Did they perhaps have to overnight it somewhere, either with the sheep up on Brokeback, or ??

If they did take more than one day to accomplish all that, do you think that they just stopped speaking to each other until they parted by the truck, or ??

I've thought about this a lot.  It does seem logistically improbable that they themselves got all of that accomplished in one day.  But, then again, we see Ennis ride into camp.  Presumably it's his morning return.  And Aguirre had already been by and Jack had already started dismantling everything.  And then, the scene with Aguirre and the sheep count... that could have been late afternoon.  And the scene at the truck could have been mid-to late evening.  It's the middle of August so these scenes could be as early as say 7:00 a.m. until 8 p.m. -- 13 hours, let's say.  I dunno.  It's possible... but still...

And then, of course, Jack and Ennis had to take some time to change shirts and Jack had to find a time to steal Ennis' shirt...  I dunno. 

Also, if it did take more than a day and they had to camp somewhere for a night, that would certainly beg for us to believe that they had to have had time to talk.  Similarly, if it was all crammed into a 13-hour period, that would explain their NOT having had time to talk.  I still dunno. 

I will say, though, that the way they act at the truck seems more to me as if they had worked all day and gotten it all done in one day rather than them spending a wordless night together.

All I know is that if I think about it too much I'll start to feel like a rabbit tryin' to squeeze into a snake hole with a coyote on its tail.




Finally, to everyone... Is JakeTwist's thread title OK with everyone?  And just HOW do I change the thread title?  And, how do I insert a link to a thread into a post?