Author Topic: The Laundry Room  (Read 71635 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2006, 12:45:53 am »
It seems important for the story/ film that Jack was Ennis's first love/ domestic partner despite the fact that he was technically engaged to Alma already.  I think this is why we hear the "opportunity" conversation... to be sure the audience knows that Jack is Ennis's first.  It makes Jack's "claim" on Ennis for the rest of the film seem appropriate... and unfortunately and unbeknownst to Alma it makes her seem like the usurper.

Very good point, Amanda. If we'd seen Ennis and Alma together before Brokeback, it would have cast a slightly different spin on which couple is more "right." Of course, eventually we would come to see that Jack and Ennis are right together, for all kinds of reasons. But whatever couple comes first establishes itself in the viewer's mind, giving the next couple -- even if it's the dramatically "right" one -- a little hurdle to jump. Often that hurdle jumping is accomplished by having the previous partner seem wildly inappropriate (a jerk, really boring, extremely mismatched or something like that). But that's not the objective with Alma; she's meant to seem a nice wife caught in an unfortunate marriage. So it's best to let Ennis and Jack as a couple capture our empathy before Alma enters the picture.

Anyway, what this all has to do with laundry is that Jack's laundry-doing sticks in our mind in a very memorable scene -- so to all the other reasons we've previously discussed as to why he might be doing laundry naked, add that it sure grabs attention and makes the scene stick in our minds! Then the first time we see Alma after she and Ennis have set up house, she's also doing laundry. But in a far more mundane, indoorsy, domesticated, fully clothed, "society" way.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2006, 01:49:16 am by latjoreme »

Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2006, 01:06:22 am »
Yes, I'm sure that Ennis would have done Jack's laundry too and that it was part of the "job" description... but I don't think that either of them thought about it as if it were a job... know what I mean? 
 ;)
Or, maybe it started out feeling like a job, but as time went by they began to feel like it was a little thrilling to have such 'intimate' access to each other's clothes... it especially would have seemed like much more than a job once they'd become lovers.  By the way... I love how Jack pounds away at Ennis's shirt in the stream (it's the shirt too, by the way) as if he's letting all his frustration and anxiety loose on it.
Yes I agree, very well put.
Thank you Heath and Jake for showing us Ennis and Jack,  teaching us how much they loved one another.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2006, 09:50:28 am »
Maybe when he is beating on the shirt he is thinking back, perhaps subconsciously, to that time when he as a small child was forced to take off all his clothes that had been soiled by his cruel father and wash them in the bathtub, and maybe that is why he is beating them with such force and shivering at the same time.
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Offline fernly

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2006, 10:18:52 am »
Maybe when he is beating on the shirt he is thinking back, perhaps subconsciously, to that time when he as a small child was forced to take off all his clothes that had been soiled by his cruel father and wash them in the bathtub, and maybe that is why he is beating them with such force and shivering at the same time.
Lee, that is such a great observation! I think this scene, like all the rest, is working on so many levels, from the very prosaic (anyone would probably be shivering) to simple character differences (Jack feels the cold more than Ennis) to all the implications discussed before of Jack washing clothes between TS1 and TS2.
And now your post illuminates the scene as another of those times when Ang, et al, use visuals instead of words to bring in elements of the story. That instance of abuse is so horrific, and would have been utterly impossible to put in overtly into the film, but is really important. It's always broken my heart that the last direct words from Jack in the story are about that - "No way to get it right with him after that." (and maybe those words resonate further too...)
Thank you finding this connection.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2006, 12:36:12 pm »
Another thing that is relevant here is the passage at the end where Ennis dreams about Jack and when he wakes, sometimes the pillow is wet and sometimes it's the sheets. In the process of becoming wet, the fabric and the people go through a transformative process. It's a force of nature.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2006, 09:29:41 pm »
Well, I'm rather envious of the friend that got to watch BBM with you, Katherine. Maybe someday... but I also wanted to mention that Ennis is doing laundry at the end of the story. He throws all the horseblankets from the Coffeepot ranch where he is working into the pickup and hoses them off at the car wash. Then he steps across the street to the gift shop to buy a post card of Brokeback Mountain.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2006, 01:31:58 am »
Well, I'm rather envious of the friend that got to watch BBM with you, Katherine.

That's nice of you to say, Lee, but don't be envious. She wasn't much fun, anyways, was she? That is, she's fun as a friend, but she's not much fun as a Brokie. She has seen the movie three or four times, she owns a review DVD and I've been pretty upfront with her (moreso than anyone else, anyway) about the depth of my obsession. So she's as close as I come to a "real life" Brokie friend (not including the Brokie friends I have since met in "real life" ;))  But she talks during the movie; she's not fully engaged; she's interested in, but not blown away by, all the nuances and metaphors; she doesn't find the tent scenes hot (?!); and she goes to bed halfway through (while I, of course, stay up til 2 a.m. watching to the end).

In other words, good sport though she is to humor my obsession, she falls far, far short of a real Brokie. So you're right, someday ...

OK, back to laundry. How about a negative example -- the laundry that conspicuously doesn't get washed, i.e., the blood-stained shirts. As you say, Lee:

Quote
In the story, Ennis discovers Jack's shirt, hung on a nail, then Ennis's blood on the shirt, and finally, Ennis's "plaid shirt, lost, he'd thought, long ago in some damn laundry..."

Is it significant that he thought the blood had been washed out, but in fact Jack had seen to it that it wasn't?

And, Lee, I love your inclusion of "I wrang it out" being another allusion to laundry. We see Jack naked in the river and although he's not wringing it out in the other sense, we see him as the person who does the (shirt) wringing for Ennis and not vise versa. But, in fact, the wringing goes both ways. In "wrang it out," I'd bet Annie's choice of idiom is not accidental.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2006, 12:28:22 pm »
That's what I love about her! Anybody else would think that Wyoming is an unlikely place to look for pithy and axiomatic idioms, but she proves us wrong. And speaking of word choice, I love your choice of idioms!
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2006, 09:12:28 pm »
Sometimes I like to just come back to this thread and rest, reading all the posts here, and just enjoying the coolness and darkness of the laundry room. It calms me down  when I feel like I've been "through the wringer" like I feel today.  :(
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Offline bbm_stitchbuffyfan

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2006, 11:09:54 pm »
*bump* This is a very interesting theme!
If you'd just realize what I just realized then we'd be perfect for each other and we'd never have to wonder if we missed out on each other now
We missed out on each other now


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