Author Topic: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"  (Read 4086 times)

Offline bbm_stitchbuffyfan

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Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« on: September 08, 2006, 05:38:31 pm »
Surely all of us have heard the beautiful, beautiful score that has helped move us to tears time and time again. Now did anyone ever wonder why it is named "The Wings?"

I myself don't know and am interested in seeing what others think. I think it's a profoundly touching title, actually, because I interpret the song as not the film's theme, but Jack's and Ennis' love theme. I guess they are each other's wings.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2006, 05:54:38 pm »
Brokeback Mountain is all about dualities, starting with Jack and Ennis, and the soundtrack goes along with this theme beautifully. The Wings is a lyrical representation with parallel and answering themes. Many of the songs on the soundtrack feature the acoustic guitar, which I associate with Ennis, and the pedal steel guitar, whose more fluid tones I associate with Jack. Their duet echoes the sweet and sad story of Jack and Ennis very movingly. I also see in my mind's eye the angelic wings of their love unfurling towards heaven when I hear the music. That's my take on why the theme is about wings.
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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2006, 05:58:19 pm »
Gustavo surely had his reasons for naming his piece as he did. I think, as you intimate, the title should be approached poetically rather than literally. Wings are a bird's instrument of flight, and this evokes associations of freedom, exhilaration, and possibility. Birds are creatures of the air, and are borne up by the wind--the very element which is most closely associated with Jack. I think 'The Wings' is tied in with Ennis's feelings about Jack, and everything positive that Jack represents for him. I see it more as Ennis's theme than the theme of both men together, though it is Ennis's theme specifically in regard to how Jack has touched his life.

Finally, one might see 'The Wings' as intimating the flight that Ennis, and we all eventually, will take in pursuit of him (and those others) who are a little ways ahead of us in the journey of Eternity. Notice we hear the strains of this haunting tune in accompaniment to the film's closing shot. Death, redemption, and...love.

(BTW, I know you had a birthday anniversary recently, bbm_stitchbuffyfan. Happy birthday anniversary, belated though my greetings are!) :)

Offline saucycobblers

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2006, 07:51:02 pm »
I always associate the title with this passage from the book:

There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs and distant from tame ranch dogs barking in the dark hours.

I wonder if he took inspiration from the book?
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moremojo

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2006, 08:02:18 pm »
I wonder if he took inspiration from the book?
It is my understanding that he started composing the music after having read the story, before he had even been engaged to contribute to the movie (someone correct me if I'm mistaken). So I think the story may have had everything to do with his choice of title. That's a great passage, by the way, and let's also remember the eagle feather that Jack sports in his hat when Ennis first meets him...another subtle reference to that cowboy's wild and free ways.

Offline saucycobblers

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2006, 08:06:38 pm »
That's a great passage, by the way, and let's also remember the eagle feather that Jack sports in his hat when Ennis first meets him...another subtle reference to that cowboy's wild and free ways.

Yeah, that passage is one of my two favourites. It's absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way. I'd never connected it to the feather in Jack's hat before. Nice observation!
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2006, 10:58:31 pm »
Of course there's always the post-punch wing reference too.  "... Ennis had suddenly swung from the deck and laid the ministering angel out in the wild columbine, wings folded."  It occurs to me that this might actually be a double wing reference since "la colombe" in French means dove (I know that the columbine mentioned here is a flower... but I wonder if the words might be a related).

And, this association of angel wings with Brokeback has always reminded me a bit of the Matthew Sheppard situation and the people from the Laramie Project who go to funerals and protests, etc. wearing angel wings. 
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Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2006, 01:44:00 pm »
The feeling I have from that music is that in the begining you have those two or three solitary notes and the truck travels toward Signal. It feel like falling down a well, into another place and time. The Wings come along in the end like"your ride is here" and lifts you up and out of that place into the beyond.
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline Andrew

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2006, 08:27:23 pm »
It occurs to me that this might actually be a double wing reference since "la colombe" in French means dove (I know that the columbine mentioned here is a flower... but I wonder if the words might be a related).

Yes, columbine means little dove.  From the shape of the petals, probably - the long tails are something like the long neck of a dove, the wider part like the body.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2006, 11:42:47 pm »
Thanks Andrew!  Yup, I think there are definitely multiple "wing" references in the "post-punch" descriptions (in the story at least).
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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2006, 11:47:01 pm »
Barbara, also, when Jack says, "I don't give a flying f**k". See my reference to it in "Why the Lie?"
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Offline JT

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2006, 12:51:22 am »
"The Wings".  I don't know.  I don't know why they call it "The Wings".  I guess they both wanted to fly away together but something keep holding they down.  But in the end, Jack was finally able to fly.  I don't know, but to me, I see this as Jack and Ennis' theme.  You only hear it twice in the movie.

You guys have great insites regarding the title of this song.  Some were very moving.

Offline bbm_stitchbuffyfan

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2006, 11:55:31 am »
moremojo, thank you for the birthday wish! I wish I could have gotten around to replying sooner, but I've been caught up lately.

Anyway, these responses are great insights! Thanks for the replies.
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


R.I.P. Heath Ledger

Offline fernly

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2006, 10:01:05 am »
On the front wall of Alma and Monroe's house (most clearly visible to Jr.'s left when she's waiting for Ennis, though it's visible at Thanksgiving, too) is an eagle (?) sculpture. Looks like the wings are raised up, talons extended. Call back to the eagle feather? Another of the Ennis/Jack 'reminders' that are a current (conscious and subconscious) in each others' lives?
And Jr.'s wearing those bluebird earrings.
Two sides of Jack? - one angry, hard, pushed/nailed to the wall (ok, maybe getting carried away here with the symboligizing ) and the other still hopeful, gentle, able to sing/love ?

And another possible resonance to the wild columbine?
A columbarium is "a sepulchral vault or other structure with recesses in the walls to receive the ashes of the dead". 

And it's always struck me (and I do mean struck), that in the story they could see, past the hawk's back, "the crawling lights of the vehicles on the plain below" - they weren't that far away from the plains and all that implies. But in the film, I don't get any sense that they could see the plains or crawling lights.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2006, 10:34:22 am by fernly »
on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2006, 12:52:36 pm »
Probably beside the point, but, of course, this title always makes me think of "Wind Beneath My Wings." Jack always was the wind beneath Ennis's wings, and poor Ennis didn't realize it until it was too late.  :-\
"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 coffeecat33

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2006, 07:48:48 pm »
Wings also refers to the side areas of a stage that are out of sight of the audience. You "wait in the wings" for your cue to go on. A wing can be side scenery on the stage, too.

Why is it called, The Wings, instead of just Wings? Does that change the definition?


Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2006, 06:09:47 pm »
Probably beside the point, but, of course, this title always makes me think of "Wind Beneath My Wings." Jack always was the wind beneath Ennis's wings, and poor Ennis didn't realize it until it was too late.  :-\

Hmmm... the lyrics for the song seem to work quite well....  Everyone can share the experience (and I get to test the new Divshare file storage and sharing service -- see User Services for more on that!):

DivShare File - 13_-_Bette_Midler_-_Wind_Beneath_My_Wings.mp3
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Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2006, 11:00:03 pm »
...and the line in the movie when, thanksgiving, Ennis nuzzels Jenny's ear like Jack nuzzel his once and said "I didn't have no wings."

I have heard too, as Lee spoke of, the two different parts of the music in synch, representing Jack and Ennis, and the untimate divinty Jack acheives for his sacrifices.

(Thank you Clarissa and Lynne for helping me understand this.)
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline nakymaton

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2006, 12:40:10 am »
I think it was Clarissa who pointed out last night that "The Wings" is also the theme for "if you can't fix it, you gotta stand it." It plays at the end of the reunion camping trip (and through the next montage)... and it stands in for the line at the end of the story.

I have no idea what standing has to do with wings, though. One would think that if one had wings, one wouldn't stand... one would fly.
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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2006, 12:57:03 am »
Yes, but remember Ennis was the stander, Jack the fixer. And at the end of the movie, Ennis was left standing while Jack, who flew off to Mexico, Randall, and parts unknown, was like Icarus, who flew too close to the sun with his wings created out of wax, which melted, so he plunged into the sea.
  :'(

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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2006, 02:11:10 am »
Well Gosh, Truman and Mel, it was actually not me on either occasion.  I remember being just as awed when Lynne told us, Tru, and I remember it last night, Mel, but not who said it.

I am listening to the download of Wind Beneath My Wings right now.  Thanks Phillip!

"Thank you, thank you, thank G*d for you, the Wind Beneath My Wings."