Author Topic: Comparison between '03 to '05 screenplay: would we still be discussing this film  (Read 31065 times)

Offline nakymaton

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I believe the first word Ennis said was “Ennis.”  We have already established the location, Jack’s attraction to Ennis, Ennis sizing up Jack, Aguirre explaining where they’ll be (BBM) and what they’ll be doing (herding sheep), that Jack is more gregarious and that Ennis is quite tight lipped. How accurate am I?

Perfect. ;D What would you prefer for your prize: a can of beans, an elk, or the complete set of secret footage shot by the tent-cam? ;D

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How many things can you think of that someone fought for, changed and/ or suggested?

Examples:
•   Heath – switching the shirts
•   Ang – breaking up the motel scene
•   Diana – keeping the reunion kissing scene in the story

Can anyone think of anything else?

I'm going back to wanting a DVD with a compete set of extras (though not with footage added to the actual movie), because those kinds of stories are the things that tend to get told on the commentary tracks. (For instance: Jack's first line, "S**t," isn't in the story-to-screenplay book. So was that actually Jake hurting his foot when he kicked the tire, and Ang decided it fit the character perfectly? Or was Jake getting into the spirit of Jack's "bitching" already?)

Katherine: do we know that the second tent scene was Ang's idea? I think it probably was, and I remember something about someone saying there needed to be some scene on the mountain that showed "commitment" or something like that, but I don't think I've ever heard the whole story behind the decision to include it. (And yes, it really is the most important change, isn't it? Gah. I'm so unable to be rational about that scene... I think it's the Best Movie Love Scene Ever, but I'm not sure that's my rational side talking when I say that.)
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Offline dly64

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Katherine: do we know that the second tent scene was Ang's idea? I think it probably was, and I remember something about someone saying there needed to be some scene on the mountain that showed "commitment" or something like that, but I don't think I've ever heard the whole story behind the decision to include it. (And yes, it really is the most important change, isn't it? Gah. I'm so unable to be rational about that scene... I think it's the Best Movie Love Scene Ever, but I'm not sure that's my rational side talking when I say that.)

FOUND IT!!!! This was in an interview with Ang:

Question: I can't remember any film that trusted its source material as much as this one.
Lee: Not only did I want to be loyal to [Annie Proulx's] writing, but I needed to do additional scenes to confirm her writing, because we don't have the internal depictions which she did most brilliantly. We don't have that benefit. We are photography. So, that tent scene for example—I needed to add another tent scene, to confirm that they commit to the love, so it's reasonable for the next twenty years they want to keep going back.

I am finding a bunch of other stuff out there as well. I'll sort through it an post later.
Diane

"We're supposed to guard the sheep, not eat 'em."

Offline serious crayons

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Somewhere I heard Ang say he thought he'd have to fight Annie over TS2. Or maybe that she actually did disapprove, at least at first.

I think it's the Best Movie Love Scene Ever, but I'm not sure that's my rational side talking when I say that.

I think it's the Best Movie Love Scene Ever, too. And the reunion scene is the Second Best Movie Love Scene Ever. (Or wait, is it the other way around?) I am being completely rational.

But given what Mel has said (if I understand you correctly, Mel) about their love in the story not fully revealing itself until the end of the story, I'm not sure if I agree with Ang's quote about requiring TS2 to convey what the story conveyed in words. The story really DIDN'T convey in words what we get out of TS2.

What if there were no TS2? What if we only caught hints of love over the years, maybe particularly in the reunion scene, but didn't totally get the whole picture until the closet scene? Would that have worked? I mean, it would be a different movie, but wouldn't it be more like the story?

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Question: I can't remember any film that trusted its source material as much as this one.

Actually, I don't really agree with the interviewer's question, either.  I thought that, too, when I first saw the movie, having read the story (though not recently). Their plots are almost identical. And I thought the two were almost exactly the same, except that the movie was longer and Jack and Ennis were cuter.

But now I think the film takes some different directions with scenes, characters and even themes. Obviously everyone involved in the movie had huge respect for the story, so they never admit it, but they appear to have made some different choices.


Offline dly64

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Question: I can't remember any film that trusted its source material as much as this one.

Actually, I don't really agree with the interviewer's question, either.  I thought that, too, when I first saw the movie, having read the story (though not recently). Their plots are almost identical. And I thought the two were almost exactly the same, except that the movie was longer and Jack and Ennis were cuter.

But now I think the film takes some different directions with scenes, characters and even themes. Obviously everyone involved in the movie had huge respect for the story, so they never admit it, but they appear to have made some different choices.

I agree with you completely, Katherine. Interestingly, it seems to me that the 2003 version of the screenplay is  very much like the story. However, the story as Ang directed and filmed does  differ substantially in some key areas …. the biggest one being that Ennis’ homophobia was much more pronounced in the film vs. the story. The story had Ennis verbalizing how much he liked having sex with Jack … there is none of that in the film. And the change in “this is a one-shot thing we got goin’ on here ….” The story had Jack saying that, not Ennis. IMO, by changing that around altered the entire dynamic of that scene. (BTW – as it was presented in the film, what did the line “this is a one-shot thing ….” convey? Was it … “we did this once and it won’t happen again” or “this is only going to happen this summer and when we leave, it’s done”?  Just curious).
Diane

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Offline Daniel

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That has been a difficult question for me to answer too...

I'm not certain what it was meant to exactly imply... but it does make us painfully aware that Ennis has never done anything like that before, and really wasn't quite sure what was supposed to happen next... he was struggling for answers and none were coming so he said what he could to bring back a sense of control of the situation.

To me, it sounded like Jack's next line was an argument against that, basically saying (in a typical Jackian way), that Ennis shouldn't be worrying about what happened. Ennis doesn't believe him of course, and he continued to throw up another hasty defense... Jack looked over at him with a sense of painful endearment and confirms that for him... It is sad to think that the label "queer" was so negative to both of them, and they sought out some way to reduce the shame of that experience by seperating themselves further from that label.
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Offline serious crayons

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I think "one shot thing" means it's just for the summer. I don't think it can mean "we did this once and it won't happen again," first because of the open-ended phrasing -- "this is a one-shot thing we've got going on here," not "we had going on there" -- and second because that would make the very next scene shot number two. Somebody -- maybe Ruthlessly? -- argued that by "one shot thing" Ennis means it's just the two of them together forever but, much as I'd like to believe that romantic scenario, it seems kind of far-fetched. (Unless maybe he -- Ruthlessly or whoever it was -- was talking about it meaning that at some deep symbolic level, which I guess is possible.)

It is sad to think that the label "queer" was so negative to both of them, and they sought out some way to reduce the shame of that experience by seperating themselves further from that label.

Yes, it is sad. I'm guessing it's partly because they associate that label not just with having sex with men (although they -- Ennis in particular -- may be reluctant to embrace that part of it, too), but also with a whole set of characteristics they don't see themselves as having and which, in their world, would be an anathema.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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"Queer" as a label was negative--period--in 1963. There were no such things as "queer studies" then, and it was--what?--another twenty years before the American Psychological Association decided that homosexuality was not a pathology. "Queer" didn't just mean that you had sex with people of your same gender. It meant you were diseased in your mind--not just different, but downright sick. People feared "queer"--many, of course, still do. It's perfectly understandable to me that Ennis wouldn't want to be stigmatized by anybody as being diseased in his mind.
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Offline nakymaton

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I think "one shot thing" means it's just for the summer. I don't think it can mean "we did this once and it won't happen again," first because of the open-ended phrasing -- "this is a one-shot thing we've got going on here," not "we had going on there" -- and second because that would make the very next scene shot number two.

I always interpreted it as meaning "Look, this isn't going to happen again"... I still don't think that Ennis knew TS2 was going to happen until he got to his feet and headed for the tent (and even then, I think he was kind of scared, as well as probably excited, and wasn't sure what was going to happen). Yes, I know the verb tenses suggest otherwise, but you know... verb tenses are one of those things that tend to be a bit sloppy with rural dialects. (If somebody uses the subjective tense, they're faking the dialect. ;D )

But I can see how it could be interpreted the other way, too.

(I also think that movie-Ennis is more introverted than story-Ennis, and therefore his homophobia is expressed in different ways. I can't see movie-Ennis coming out and talking about the sex directly, even if he and Jack went off and started their little cow-and-calf operation.)

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I'm guessing it's partly because they associate that label not just with having sex with men (although they -- Ennis in particular -- may be reluctant to embrace that part of it, too), but also with a whole set of characteristics they don't see themselves as having and which, in their world, would be an anathema.

What were the connotations of "queer" in 1963? In 2006, I think of "queer" as implying a certain sort of rebelliousness, of reclaiming a term. (Like there weren't people doing graduate work in "queer studies" in 1963, but there are today.) And in older literature (though mostly British, I think) the word "queer" is used without any apparent connotations of sexuality. So I'm curious how Jack and Ennis would have heard the word. (Mostly as a slur to be used against gays, I'm guessing?)

(Whatever the connotations, yes, it is sad.)

(Oops. Jeff answered my question already. Thanks, Jeff. :) )
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Offline Daniel

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Thank you for clarifying that... :)

As a young person some of the references and cultural acknowledgements of the 60's still escapes me.
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Offline serious crayons

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"Queer" as a label was negative--period--in 1963. There were no such things as "queer studies" then, and it was--what?--another twenty years before the American Psychological Association decided that homosexuality was not a pathology.

Right. "Queer" was always used as a pejorative in them days, and now it isn't necessarily. But just to avoid confusion over the particular word, I don't think it matters what label they used, they would have wanted to avoid association with the concept.

Speaking of verb tenses, I've always thought it strange that when movie-Ennis is talking on the phone to Lureen, he says "No ma'am, we was herdin sheep on Brokeback ..." Both the story and the screenplay say "we herded," so maybe it's just how it happened to come out when they filmed the scene. But it's an odd and kind of unnatural way to put it, even for someone with sloppy grammar, so I've also wondered if there's any reason for it.