Author Topic: A Ninth Viewing Observation  (Read 151230 times)

Offline ednbarby

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2006, 08:36:11 am »
Well, shoot.  I'll just have to watch it again, I guess.  ;)
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2006, 01:49:20 pm »
I guess I had thought of it the way Barb did -- Jack looks at Randall first -- but the other way probably makes more sense. Either way, their gazes hold long enough for both of them to get the message, and emboldens Randall to suggest the trip to the cabin.

The talk of parallel scenes (beans/ashes, flirting) reminds me of something I read on imdb and found fascinating, though I'm still not sure what to think about it. A poster who is often pretty astute claims the entire movie is structured like a mirror or an inkblot: the opening scene parallels the last scene (Ennis at Aguirre's trailer, Ennis at his own trailer), the second parallels the second-to-last, and so on. The turning point, he says, is the scene with the girls on the swingset -- there's a red star-shaped decoration on the swingset that echoes a red star-shaped symbol on LD Newsome's dealership in the scene immediately following.

Another example he offered is the 4th of July scene immediately followed by (or following?) the Jimbo scene, which he says echo the two Thanksgiving scenes. In all four scenes, Ennis and Jack's manhood is challenged. In the earlier ones, Ennis "wins" the challenge (beats up the bikers) and Jack "loses" (humiliated by Jimbo and possibly the bartender). In the later ones it's the other way around: Ennis loses (gets beat up) and Jack wins (tells off L.D.). Jack has changed and matured; Ennis hasn't. (In both, Ennis' reaction involves physical fighting, whereas Jack uses the more mature approach: words.) And still another example: the final lakeside argument echoes the stretch between Jack and Ennis' fight when they're leaving the mountain and Ennis' collapse in the alley, both also involving Jack getting into his truck and saying he's going to visit his parents.

This poster says he went through the whole movie comparing scenes on either end and that this structure holds throughout.

I haven't done that, but I'm not sure I see the parallels as being quite that neatly symmetrical. To me, they are a bit messier -- for example, there's ALSO a trailer scene in the drive-in movie that Ennis and Alma are watching, which seems to remind Ennis of Jack. And the timing isn't always perfect: the truck crossing the screen with Ennis inside holding a paper bag containing shirts in the FIRST scene and then in the SECOND TO LAST scene. But close!

Anyway, I thought it was a really interesting idea. What do you guys think? Do you see any other examples of this mirror-like structure?

Offline ednbarby

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2006, 02:16:26 pm »
Wow.  All I can say is what I wouldn't give for an Ang Lee commentary track.  Wouldn't it be beyond lovely to hear him reveal his intentions?  Or is it more fun to just surmise them...?
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TJ

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2006, 05:16:12 pm »
Stressing the fact that I read the original story several weeks BEFORE I saw the movie, I have some comments about what is in the following quote by another forum member. Don't get upset because I am posting MY opinion here.

Quote
Another example he offered is the 4th of July scene immediately followed by (or following?) the Jimbo scene, which he says echo the two Thanksgiving scenes. In all four scenes, Ennis and Jack's manhood is challenged. In the earlier ones, Ennis "wins" the challenge (beats up the bikers) and Jack "loses" (humiliated by Jimbo and possibly the bartender). In the later ones it's the other way around: Ennis loses (gets beat up) and Jack wins (tells off L.D.). Jack has changed and matured; Ennis hasn't. (In both, Ennis' reaction involves physical fighting, whereas Jack uses the more mature approach: words.) And still another example: the final lakeside argument echoes the stretch between Jack and Ennis' fight when they're leaving the mountain and Ennis' collapse in the alley, both also involving Jack getting into his truck and saying he's going to visit his parents.

There is no 4th of July scene in Annie Proulx's original story.

There is no Childress, Texas Thankgiving scene either. I seriously doubt that Jack's father-in-law (no name given) would have even eaten one meal at Jack's and Lureen's.

Her old man hated Jack's guts and Jack and Lureen got no financial help form the man at all when he was alive. In 1967, Jack even went so far to say that her old man would probably be willing to pay off Jack to get lost.

In 1967, Annie Proulx's Jack was still driving that old green pickup truck and Jack complained about how it acted on the trip up from Childress to Riverton.

The only person in the story who was known to be Jack's boss in Childress, Texas, was his wife, Lureen, and that was after she inherited the company. She gave Jack a vague managerial title and made him a buyer for HER company.

There are no rodeo scenes in her story. Therefore, the rodeo clown/bull-fighter does not exist. In 1967, we only know that Jack met Lureen where he won another bull-riding award belt buckle in Texas. Other than how he speaks nicely to Alma about Lureen, Jack really has nothing good to say about her at all in the Annie Proulx story.

In the story, Ennis is very sad and uncomfortable while sitting between his daughters at the Thanksgiving meal in the home of Alma and her husband, Bill, the Riverton grocer. When he leaves Alma's and goes to the Black and Blue Eagle Bar, he gets drunk first and THEN gets into a fight.

Jack's complaints about their son's learning problems and the fact that Lureen did not care was after the boy was 15 years old.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2006, 05:42:07 pm »
TJ, here's a suggestion: How about we establish for now and for all time that there are many differences between the story and the movie? That will save you the trouble of writing all those posts outlining the precise differences. Just about everybody here is familiar with both, so it's not really necessary anyway. Many people, myself included, read the story YEARS before seeing the movie. However, many posts apply only to the movie, so the story's differences aren't particularly relevant.

I'm not upset, but I don't see how the post above is an expression of your opinion -- to me, it seems like a simple list of facts. That is, unless you are implying that my comment on the movie is invalid because the movie's content isn't an exact replica of the story's. In which case, you are welcome to your opinion, TJ, but I would disagree. And I would expect you to get increasingly frustrated, because many people here like to discuss the movie as well as the story, differences and all.


TJ

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2006, 06:25:01 pm »
latjoreme, until very recently, more like in the past few weeks, have members been starting to discuss the differences of the original short story, the "Story to Screenplay" book and the Ang Lee final production of the Movie.

I suggested to Phillip that a major forum area be created to mainly discuss "The Book, The Message & Its Impact;" because Annie Proulx has written in essays, been quoted in print and interviewed in person that many gay men have thanked her for writing the story since it was first published.

If I had never read the story nor even seen any version of the screenplay, I would have a different attitude about how Brokeback Mountain has been presented several different ways to the public.

One reason that I have been claiming that things are my opinion is that some forum members think that I am being hateful when I post something which I believe to be true or have even seen documented elsewhere, in hard copy or on the internet.

Some moderators have told me that I won't be making any friends if I don't tone down my posts. I told Phillip, that so far, I haven't even encountered anyone in the board who even lives within 50 miles of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Even if they did, and they wanted to meet me, they would have to come to Tulsa and even to my home to do that. I don't have personal transportation and local pubic transportation leaves a lot to be desired . . . none on Saturday after 6:00 PM and none on Sunday.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2006, 06:44:48 pm »
latjoreme, until very recently, more like in the past few weeks, have members been starting to discuss the differences of the original short story, the "Story to Screenplay" book and the Ang Lee final production of the Movie.

I suggested to Phillip that a major forum area be created to mainly discuss "The Book, The Message & Its Impact;" because Annie Proulx has written in essays, been quoted in print and interviewed in person that many gay men have thanked her for writing the story since it was first published.

If I had never read the story nor even seen any version of the screenplay, I would have a different attitude about how Brokeback Mountain has been presented several different ways to the public.

One reason that I have been claiming that things are my opinion is that some forum members think that I am being hateful when I post something which I believe to be true or have even seen documented elsewhere, in hard copy or on the internet.

Some moderators have told me that I won't be making any friends if I don't tone down my posts. I told Phillip, that so far, I haven't even encountered anyone in the board who even lives within 50 miles of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Even if they did, and they wanted to meet me, they would have to come to Tulsa and even to my home to do that. I don't have personal transportation and local pubic transportation leaves a lot to be desired . . . none on Saturday after 6:00 PM and none on Sunday.

TJ, I understand why you might wish to discuss the story specifically, and hope you find a way to do that. (Also, you should check out the Story Ennis vs. Movie Ennis/Story Jack vs. Movie Jack thread, if you haven't already.) But I still don't get why you respond to so many comments about the movie by declaring that this or that scene doesn't exist in the story, or is different in the story.

I know I'm not the first to point out to you that most people here have read the story, in most cases numerous times. We all realize there are differences -- I have seen people comment on those differences for as long as I have been at BetterMost, as well as back on imdb. Many people like to see the movie and story as part of an intertwined whole; others as two distinct works of art.

But when you reply to people's comments about the movie by simply listing all the ways their comments don't apply to the story, it can be off-putting. Maybe this isn't how you mean it, but your posts sometimes read as if you are citing the story as more authoritative or valid than the movie.

Offline JennyC

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2006, 06:57:03 pm »
I could swear that I posted a message saying that I agree with LJ and RouxB's observation, but it's gone.  Did I hit the wrong button, or what?

Anyway I agree that Jack was directing the question “Want to dance?” to LaShawn.  I played the scene many times on my computer (partly because Jack looked very sexy in all black  :) ) since the same discussion came up on IMDb.  I have convinced myself that Jack was indeed talking to LaShawn, he then looked at Randall to seek his consent.

Latjoreme’s comments on parallel scenes are intriguing.  Vaguely remembered read the post.  I think there are quite a few parallel scenes in the movie, but I don’t know if that theory can be applied to the entire movie in such a structural way (i.e. the opening to the last, the second t the second-to-last, etc.)  The few parallel scenes that I am aware of are already covered in Latjoreme’s post.  Have to look more closely next time for those subtle parallel scenes.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2006, 06:59:57 pm by JennyC »

Offline twistedude

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2006, 07:56:10 pm »
Jack is--what?--38 years old. Why would he look at a grown man and say ":You wanna dance?"--at a table where 3 people are sitting? Be reasonable. he looks at Lashawn, when he says it, and then at Randall, just before asking his permissiomn.
This is not to say Randall is not checkinfg Jack out, or v.v.

You see: the direction of Jack's look when he says "Wanna dance?" ; he's looking at L:ashawn. Then you see the CAMERA go from Randall to Lashawn--but Jack isn;'t himself looking at Randall...

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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2006, 08:07:26 pm »
Hey Friends,
I'm back from a weekend away and I feel like I have sooo much to catch up on around here...

Anyway,  I quite like the ink-blot/ symmetrical structure idea.  I've never heard it discussed that way before (I must have missed that discussion back on imdb).  The starburst pattern on the swing set is an interesting visual suggestion of this.  That scene is positioned in an interesting juncture in the film too... it's the first scene we see of Ennis getting on with his average, daily life following the reunion with Jack.  So it is like a pivot or a center point to the film.  The idea of symmetry reminds me of my old 'bookends' thread back on the old board.  There are definitely lots of moments that echo one another, as you pointed out latjoreme.  Certain lines of dialogue resonate a few times throughout the movie too(usually with different contexts, tone, etc...).  Yes, I don't think the symmetry is meant to be exact or precise either (that would probably feel too forced and artificial).  It seems to be the same with other structuring devices like the black and white hats (the way those colors are deployed isn't always consistent).  

My favorite symmetrical detail from the beginning to the end are the brown paper bags.   :'(

How's this for a subtle bit of symmetry (I know I've posted this someplace else, but it amuses me, so I'll repeat it)...  The long grass waving in the breeze outside Ennis's trailer window at the end visually matches a really interesting detail from the very beginning.   When Jack pulls up to Aguirre's trailer and gets out to kick his truck and look around there's a moment when we see his profile in relative close-up (he's facing right) and there's a "square" of waving grass in the breeze that is delineated by the upper right corner of the frame of the screen itself and the lines formed by the gravel road and a building.  I'm really not imagining this (I don't think)... Once you think about it, it's very noticeable.


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