Author Topic: A Ninth Viewing Observation  (Read 146366 times)

Offline ednbarby

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #90 on: June 23, 2006, 01:25:27 pm »
I’m going to refer to the direction from which Ennis and Jack arrive in 1963 as “the long end” of the road, and the direction from which Aguirre arrives in 1963 (and Jack in 1964) as “the short end” (because you can see the end of the road). It makes more sense to me that “the long end” is the direction from which out-of-towners arrive, while “the short end” is the direction from which locals arrive.

I don’t understand how Jack’s arriving from “the short end” indicates that he’s coming from Texas. It does seem to be much later in the day because Aguirre is already in the office, so maybe, as ednbarby said, Jack is coming from the bar after having a few.

You know, he did drink a lot...  Granted not until later years, perhaps.  But the second you posed this question, it just made sense to me that if the change of direction was meant to be intentional (and I'm in the camp that says *everything* in this movie is intentional) it was to follow the mirror-structuring plan, and it could be explained in that Jack had a shot or two of courage before approaching Aguirre knowing full well the reason he was doing that was in hopes of finding Ennis.
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #91 on: August 05, 2006, 12:56:30 am »
My sense is that Ennis broke up with Cassie by default... I think he deliberately decided not to respond to any of her messages.  My understanding is that Cassie was leaving notes for him in the hopes they would get together again or somesuch and that Ennis just stopped replying and Cassie just never understood why.  It seems a bit passive aggressive on Ennis's part... or it may just illustrate exactly how indifferent he really is to the situation with Cassie.  Whether it's a classic break up or not... it does seem that Ennis had decided to stop seeing Cassie and let go of that little fiction.
 :-\
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #92 on: August 05, 2006, 01:05:48 am »
That's the way I see it too, Amanda
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Ennis & Cassie: Who broke up with whom?
« Reply #93 on: August 05, 2006, 01:32:47 am »
I’ve seen several posts where people say that Ennis broke up with Cassie, but I never got that impression. Tell me if I missed something.

Cassie: “I left word for you with Steve...and you musta got those notes I left at your place.”
Ennis (glancing at Carl): “Looks like I got the message in any case.”

Cassie was trying to get in touch with Ennis, but if they had already broken up, then why?

I was really confused about this for a while, too, Barbara. Why would he say "I got the message"? Wouldn't it be "looks like you got the message" (and therefore she started dating someone else)? I tried to discuss it with a few people here and they didn't understand why I was confused. That's because the confusion arises over how you read Ennis "I got the message" remark, and I was taking it the wrong way. But I've since figured out how I think it's supposed to go:

Cassie leaves a bunch of notes, trying to get ahold of him and wondering what had happened to their relationship. Ennis meanwhile has decided on his own to break up with her, but instead of telling her he just cruelly ignores the notes.

Then she shows up at the bus station, tells him about the notes. He glances at Carl and says "Looks like I got the message, in any case." In other words, he's saying he may not have gotten her notes, but seeing Carl now, he's getting the message that she has moved on. Of course, he was actually the one to move on first, the notes probably have nothing to do with Carl, and Carl may be just a casual friend. He's just doing his "flip the guilt around" thing he does in arguments.

It's not the clearest line in the world.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #94 on: August 05, 2006, 01:53:27 am »
I think the confusing "I got the message" line is a little bit of Ennis's characteristic style of arguing.  It reminds me of the moment when he says "once burned" to Alma about the divorce/ re-marrying issue.  I've interpreted these two lines as being Ennis's attempt to deflect blame or deflect attention from his role in the disintegration of those two relationships.  Even though Ennis seems to be the one to ignore Cassie's notes (and therefore ends the relationship) this confusing line makes it sound like he's acting like Cassie dumped him.  It is a wierd gesture.  Definitely.  And, it's even more of a deflection of responsibility for his role in the situation in the conversation with Alma.  Yes, Alma finally decided she didn't want to have sex with Ennis anymore, but like Ennis himself said the mess of that situation wasn't Alma's "fault."

His gesture of deflection when it comes to Jack seems a lot more complicated.  When Jack says "I did once"... (with the threat of the past tense here... the subtle threat of a break up), instead of taking up the topic of living together once again (and Ennis's role in the failure of that idea) he deflects the conversation back to the Mexico topic.  So, he turns the conversation towards a topic that's more clearly about Jack and Jack's actions (and again, in a complex way, denying or deflecting his own role in influencing some of Jack's behavior and decisions).  I almost sense that Jack has to stop for a split second to calculate in his head just what Ennis is doing with the abrupt change of subject.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2006, 02:31:46 am by atz75 »
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #95 on: August 05, 2006, 02:01:17 am »
Yes, I have been there so often Amanda. You hurt most the one U love most. Isn't it the truth, sadly?? :'(
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #96 on: August 05, 2006, 02:14:55 am »
I think the confusing "I got the message" line is a little bit of Ennis's characteristic style of arguing.

Yes, it's his classic M.O. That's why I never take him literally when he says, "it's because of you I'm like this." I think that's another example of him turning on someone else when upset. Even the punch could be seen that way. But he never really means it.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #97 on: August 05, 2006, 11:47:49 am »
ednbarby once said she feels compelled to defend her “always put-upon and overly-maligned Jack”; I feel the same about Ennis. People sometimes say they “hate Ennis for what he did to Jack.”

I feel the same way. To tell the truth, all respect to Barb (ednbarby), I don't see Jack as being all that put-upon and overly maligned. Well, maybe, conceivably, in the movie. But Ennis is put-upon and maligned plenty on the message boards themselves, IMO. He has his faults, no doubt, but I think he often gets harsher treatment than he deserves. I have often been tempted to start a thread titled, "In defense of Ennis."

Quote
I don’t share all of Ennis’s problems, but I am familiar with childhood trauma, being hobbled by fear, and having difficulty overcoming ideas you were raised with. In working to understand Ennis, I’m processing my own stuff. At the end of the day, I don’t want to be either Ennis or Jack, one afraid to take a chance, the other standing an unsatisfactory situation.

That's one of the many great functions of the movie, hunh?

Offline silkncense

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #98 on: August 05, 2006, 02:17:37 pm »
Quote
At the end of the day, I don’t want to be either Ennis or Jack, one afraid to take a chance, the other standing an unsatisfactory situation.

Perfectly said.
"……when I think of him, I just can't keep from crying…because he was a friend of mine…"

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #99 on: August 05, 2006, 02:24:19 pm »
Well, I do think it's accurate to perceive that Jack is generally much-loved on BetterMost and othe BBM boards, but that in the movie his lot is awfully harsh.  I've said this before, but I feel like watching the progression of the situation in the movie in terms of Jack is like watching a puppy getting kicked over and over again (and certainly not just by Ennis).

I think it may feel like Ennis is picked-on more on BetterMost and elsewere simply because he's positioned as the protagonist.  We spend more camera-time with Ennis and to a large extent he controls the relationship following the reunion scene and Jack's proposal about the cow and calf operation.  It really is purely Ennis's decision to live separately for all those years (this has nothing to do with Jack's own, personal motivation).  If they had decided at some point to go along with Jack's plans and ideas about ranching up together and then we were shown something tragic happening, maybe there would be more discussions about Jack's "faults."  As it is, Jack's ideas are purely ideas and fantasies... we only really get to see the results of their relationship according to Ennis's rules.  And, at the end of the day, this is a story about Ennis's growth as a character and about the situation he largely gets himself into by the end... stuck alone in the trailer.  And, to a certain extent, Ennis seems like a more complex character, which I think also leads to more serious critique.
 :-\
the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie