Author Topic: Hitchcock Mountain  (Read 1874 times)

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Hitchcock Mountain
« on: March 21, 2007, 04:59:01 pm »
A long time ago, I started a thread called "Hitchcock Mountain" and I chose to have it taken down.  But some of you have remembered it (particularly dly64 and Front-Ranger), and at least a couple of others have asked me to consider reposting it.  I have waited to repost until well after the Collector's Edition of the DVD was released, partly because I wanted to see what would be included with the DVD as extras, and partly because I thought it best to let "BbM" mellow a bit and let everyone who cared about it enjoy it's triumph, before my attempt to deconstruct it.  I felt that my deconstruction of the film was something a film lover might enjoy (and a Hitchcock fan might enjoy), but that perhaps it was too much information to hand over to trolls who delight in spoiling things for others.  (SPOILER ALERT:  If you do not enjoy having films dissected, you are advised to turn away now.) 

I have compiled many threads about this film.  It is a somewhat obsessional activity for me.  (IMDB users may recognize me as "True_Oracle_of_Phoenix".)  One curious factoid I came upon in my archiving of many threads was this fragment of an interview with Ang Lee while he was promoting "The Hulk":

Quote
Interview: Ang Lee
"Hulk"
Posted: Wednesday June 18, 2003 11:51 AM
Author: Paul Fischer
Location: Los Angeles, CA

http://www.darkhorizons.com/news03/ang.php

Paul Fischer: Is Hitchcock an influence?

Ang Lee: Yeah I love him. He is one of my heroes that has done all the weird stuff disguised in popular films and he did it so well and I do admire him although when I do the same thing I have to update it. similar take on Freud and stuff can look too simple today. I like to have a different angle. But yeah, he is my hero.

And so, in Brokeback Mountain the bent Freudian imagery that frames the world of Hitchcock is newly transformed by Ang Lee and the authors into the strangely bent Christian iconography and symbolism that frames the world of Brokeback Mountain and its themes of impossible love, loss, sacrifice, and redemption.  Ang Lee was once quoted as having said something to the effect that he enjoyed putting movie genres in a blender.  Echoes of Hitchcock, Antonioni, and Bergman all live on in Brokeback Mountain.

Where to start?

The mailbox? 

Number 17?

"Number 17" is a none-too-well-known 1932 film directed by none other than Alfred Hitchcock! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023285/ It is an early work from when he lived in the UK, well before his mature Hollywood period.  Curiously enough, it was written by ALMA Reville, the woman Alfred Hitchcock would later marry.   People have speculated about the significance of the Number 17 on Ennis's mailbox.  Is this an inside joke from Ang Lee about some of his inspiration for Brokeback Mountain?  If so, it is certainly a joke worthy of his idol Mr. Hitchcock (not unlike Hitchcock's final movie "Family Plot" in which a character literally winks to the camera at the end of the movie).  Alma - Hitchcock - Number 17.  And what about Jack's father in Lightning Flat?  "He's going in the family plot."  "Family Plot" - perhaps another Hitchcock allusion? 

Curious?  Very...
 
Alfred Hitchcock enjoyed bawdy jokes.  He was infamous for a joke that slipped past the censors in "Shadow of a Doubt" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036342/  Young niece Charley wears a ring her Uncle has given her.  She notices that inside the ring there are engraved the initials "BM" - a common euphemism for "bowel movement".  Hitchcock again hinted at this joke years later in his classic "Psycho" - Bate's Motel. (Strangely enough, the title "Brokeback Mountain" again echoes this joke, and to avoid the "BM" reference, many people - including myself - initialize the movie as "BBM" or "BbM" instead.)  in "Shadow of a Doubt", Young Charley will wear the ring her Uncle has given her to communicate to him in a key scene that she understands exactly who and what he is - and that she wants him to leave her family's house and never come back.  Similarly in BbM, Alma jr. wears bluebird earrings in her final scene and many have speculated that it communicates in a similar way an equally important but entirely different message - she understands exactly who and what her father is - and that she loves her father, and very much wants him to be a part of her life.  In Hitchcock fashion, the cliche is inverted (something old becomes new, and a ring that was borrowed from SoaD, becomes earrings that are blue as she invites her father to her wedding).  (The "BM" reference continues in "BetterMost Beans" and comes full circle in the name of this fansite!)

Hitchcock stayed with the genre of the suspense thriller, although he occasionally tried out romance and comedy. Ang Lee prefers to mix things up.  The interesting thing is, once you let go of the idea of what a Hitchcock film should be, you find that Ang Lee, Annie Proulx, and the writing team of Ossana and McMurtry have mixed up some rather interesting Hitchcock elements in a film that is not a typical suspense film.


(To be continued...)









« Last Edit: March 22, 2007, 10:02:33 am by bjblakeslee »
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Re: Hitchcock Mountain
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2007, 05:31:48 pm »
This is so very interesting. Thank you for bringing this up. We need to remember that Ang Lee is not only a master filmmaker but also a film scholar with a bachelor's and master's degree in film.

Please continue with your deconstruction!!
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Re: Hitchcock Mountain
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2007, 08:09:12 am »
About the names in Brokeback:

Quote
Ennis named after a baseball player?   
by stonewall_gunther (Tue Nov 28 2006 10:19:00 )   

I was wondering if anyone knew if Ennis was named after the 50's baseball player, Del Ennis? Delmer Ennis played from 1946 to 1959, and had 7 100 RBI seasons so was a star player though not quite Hall of Fame caliber. He played mostly in Philadelphia, and St. Louis at the end. The name seems a bit too close to be coincidental. Was the writer of Brokeback a Phillies fan? Or is there some other significance to the name Delmar Ennis, and perhaps both coincedentally were named for this other reason?


Re: Ennis named after a baseball player?   
by True_Oracle_of_Phoenix (Tue Nov 28 2006 10:23:27 )   

UPDATED Tue Nov 28 2006 10:33:42
Don't know the answer, but just thought I'd add this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Del_Ennis


Re: Ennis named after a baseball player?   
by loreleib (Tue Nov 28 2006 14:27:30 )   

I don't know is just a coincidence or not, but there are two towns named Ennis and Alma about ten minutes away from each other in east Texas. Maybe the author had been there before?


Re: Ennis named after a baseball player?   
by greylocke5 (Tue Nov 28 2006 14:50:49 )   

"Ennis" is taken from the Scottish word "innis", which means "island." del mar - is Spanish - it means "of or in the sea." Ennis del Mar = island in the sea.

Hence, the name fits the character.


Re: Ennis named after a baseball player?   
by loreleib (Tue Nov 28 2006 14:57:59 )   

I knew that. For some reason this post just reminded me of that. I've driven through Ennis, Texas plenty of times and just a little while after seeing this movie for the first time, I realized there was a town named Alma near it. I didn't know before because Alma isn't right off the the interstate. I wonder if Annie Proulx knew about those two towns...


Re: Ennis named after a baseball player?   
by JPJenny (Tue Nov 28 2006 15:30:36 )   

UPDATED Tue Nov 28 2006 15:32:58
Hi, stonewall_gunther,

Interesting!

Annie Proulx graduated university in Maine around 1950 so maybe she knew.

This may not be relevant but Annie said the following in an interview:

“For me, metaphors come in sheets of three or four at once, in floods, and so metaphor use often concerns selection rather than construction. There are private layers of meaning in metaphor that may be obscure to the reader but which have—beyond the general accepted meanings of the words—resonance for the writer through personal associations of language, ideas, impressions. So the writer may be using metaphor to guide the reader and deepen the story, for subtle effects but also for sheer personal pleasure in word play.

So I think it’s possible. No?

Another thing that came to my mind:

In the film Jack says “I doubt there’s a filly that can throw me.”
But he gets thrown (fall in love) by a Phillie, Delmar Ennis = Ennis Delmar.


Ennis Delmar a play on the name of baseball player Del Ennis?  And a place in Texas http://www.google.com/maps?q=Ennis,+TX&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title (near Alma http://www.google.com/maps?q=Alma,+TX&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title )?  And it means Island in the Ocean?  Maybe.  (This website lists it as a variant of "Angus" which means "One choice" http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/1/Ennis which gives it yet another interesting shade of meaning.)

The quote from Annie Proulx about metaphors coming in sheets of three and four is also very interesting. http://www.missourireview.org/content-index.php?genre=Interviews&title=Interview+with+Annie+Proulx  Some people have speculated that the names Alma and Lureen may have been lifted (with slight modifications) from a character played by Donna Reed in "From Here to Eternity" (Alma Burke/Lorene) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045793/

Of additional interest to Hitchcock fans, LURENE Tuttle's name is in the cast of "Psycho" as the character "Eliza Chambers" http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0878354/.  Her name can be found in the opening credits. 

The name Aguirre is a Basque name that means "open meadow" and it is possibly related to the Spanish word for eagle "aguila".   http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts/Fact.aspx?fid=10&yr=0&ln=Aguirre

Jake Gyllenhaal once said in an interview that Annie Proulx wrote him a note that said the name "Twist" was a reference "to the strength of thighs and butt muscles that a bull rider has to have in order to stay on the bull." http://movies.about.com/od/brokebackmountain/a/brokeback112905.htm (I would also like to note, that a plot "Twist" is the name of a sudden and unexpected plot development, such as can be found in Hitchcock movies!)

While I have no way of knowing what Ms. Proulx was thinking when she made up these character names, it does make for an interesting mix of ephemera.  Answers that seemed simple, no longer seem quite so simple once one starts to consider the many possible layers of meaning that Annie, Larry, and Diana may have included here.


(To be continued...)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2007, 10:03:44 am by bjblakeslee »
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Re: Hitchcock Mountain
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2007, 07:53:54 am »
(Reposted from the original thread)

1. Regarding his movie "Lifeboat" Hitchcock once said that with a good script, a movie could be made shot from inside a closet. BbM is movie pretty much shot from within a metaphorical closet, and key scenes are played either in a closet, or standing in front of one.

2. In an age of simplistic morality, sexual ambiguity and moral ambiguity are intrinsically linked. This is recurring theme of several Hitchcock films including "Notorious", "Rope", and "Psycho." In BbM, the tragic heroes do the things that society expects of men, but still find no way to be whole people. Compartmentalized, they are failures at being gay, and failures at being straight. Both are basically good and decent men who do they best they can to live up to social expectations and get their needs met. We are sympathetic to the predicament they are in, and find ourselves complicit in their adulteries because we want them to be together.

3. Transference of guilt. Ennis's father transfers guilt to Ennis by taking him to view the murdered body of "Old Earl." Through Ennis the evil of that murder is transfered in ways that disrupt the lives of everyone who loves him. Alma's shocked silence having watched her husband kissing another man can also be viewed as transference of guilt. 

4. Cliche inversion. "Psycho" turned "mother love" on its head. It is now hard to think of the term "mama's boy" without thinking of Norman Bates. In Bbm, Proulx and Lee charge openly into hostile homophobic territory with masculine characters who can barely articulate the feelings they share for each other. So too does Brokeback Mountain reveal the previously obscured homo-erotic subtext of many westerns and buddy films.

Hitchcock often exploited cliches in his films by inverting them - his blondes aren't dumb, villians are sympathetic, good people do bad things, etc.

Likewise, Brokeback also inverts many cliches. Lurreen is blonde but not dumb - she has a successful business woman, Alma witnesses her husband kissing another man but says nothing about it for years, tough guys can be gay, Joe Aguirre witnesses two guys "horsing around" but keeps his thoughts about it to himself and never mentions it when he talks to Jack about his sick uncle, a gay guy might only be attracted to one man rather than many, Jack doesn't push Ennis harder for the relationship he really wants because it would risk losing Ennis, Jack's father may have been angry with Ennis because Ennis didn't come to live on the farm with his son...

A cliche as used by Hitchcock, is not something to avoid, but rather something to exploit.  A cliche brings with it a set of expectations which can be manipulated and exploited.  Every successful movie is capable of becoming the next cliche to exploit.  The secret is in the construction.  Use the cliche to establish expectation.  Move plot elements forward in the script to take the audience by surprise.  The reunion kiss scene is a good example of a cliche.  The expected drama about Ennis deceiving his wife to be with Jack takes a sudden turn and the expections with that cliche collapse.  Now the drama is about how long Alma will put up with this situation before she has had enough and vents her anger on Ennis.

Brokeback Mountain exploits cliches by using them, then thwarting expectations based on them.  Its overwhelming success and people's familiarity with it has now made it a new cliche waiting to be exploited.  At some point, someone will doubtlessly rearrange some of its familiar plot elements and use them to exploit the audience's expectations to make a new story.  Hitchcock did this routinely with his own films, and his films have a number of familiar visual and plot elements running through them in but in different combinations - "Self-plaigerism is style!" he once quipped.

5. The icy blonde whose self-imposed veneer of composure masks untold sexual repression. In Hitchcock this part is always female. In BbM, Ennis and Lureen are both remote blondes who are both sexually aggessive and emotionally unavailable. Freud says there are no coincidences, and we also find that Jack's father is also sexually aggressive (in the short story) and completely emotionally unavailable. The haunting look of devastation on Heath Ledger's face also recalls another Hitchcock quote, "Blondes make the best victims. They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints."

(to be continued...)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 09:54:22 am by bjblakeslee »
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Re: Hitchcock Mountain
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2007, 10:19:26 am »
There are some early visual parallels in BbM to Hitchcock's use of the "new American west" in his films North by Northwest and Psycho.  While not typically thought of as "westerns", both of these films do in fact make use of Hitchcock's view of postcard western America and "highway culture."  (during Hitchcock's signature cameo appearance in  "Psycho", he can be seen wearing a cowboy hat).  The long empty highways of Brokeback Mountain are similar terrain to the long empty highways of NbNW.

An early shot in Psycho is of the signpost for Phoenix.  An early shot in Brokeback is of the signpost for Signal.  Aside from what these names literally mean, both carry a symbolic meaning.  Phoenix is in mythology a bird that dies in a pyre and is reborn from its ashes (Mother reborn as Norman).  A Signal is a message that is sometimes spelled out in code, an alert to the attraction that binds Ennis and Jack.  Both signs are symbolically charged names and heavy with portent of events to follow.

In the scene where Ennis and Jack first meet, a comparison can be made to a visually similar scene in NbNW where Cary Grant waits by the side of a highway and a stranger waits on the other side.  The humerous element of the truck is to be found in both films as well (Jack's truck has the extra wheels spin as he parks, Cary Grant steals a similar truck with a refrigerator on the back).  Brokeback is not a copy of this scene, but the elements of the scene have elements of similarity.  Jack's peak into the mirror at Ennis somewhat resembles Norman's erotic peak through the wall in Psycho.  The humor of Jack shaving also brings to mind a humerous shaving sequence in NbNW when Cary Grant uses the lather to disguise himself at the train station.  Jack uses shaving to disguise the true nature of his peak into the mirror.

This scene combines several Hitchcock elements (long silence, attraction and tension between two characters, and understated humor) and Ang Lee demonstates early in Brokeback his mastery of the visual language of Hitchcock.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2007, 04:12:07 pm by bjblakeslee »
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Re: Hitchcock Mountain
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2007, 05:20:36 pm »
The sequence in Joe Aguirre's trailor has a claustrophobic quality that could be compared to the check in room at the Bate's Motel.  The drinking at the bar in Signal might draw a slight comparison to the initial drinking scene in Strangers on a Train, but the comparison of those scenes is of less importance. 

The longer wordless scenes of life on the mountain where the eyes tell most of the story is very much a Hitchcock technique, to be found in many of his films.  It is a feature of particular interest in Vertigo, where Scotty silently watches Madeleine as she goes about her day, seemly oblivious to being watched.  In a similar fashion to Vertigo, the mountain looms over Jack and Ennis rather like the Golden Gate Bridge.  Both represent more than location.  They are mute witness to the events that unfold beneath them.  The impassive object as a witness is also an important Hitchcock element - examples include the eyeglasses that fall to the ground in SoaT, the showerhead in Psycho, and the Golden Gate Bridge in Vertigo.)  Ennis watches after Jack in a similar wordless way to how Scotty watches Madeleine..  Hitchcock started out as a silent film director and was once quoted as saying, "Dialogue should simply be a sound among other sounds, just something that comes out of the mouths of people whose eyes tell the story in visual terms."  Even when the sound is turned off, the faces of the characters Ennis and Jack strongly communicate the things their words do not. 

Ennis finding the sheep dead in the field after tent scene one begins another Hitchcock reference.  Ennis's backstory contains many of the same features as the backstory of the amnesiac "Dr. Edwards" in Spellbound - death, blood, things that are white, fences, and loss of a brother.  While there are some differences in the two stories, they share several elements, and those elements return to haunt both "Dr. Edwards" and Ennis in a way as to leave them both with very damaged identities. 

Tent scene 2 uses a horizonal rotational embrace in a similar way to Hitchcock's vertical sleeper car embrace in NbNW.  The rotation adds a bit of interesting visual movement to a scene that is essentially static if it didnt' happen.

Joe Aguirre's stony and impassive face as he observes the "happy tussel" scene serves a similar dramatic purpose to the police officer who pulls over Marion Crane in Psycho.  His conversation with Jack serves a similar dramatic function to the police officer's conversation with Marion Crane.  It helps to build dramatic tension.

The fight on the mountain between Ennis and Jack as they descend from camp returns to elements of the backstory of Spellbound - snow, white (sheep), blood, and fences.  In Spellbound, "Dr. Edwards" carries with him the guilt of having accidentally killed his brother on a slide as he collides with him while playing, propelling his bother forward and impaling him on an iron fence.  Ennis's backstory involves his brother as well from who he will become estranged.  The fence element and the snow element carry over between both films.

Back at Jack's truck, Ennis symbolically tries to repair his damaged relationship with Jack by fixing his truck. In Psycho, Marion puzzles how to undo the damage she has done by adding up the figures for the money she has stolen and spent.

Jack and Ennis part and go their separate ways. .

Jack's truck pulls away from Ennis and Jack watches recede in his rearview mirror  This scene parallels in a scene that recalls Marion Crane leaving the policeman who stands by the side of the road. It is one of several "down the drain" scenes leading up to the toilet flushing in Psycho. This second mirror scene brackets and close their Brokeback Mountain experience.  The mirror scenes "bookend" the Brokeback experience.  (Mirrors also play an important part in Psycho, a subject I will return to later.)

Ennis's scene in the alley can be compared to the shower scene in Psycho:

Ennis ducks into an alley / Marion steps into the shower.

Ennis begins to wretch and pound the wall. Marion showers to wash away her guilt.

Both are joined by a second figure.

Marion is observed by the silent witness of the shower head above / in the sky above Ennis, an image of Jack in the clouds drives away.

Marion screams at her intruder/ Ennis yells "what the fuck are you looking at" at his.

Marion is savagely attacked/Ennis implodes.

Marion's face is framed from maximum emotion; Ennis's is almost completely concealed.

In both films the second figure takes off.

Marion dies at the base of the toilet. An elegant visual montage mixes blood and water as her life force goes down the drain in an elegant photo-lap dissolve. 
 
In the alley after Brokeback, Ennis's life-force also slips away "down the drain" as the sound clip of "forgive us our trespasses" swirls in similar audio "lap dissolve."

Marion dies by the base of a toilet.  The promised romance of Brokeback Mountain dies with his marriage to Alma.

Act One ends

Totally different stories told with a similar technique.




« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 03:16:18 pm by bjblakeslee »
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Re: Hitchcock Mountain
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2007, 03:34:16 pm »
Haunted by Geometry...

Marion Crane is linked with circles.  Circles follow her in the lights of the car, wheels, the hole that Norman peeks through, a toilet bowl, a shower head, the drain as it lap dissolves with her wide open eye.

Ennis Delmar is haunted by a kind of geometry as well.  It is interesting to note how many times when he is not on the mountain with Jack that he is pictured with rectangles: the door of Aguirre's trailer, walking down the street to the bar in Signal, the alley, the door of the church as he gets married, all leading up to a phone booth and two closets.

Complex parallel contructions exist in both Brokeback and Psycho as well.  The backgrounds of several key scenes in Psycho are played against mirrors which reflect the actors in the foreground.  Here the parallels are literal and provide a strange tension between foreground and background. 

Mirrors serve as bookends to the time Ennis and Jack spent on the mountain, and a number of parallel visual constructions in Brokeback serve to link scenes together - the carved horses at the beginning and end of the movie, the touching of shoulders at two key scenes, the stars on the swingset where Ennis and Alma's children play and the stars on the large store sign outside the store where Lureen works.  Here the parallels are more symbolic and serve to connect lives separated by distance and events separated by time.
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Re: Hitchcock Mountain
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2007, 04:29:02 pm »
...and the stars on the large store sign outside the store where Lureen works.

Do you mean Alma rather than Lureen? Thot Lureen worked in an office.

These are amazing insights! I was just thinking of something last night...the scene where Alma is viewed framed by the rectangle of the kitchen window, framed by the rectangle of the nursery window where Ennis cradles Jenny in his arms! That is an eerie scene! Also, I'm drawn to the snowy scene outside the window as Ennis and Alma argue by the sink...
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Re: Hitchcock Mountain
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2007, 04:36:22 pm »
Do you mean Alma rather than Lureen? Thot Lureen worked in an office.

These are amazing insights! I was just thinking of something last night...the scene where Alma is viewed framed by the rectangle of the kitchen window, framed by the rectangle of the nursery window where Ennis cradles Jenny in his arms! That is an eerie scene! Also, I'm drawn to the snowy scene outside the window as Ennis and Alma argue by the sink...


Clarification:  The store sign I refer to is visible in the scene where Jack takes Bobby for a spin on the tractor on the farm equipment store lot.  Lureen's office is in a farm equipment sales store where Jack is apparently a salesman.  The stars on the swingset parallel and link the scene to the stars on the sign in the scene that follows: Ennis with his children; Jack with his son.    (Credit to ClancyPants for picking up on that detail...)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2007, 07:06:11 am by bjblakeslee »
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Re: Hitchcock Mountain
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2007, 06:53:43 pm »

In Brokeback, Ennis slides down a hillside with Alma wearing blue. The Hitchcock reference here is Spellbound. In Spellbound, Dr. Edwards is not what he seems. He is actually an amnesia patient of Dr. Edwards who has been murdered and he has taken on Dr. Edwards identity. In a dream flashback, we see him on a slide on a winter day, going down, down, down. He accidently collides with his brother at the bottom of the slide and his brother is accidently knocked forward and impaled on an iron fence.

Ennis (having lost his spiritual brother) dresses in Jack's blue clothing, taking on his identity by wearing emblematic clothing. Jack and he parted to go down the mountain (it snowed before they left and went down the mountain together) where they separate violently (loss of brother and violent collision). Additionally, we see the visual motif of the fence in the scene with the death of Earl. Later it will be repeated in a key scene.

The fireworks scene is included because it is an emblematic moment from Hitchcock used to express sexual climax, is here inverted to demonstrate Ennis's repression leading to explosive rage.

The reunion scene can be compared to Psycho, when Norman discovers what "Mother" has done to Marion.  Norman recoils to the right hand of the screen and covers his mouth speechless. Alma seems to suffer a similar shock when she sees her husband kissing another man.  Both Alma and Norman apparently blot this memory out.

The establishing shot of the motel that Jack and Ennis go to strongly echos the establishing shot of the Bates motel. The scene that follows echos the first scene of Psycho.

In a river, Ennis and Jack jump together returning to an echo of Vertigo when Scotty and Madeliene jump into San Francisco Bay.

Some people have criticized Psycho for having a sluggish second act, and Brokeback is constructed similarly. It has the job of tying together a powerful first act with an even more powerful second act. It needs to maintain dramatic tension by cross-cutting stories (Lila/Norman for Psycho; Jack/Ennis for BbM). The complex rhythms and constructions between the two are actually very intricately constructed.

Jack drives to meet Ennis after hearing of his divorce echos Marion's thrill of stealing $40,000 and taking off. The white truck that passes in the background behind Jack, echoes the similar passing of vehicle behind Marion Crane when she is exchanging cars at the used car lot.

In Mexico, Rodrigo Prieto - Brokeback's cinematographer - has a Hitchcocklike cameo as the male prostitute.

We see a reference to director Ang Lee's movie "The Ice Storm" when Jack is searching for his blue parka.

The humor of the Thankgiving dinner scenes echo the labored dinner comedy of Frenzy.   Ennis attacks Alma at the kitchen sink after Alma confronts him about his relationship with Jack -- "Jack Nasty!" she hurls at him.  There is a similarity in a scene in Frenzy, when a psychologist confronts her patient with her suspicions that he is the "necktie murder" and when she realizes who he really is she blurts out -- "Necktie!"  There is an eerie similarity in the horizontal tableaux of a street scene after Ennis picks a fight with with the man in the truck, to the street scene in Frenzy during an unseen rape/murder that occurs off camera. 

 Earlier in the film when the boys come down from the mountain, a fly lands on Aguirre's face, but he swats at it.  In the scene with the confrontation be the river, a fly lands on Ennis's face and he doesn't swat it. Toward the end of Psycho, a fly also lands on Norman Bates' face.

We return to the Vertigo theme with the time-distortion flashback, but the circular motion used there can't be used because its needed in another plot point. Time shifts, day becomes night, the clothes change, and Jack's moustache is dramatically necessary so the viewer can visually sort it out. (Many people seemed to miss the cues that this is a flashback, and thought at first that it was an editing error.  A second viewing is usually all that is necessary to reread the scene correctly.)  A signature camera move defines this scene with the camera "weighing" Ennis in Jack's mind, and it's timing and subtlety recall Hitchcock's masterful and economic use of the "eye of God" signature camera move during climactic scenes.
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40