Author Topic: Your age and your favourite cowboy  (Read 15589 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2006, 12:39:37 pm »
Happy belated birthday, Amanda! And thanks for describing your response. I've always been interested to hear thoughts on this subject from gay women and straight men who connect with the movie.

Maybe what I should have said was, Is there something about Ennis that brings out a nurturing impulse (as we might say it does in Jack), but I think you got my drift.

As for the role of appearances, all I can really say for myself is that I still prefer Jack, but I sure as heck wouldn't say no to Heath Ledger!

No, it's not exactly a nurturing impulse. It's more like, I'm a natural pessiimist myself and, unlike Amanda, I'm also attracted to pessimism; optimism seems a bit simplistic to me. I know I SHOULD be attracted to optimists, they are much healthier. But apparently I've never found mental health very interesting.

However, back to appearance, I prefer Heath but I wouldn't make Jake wait until my divorce papers went through, either!




Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2006, 12:49:14 pm »
Quote
Optimism seems a bit simplistic.

At this risk of wandering OT, that comment reminded me of something I read somewhere a long time ago that purported that people who were a bit pessimistic, and perhaps a bit depressed, had "a more realistic" view of the world than optimists.

I doubt that's true in every case, but my late boyfriend was a good example. Poor kid, he thought he would be able to save enough money to go to the Olympics in Australia by throwing his loose change into an empty pickle jar!
"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 serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2006, 12:53:19 pm »
people who were a bit pessimistic, and perhaps a bit depressed, had "a more realistic" view of the world than optimists.

I think this is true, unfortunately. Though I have certainly known people who are unrealisically pessimistic, too. In fact, I live with one.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2006, 08:46:29 pm »
Thanks Katherine.  :D  Well, I can understand finding pessimism attractive too.  That comes out in the kind of humor I tend to like... which is usually very dry, sarcastic, etc.  I do find optimism refreshing (and I find that my opinions re: BBM keep coming out sounding very optimistic...  this movie seems to bring out some hidden optimism in my personality I guess).  The thing I don't find attractive at all... something I find very irritating in fact, is naivete.  And sometimes it seems naivete goes hand in hand with optimism, but I'm increasingly convinced that they're not quite the same thing.

One more word on my reaction to the film as a gay woman... well, I just tend to like any good movie concerning gay characters, romance, etc.  I'm more than happy to watch movies about two men in the same way I like to watch lesbian movies.  It's much easier for me to relate to the romance between two men than it is for me to relate to the portrayal of straight romance (I can find girl-boy stories moving, interesting, poignant, etc...  but there's a missing element of identification).

OK back on topic a bit-
The thing that I like about both Jack and Ennis is that both characters are complex.  While Jack is the optimist and outgoing one, he's certainly not one-dimensional and seems to be very, very thoughtful and self-aware.  Jack is the emotionally available "sweetheart" but is also often the strong one who finds himself having to comfort an emotionally distraught Ennis. Jack is tough enough to handle things like Aguirre's comments, while they would probably completely freak Ennis out.  Ennis is the stoic tough guy, but he's also the one that cries a lot and seems to have quite a sentimental side and to be incredibly sensitive (Heath has discussed trying to portray Ennis as sensitive not only emotionally but physically sensitive to things like light, etc.).
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2006, 12:12:45 am »
Thanks Katherine.  :D  Well, I can understand finding pessimism attractive too.  That comes out in the kind of humor I tend to like... which is usually very dry, sarcastic, etc.  I do find optimism refreshing (and I find that my opinions re: BBM keep coming out sounding very optimistic...  this movie seems to bring out some hidden optimism in my personality I guess).  The thing I don't find attractive at all... something I find very irritating in fact, is naivete.  And sometimes it seems naivete goes hand in hand with optimism, but I'm increasingly convinced that they're not quite the same thing.

One more word on my reaction to the film as a gay woman... well, I just tend to like any good movie concerning gay characters, romance, etc.  I'm more than happy to watch movies about two men in the same way I like to watch lesbian movies.  It's much easier for me to relate to the romance between two men than it is for me to relate to the portrayal of straight romance (I can find girl-boy stories moving, interesting, poignant, etc...  but there's a missing element of identification).

OK back on topic a bit-
The thing that I like about both Jack and Ennis is that both characters are complex.  While Jack is the optimist and outgoing one, he's certainly not one-dimensional and seems to be very, very thoughtful and self-aware.  Jack is the emotionally available "sweetheart" but is also often the strong one who finds himself having to comfort an emotionally distraught Ennis. Jack is tough enough to handle things like Aguirre's comments, while they would probably completely freak Ennis out.  Ennis is the stoic tough guy, but he's also the one that cries a lot and seems to have quite a sentimental side and to be incredibly sensitive (Heath has discussed trying to portray Ennis as sensitive not only emotionally but physically sensitive to things like light, etc.).

So many interesting points to respond to!

Re optimism vs. naivete: you are right. There is a difference. There is a quality that some people have that, much as I might like them, when I sense it I immediately know I will not have much in common with them. Is it naivete? Blind idealism? It has something to do with resolutely refusing even to notice or recognize the dark side, out of some sense that it's "wrong" or "unhealthy." If people acknowlege the dark side and yet choose optimism, that's different. Does that make any sense? This is a hard one to articulate. I've been trying to pin it down for a while, myself.

Re the complexity of the characters: it actually goes back to what I said above. Jack acknowledges the dark side -- hell, he experiences it himself, first hand, frequently -- but chooses optimism. So, yes, he's complex. Though not quite as complex as Ennis, who is struggling to reconcile two absolutely contradictory impulses. And that contrast of stoicism/toughness vs. sensitivity/crying a lot -- I've always found that a really appealing characteristic in men, for some reason.

Re Heath saying Ennis is physically sensitive to light, etc. -- interesting! I hadn't heard that.

Re your appreciating gay movies in general: I can understand that. I tried like crazy to get a lesbian friend to engage in an email discussion of Brokeback -- just like I try like crazy to get ANYONE I know to discuss it, without much luck -- and she kept ignoring me and turning the discussion to other movies, "Good Night & Good Luck" or whatever. I chalked it up to her reacting to the movie like almost everyone else I know in "real life" reacts: OK, but not life-changing. Which I suppose did surprise me a bit more in her case than others. Maybe it shouldn't have, though. We're a very select group here, for whatever reasons.

Re optimism regarding this movie: I'm that way, too, as I've noted to you before. In my case, I think it's a desperate survival tactic; if I allowed myself to be pessimistic about it I would be too overwhelmed by sadness. So I grab at any straw I can: at any juncture, if there is more than one way to interpret something, I ALWAYS choose the more cheerful, optimistic way. Just for my own sanity.
 








Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2006, 01:28:17 am »
OK, so I found the reference to Ennis and light.  It's interesting... it turns out that what I was remembering was an interview with Jake!

Here's the quotation-
"We talked a lot. Heath would say stuff to me like, ‘I really think this character is very sensitive to light and I think he’s very sensitive to sound. He doesn’t really like being around any place that’s too noisy.’ We would talk a lot about that. And then when it came to doing love scenes and stuff like that, the best metaphor I can give is that it felt like we were both like, ‘Are you ready? Yeah. Let’s go,’ and we dove off the boat into the deep end. It’s like when you’re terrified of the water, you see a little kid thrown in the water and they’re trying to get back to the boat as fast as they can. That’s what it was like. But at the same time when we were there we really went for it." and the interview was titled "Jake Gyllenhaal Talks About "Brokeback Mountain"
by Mary Rebecca Murray.  I don't know exactly where it came from because it's something I saved to my hard-drive without preserving the web link.  I think I found it on something like "about.com" but I could be wrong.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughtful replies to my post Katherine.  It's interesting to hear about your lesbian friend's disinterest in BBM.  I'm not really that surprised.  My best lesbian friend still hasn't seen it (and she's a very smart movie buff, etc.). Her reason is that she read the story long ago and didn't like it much. lol.  And, interestingly, my best gay boy friend (and he's truly my best friend) really likes BBM, but no where near as much as I do.  Well, there's no accounting for taste.
 ::) :D

I feel a new thread topic coming on... "how to deal with friends who don't like and/or get BBM."  A friend of mine is coming over on Wednesday to watch my copy of BBM with me.  She's never seen it yet. And, for what it's worth, as far as I know she's straight.  So, anyway, I'm actually nervous about this whole situation.  She has no idea of my level of obsession (of the amount of time I've spent discussing the movie, that I'm registered to such a thing as "BetterMost," etc.) and now I'm worried about how I'll deal with this if she doesn't like it.  I'll try not to drive her crazy by overwhelming her with observations about buckets and coffeepots and the like.  I'll have to restrain myself especially when it comes to that darn topic of the wind.
 ::)
Of all the millions of times I've seen BBM, I've only watched it with another person once.  My 4th theatre viewing was with a girl I was casually dating and it was her first viewing.  The fun thing was that a week or so later I was talking to her and she reported the problem of "not being able to get the film out of her head."  The first symptoms of Brokeback fever.   I was rather pleased.

OK, sorry for the crazy personal tangent.
Trying to return to topic...
I don't think that Ennis is more complex than Jack... they're just complex in different ways.  I do think Ennis is significantly more tortured... by himself primarily.  Jack's complexity, I think manifests itself, at least in part by how smart he is in dealing with Ennis (in understanding and reacting to Ennis's complexities was no easy accomplishment).  He knows just what to say, what to hold back, how to find the level of intimacy that Ennis needs, etc.  My favorite early example of Jack being smart at the level of flirting is his famous reaction to Ennis's little playful taunt "my Daddy thought all rodeo cowboys were f*** ups".  Instead of actually getting mad, or taking this personally, Jack realizes that this is an opportunity to make Ennis smile and loosen up.  So, he swallows the little insult and decides to do his little rodeo imitation.  I feel like, as silly as that example may be on the surface, it shows a lot about Jack's personality, self-control and determination.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 04:42:23 pm by atz75 »
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2006, 03:05:39 am »
But at the same time when we were there we really went for it." ... "Jake Gyllenhaal Talks About "Brokeback Mountain"

That's for sure! :D And thank god for that!

Quote
I feel a new thread topic coming on... "how to deal with friends who don't like and/or get BBM."  A friend of mine is coming over on Wednesday to watch my copy of BBM with me.  She's never seen it yet. And, for what it's worth, as far as I know she's straight.  So, anyway, I'm actually nervous about this whole situation.  She has no idea of my level of obsession (of the amount of time I've spent discussing the movie, that I'm registered to such a thing as "BetterMost," etc.) and now I'm worried about how I'll deal with this if she doesn't like it.  I'll try not to drive her crazy by overwhelming her with observations about buckets and coffeepots and the the like.  I'll have to restrain myself especially when it comes to that darn topic of the wind.

Tricky situation! Maybe you should give her some idea before you hit play, for both of your sakes. The chances of her being equally obsessed are pretty small. There are what, about 300 of us here, out of the 10 million or however many who've seen the movie ... I've wondered, too, how to even begin to describe the metaphors and nuances to the uninitiated. My approach is to start with the most obvious ones: the gutted sheep -- even on my first viewing, I realized that was a metaphor for something -- and pointing out how Lureen's line about husbands never dancing with their wives could have another meaning. Then I hope they get interested enough to take it from there.

I've more or less given up on trying to get my husband to watch it. If I kept after him, I'm sure he probably would, but now I'm thinking that unless he asks I'll probably keep it to myself. Probably not a healthy situation, but we're too out of balance about it by now. I'd prefer he not see it at all than see it and not love it.

Quote
OK, sorry for the crazy personal tangent.

Don't be! That's what we're here for.

Quote
Trying to return to topic...
I don't think that Ennis is more complex than Jack... they're just complex in different ways.  I do think Ennis is significantly more tortured... by himself primarily.  Jack's complexity, I think manifests itself, at least in part by how smart he is in dealing with Ennis (in understanding and reacting to Ennis's complexities was no easy accomplishment).  He knows just what to say, what to hold back, how to find the level of intimacy that Ennis needs, etc.  My favorite early example of Jack being smart at the level of flirting is his famous reaction to Ennis's little playful taunt "my Daddy thought all rodeo cowboys were f*** ups".  Instead of actually getting mad, or taking this personally, Jack realizes that this is an opportunity to make Ennis smile and loosen up.  So, he swallows the little insult and decides to do his little rodeo imitation.  I feel like, as silly as that example may be on the surface, it shows a lot about Jack's personality, self-control and determination.

Agreed with all of the above. Not to get too pop-psych, but Jack has a lot of emotional intelligence -- far more than Ennis. I don't mean to imply Jack isn't wise or sensitive (and he has a great sense of humor about teasing!). By complex, I suppose I mean something closer to "conflicted."
« Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 01:31:59 pm by latjoreme »

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2006, 09:06:33 am »
This is really interesting...there is a thread about friends and loved ones that don't get it. It's called Secrets and Lies. Great interview with Jake! Thanks for finding it.
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Offline chefjudy

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2006, 05:59:12 pm »
 :) interesting poll - those of us over 35 are split pretty evenly between Jack and Ennis............
Judy


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Offline kudzudaddy

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #39 on: May 09, 2006, 06:16:18 pm »
Great thread!

So many interesting responses...  Amanda -- love your perspective...  and so well-said, too.

I'm definitely an Ennis man and the "nurture" angle is definitely part of it.  Want to hug him and tell him it's all right just like Jack did...  and in the bedroom in lightning flats... I want to rip through the screen to comfort him.  To watch that edifice crumble is almost unbearable...  to know that underneath that craggy stoic outside is a scared 9-year old boy wishing daddy would just take him home....

But some hurts never heal --  some wrongs are never righted...  and life, like nature  just keeps rolling along.


This from a certified old fart  of the gay persuasion.