Author Topic: Brokeback's filmic structure a palindrome ?  (Read 26520 times)

Offline Penthesilea

  • Town Administration
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 14,481
Re: Brokeback's filmic structure a palindrome ?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2007, 08:16:49 am »
Another little mirror:

Within the scene that centers the film (Ennis comes home after the night in the Siesta, packs, leaves for the mountains). Early in the the scene, we see Alma (and only Alma) looking out of the window, at the end of the scene, we see her looking out of the window again.
The first time, Ennis has just been coming, only she's looking out of the window (one person)  and sees Jack alone outside (one person). The second time, Ennis is leaving, she's to be seen with Junior (two persone) and she sees Jack together with Ennis (two persons).

Offline serious crayons

  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,103
Re: Brokeback's filmic structure a palindrome ?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2007, 09:21:40 am »
No, it's not too much (the star). Just yesterday I mentioned that star on the swing-set again on another thread. It stands out so clearly. Always, with every single viewing, I stumbled across it.
I buy the theory that it mirrors the fireworks on the spot.

Another theory I've heard is that the star on the swingset is echoed by the star-like decoration on the sign outside LD Newsome's dealership. According to this scheme, these two scenes would be the center of the inkblot.

Offline belbbmfan

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,354
  • A love that will never grow old
Re: Brokeback's filmic structure a palindrome ?
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2007, 02:34:38 pm »
This thread is a feast!!  :)

I've been thinking about what Casey said about the mirror scene being the 'central' part of the palindrome. What always struck me in that scene was that Ennis doesn't appear to be looking at himself in the mirror in that scene.
As if he can't/won't ('you didn't want it, Ennis') look at who he will see there. And that he's so busy with his fishing gear. As if he really is going fishing...checking whether everything is in place. Playing the part of the 'fishing buddy'.

And the last time we see Ennis getting ready to meet Jack, Alma needs to remind him to take his fishing gear with him. I wonder if this means/implies that Ennis is becoming more careless, not pretending anymore. He didn't even look 'caught out' when Alma told him 'aren't you forgetting something?'. I'm not sure, but this could be in line with the 'coming back' part of the palindrome and referring to their undisturbed, blissful time on Brokeback when Ennis could actually be so at peace with himself and his relationship with Jack that he could contemplate spending another summer there ('what if we need to to this again next year?')

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

Offline RossInIllinois

  • Brokeback Mountain Resident
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
Re: Brokeback's filmic structure a palindrome ?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2007, 09:39:27 pm »
Woohaaa Buckaroo's! Trust me on this Ya'ALL are reading way to much into this.   ;) ;D
« Last Edit: May 04, 2007, 09:45:11 pm by RossInIllinois »

Offline Lynne

  • BetterMost Supporter
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,291
  • "The world's always ending." --Ianto Jones
    • Elizabeth Warren for Massachusetts
Re: Brokeback's filmic structure a palindrome ?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2007, 12:11:03 am »
This is a terrific thread! Boy, I sure do wish I'd been in chat the other night!  ::)

I love the symmetry analysis.  I think it's one of the reasons we keep (kept?) being drawn back to watch it again and again - a subconscious pull on our psyche, (in addition to all the emotional stuff going on inside us, of course).

I think Ennis and Jack's conversation (maybe the 'high time supper?') when Jack draws Ennis into conversation and gets him to really laugh:  'That's the most I've spoke all year.' is a sad mirror of their last night at the lake when Jack opens up to Ennis 'Sometimes I miss you so much...' and Ennis has no response.

 :'( :'(
"Laß sein. Laß sein."

Offline LauraGigs

  • Moderator
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,447
    • My Design Portfolio
Re: Brokeback's filmic structure a palindrome ?
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2007, 12:54:17 am »
While Jack is alive, Ennis discusses him with only one person: Alma.  On 2 occasions.  Both are in a kitchen shortly after Ennis washes his hands.

The first is early evening as dinner is being prepared. (It's light out, but Alma is 'in the dark' about the relationship.)

The second is late evening as dinner is being put away. (It's dark out, but Alma is enlightened — and ripping away at Ennis' denial).

(A poster on IMDB once mentioned that a bag of bread is present in both scenes.  Opaque—like Ennis—in the first.  Transparent—like Ennis—in the second.)

Offline serious crayons

  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,103
Re: Brokeback's filmic structure a palindrome ?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2007, 02:05:02 am »
Woohaaa Buckaroo's! Trust me on this Ya'ALL are reading way to much into this.   ;) ;D

The weird thing is, Ross, actually, we're not. I know it may seem like we are. But trust ME on this: we're not.  :)

But I am very much a to-each-his-own person about BBM. Everybody is free to interpret the movie any way they want. If a less symbolic interpretation works for you, Ross, go for it!  :)

Offline RossInIllinois

  • Brokeback Mountain Resident
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
Re: Brokeback's filmic structure a palindrome ?
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2007, 02:21:42 am »
The weird thing is, Ross, actually, we're not. I know it may seem like we are. But trust ME on this: we're not.  :)

But I am very much a to-each-his-own person about BBM. Everybody is free to interpret the movie any way they want. If a less symbolic interpretation works for you, Ross, go for it!  :)


Don't forget I worked on this film. I watched a lot of it happen. The script changed on a daily basis, Ang shot what was on paper in the script. Some of it good some of it not so good. What Ang did do was cut out all the crap and fluff that was in the original shooting draft. If symmetry's exist as you say its the screen writers not Ang Lee that put them there. A director is not at liberty to change a script without the consent of the writers and the Studio. What Ang did do was keep the movie closer to the short story when he did the final cut. This also gave the Studio a film that was the length it wanted. Anything else is pure coincidence.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 02:59:43 am by RossInIllinois »

Offline serious crayons

  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,103
Re: Brokeback's filmic structure a palindrome ?
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2007, 03:00:29 am »
Don't forget I worked on this film. I watched a lot of it happen. The script changed on a daily basis no hidden messages in this one im afraid.

Sorry. I'm too sure that they're there to let that stop me. I'm not talking about hidden messages; I'm talking about careful construction. Some of it comes down to individual lines and scenes, a lot of it is larger in scope, some of it planned, some probably serendipitous. But the symbolism and structure are very vivid to me -- at this point, in fact, almost obvious -- and I don't think for a second they aren't intentional. Not a second. I don't mean I take a leap of faith; I mean there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever.

I realize that to you, Ross, my POV probably sounds like someone saying they've been abducted by aliens, and to me your POV sounds like someone who insists the earth is flat. We may not be able to agree on this. But really, that's OK. We don't have to! :)




Offline Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 26,058
  • Brokeback got us good.
Re: Brokeback's filmic structure a palindrome ?
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2007, 03:53:36 pm »
I'm envisioning a long scroll of paper that we can put up on the wall at the BBQ and colored markers with circles and arrows, as Arlo Guthrie sang about once upon a time. The header? "Palindromes in Brokeback Mountain"!!

Too much to do. . .I don't have time to get old!