Author Topic: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"  (Read 5129 times)

Offline bbm_stitchbuffyfan

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Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« on: September 08, 2006, 05:38:31 pm »
Surely all of us have heard the beautiful, beautiful score that has helped move us to tears time and time again. Now did anyone ever wonder why it is named "The Wings?"

I myself don't know and am interested in seeing what others think. I think it's a profoundly touching title, actually, because I interpret the song as not the film's theme, but Jack's and Ennis' love theme. I guess they are each other's wings.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2006, 05:54:38 pm »
Brokeback Mountain is all about dualities, starting with Jack and Ennis, and the soundtrack goes along with this theme beautifully. The Wings is a lyrical representation with parallel and answering themes. Many of the songs on the soundtrack feature the acoustic guitar, which I associate with Ennis, and the pedal steel guitar, whose more fluid tones I associate with Jack. Their duet echoes the sweet and sad story of Jack and Ennis very movingly. I also see in my mind's eye the angelic wings of their love unfurling towards heaven when I hear the music. That's my take on why the theme is about wings.
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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2006, 05:58:19 pm »
Gustavo surely had his reasons for naming his piece as he did. I think, as you intimate, the title should be approached poetically rather than literally. Wings are a bird's instrument of flight, and this evokes associations of freedom, exhilaration, and possibility. Birds are creatures of the air, and are borne up by the wind--the very element which is most closely associated with Jack. I think 'The Wings' is tied in with Ennis's feelings about Jack, and everything positive that Jack represents for him. I see it more as Ennis's theme than the theme of both men together, though it is Ennis's theme specifically in regard to how Jack has touched his life.

Finally, one might see 'The Wings' as intimating the flight that Ennis, and we all eventually, will take in pursuit of him (and those others) who are a little ways ahead of us in the journey of Eternity. Notice we hear the strains of this haunting tune in accompaniment to the film's closing shot. Death, redemption, and...love.

(BTW, I know you had a birthday anniversary recently, bbm_stitchbuffyfan. Happy birthday anniversary, belated though my greetings are!) :)

Offline saucycobblers

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2006, 07:51:02 pm »
I always associate the title with this passage from the book:

There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs and distant from tame ranch dogs barking in the dark hours.

I wonder if he took inspiration from the book?
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moremojo

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2006, 08:02:18 pm »
I wonder if he took inspiration from the book?
It is my understanding that he started composing the music after having read the story, before he had even been engaged to contribute to the movie (someone correct me if I'm mistaken). So I think the story may have had everything to do with his choice of title. That's a great passage, by the way, and let's also remember the eagle feather that Jack sports in his hat when Ennis first meets him...another subtle reference to that cowboy's wild and free ways.

Offline saucycobblers

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2006, 08:06:38 pm »
That's a great passage, by the way, and let's also remember the eagle feather that Jack sports in his hat when Ennis first meets him...another subtle reference to that cowboy's wild and free ways.

Yeah, that passage is one of my two favourites. It's absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way. I'd never connected it to the feather in Jack's hat before. Nice observation!
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2006, 10:58:31 pm »
Of course there's always the post-punch wing reference too.  "... Ennis had suddenly swung from the deck and laid the ministering angel out in the wild columbine, wings folded."  It occurs to me that this might actually be a double wing reference since "la colombe" in French means dove (I know that the columbine mentioned here is a flower... but I wonder if the words might be a related).

And, this association of angel wings with Brokeback has always reminded me a bit of the Matthew Sheppard situation and the people from the Laramie Project who go to funerals and protests, etc. wearing angel wings. 
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Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2006, 01:44:00 pm »
The feeling I have from that music is that in the begining you have those two or three solitary notes and the truck travels toward Signal. It feel like falling down a well, into another place and time. The Wings come along in the end like"your ride is here" and lifts you up and out of that place into the beyond.
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Offline Andrew

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2006, 08:27:23 pm »
It occurs to me that this might actually be a double wing reference since "la colombe" in French means dove (I know that the columbine mentioned here is a flower... but I wonder if the words might be a related).

Yes, columbine means little dove.  From the shape of the petals, probably - the long tails are something like the long neck of a dove, the wider part like the body.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Why do you think it's called "The Wings?"
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2006, 11:42:47 pm »
Thanks Andrew!  Yup, I think there are definitely multiple "wing" references in the "post-punch" descriptions (in the story at least).
the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie