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Surprise, surprise; 180 degree mood turn for the better.

It's warm, despite the rain earlier in the afternoon; warm enough to walk with a light coat and leave it unbuttoned, no scarf nor gloves necessary. And much as people may complain, I actually like summer-time, because walking home past 7 pm when it's still light... fuck, YES!. I'm not all that much of a morning person, so having daylight for longer in the evening really reinforces the notion that winter is finally over for me. Met with R. and U., had coffee (well, tea, in my case, because I'm still not altogether certain my stomach won't protest at coffee), chatted, which was really nice in a pleasant, relaxing way.

And I really enjoyed Brokeback Mountain. I've become extremely wary of multi-award movies, but this one definitely does live up to the hype. IMO it would definitely have been Oscar-worthy; not because of the subject matter, but because it's a damn good film in and of itself.

The only problem for me was that right in the beginning, when you already know where they're headed, so to speak, it kind of takes the [for lack of a better word, innocence] out of it, and it's kind of hard for me to tell where the sexual tension actually starts or to what an extent I was projecting. But when their relationship develops, you really get drawn into the story and forget all the pictures you've seen and articles and comments you couldn't quite help reading even when you tried to remain relatively unspoiled.

I wasn't in tears (it's been a long time that any movie made me cry), and I'm not sure if it makes me a cold person if I say that while it did touch me emotionally, no doubt about that, I admired almost as much the way the story was told, how between them the script-writer, the director and the two actors managed to create such an incredible layered movie, such complex characters with saying so very little outright. So many movies, especially the bigger American production, have the fault of spelling out everything in so often painful and predictable explicitness, with big blinking neon signs pointing at the Significant Moments. Brokeback Mountain really does excel at 'show, don't tell' and credits the viewer with some intelligence. Jack lying about not being queer for Ennis' peace of mind and probably also for fear of losing him. Ennis complaining about a the loss of a month's pay and hitting Jack, when he can't even conceive of saying that he's afraid of not seeing him again. Ennis' rather incredulous surprise at his daughter's change of boyfriends, which one the one hand certainly says something about how little he knows about her life, but on the other hand also a lot about how unquestioning exclusively he felt for Jack, however much he might have messed up. I liked how this was a story and not a manifesto, how the characters were kept multi-dimensional and fascinating instead of cardboard-saintly. Certainly there is the issue of (murderous) homophobia, but somehow I doubt that under any circumstances Ennis, who turns with brutal and undisguised indifference away from his wife and family once Jack turns up again and only brings them up as an argument against making any real commitment to his lover, would have been an uncomplicated and easily likable character. I think the problem at the heart of their relationship is that while Ennis loves Jack to the point where this is really the single one thing that matters in his life, somehow he doesn't really understand, or is scared to acknowledge, just how much Jack loves him.

Not being very eloquent here. ::sigh:: Can I still blame it on caffeine withdrawal?

I really need to see it another time, the English original rather than the German dubbed version... (R. said Ennis was dubbed by Til Schweiger, which she found jarring; personally I haven't seen enough of his movies to recognise his voice, so I have no specific complaints in this respect, but I'd really like to see the original, too.)

On a side-note, we were in an afternoon showing, and it was a rather interesting mix of an audience. Quite a lot of women, a few queer couples, no surprises there, but also quite a few old people (70+, I'd say): two old men who may or may not have been a couple, and a group of men and women who, if I'd thought that at all possible, I'd have said walked into the wrong movie, but apparently not...


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 26th, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC)
If this is you on caffeine withdrawal, I'm not going to let you read any of my posts.

You really write beautifully.

This is exactly why I thought BBM should have won against Crash. When you see Crash, the Neon Sign Posts will come back to you.
Mar. 27th, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC)
You're kidding -- I just read your review, which I hadn't when you wrote it because I wanted to avoid spoilers, and it's so insightful and beautifully written, while I always tend to be so coldly analytical...

Such a great movie, and not one that lets go of you easily.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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