Here’s an update. Though it has fallen out of the headlines a bit, Brokeback Mountain is continuing to attract large audiences in a relatively small number of theaters. Variety reported Monday that Brokeback, which is set to open in 120 more theaters this weekend in its biggest expansion so far, has yet to put on the brakes.
In Iowa, where it opens this Friday, the Des Moines Register applauded it with a five star rave: “Brokeback Mountain rides into town saddled with expectations as tall as the Rocky Mountains, and it soars as a landmark film and one of the year’s best.”
Though I’m not sure I agree with its conclusion, I really like this post by Ross on Andrew Sullivan’s site. Here’s an excerpt: “There isn’t a political agenda in Brokeback Mountain, exactly – it isn’t a brief for hate crimes laws or domestic partnerships, except by implication – but there’s unquestionably a moral and philosophical agenda, and one that’s more radical, I think, than most critics are likely to acknowledge. The film is a study in the contrast between homosexuality and heterosexuality, and the former is – almost without exception – presented as preferable to the latter, as purer and more beautiful, and ultimately as more authentically masculine.”
Moe Wampum is selling Bareback Mount’em T-shirts.
Gay cowboys welcome the arrival of Brokeback Mountain says the Casper Star Tribune, but some “mainstream” cowboys are calling it a “slap in the face.”
David Kupelian of
WingnutDaily WorldnetDaily is very threatened by Brokeback, calling it “the rape of the Marlboro man.” He says the film takes the cigarette industry’s pillaging of the wholesome cowboy image one step further: “Thus are the Judeo-Christian moral values that formed the very foundation and substance of Western culture for the past three millennia all swept away on a delicious tide of manufactured emotion. And believe me, skilled directors and actors can manufacture emotion by the truckload. It’s what they do for a living.”
Brenner Thomas discusses the mechanics of dry humping in a chilly pup tent: “Anyone who’s ever been penetrated knows that good gay sex is like a sundae: the topping needs to be wet. When Ennis mounts Jack with only one loogie to glide them along, the gays in the theater visibly adjusted themselves in their seats.”
Comedian Larry David says he hasn’t seen Brokeback nor does he want to. Why? Not because homosexuality makes him uncomfortable, but because he’s afraid it may convert him: “If two cowboys, male icons who are 100 percent all-man, can succumb, what chance to do I have, half- to a quarter of a man, depending on whom I’m with at the time? I’m a very susceptible person, easily influenced, a natural-born follower with no sales-resistance. When I walk into a store, clerks wrestle one another trying to get to me first. My wife won’t let me watch infomercials because of all the junk I’ve ordered that’s now piled up in the garage. My medicine cabinet is filled with vitamins and bald cures…So who’s to say I won’t become enamored with the whole gay business?”
Heath Ledger recently gave another interview to the Calgary Sun in which he talked a lot about the development of Ennis del Mar: “Ennis obviously had a battle within him, and I wanted to discover what that battle was. The conclusion I came to is that Ennis is battling, within himself, his genetic structure, and he’s battling his father and his father’s father’s traditions, fears and morals in life, all deeply embedded in him. It was a big part of the restraint, of the inability to love and express himself.”
The Towleroad Guide to Brokeback Mountain [tr]