Saturday, January 28, 2006

Familiar Plots

We got a family plot. And like it or not, he's going in there.

Without ruining the storyline completely for those who haven't seen it, that's kinda the seminal line for Brokeback Mountain. Walking around Oxfordia on Thursday night after watching it, I had a string of convos about how this film is affecting individual gaybois and dykes. One thing came up more than anything.

It's not quite what I expected - and the fact I was responding the same way was equally surprising.

I expected a little bit of a cliched response, to be frank. Something like 'Oh wow, that film was so important, and uplifting. It's so good to see ourselves represented like it is.' You know, cos so many of us are ranch hands who discover our sexuality while herding sheep. This of course would include gushing about Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal (and outright lusting after the two). Although let's be honest, boys: there aren't many of us who wouldn't lust after either (or both). The usual gushing would last about two days and then some new film would come along with equally cute leading men.

That was not quite what I saw. Sure, we all want to have Jake &/or Heath's babies (I'd be happy with both), but every conversation showed more of an introspective queer audience. The movie seems to have opened something up in us, maybe forced us to confront issues we'd much rather ignore. About the attitudes of people we care about but who will never accept us, or the issues in our lives we have had to just get by with rather than overcome, or something deepseated that we have not been able to face. Everyone I've spoken to has come back with a slightly haunted look in their face. There's something truly haunting about Brokeback - it's sure got into us good.

Official Movie Site

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