I’ve finally seen Brokeback Mountain, after having it hyped up beyond reasonable expectation by everyone else who’s seen it, and the fact that it swept the boards at the Oscars.
So, I’m afraid, I went into the cinema resenting the film before it even began, and found myself noting inconsequential irritants all the way through.
Of course, the Certificate page couldn’t role without some wag saying he thought he’d come to see Bareback Mountain instead.
(Spoilers if you’ve not seen it)
Anyway. Accentuate the positive. I liked the scenery. I sort of liked the actors (although what was that square muscle structure around the blond one’s mouth?). I very much liked the idea of buggering off up the moutains with horses and a tent for months at a stretch. Less keen on living off elk steaks (whyever weren’t they catching something smaller like rabbits? Going straight in for an elk? How could you eat all that before it went off?) I’m sure in Wales, where they also have sheep and mountains, they have rather fewer sheep per mountain than they did on Brokeback.
I very much liked watching the time passing with no more than subtle hints from children growing up, fashions and appliances changing, and everyone except the blond actor getting wealthier.
I did like the clothes. I wasn’t mad keen on the personal hygiene, but then I suppose 60s ranchers really didn’t have a whole lot more than the clothes they stood up in. Have always liked the denim+shirt look, and have several times in the past found myself eying up cowboy boots and wondering if I’d look good in them. I’ve always wanted to have a go on a horse. Riding seems like a fun way to get exercise.
And the bits I didn’t like: we were watching a somewhat tired old print, so the soundtrack was stretched and testing on the ears. Music drifted in and out of key as if someone was wobbling a pitch key. It’s not as if it was the best soundtrack ever to begin with, but those three guitar chords over and over will stay with me for a while. And every time the dark-haired actor tried to sing or played the harmonica I lost the edge off another filling.
The blond actor mumbled and was very difficult to understand. I found myself reaching for the ‘subtitle’ button before I remembered where I was.
I didn’t quite understand how the cowboys managed to get a relationship going. There didn’t seem to be much in the way of signals, or having-stuff-in-common. Just one drunken shag out of nowhere that eventually came to be a habit.
Why is it always short stories always turn into long films? Maybe I should dig out the Proulx story and see what it’s like.
Couldn’t really see why the movie got made. Maybe Hollywood is scratching its own back congratulating itself on how far it’s come that we can have important prizewinning mainstream gay movies now.
On the other hand, I saw it at the beginning of the week, and I’m still thinking about it now, which is more than happens with most films I go and see. And I can’t say I’ve ever really seen anything like it before, which is also not true of most films I see. Maybe I should go and see it again.
Maybe not. The main feeling I’ve taken out from it is one of depression. Love stories always leave me feeling depressed and uncomprehending.