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Thread: Brokeback Mountain

  1. #1

    Default Brokeback Mountain

    It finally opened here in Italy. Whew. I was amazed... itīs nice to see a big Hollywood film (even if it isnīt really a big Hollywood film, it sure reads that way) with a complex character like Ennis LaMar. This kind of film has been rare since the mid-70īs. What a beautifully written screenplay. Heath Ledger reminded me of John Voight /Bruce Dern /Jack Nicholson in their younger years.

    On opening day in Naples, you could get in half-price if you told the box-office you were gay.

    Of course everybody said they were gay.

    Viva līItalia!

  2. #2
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Is it playing in a dubbed version or in original English language version?

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    I'm surprised in particular about the muted response that it's gotten from the right. From what I've seen, there's been very little criticism worth noting as of yet.

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    I think they must be satisfied by the unhappy ending - especially how the pretty young thing finds a violent end after all his "sinning." I think they look to Ennis as a pretty good role model for living a homo life.

  5. #5
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Bush was asked today during a Q&A following a speech at Kansas State University:

    Audience member: "As a rancher, and knowing you're a rancher, I was wondering what you thought of "Brokeback Mountain"?"

    Bush: "I haven't seen it ... ummm ... I haven't seen it ... errr ... I haven't seen it."

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    The film cost $14M to make and has grossed $42M to date. That's a hit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider
    The film cost $14M to make and has grossed $42M to date. That's a hit.
    Yeah, definitely demonstrated that there's a market out there for quality gay media. Now if they could just live happily ever after...

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    BUSH: NO 'BROKEBACK'

    Mon Jan 23 2006 17:09:44 ET
    http://www.drudgereport.com/flash3.htm

    President Bush has so far skipped BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN -- the Hollywood hit about two homosexual cowboys.

    During a Q&A session at Kansas State University today, a student asked Bush: "I was just wanting to get your opinion on BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN if you'd seen it yet."

    The crowd laughed softly before the student said loudly: "You would love it! You should check it out."

    "I haven't seen it," Bush said flatly. "I'd be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven't seen the movie," he said to laughter. "I've heard about it."

    The president waited a second or two, then said, according to a transcript: "I hope you go -- (laughter) -- you know -- (laughter) -- I hope you go back to the ranch and the farm, is what I was about to say. I haven't seen it. (Laughter, applause.)"

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    Questions for Bush-Brokeback Mountain

    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/01/23.html#a6831

    Questions for Bush-Brokeback Mountain



    Are you a rancher?

    (Update): Someone asked him about Brokeback Mountain.

    Q: You're a rancher, a lot of us here in Kansas are ranchers-I just wanted to get your opinion on Brokeback Mountain, if you'd seen it yet?

    Bush: I hadn't seen it--I hope you go back to the ranch and the farms...

    Video-WMP Video-QT

    What is that supposed to mean? He was definitely uncomfortable responding to that one.

  10. #10
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    Mining 'Brokeback Mountain'

    To Make Hit, Studio Wooed
    Women, Weighed Venues;
    New York's Microclimates


    HOLLYWOOD REPORT
    By JOHN LIPPMAN
    January 27, 2006

    http://online.wsj.com/public/article...html?mod=blogs


    Despite the cracks about gay cowboys on late-night TV and chin-stroking about whether it would play in Peoria, "Brokeback Mountain" is poised to be not just one of the most praised films of the 2005 Oscar class -- it will become one of the most profitable movies of the year, and a mainstream one at that.

    How did "Brokeback" break out? By surgically targeting where the movie would play in its initial release; selling it as a romance for women rather than a controversial gay-bashing tale; and opting out of the culture wars rather than engaging them.

    "I'm more proud of what we didn't do with this film, as opposed to what we did do," says James Schamus, co-president of Focus Features, explaining the contrarian marketing and distribution strategy behind the $14 million film.

    "Brokeback," which expanded into 1,196 theaters last weekend and has now grossed $43.8 million at the box office, is filling seats across the country, and last week passed Steven Spielberg's $70 million-budget "Munich" (a drama about Palestinian terrorists) even in the heart of the heartland. "Brokeback" is "doing quite well," says Debby Brehn, vice president of Douglas Theatres in Lincoln, Neb., where "Brokeback" ticket sales are running 3-to-1 against those for "Munich" since "Brokeback" opened Jan. 6. "I wouldn't say people are not seeing it because of its homosexual content," she says.

    Aside from the $28 million-budget Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line," which has passed $100 million at the U.S. box office since opening Nov. 18, "Brokeback" looks on the way to becoming more profitable than other Oscar contenders, such as "Crash" (box office, $53.4 million), and "Good Night, and Good Luck" (box office, $24.9 million). Each of those films had budgets of just $7.5 million.

    One of the most difficult challenges for Hollywood marketers is how to "cross over" a film that normally would appeal only to a narrow audience. A story about two ranch hands who fall in love, "Brokeback" would seem to appeal mostly to a gay and art-movie audience. Getting pigeonholed by a potentially divisive label can ruin a marketing campaign and doom a movie at the box office. It happened to the 1999 critically acclaimed drama "Boys Don't Cry," which won Hilary Swank an Oscar for Best Actress for her role as a Nebraskan girl who lived as a boy. Dogged by its image as a movie about a teenage transgender tragedy, it made only $11.5 million at the U.S. box office and never won a mainstream audience.

    At the outset, Focus executives wanted to keep "Brokeback" from becoming a target in the culture wars, which could have overtaken their marketing message -- that it's a romance, not a "gay cowboy movie." Focus did market the film to the gay community but hasn't used it to push the cause of gay rights. "We will never turn the release of the film into a political circus act -- ever," says David Brooks, the studio's president of marketing.

    Indeed, movies with gay themes or issues have rarely been a happy experience for Hollywood. Of 176 movies identified as such by BoxOfficeMojo.com, which analyzes box-office statistics and trends, only one movie with a predominantly gay theme has ever earned more than $100 million at the U.S. box office: the 1996 comedy "The Birdcage," which starred Robin Williams.

    To try to beat the odds against a gay-themed film succeeding, Focus chose an unusual strategy when it came to placing "Brokeback" in its first theaters in New York and Los Angeles, says Jack Foley, president of distribution at Focus. Like microclimates in Napa Valley that can produce dramatically different wines, neighborhoods in Manhattan can draw entirely different audiences: Chelsea attracts gay viewers, the Village students, the Lincoln Center-area affluent boomers. Word of mouth from a Manhattan opening can determine with what audience a film succeeds or fails.

    Normally, "Brokeback" would have opened in downtown theaters in the SoHo-East Village areas -- typical for an art-house film. Instead, on its opening weekend Dec. 9, Mr. Foley placed "Brokeback" into a megaplex in Chelsea, another uptown at Lincoln Center, and only one near Greenwich Village. "I didn't want New York to say this is an art-house film," says Mr. Foley. "I wanted a mix of voices talking about it to defeat it being called 'a gay cowboy movie.' "

    Targeting Female Viewers

    At the same time, Focus has been marketing "Brokeback" as an epic romance aimed at women. The movie's poster advertises that "Love is a Force of Nature," and the movie's trailer shows seven shots of tender romantic and happy moments between Mr. Ledger's and Jake Gyllenhaal's characters and their respective wives and families. By comparison, only three shots in the trailer show husband-wife confrontations over the gay affair. (Focus executives say the marketing materials are the same nationwide.)

    The studio also carefully selected the movies to which it attached the promotional trailer for "Brokeback," with the idea of targeting female viewers, Mr. Brooks says. One was "Flightplan," with Jodie Foster, whose fan base is heavily female. Another was the Charlize Theron drama "North Country," since its theme -- women confronting bias at a Minnesota mine -- had a strong female appeal.

    And as the weeks pass, the demographics of the "Brokeback" audience have shifted. Gays turned out for the first weekend, with 60% of the audience male and 40% female. But in the next three weeks, women responded to marketing and the audience flipped to 60% female and 40% male. Now, as the media attention intensifies in the wake of the film's wins at the Golden Globes, heterosexual men are going to the film on their own and the women are sliding back down to the mid-50 percentile, Mr. Brooks says.


    Copyright © 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

  11. #11
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    Saw the movie last night. Loved it.

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    A little off-topic, but...



    February 10, 2006
    Op-Ed Contributor
    Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Ex-Gay Cowboys

    By DAN SAVAGE
    Seattle

    FIRST, a little of that full disclosure stuff: I have not actually seen "Brokeback Mountain" or "End of the Spear," both of which I'm going to discuss here.

    But since when did not seeing a film prevent anyone from sharing his or her strong opinions about it? Before the posters for "Brokeback Mountain" were even printed, everyone from the blogger Mickey Kaus to the Concerned Women for America to gay men all over the country had already said a lot about the film. (Their opinions were, respectively, con, con and pro.)

    So, let's get to it: Remember when straight actors who played gay were the ones taking a professional risk? Those days are over. Shortly after Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, both straight, received Oscar nominations for playing gay cowboys in "Brokeback Mountain," conservative Christians were upset when they learned that a gay actor, Chad Allen, was playing a straight missionary in "End of the Spear."

    "End of the Spear" tells what happened after five American missionaries were murdered in 1956 by a tribe in Ecuador. Instead of seeking retribution, the missionaries' families reached out to the tribe, forgave the killers and eventually converted them to Christianity. An evangelical film company, Every Tribe Entertainment, brought the story to the screen. In a glowing review, Marcus Yoars, a film critic for Focus on the Family, noted that the "martyrdom" of the slain missionaries has "inspired thousands if not millions of Christians." But after conservatives took a closer look at the cast list, the protests began. Many felt Chad Allen's presence in the film negated any positive message.

    The pastors claim they're worried about what will happen when their children rush home from the movies, Google Chad Allen's name, and discover that he's a "gay activist." ("Gay activist" is a term evangelicals apply to any homosexual who isn't a gay doormat.) They needn't be too concerned. Straight boys who have unsupervised access to the Internet aren't Googling the names of middle-aged male actors gay or straight — not when Paris Hilton's sex tapes are still out there.

    Frankly, I can't help but be perplexed by the criticisms of Mr. Allen from the Christian right. After all, isn't playing straight what evangelicals have been urging gay men to do.

    That's precisely what Jack and Ennis attempt to do in "Brokeback Mountain" — at least, according to people I know who have actually seen the film. These gay cowboys try, as best they can, to quit one another. They marry women, start families. But their wives are crushed when they realize their husbands don't, and can't, ever really love them. "Brokeback Mountain" makes clear that it would have been better for all concerned if Jack and Ennis had lived in a world where they could simply be together.

    That world didn't exist when Jack and Ennis were pitching tents together, but it does now — even in the American West. Today, the tiny and stable percentage of men who are gay are free to live openly, and those who want to settle down and start families can do so without having to deceive some poor, unsuspecting woman.

    Straight audiences are watching and loving "Brokeback Mountain" — that's troubling to evangelical Christians who have invested a decade and millions of dollars promoting the notion that gay men can be converted to heterosexuality, or become "ex-gay." It is, they insist, an ex-gay movement, although I've never met a gay man who was moved to join it.

    This "movement" demands more from gay men than simply playing straight. Once a man can really pass as ex-gay — once he's got some Dockers, an expired gym membership and a bad haircut — he's supposed to become, in effect, an ex-gay missionary, reaching out to the hostile gay tribes in such inhospitable places as Chelsea and West Hollywood.
    What should really trouble evangelicals, however, is this: even if every gay man became ex-gay tomorrow, there still wouldn't be an ex-lesbian tomboy out there for every ex-gay cowboy. Instead, millions of straight women would wake up one morning to discover that they had married a Jack or an Ennis. Restaurant hostesses and receptionists at hair salons would be especially vulnerable.

    Sometimes I wonder if evangelicals really believe that gay men can go straight. If they don't think Chad Allen can play straight convincingly for 108 minutes, do they honestly imagine that gay men who aren't actors can play straight for a lifetime? And if anyone reading this believes that gay men can actually become ex-gay men, I have just one question for you: Would you want your daughter to marry one?

    Evangelical Christians seem sincere in their desire to help build healthy, lasting marriages. Well, if that's their goal, encouraging gay men to enter into straight marriages is a peculiar strategy. Every straight marriage that includes a gay husband is one Web-browser-history check away from an ugly divorce.

    If anything, supporters of traditional marriage should want gay men out of the heterosexual marriage market entirely. And the best way to do that is to see that we're safely married off — to each other, not to your daughters. Let gay actors like Chad Allen only play it straight in the movies.

    Dan Savage is the editor of The Stranger, a Seattle newsweekly.

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    UAE bans Brokeback Mountain

    By Afkar Abdullah
    Khaleej Times
    9 February 2006

    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayA...section=theuae

    SHARJAH — The Ministry of Culture and Information will not allow the screening of the Hollywood film Brokeback Mountain in the UAE because of scenes involving homosexuals.

    Brokeback Mountain is a film which has nothing positive about it. The portrayal of the sexual behaviour of its main character is offensive to eastern societies, particularly Muslims and the Arabs since Islam forbids abnormal behaviors like homosexuality, said Dr Abdullah Al Amiri, Chairman of the Committee of Financial, Economical and Industrial Affairs of Sharjah Consultative Council yesterday.

    “The film will upset the people of this culture and tradition,” he said, explaining that there were scenes showing two men romantically inclined to each other.

    The decision of the Ministry of Information was hailed by the members of the Sharjah Consultative Council during the meeting yesterday. The members thanked the ministry for its efforts in protecting the society from unethical and immoral practices.

    Speaking to Khaleej Times, an official from the Ministry of Information said that the rules and regulations of the censor section at the ministry did not allow “these kinds of movies to be screened in the country.” The censorship department is making great efforts to review all the movies before it allows its screening in the theatres in the country. This kind of movies will destroy the values and morals of the society, he explained
    .
    Despite criticism, the controversial movie was named ‘Best Picture’ at the 17th Annual Producers Guild of America (PGA) awards on January 22, 2006.

    © 2005 Khaleej Times All Rights Reserved.

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    Yes, homosexuality is bad, but pederasty was widely practiced and accepted; and the company of beautiful youths, forever young, is promised to the faithful in paradise along with the 72 virgins.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghilman

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