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AP Short Story & Screenplay / Re: Comparison between short story and movie
« Last post by jjeff on Aug 12, 2021, 05:54 AM »
One of Annie Proulx's stories is about a guy who accidently discovers a door to another dimension (she never tries to explain what it is exactly). He found that he could maneuver his enemies into it and they would disappear. He was pretty petty. He used it to get out of debts and stuff. I think that was the whole "moral" of the story, the guy's pettiness. It's hard to take Proulx's writing serious because she doesn't. None of it is very interesting except for Brokeback Mountain. It's true that the movie takes the story in a different direction. The original story doesn't really take it anywhere. Although it seems they travelled around the entire state of Wyoming, they never went back to Brokeback. Maybe it was an unspoken realization that they could never have that again, so why spoil the memory. One thing is very plain, Ennis and Jack never had any control over their lives. Things just happened. This is an underlying theme in all of Proulx's writing. There was even a sense of inevitability when Jack died. It was like it had to happen. Proulx writes with a sense of detachment, just reporting things without any value judgement. I don't know if that is good or bad.
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It's funny how these threads go on for years. But it really doesn't matter, since the subject doesn't change.

This was obviously one of the movie's most important scenes. There are a couple of things. I think there was a lack of communication (since Ennis didn't talk much). Sometimes people project what they want onto a blank page. Maybe Jack thought Ennis had given him some encouragement when he actually hadn't.

Ennis used distance and solitude to control his feelings. Suddenly he didn't have either one. To keep control, he needed distance and solitude again.

I think their times together was a source of pain for Ennis. He would often be overcome by physical feelings of nausea and fall on the ground when they had to leave each other. He never let Jack or anyone else see it except for that last time. It was a weakness in himself that he detested. Maybe being with his girls opened him up and exposed his feelings and he had to clamp down on them fast. It's hard when you have to act one way with some people and another way with someone else and suddenly they are there together and you don't know what to do.

Maybe Ennis was just a dumb cowboy without emotional depth. But in any case, I don't think Ennis felt any regret. He probably just plain didn't understand it. I really relate to both guys. I grew up in rural Utah, which isn't a lot different than rural Wyoming and the scenes of solitude and poverty are the same things I saw every day. It can be a lonely life and I still carry the scars.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Jack and Ennis description in the story
« Last post by pierralex on Jun 07, 2021, 07:17 PM »
You're right! Hollywood picks good looking characters because they are more appealing and easier to watch on a screen for the duration of the film. It just attracts more viewers, something which is important for any studio I guess.
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I am not a fan of the writing style of Mrs Proulx as well. But in the short story the lives of the characters match the harsh style of storytelling I think. If I recall correctly she wanted to write a short story about homophobia in rural USA. The movie additions are very nice but focus the whole story more about the love story and lives of Ennis and Jack, I find. It isn't a bad thing, I too prefer the movie.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Last post by AddieTatum16 on May 30, 2021, 12:20 AM »
I honestly don't believe that Lureen killed Jack. I mean sure she may have become embittered over the years (I mean, any of us would if our spouses became unfaithful), but I don't think she was the culprit. If you look carefully during the scene where she is on the phone with Ennis, you can see she has tears in her eyes. Therefore, it's implied that she found out that her husband loved Ennis, more than he ever loved her, and was heartbroken about it.
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I agree with you that the film is a lot better. Though I wish they could have at least kept Ennis' term of endearment for Jack ("Little Darlin' ") in the screenplay!
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Last post by jjeff on May 20, 2021, 01:45 PM »
Now that you bring up the "dying wish" it makes me wonder. Why would a relatively young man speculate about his death, especially Jack. Could it be that Jack survived the beating and was able to talk about where he wanted his ashes to be spread before he died. That would make his wife's lie even bigger.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Jack's ghost
« Last post by jjeff on May 20, 2021, 01:24 PM »
Toward the end of the movie, Ennis' life seems empty and miserable. He lives alone in the middle of nowhere in a horrid mobile home. He has deliberately shut out everyone and seems to live entirely in the past. All he really has is the memories of Jack. But I wonder if others see this the way I do. I think he also has Jack's ghost. Right at the end there is a scene in which Ennis buttons the top button of Jacks shirt and says, "Jack, I swear." Knowing the compulsive aspect of the Ennis and the button, I'm sure he has fastened the button before. That only makes sense. I get the feeling, or maybe I like to believe, that Jack keeps unbuttoning the button and Ennis keeps buttoning it again. It is sort of a reflection of Jack's impulsiveness and Ennis' fastidiousness. Is it Jack's ghost just trying to be "sexy"?
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AP Short Story & Screenplay / Comparison between short story and movie
« Last post by jjeff on May 20, 2021, 01:09 PM »
It's too bad there is no activity on this forum. It's been years. Anyway here goes:

I've read the short story a few times. I'm not really a fan of Annie Proulx. I know she is a prize-winning author, but I think she is cynical and negative. The short story is terse and spare. You really have to read between the lines. There isn't a lot there. Proulx could have written an entire book instead of just a few pages. The entire plot line about the wives is missing in the book. There is barely mention of them. The screenplay adds the Thanksgiving episode with the interaction between Jack and his father in law. Actually everything about the wives and the families was not in the story. I like the movie a lot more than the story.

I think this is the saddest movie I've ever seen. It's very sad the way the guys let society and circumstances force them to give up what they love. It's probably the wonderful acting of Heath and Jake. Some of the scenes are truly heart wrenching. In fact, I went for years without watching it because it was so sad. I watching again recently and enjoyed the movie a lot. Maybe I've grown up some.
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