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91
Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Ennis VS Randall
« Last post by davidinnyc on Mar 09, 2018, 11:32 PM »
Thank you FlwrChild for your replies! They are wonderful.

I guess how I felt was "If I were Jack, I would leave Ennis a long time ago". But then again, that probably means I can't really put myself in his shoes. I grew up in an entirely different time and social context compared to Jack. But one thing for sure is that there must be something special about Ennis that kept Jack along all those years, something special that is not shown in the movie directly. The movie somehow shed more lights on the "conflicts" between Jack and Ennis, as we can see the final fight scene and the time when Jack suggested Ennis move to Texas and Ennis responded with sarcasm.

I do agree that Ennis is the victim of the society and his unfortunately childhood. What's more unfortunately is that he never had access to things (higher education, good mentors, friends...) that could help him overcome those fears. He will forever stuck in his own little world and own fear. I feel sorry for him. But as the years went by, we can no longer separate "true Ennis" and "injected negativity" as them really become one and that's who he is. Empathy shouldn't be the answer for why Jack should stick with him no matter what. But then again, Jack had his own reasons for sticking with Ennis. And he decided to move on after the final fight, he had all the rights to do so as well.

I personally think after the final fight scene, Jack finally realized who Ennis really was it would never change. So Jack was ready to move on. My reason for this is from a movie making as well as a story telling perspective. If after the final fight scene, Jack went home with a broken heart and still had hope that someday Ennis might turn around, then what's the point of including this scene at all as the same scenario happened many times before and was shown in the movie already? There must be something different this time so that it's worth showing in the movie, and that something different is that "Jack's hope is gone". As for the shirts, I think people don't get over a 20-year-relationship in a day. And Jack may still have love for Ennis, but he also realized it would never work out between them, so it was time to move on.

This is even more important when we combine Jack's death, as this affects the overall message of the movie a lot.

1) If Jack died from an accident, the message would be "the fear caused by a homophobic society makes this accident truly tragic". In other words, had it not been for the homophobic society, Ennis would not have so much fear and he would live with Jack, and they would have some precious years together before Jack died from the accident. And accidents do happen in life.

2) If Jack was murdered, we can imagine that Jack finally decided to pursue the life he wanted with someone else (Randall), and that openness got him killed. Then the message of the movie would be "tragic fate of gay guys in a homophobic society", as either they get killed by openly out, or they live an unhappy life like Ennis.

Both messages make sense, but they are different. Although from a movie-making point of view, the movie implies more to the second one (murdered), because if Jack did die from an accident, the movie would tell a more plausible accident and not the cover-up sounding one Lureen told.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Was Ennis really an homophobic person ?
« Last post by FlwrChild on Mar 09, 2018, 09:25 PM »
I know I've stumbled onto this thread long after the last post but I just had to say this was a great discussion.

I agree with the many points about internalized homophobia. And I love the insights from all sides. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on this. I'm glad I found it even if I'm a few years behind. This is the wonderful stuff I missed while I was away from the forum. Lesson learned!
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Ennis VS Randall
« Last post by FlwrChild on Mar 09, 2018, 09:12 PM »
There are two other things I wanted to comment on.

You said that Ennis was "unlovable." I don't see him that way, even with all his intractableness and all Jack's suffering. Ennis was a victim of his upbringing, his experience seeing Earl dead in the ditch (and the belief that his father would view any gay man as equally deserving of such a fate), and the times that they lived in. Jack had similar experiences with his father and the times they lived in but somehow he was able to see beyond what the world wanted them to conform to and believe in a life together, much like Earl and Rich did. The biggest difference between Ennis and Jack was that Ennis could only see the way that Earl died and believe that this would be their fate if anyone knew about them whereas Jack was able to see their life together (and what that was worth) and not just the way Earl died or the dangers for gay men in the world they lived in. No one can say for sure what might have happened if they tried for that sweet life but Jack was willing to take the chance, and certainly many gay men lived quiet lives together during the same time period and didn't get killed for it but poor Ennis just couldn't see past the dangers and his own conflict over being in love with a man. I can't help but feel sorry for him and I think Jack did a little too. Even as he resented being denied the life he believed they could have if only Ennis would do it. My heart breaks for both of them.


The other thing is that while Ennis is the protagonist, and people are always raving about Heath's performance (which was admittedly brilliant), for me it was always about Jack. So much of what he felt was mirrored in his eyes, so much of his pain was so visible to see, and so many of his dreams were so simple and so genuine, that I couldn't help but be drawn to him and I couldn't help feeling protective of him. I felt his pain and I also understood his perspective. I felt Ennis' pain but like Jack was frustrated that he couldn't move past those few short visits over all those years. Would it have hurt less for Jack to let go and just hold onto the memories while he built a different life or for him to stick with what they had when he wanted so much more, because for him those brief moments were better than nothing at all? I have a feeling either of those options would have broken him so I think he was destined to be the sad, disappointed man we see at the final confrontation. Because once he gave his heart to Ennis he couldn't ever take it back.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Ennis VS Randall
« Last post by FlwrChild on Mar 09, 2018, 08:27 PM »
Interesting questions. There are threads about whether Jack gave up on Ennis or not as well as the ones you found regarding Randall. You might want to check them out too.

I agree that Jack was heartbroken after that last meeting. I can even acknowledge the possibility that something was irreparably broken inside of him as he realized he would never have that life he wanted with Ennis. But I'm still one of those people who believes that whatever else Jack might do, he would always leave room for the possibility that Ennis might one day give him a different answer and so I don't think he gave up on Ennis completely or that he would have made a more established relationship with Randall. I do agree that Randall would have been a safe, comfortable, and accessible alternative for when Ennis was not an option for him and I can't harbor any resentment towards Randall, or towards Jack for needing that kind of connection with another man. But I also hear Jack's voice in my head saying "I wish I knew how to quit you." Not that he had, not that he would, but that he wished he could. Which to me implies that Jack realizes that whatever else happens and whatever else Ennis will or won't do for him/them, Jack will continue to stand it for as "long as we can ride it."

I also think it's unlikely he forgot about the shirts because it seems in the movie that he usually stops in to see his parents when he comes north for his trips with Ennis so odds are good he saw them after that last trip too. And they were still there when Ennis came to visit Jack's parents so at the very least he didn't get rid of them. Which might not mean anything but it still gives me hope.

As for why Randall doesn't get more support from the audience, I think it's just loyalty to Ennis and to the relationship between Ennis and Jack. I can sympathize with Randall but I can't root for him to be with Jack because my heart holds out for Jack and Ennis. Some people might resent Randall for his intrusion on the Jack/Ennis relationship but that isn't his fault (for all we know he doesn't even know that Ennis exists) so that would just be an instinctive emotional response (in my opinion) and not because of anything Randall actually did to draw their dislike. That's how I see it anyway. 
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Last post by FlwrChild on Mar 09, 2018, 07:20 PM »
Good point about all the missing pieces of Jack's life that we don't see.



Another part of Jack's dying wish that I didn't mention was cremation. Since I had doubts about the whole dying wish thing in the beginning, the first time I heard "cremated" in the movie, my hunch was that cremation would be the perfect way to destroy evidence if he were killed. But cremation would be the only possible way for him to go back to BBM after he dies. So in that regard, it makes sense that Jack wants to be cremated.

Well said. I completely agree.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Ennis VS Randall
« Last post by davidinnyc on Mar 09, 2018, 06:21 AM »
Hello guys. I've read through a couple of posts here and there about Randall. As we all know, Randall is a very shadowy figure in the movie and we don't know much about him or his relationship with Jack. I've seen almost universally comments like "Randall was only a backup" "Jack's only love is Ennis". I agree that's probably what the movie implies. But let's put ourselves in Jack's shoes for a minute. He's been seeing Ennis for almost 20 years and Ennis still does not want to move forward. He's keeping Jack stranded without the willingness to make a commitment. To use a modern word, that's "breadcrumbing". I know that it's not entirely Ennis' fault, we gotta look at the social context back then. And in the blue parker scene, Lureen said the truth out loud that "Its' not fair for Jack to drive all the way up". Think about it, if you are dating a guy and have to travel a long way to a location that's convenient for him all the time, how would you feel? It is not fair. I admit that in the movie we can see that Ennis enjoys spending time with Jack and loves Jack. But it seems like Jack puts more effort in the relationship and he never got what he deserved.

I understand back in the 60s gays have to be under the radar and it's not easy to meet another gay guy with whom there is chemistry. In other words, there were not many "options", so people tend to treat every option seriously. But Randall changed that for Jack, now Jack has another option. And I do not see anything wrong for Jack to try it out with Randall.

Of course, there are the 2 shirts. And that's the ultimate evidence for many people that Jack's love for Ennis is irreplaceable. Yes, artistically, that's the instinctive way to interpret the 2 shirts. But realistically, there could be many other explanations as well. The last fight between Ennis and Jack, Jack was obviously heartbroken. He probably finally ran out of hope and patience for the relationship and wanna move on. He may even want to throw the shirts away but never got a chance because he died before he could do it. Or he may also simply forget about the shirts at all since he doesn't live in his parents' house and the shirts have been there for 20 years. 

I always look at the movie as an audience, until today when I tried to put myself in Jack's shoes and I couldn't find a reason to keep loving Ennis. Between an unlovable Ennis and unknown Randall, I wonder why Randall doesn't get much support from the audience.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Last post by davidinnyc on Mar 09, 2018, 05:09 AM »


Finally, about the blue parka scene: In the short story it's made clear that Jack and Ennis don't actually ever go back to Brokeback Mountain. They make trips to a variety of other places but never back to Brokeback. I don't think the movie makes a statement about that one way or another. It just shows them on different trips in similar settings. So you're right, davidinnyc; Lureen didn't know about BBM all those years. It was only when Ennis told her that he'd spent a summer there with Jack and she put that together with Jack saying it was his favorite place that she understood the importance of both BBM and Ennis in Jack's life.


Thanks for your reply FlwrChild. You got me rethink about the whole thing. In the movie, the whole story is mainly narrated from Ennis' perspective, as Ennis is the leading role and Jack is the supporting role. Jack's life was only depicted through several short scenes across 20 years, so there are a lot of things we do not know about his life and a lot of different possibilities when we try to fill in the gaps. In the movie, the last time Ennis and Jack got together, Jack joked about seeing the ranch foreman's wife, which we all know is Randall. Jack jokingly said "he is scared that Lureen or the husband may shoot him if they find out". But that might be an actual fear in life and he knew death may be somewhere waiting for him if it gets find out. So that could be why he thinks about dying wish and told Lureen about it. Another thing is that someone mentioned old Newsome died before Jack's death a while ago in the SS, so that could also be a time to bring up the dying wish thought for Jack as someone in the family died. Like I said, much of Jack's life was never mentioned, so there are a million ways we could fill in the blank.

Another part of Jack's dying wish that I didn't mention was cremation. Since I had doubts about the whole dying wish thing in the beginning, the first time I heard "cremated" in the movie, my hunch was that cremation would be the perfect way to destroy evidence if he were killed. But cremation would be the only possible way for him to go back to BBM after he dies. So in that regard, it makes sense that Jack wants to be cremated.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Last post by FlwrChild on Mar 08, 2018, 01:45 PM »
Hi davidinnyc and tpe.   :)


I'll hit a couple of these points. As to making plans for when you die and who a person might talk to about that, I think it really depends on the person. Some people never want to talk about death and others are more comfortable acknowledging their own mortality and talking about what might happen when they go.

I personally have had a list of the music that I'd like to be used in my memorial service (which I hope will be many, many years from now) since my late 30's and I've discussed it with a variety of people. It usually comes up after attending a service for someone who has died and the conversation turns to our preferences, family traditions, etc. In that respect, I think sometimes it's actually more likely for younger, healthy people to talk about their wishes because it all seems so theoretical and not imminent. Whereas some people will talk about such things less as they get older and that reality gets a little closer. And I know exactly what my dad wants for his funeral because he wrote up his wishes years ago when a friend of his died suddenly and it occurred to him that he should let us know what he wants when the time comes.

I could see Jack talking about something like that, not so much as a definitive effort to make plans but more in a reflective, "That's what I'd want" kind of way. I imagine sometimes it was just a hypothetical statement and at other times it might have been when he was contemplating his life and thinking about his possible death. According to Lureen he drank a lot in his later years and it seemed that his unhappiness grew so it wouldn't surprise me if he sometimes thought about when it would all be over.     

As to the need to lie if she asked questions, I'd say (1) It doesn't appear that she did because she said she thought BBM might be an imaginary place. A simple "Really? Where's that?" when he said he wanted his ashes scattered there would have gotten her at least some kind of response. Apparently she either wasn't interested enough or she just didn't take it seriously when he talked about it. (2) A simple response would do so Jack wouldn't really have to put much effort into a lie or worry about what anyone would think. "I spent a couple summers there when I was younger. Beautiful place. God's country." That's as good a reason as most have. I don't really think it's a conversation that would be likely to give away any of his secrets.

Finally, about the blue parka scene: In the short story it's made clear that Jack and Ennis don't actually ever go back to Brokeback Mountain. They make trips to a variety of other places but never back to Brokeback. I don't think the movie makes a statement about that one way or another. It just shows them on different trips in similar settings. So you're right, davidinnyc; Lureen didn't know about BBM all those years. It was only when Ennis told her that he'd spent a summer there with Jack and she put that together with Jack saying it was his favorite place that she understood the importance of both BBM and Ennis in Jack's life.

That's my take anyway.   :)
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Last post by davidinnyc on Mar 07, 2018, 09:23 PM »
For some reason, I didn't really find it odd that he talked about his wish in a casual way with his family.

He clearly talked about that summer on Brokeback Mountain often, and I think it was in this context that he spoke about his wish.

It is quite common to hear people talk about their favorite place on earth and say that it is there that they would want to be laid to rest.

Hello tpe, thank you for your reply!!

I partially agree with you after reading your response. I guess it's hard for me to understand why Jack would mention his dying wish because I personally don't know anyone in good health and in that age would say anything like that. But maybe that's just my social circle. Like you said, maybe people do say things like that casually or jokingly.

But I still think people would only openly talk about things when there's no secrets involved. For example, if me and my wife went on a trip to Rome last year and we had the best time there, I would have no problem telling her and other people that "Rome is my fav place" or " I want my ashes to be scattered there", because the fact that "I love my wife" "We had a good time in Rome" was no secret. That's not the case for Jack. Think about it, after Jack telling Lureen "BBM is my fav place""I want my ashes to be scattered on BBM", questions like "why" and "what happened there" would naturally come up. And Jack would have to lie about it. And if this conversation did happen, Jack did lie about it since Lureen didn't understand what BBM is until Ennis told her on the phone. But on a second thought, it doesn't make sense for Jack to start the conversation in the first place. I just feel like it does not make sense for people to bring up a conversation that would give away their secrets.

Another detail in the movie is that in the "Jack looks for his blue parker" scene, he told Lureen that he's going to Mt Big Horn, not BBM. So Lureen didn't know about BBM at all for a very long time.

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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Last post by tpe on Mar 07, 2018, 08:12 PM »
For some reason, I didn't really find it odd that he talked about his wish in a casual way with his family.

He clearly talked about that summer on Brokeback Mountain often, and I think it was in this context that he spoke about his wish.

It is quite common to hear people talk about their favorite place on earth and say that it is there that they would want to be laid to rest.
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