"Brokeback Mountain" seems to have everything going for it: great reviews, a remarkable opening weekend and dominance in the first wave of the Hollywood awards season, underscored Tuesday by seven Golden Globe nominations, the most of any film.
But there's one important landmark the film has yet to reach — roping in a mass audience.
P.S.: Reader C. E., reacting to an earlier "Brokeback" post, emails:
If I follow your logic, I should be genetically repelled from such films as Out of Africa, The Princess Bride, The Notebook, Wuthering Heights, The Big Easy, and basically every Hollywood romance ever made except Brokeback Mountain because I couldn't possibly enjoy a story about people who are not like myself.
Er, no. If a gay man, say, goes to see "Wuthering Heights," there is at least one romantic lead of the sex he's interested in! In "Brokeback Mountain," neither of the two romantic leads is of a sex I'm interested in. ... My wild hypothesis is that more people will go see a movie if it features an actor or actress they find attractive! If heterosexual men in heartland America don't flock to see "Brokeback Mountain" it's not because they're bigoted. It's because they're heterosexual. "Heterosexuals Attracted to Members of the Opposite Sex"--for those cultural critics wondering what a commerical disappointment for this much-heralded movie will Tell Us About America Today, there's your headline. ...
P.P.S.: Universal love story or epater les bourgeois? You make the call! If you want to be convinced that Brokeback Mountain is a gay movie, read David Leavitt's annoying article arguing that it's not a gay movie. Especially this sentence:
His Ennis Del Mar is as monolithic as the mountainscape in which—with the same swiftness, brutality, and precision that he exhibits in shooting an elk—he fucks Jack Twist for the first time.
You wouldn't write that last bit in a classy publication like Slate if it were Jane Twist! Leavitt is taking both sexual pleasure from his sentence and pleasure in shocking his readers. If that's the pleasure he takes from the film, it's a gay film! [Don't you mean it's a "paean to masculinity"--ed Yes. Right.Tom of Finland's work is another paean to masculinity.] ... 1:43 A.M. link
kf Essay Question: Rep. John Murtha is quoted in this week's Newsweek saying that if Bush II had invited him to the White House and let him air his views the way Bush I did, his high-profile call for rapid redeployment in Iraq could have been avoided.
"If they'd talked to me, it wouldn't have happened."
In 1995, Newt Gingrich publicly suggested he wouldn't have provoked a government shutdown if he hadn't been made to use the rear door of President Clinton's plane. Gingrich was widely denounced as a petty crybaby. How is what Murtha told Newsweek any different? Murtha says he thinks the nation is on a disastrous course in the Iraq War. Would he really not have spoken out if he'd been "talked to" and buttered up with access? (Murtha explicitly notes that Bush I didn't necessarily take the advice of his White House guests. He was just courteous enough to invite them and "listen to" them.")
TODAY IN SLATE
More Than Scottish Pride
iOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows
The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything
It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.
Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.