Thursday, September 15, 2005

Movies mania

What is the latest exciting news in the movie homoverse?

Why, it is Brokeback (bareback?) Mountain (BBM) of course, the gay-theme movie directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Hulk) which won the coveted Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

KW actually picked up on this before I did. He has even read the short story, by Annie Proulx, from which the movie is based on. And that crybaby he totally loved it and can't wait to watch the movie.

What can beat two of the hottest male stars today, Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger getting it on in a steamy sex scene?

Naturally, that shouldn’t be the main purpose of catching the movie. It’s for the love story of course – boy meets boy, fall in love,in a short span of time, separate and go their own ways, get married, meet again after that, continue where they left off with dire consequences.

For a slightly more elaborate synopsis, click here.

Sigh, why is it that gay love stories do no have happy endings? Bishonen and Lan Yu comes to mind.

However, BBM can’t really be faulted as the story was set in the 1960’s and in a cowboy area – Wyoming.

Which coindentally is where Matthew Shepard was murdered back in 1998. There is actually a docu-movie based on this infamous incident called The Laramie Project (and yes, I cried towards the end during the court scene when Matthew’s father read the letter and decided to spare the perpetrators from the death sentence).

Those who managed to catch it either at the Venice Film Festival or Toronto International Film Festival have only positive comments on the film. Even the breeders.

Taken from IMDB:

I felt compelled to write this comment because I'm overwhelmed. It has changed my perception, I must confess, about certain aspect of same sex love because I didn't think of same sex when I was watching it, I saw two human beings (amazing performances by both actors)I have the feeling "Brokeback Mountain" will make history, deservedly so. - bethlambert117 from United States

Throughout the screening there was a lot of nervous laughter (understandably so) from the subject matter. There was the occasional gasp, specifically when Ennis and Jack reunite after years of being apart by unleashing their passion and desire, ravaging each other with a rough "slam-you-against-the-wall" kiss. I was kind of blown away too! Surprisingly, the underlying humour from the story played out well in many of scenes judging from the laughter that was consistently heard from the audience.

But I got the feeling that the laughter was due to nervousness on the audience's part. I got annoyed a few times when people kept laughing nervously over what they were seeing on screen for the first time. But I had remind myself that this type of film isn't something that's easy for a lot of people to digest.

For those of you who have read the story, you know that this film isn't your run-of-the-mill cliché romance where the two lovers walk off into sunset. The film is very powerful in that it stays true to the theme of love between two people -- irregardless that they're both men. I found myself not concerned that these were two men secretly trying to keep their relationship in the dark, but two human-beings in love, trying to survive and live in a time when hate and prejudice still existed against same-sex relationships.

It's true, Heath definitely has the juicer, more complex role and he performs it such bravery and honesty that it just breaks your heart. His repression, fear, anger, guilt and passion pour through in what is, in my opinion, one of the best performances by a male actor I have seen this year by far. He most certainly will receive further recognition and accolades as the awards season rolls in. Here's hoping Oscar shows some love. I wept during Ennis and Jack's final scene together -- when Ennis' damn finally breaks and he collapses into Jack's arms. (BIG SIGH) Simply outstanding !!

The same can be said about Jake's performance. He manages to capture such a longing and pain in Jack's eyes without saying a word. A lot of the most powerful parts of this film is when the actors don't speak. Ang Lee has directed his two male leads to some very brave and career-defining performances here.
Nanabush from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

I can't wait to watch the movie too. Based on reviews and comments so far, BBM seems to be a strong Oscar contender. Which I am not too keen of because these films usually have slow- moving plots and lots of silence scenes.

Though I can wager that it will not be screen in Malaysia, even with the sex scenes snipped off. Because gay => bad => sinful => Western culture => against our values and religion => straight people would suddenly engage in same-sex intercourse => families break down => fabric of society would unravel => fire and brimstone would fall from the sky => end of the world.

Only movies which show straight couples getting married and have children are acceptable. Like this, even though it may be fake or for convenience sake.

So to save us from ourselves, the movie must not be shown here, just like Sin City and Finding Neverland (starring the yummy Johnny Depp). And many others.

Of course, when there is a will, there is a way. Time to visit the ever-helpful DVD peddlers in Petaling Street.

Sigh, what would we do without them?

[The pictures in this post were taken from here. To watch the trailer, please click here.]


Legolas said...

From the looks of it, I definitely will get my hands on this one. I like Ang Li, he's a very good director (and he's a Chinese :-) ), and he's very good with portraying the love between two people.

Derek, if you want to watch a gay themed movie with a happy ending, you've gotta watch "The Wedding Banquet", coincidently directed by Ang Li as well. It's my favourite.

And I just love the movie's tagline: Everyone wants to kiss the bride.... except the groom.

Legolas said...

Another thing, Derek. I really like the way you described how the movie can bring us to end of the world. Sometimes they're just being too paranoid, still remember how it was for "Bruce Almighty"?

Spot said...

Ang Lee is truly truly amazing (i do try to ignore The Hulk) and is a cross-cultural success (look at Sense & Sensibility and Ice Storm)

Btw, does anyone else think he looks so much like an Asian Rex Van De Kamp (Bree's husband lah)?

His win was covered on CNN a few days ago, which is pretty good news, given the movie's theme.

Try watching a classic - Farewell My Concubine, starring Leslie Cheung. Keep the tissues handy. :`)

Derek said...

legolas: Ooh, I have The Wedding Banquet in my collection. But haven't got around to watching it yet.

If I am not wrong, it's funny too, right?

legolas: Heh, thanks. I just wanted to point out the absurdity of it.

spot: Now that you mentioned it, yes, Ang Lee does look a bit like Rex. LOL

Farewell My Concubine, huh? Will watch it if I get the chance.

And it's the first time that a Hollywood director did an epic and grand gay love story (judging from the reviews) worhty of Oscar contention.

All the publicity will hopefully amount to something positive for the community.

Holden said...

I hope Brokeback Mountain would be the stepping stone for all those indie gay flicks to go mainstream.

Hey, anyone heard of a new TV series called Third Man Out? It's a detective/police show and the lead is gay and is shown having a relationship with a man. A good sign?

Jay said...

The only gay movies I watch these days have no plots, no budget... and no clothes.

Derek said...

holden: This movie is a promising development. We can only hope that it is the beginning to more of them.

I just googled that series. Seems really interesting though.

jay: As always, you have impeccable taste, jay. ;P