Saturday, February 18, 2006

Not just another gay film

Originally uploaded by jasonatlantaga.
I do not know a person who would not have been moved by Ang Lee's amazing film Ice Storm. Superb acting and a calm camera builds a portrayal of two families with everything else but true happiness or feelings of any sort. Both children and parents seem to seek satisfaction in ways that only brings more sorrow and pain. I bought the film on DVD a while ago and have watched it a few times during the last months.

Ice Storm is one of the reasons why my expectations for so high before we went to see Brokeback Mountain yesterday. Friends of mine had informed me to equip myself with a pack of tissues.

Ang Lee's film tells the story of two cowboys falling in love with each other in circumstances that do not allow this. Especially Heath Ledger's (pic) acting is out of this world. His character Ennis is not that much of a talker but with his physique and facial expressions Ledger manages to build a character whose sorrow and pain can be felt strongly among the audience. Jake Gyllenhaal's Jack is more a talker and seems at least in the beginning of the film to be the more sensitive one in the relationship. As the film continues Jack turns to be the brave one willing to make sacrifices.

The film has been branded strongly as a gay film. Of course there are valid reasons for this. Ang Lee's film is one of the first mainstream films with gays as leading characters and not just as funny sidekicks. And it was clear yesterday in the cinema that this aspect still has some shock value - every time the men were kissing, one could hear teenager girls giggling.

But it does not do justice for Ang Lee's film to put it solely in the gay film box. Brokeback Mountain is one of the most beautiful films I have seen for years. It is built from beautiful landscapes, silent glances and herds of sheep. The dialogue is often even difficult to understand due to the (presumably intentional) mumbling. Somehow it reminded of Aki Kaurismäki's films where the feeling is not in the words but in the movement, setting and looks.


ice breaker said...

I saw broke Back Mountain together with a very good friend in New York in December. When we were in the movie theater, the whole room was one big emotion. If something happened the whole room went OOOOOO or AAAA. I have never experienced this anywhere lese before.
The loudest ooooaaaaaa session was when the 2 saw each other again after some years and Ennis wife watched the welcome scene. Indeed one of the best films I have seen in a while!

Anonymous said...

are you gay, too?