Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain

Gary Needham
Series: American Indies
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 152
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3366/j.ctt1r20zz
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  • Book Info
    Brokeback Mountain
    Book Description:

    An innovative study of the successful indie film Brokeback Mountain.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-3384-5
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Series Preface
    (pp. vi-viii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction: Brokaholics Anonymous
    (pp. 1-7)

    My name is Gary and I’m a Brokaholic! I admit that this book was initially conceived out of an obsession with the film and for that it has been a hard book to write. When I told film studies colleagues that I was both overly affected by the material and intending to write about the film many took a sharp intake of breath as if to suggest that it was a terrible idea. I think the assumption here is that one is going to work out one’s ‘issues’ through scholarship and that objectivity is going to be unquestionably compromised. However,...

  6. 1. The Indie in Focus
    (pp. 8-30)

    The presence of Brokeback Mountain at awards and throughout popular culture was a testament to the film and its producer-distributor, Focus Features, who generated an enormous amount of critical buzz, acclaim and widespread exposure. Brokeback Mountain’s success as a modest crossover hit was indicative of a new climate for independent cinema, one that frequently positions independent films between the mainstream successes associated with studio pictures and the cultural capital and edginess of the independent feature. Brokeback Mountain entered the mainstream consciousness like no other widely distributed gay-themed independent film before it and since; Milk (Gus Van Sant, 2008) became a...

  7. 2. Queering the Western
    (pp. 31-78)

    Is Brokeback Mountain a Western? This could be a divisive question that implicates the viewer in accepting or rejecting that a much-cherished genre has a queer history. If Brokeback Mountain is a Western this implies that homosexual desires and gay men, to whatever degree sublimated, have always been part of the narrative and logic of this Hollywood genre. By extension, one would also need to accommodate a queer history within a larger mythological and epic story of fashioning the American West. The answer to this key question is one that also makes difficult a separation from the processes of reception...

  8. 3. A Pathetic State of Affairs: Brokeback Mountain and Melodrama
    (pp. 79-93)

    The preceding chapter positioned Brokeback Mountain in relation to the Western genre. Yet, despite the plethora of ways in which this relationship was explored, the ensuing analysis did little to explain how Brokeback Mountain was affecting and emotionally involving. The obvious affects of the film are the production of a feeling of powerlessness and pathos and of a heightened emotional response to what is a perspicuous topic for gay and lesbian audiences, the destructive forces of the closet and rural homophobia. The consequence of all this is tears. The power of melodrama to produce intense feelings has often constructed it...

  9. 4. When Jack and Ennis Meet: Cruising as a Mode of Gay Spectatorship
    (pp. 94-120)

    This chapter considers a sequence of shots in Brokeback Mountain and their relationship to gay spectatorship. More specifically, it is concerned with interrelationships between gay male cruising, spectatorship, and editing that in combination overlap much more than one would expect. The argument I will be developing here is based around one shot/reverse shot sequence comprising only six shots, lasting forty-three seconds in total. This sequence would seem to invite an interpretation of film form that conflates cruising and editing as one mode of gay spectatorship. The staging of a cruising scene at the beginning of Brokeback Mountain helps to establish...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 121-130)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 131-138)
  12. Index
    (pp. 139-142)