Friday, November 04, 2005

Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Dir: Ang Lee
Release: Closing Night Film for Starz Denver International Film Festival theatrical release in December 2005.

This year the Starz Denver International Film Festival will close with Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. This is one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of, and that is exactly how you feel when you watch the story unfold.

The Story

Ennis (Heath Leger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) are two Wyoming cowboys who are sent to guard a flock of sheep atop Brokeback Mountain in the summer of 1963. Separated by occupational duties, they managed to find commonalities and ultimately love.

At the end of the summer, they are forced to go separate ways and on to separate lives. No matter how their lives change, their passion lives on through brief encounters in the mountains of Wyoming.

The film follows their lives and the evolution of their love over decades to its final conclusion.

The Film

At its core, this film is about love, passion and the wilderness. This story encompasses all the big themes of life with grace and depth. Regardless of their genders, Ennis and Jack’s love transcends politics and every the forces of society. This is not a standard gay film, something I find incredibly refreshing. It doesn’t ignore the realities of these two specific characters and the situation that they are in, it just lets them be as they are two people in love each other.

Lee’s respect and admiration of the western landscape is clear in his visual choices. Like any good western, the landscape becomes its own character and man’s interaction with the world around him is a central theme in their lives.

Brokeback Mountain is above all an incredibly powerful love story. It stops short of all stereotypes that it could so easily fall into, and instead develops its own language, the language of Ang Lee. It is deliberate and organic, soft and harsh, quite and loud, in short everything a film could be.

Brokeback Mountain screens only once at the Starz Denver International Film Festival on Saturday November 19th where Ang Lee will be presented with the Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award and will be interviewed on stage after the film. Tickets are available at the Starz Film Center or at Denver Film and can be purchased for the film only or the film and reception.


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