Saturday, 8 October 2011

Brokeback Mountain Studies: Through the Queer Longing Glass

Films accumulate meaning through, at times, very subtle moves. From one colour to another. From one shape to another. The latter is the case with Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005).

While much of the film's affective meaning is conjured through quite obvious (but no less moving for that) figurations of absence and presence, such as Ennis's discovery of the (now 'empty') bloodied shirts in Jack's closet, and their (still 'empty') reappearance in Ennis's own closet at the end of the film, there is also some mourning and memory-work carried out through considerably less conspicuous, visual shape-shifting and graphic matching.


This very short video essay traces the long journey from Jack's desirous looking at Ennis through round glass (as he shaves his later-to-be-bruised cheek) in the early and middle parts of the film, to Ennis's touching association with squarer, straighter vistas, at the end of the film, an un/looking through 'longing glass' in which Jack can only be figured invisibly, metaphorically, through his absence.  [Catherine Grant, 'Through the Queer Longing Glass of Brokeback Mountain']
Film Studies For Free's author was doing a little bit of teaching on Brokeback Mountain last week. It was windy up there, but this pedagogical outing inspired the above little video essay as well as the below list of links to online, and openly accessible studies of Ang Lee's 2005 film and Annie Proulx's short story as well as of the 'gay cowboy film' more generally. Yee ha!

3 comments:

J.R. Kinnard said...

I just wanted to say that I love your blog and appreciate all the hard work it must take to maintain it.

I'm sure there are people who recognize what a valuable resource you are providing, even if they don't say it.

Brava!

Catherine Grant said...

J.R. Thanks so much. There aren't too many comments left at this blog, it's true, although I do always get feedback by email and via FSFF's Twitter and Facebook feeds, So many thanks for leaving your appreciative comment at the foot ofone of my favourite entries. FSFF is my pleasure but your recognition means a lot. Thanks for taking the time to convey it.

Anderson said...

I just discovered this blog and have to say it is brilliant. It must be so hard to do all this linking, but it's very rewarding for us readers. Thanks from Brazil.