轉自《華盛頓郵報》官網: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp ... R2006020102477.html

A Picture of Two Americas In 'Brokeback Mountain'

By Stephen Hunter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 2, 2006; Page C01

The eight Academy Award nominations secured this week by Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" guarantee that not only will the film itself continue to prosper at the box office, but that the bitter culture war surrounding the gay-themed western will continue to be fought.

Liberals will see the film as a beacon of tolerance, a study of the cruel pathologies of intolerance, a plea for acceptance for the humane principle that love between consenting adults, no matter their gender or orientation, should be celebrated.

Conservatives will see the liberal tyranny of an entertainment culture forcing elitist "progressive values" on the reluctant red-state millions and, in the process, staining the purity of the most American of good ol' American genres, the western, home of Duke Wayne, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.

Boys, boys, boys, settle down. Put them shootin' irons away. It's only a movie.

But the question remains: Does "Brokeback Mountain" have an agenda? After all, it's certainly not preachy. It's as stoic as the men it follows and the mountain it loves. It's a story of a love that dare not speak its name because nobody in it knows the word for its name.

All that is true. But again, a movie is a collection of images, not just words. What is said is secondary to the imagery -- images, in the hands of a skillful filmmaker, such as the great Lee ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is his most well-known, "Eat Drink Man Woman" his best), are ideas. They carry ideas. They issue proclamations. They lobby for policy.

And what do Lee's images tell us?

Based on an Annie Proulx short story, it's the tale of two young cowboys,

Based on an Annie Proulx short story, it's the tale of two young cowboys, Ennis Del Mar (Oscar-nominated Heath Ledger, in a superb performance) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal, also nominated), who are hired to spend the summer of 1963 up Wyoming's Brokeback Mountain, tending a herd of sheep far from civilization. Both are of the rural proletariat, ranch-bred, horse-proud, sinewy, resourceful, brave, tough, industrious, poorly educated. You can bet they don't care much about the sheep they've got to tend; they'd much rather spend time running the more noble beef cattle. Neither is a talker or a reader; their only solace over the long nights is tailor-made smokes and whiskey neat.

The last thing these two ever figured on is falling in love. With each other.

The movie then jumps over the years, four or five at a stretch, as each fights against what turns out to be his true nature, and forces himself to genuflect before the stations of the cross of heterosexual culture: marriage, family, responsibility. Yet if the love doesn't speak its name, it certainly sings its tune. The two sneak away over the years for trysts, and eventually each spouse learns the bitter truth.

Finally, the inevitable tragedy and the realization by one man of what a misspent life he's had. How he should have to his own self been true; how happiness has evaded him forever. It's hard to argue that the movie constitutes any kind of threat, or pro-gay propaganda. For one thing, there's too much authentic pain in it, it's too bloody sad. The final image of the aloneness of the survivor is heartbreaking. He was never a crier, of course, but you know inside he's sobbing. The film shows, convincingly, that love comes from the heart, not the glands, and if the heart is engaged, the body follows.

It also shows a lot of conventional heterosexual romantic themes in full bloom: the idea of the special person or "fate" bringing two kindred souls together; the idea that the basis of love has to be trust and friendship, not just lust; the idea that over the long term, a loved one grows to accept the other's foibles; and finally the idea that certain things are meant to be, and without them, life seems somehow incomplete and miswired. It's a film about hearts -- broken and otherwise. It's pure romance.

Yet it makes an argument with images craftily employed to communicate ideas. Nothing in it is arbitrary.

For example, one merely has to compare the visual motifs by which director Lee expresses homosexual life vs. heterosexual life.

Homosexuality in "Brokeback Mountain" is always associated with a river: It's a great torrent of nature, which cannot be controlled and which provides sustenance, nurture, satisfaction, joy. The happiest image in the film, and the most poignant, is Ennis and Jack, off by their lonesome, pulling off their clothes and leaping off a cliff into the placid, welcoming waters below. Realistically, it's a river; metaphorically, it's the great river of homosexuality, and safe and free immersion in it is utterly joyful to them. Indeed, most of the two men's squabbling and (mostly off-camera) lovemaking takes place next to a river. It's glimpsed in many of the backgrounds, usually a turmoil of frothing white water to signify the rush and power of their love and lust for each other. Sometimes it's calming, it's always there for them, and they suffer at their imposed distance from it.

Contrast that with the imagery of family and hearth. These venues are expressions of the impoverishment of the heterosexual family lifestyle. Ennis lives in a shabby apartment where he is regularly assailed by his doughy, clueless wife (Oscar-nominated Michelle Williams). His children squall and make demands that he cannot satisfy; his wife clings and resents; we are pressed to identify with him and feel the pain he feels and the yearning he aches with as he lurches out to the "purity" of the river.

The same is true for Jack. His family is equally dysfunctional, fronted by a bully and braggart of a father-in-law who sells farm equipment in Texas. His wife, Lurlene (Anne Hathaway), is first glimpsed as an impossibly pretty young rodeo rider, but after the marriage she ages gracelessly into a chain-smoking harridan with big blond hair and bad teeth.

Then there's Ennis's visit to Jack's parents at the family homestead, which might be called "Ennis calls on Grant Wood's 'American Gothic.' " Old Ang Lee is really laying it on thick here. The actor chosen to play Jack's father (Peter McRobbie) certainly looks like Wood's living cadavers -- grim, wheezing skinhead, lacking only that pitchfork -- and the house itself has the quality of skeleton to it: bare with unfinished wood, rotting in the sun. Again the visuals are overwhelming in their attitude: family life, home life, breeder life as a gestalt of impoverishment and stark, comfortless angularity. The old man cares less about his son's life than his death; his one issue is that the boy's ashes not be scattered on Brokeback Mountain, as Jack had wished, but that he be buried in the family plot, that he be hypocritically reclaimed for something called the name of decency.

In fact, generally, the movie is cruel to family. It seems to think family is a bourgeois delusion; Ennis's poor daughter ends up in a gaudy Trans Am owned by her fiance, a harbinger of roughneck disaster to come. Jack's boy is simply forgotten about; his ultimate pain -- and it will be considerable -- is not commented upon.

The movie also misses the deepest joy of family, which is that sense of connection to the great wheel of life. Giving birth to, educating and loving a kid are among the profound joys of human existence. "Brokeback Mountain" cannot begin to imagine such a thing; that reality simply is not on its radar, and if you looked at the story from another vantage -- the children's -- it would be a different tale altogether: about greedy, selfish, undisciplined homosexuals who took out a contract in the heterosexual world, and abandoned it. They weren't true men; they failed at the man's one sacred duty on Earth, which is to provide.

It's when the movie moves upstairs at Jack's parents' house that "Brokeback Mountain" achieves its true power and universality. The subject then becomes not homosexuality but closets, which Lee presents, again literally -- that's a real closet there -- and metaphorically. Ennis is alone in the room, but he feels a presence and looks into the closet where he's metaphorically lived the most meaningful and happiest days of the life. He ducks in as if prostrating himself before an altar, drops to his knees and, hidden way in the back, finds Jack's shirt, smeared with blood from a fight they'd had; and within Jack's shirt is his own shirt, with his blood from the fight. It's all that remains of Jack, and this man, who can ride and rope and fight (we've seen that) and kill (coyote and elk) finally has a tender moment as he brings the garments to his face and rubs them against his cheek. Presumably the people who will be sickened by that sight have either a) not come in the first place or b) left an hour or so earlier after the first scene in the tent. Those of us who are left get the full emotional weight of the scene as the repressed man finally allows himself the redemptive pleasure of a little expression.

We see the shirts again shortly; now, however, their order has been reversed, so that Ennis's shirt encloses Jack's, in a gesture, too late but all the more poignant for it, of protection. The site of the shirt, however, is still the closet: It's Ennis's closet in his trailer where he lives alone, essentially an exile from each society, gay and straight. On the inside of the closet door, he has taped a photo of what may be the actual Brokeback mountain, or just a mountain that his imagination has taken as Brokeback. It's an image of paradise, as the whole train of mountain imagery is generally glorious, going all the way back to James Hilton's Shangri-La. The picture makes homosexual America a Shangri-La.

But when he opens the door, it swings out on its hinges and comes to rest against the wall. By a cleverness of design that is brilliant, it is next to the window of the trailer, and through the window, we see another America. The composition of the shot is genius-level work. Both images are framed -- the mountain by the frame of the photo, the reality by the frame of the window, and both are enclosed in a third frame, the screen. The meaning is clear: the movie is offering choices. Shangri-La or . . . ?

And what's the image of the real America through the window? Why it's flat. It's a dreary rural wheatscape, if you will, with no features to interest the eye, no textures to assuage the soul. There's nothing interesting to it. It expresses someone's idea of repressed America, where gay men are forced to bury their personalities and violent conformism is the rule of the day. To paraphrase Gertrude Stein, there's no there there.

Lee has made his point viscerally; he's not in a pulpit, but he's no innocent either. He's speaking louder with images than most of his ideological opponents do in words.






我們隨即在另一個場景看到這兩件襯衫,然而,他們的次序被倒轉過來了,變成Ennis 的襯衫包著Jack的襯衫,象徵著保護--儘管太遲卻更顯其深刻濃烈。襯衫仍被置放在衣櫃之內,在Ennis 獨居的拖車的衣櫃之內,以一種近乎為社會放逐的方式,無論是同性戀或異性戀的。而在衣櫃另一側的門上貼了一張照片,那可能是真實的斷背山,或者只是某一座他用來假想作斷背山的不知名的山。這是個天堂的影像,如同過去那些關於山的形象總是如此壯麗,彷若回到了James Hilton筆下的香格里拉。而這張照片,就讓同性戀的美國成為了一個香格里拉。


那麼,經由窗戶所呈現的真實的美國又是怎樣的形象?那竟是扁平的,一個陰鬱的鄉野麥田,沒有吸引目光的相貌,沒有撫平靈魂的解理,一切盡是乏味。它表現某人眼裡壓抑的美國,在那裡,一個同志被迫埋藏他們的性格,謹守跟從是生活的準則。引述作家Gertrude Stein的那句話,「那裡根本就沒有那裡(there'sno there there)」。




真的很感謝李安 他為中國電影做出李很大貢獻 這部片子真的很好




唉~~~即使只是看了文字敘述 仍是不禁紅了眼眶~~~自由如美國 也才最近開始同意同性
  婚姻合法化 (那 自由濫觴之地 法國 也是 政黨終於輪替後才在翻天覆地抗議中通過阿~)














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