Tuesday, October 09, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Shallow...

Nathaniel: ...and gay. don't forget gay. pssst, National Coming Out Day is 2 days away --it's gonna get GAY on Thursday
Readers: as opposed to, what, Fridays through Wednesdays?


Something That is Bugging Me
If Ang Lee, often thought of as a very restrained filmmaker, can direct the hell out of explicit sex scenes (as he proves in Lust, Caution) and Heath Ledger is willing to flash his altogether onscreen (as he proves in the Dylan pic I'm Not There) why the hell didn't we get either of those things in Brokeback Mountain?

I'm sorry it's just bugging me.

Up next: Less shallowness! Plus: a review of Elizabeth the Golden Age, Nicole as Margot and the final New York Film Festival reports. The festival wraps this weekend just in time for the new season of this blog's regular series to begin.

26 comments:

JA said...

Nat, that's been bugging me for YEARS. But yeah, especially now in light of Lust, Caution's acrobatically explicit couplings. Come on, Ang! I suppose "the world" wasn't ready for Jake's legs in the air. BIGGEST SIGH EVER.

adam k. said...

Yeah, I also would've liked to see more of Heath's "altogether" in close proximity to Jake and his own "altogether." But the answer to this one's fairly simple: they didn't want to turn off too many people. Can you imagine the ammunition the haters would've had with this film if the love scenes were more explicit? Or if, god forbid, a penis was shown? Though I do wonder why that jumping-off-the-clip nude scene wasn't used. Heath showed his penis in that. Oh wait, I just answered my own question.

Anyway, now I'm intrigued with this apparent nudity Heath gives us in I'm Not There. I would've prefered to see Ennis nude, but Heath-as-Boy-Dylan would also be nice.

Oh wait, I just thought of another totally obvious thing: maybe Ang only likes filming explicit sex scenes when they're heterosexual? Just a thought.

adam k. said...

that'd be "Heath-as-BOB-Dylan"

That had to be some kind of Freudian slip...

adam k. said...

Really, JA? Years? BBM has been out for less than 2 years.

But it does feel like that long, yes. Wow, I feel old.

Anonymous said...

Will you be at the closing NYFF screening of Persepolis? I'd love a report on that!

Colin said...

Though I do wonder why that jumping-off-the-clip nude scene wasn't used.

Um. Wasn't it in the movie?

Colin said...

Regarding Nat's question: because it would lead to (even more) puerile "Ledger has the hots for Gyllenhaal" rumours, if he could get it up during the sex scene?

Anonymous said...

Well since you mentioned Margot at the Wedding - I should mention that the new theatrical trailer for Golden Compass has been released on the 'net - and it's a real kick. I am SO there at the theater come Dec. 7.

But I digress...

I definitely agree with Adam K's point. And given the fact that they wanted people to see this as a love story, not just a gay love story (and given the difficulty it took to get it made at all) - given the fact that they wanted people to SEE IT, period, then yes, I can understand why they approached the love scenes with "discretion". I may not like it, but there it is.

My sweetie remarked when we were watching the first kiss in the film that you rarely see that in the movies. If it's so rare to see a same sex kiss, it's going to take quite a while further to see same-sex love scenes incorporated into films the way heterosexual scenes are.

I have no idea about Lee's comfort level with homo sex scenes, Adam - or the actor's, for that matter. (Which may have had as much if not more to do with it.) But obviously he had to have a certain comfort level with the subject matter to want to take it on in the first place.

In any case, having just seen the film a few weeks ago I'd rather celebrate it for the masterful work it is than pick it apart. But point well taken in any case, Nathaniel - at least we can have these discussions in the first place.

If I go to see Elizabeth the Golden Age at all btw, it will probably be mostly for the lesbian subtext that Nate has mentioned. Do I wish there were more films with lesbian characters that were more than just coming out stories and didn't use lesbianism as "subtext" (or the come-on tease to the hetero male lead)? You betcha I do. Is it going to happen in my lifetime? Who knows.

RedSatinDoll

Rural Juror said...

"Though I do wonder why that jumping-off-the-clip nude scene wasn't used. Heath showed his penis in that. Oh wait, I just answered my own question."

That is in the movie.

As for the difference, apparently the sex becomes gratuitous in Lust, Caution so perhaps it's better there wasn't a lot shown.

Honestly, I think a movie can do just as much with nudity as it can without.

NATHANIEL R said...

well i am kinda joking here. I think Brokeback is beautiful as is and I can watch porn if i need explicitness. it's just that seeing Lust Caution and I'm Not There in the SAME week is making this question stare me in the face.

and yes, i will be seeing Persepolis, it's the only screening I have left in the festival.

i'm sorry the write ups are taking so long. I've been swamped at work and feeling crappy

but

MOVIES. MOVIES. enough about my problemszzz

matt said...

In addition to "turning people off," I feel that anything more explicit would not have served the movie well (though I would've LOVED some explicit ledger on gyllenhaal action). The passion is in that first fuck (which was hot and relatively 'explicit' even when there's no nudity) and from then on - it's about love...passionate kissing and emotions on the sleeve...not sex.

And I think we should all be grateful Brokeback was as successful as it was - it might not've been with more explicitness (it may have become all about that - and less media attention on the reviews/awards/phenomenon that was an extradordinary film that i wouldn't change one bit).

...just my two cents.

NATHANIEL R said...

basically i agree

adam k. said...

I agree that it shouldn't be changed (though a tad more explicitness in the first fuck would've been GREAT). And I guess I forgot that the cliff-jumping scene was there. I mean, the infamous full frontal angle on Heath was NOT (that was my main point).

But again, all these decisions served the film. It's not porn. It's a love story. Period. Though we all have times when we wish it coulda been both...

adam k. said...

And just as a side note, how could is this picture of Heath on the blog? Mmmmm...

Anonymous said...

Had Brokeback gone more in the direction of Lust, Caution, then we'd be looking at an NC-17, depressingly resulting in limited distribution, a reduced audience, and no dance wih Oscar.

We're better off with the route taken, since it did far more good.

Rob

Anonymous said...

the scene in bbm where they jump off the cliff into the water look closely it's not jake that is why when the pics of heath were posted on the net jake was nowhere,look film fans it isn't the doe eyed one.

Anthony said...

i swear, you are living my mind, Nat.
Was going to demand your say on Nicole Kidman in Margot at the wedding... please, quick... is she really that great?

JA said...

Two years equals the plural, Adam. ;-)

Of course I too think BBM was/is perfect the way it came out and didn't "need" more explicit sex. That doesn't mean there could'ny have been scenes shot, included on the DVD...

See, it's impossible for me to talk about this rationally, because I get that it wasn't needed, just my desire to see it overrides any reasoning my brain can manage.

I guess this is what imagination is for!

adam k. said...

Yes, but less than two years = not plural. Brokeback has been out for about 1.8 years ; )

Unfortunately Ang had the good sense (I'm assuming) to know before shooting that more explicit scenes were not needed, hence his not shooting them. I'm sure Heath and Jake and Ang didn't wanna sit around filming unnecessary explicity love scenes just so some gay guys could relish them on DVD. Though the thought of that is SO amazing...

Ray said...

I think the simple answer is that (A) None of the principle men involved in Brokeback are gay, and so they therefore weren't comfortable going that far in a gay love story - Heath and Jake have said as much in interviews.
And (B) I think Ang was wanting to restrain the graphic sex in order to allow it more mainstream acceptance.

Little steps, Nate. Little steps.

www.therecshow.com

Jimmy said...

"...resulting in limited distribution, a reduced audience, and no dance wih Oscar."

The dance with oscar was certainly cut short thanks to the likes of Oprah, Ernest Borgnine, Tony Curtis....

Anonymous said...

"None of the principal men involved in Brokeback are gay"
No, but one goes both way

The Jack said...

Who the fuck does Ang Lee think he is? He makes a supposedly "pro-gay" movie, but he doesn't show one guy getting a hummer for the whole film. What am I, six years old? I can't see a guy getting sucked off by another guy? I'm not a fucking kid. I can take it, Ang. I'm a realist, man. I like to see real shit going down. I see two guys in a tent in "Brokeback Mountain", I want a fucking 69. I want to see an asshole eaten out. You're telling me that shit doesn't go down? Gyllenhaal's mouth is practically watering the whole movie, shove something in there Heath! I can see Bruce Willis swinging back and forth in "Colour Of Night" but I can't see Jake Gyllenhaal taking a mouthful of Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain"? What kind of country do we live in? I don't want the veil over my eyes anymore, and I don't want Ang Lee telling me what's sexy and what's not. I see enough tits in movies, I watch tits all day. I don't need to see Ann Hathaway's tits. I need to see Jake Gyllenhaal on all fours getting a mouthful of Ledger. If you went to a baseball game and right before the guy hit the ball they cut away, would you be happy? No, you want to see a homerun. I want to see Jake Gyllenhaal on all fours getting his salad tossed by Heath Ledger.

Ryan said...

I'm with your there Nat. Ironic that Heath than goes and bares all under the direction of a gay man. (God I love Todd Haynes)

BBM is a true masterpiece (one of my favs). But some sex/nudity in the vein of THE PIANO or ENGLISH PATIENT would have been nice.

I honestly believe that if Brokeback’s script/direction had called for it, Heath would’ve done more sex and nudity. Jake... I'm not so sure about. But again, BBM is a masterpiece. And I also agree that the lack of explicit sex did contribute to its commercial success.

Anonymous said...

The Jack's rant just reminded me of Jonah Hill's awesome deleted scene from "Knocked Up" about Jack and Ennis. LMAO. It should have made it into the film.

Ang definitely took the safe route with the sex scenes in "Brokeback". They could have been much more involved (some R-rated "straight" films have gone very far lately in sexual scenes), but it would have turned off the non-initiated, and the idea was mainstream acceptance. But on the other hand, what they did do was revolutionary in its own right. When I watched the film the first time in theatres, when the film got to the tent sex scene, there were two old ladies in the row in front of me, and one of them had her hand on her mouth the entire time. It was probably more shock than disgust, but it probably rocked her wig a bit seeing that from a mainstream Hollywood film. I smiled.

Anonymous said...

Oh wait, that probably was Jonah Hill's monologue.