Sunday, September 03, 2006

Taking a chance on love

Yesterday was the Monkey wedding anniversary, and we celebrated by clearing a space in the drift of books and newspapers and LRBs on the kitchen table and eating a bowl of pasta by candlelight and drinking some lovely red wine that we brought back from Paris in May. But we were sad. Because when we sat down to eat we had just finished watching Brokeback Mountain, which is a very sad film. By rights, Mister Monkey asserted, it should have made us happy in way, because it is a film about people who want one thing but carry on living another thing and so never get the thing they want, but we did not do that and we set aside the censure of others in order to get the thing we wanted--


although admittedly it was most unlikely that anyone was going to beat either of us to death with a tyre iron


--and so now we are happy, unlike the men in the film. And the film made me angry too, because it seemed like a very modern story, of two people who want to pursue something that is slightly outside the ideal for modern American people, and so they would in some way be bringing shame on others, and so they must be suppressed and stopped by other jackasses in big hats, and it made me sad again to think that economic necessity ties people to jobs and situations when all they want to do is ride their horses around, but of course this is how it is for everyone, so why should they be any different? And of course it slightly annoyed me to see two white men who have access to much (well, one of them does anyway, and he did offer help to the other one) but because they can't have things exactly the way they want them, they have to mess it all up for everyone, especially the poor sheep who got killed by the coyote because they were supposed to be watching him and they weren't. Hmm, maybe it's a film about the evil effects of transnational corporations? You know, the white American men are too busy fucking each other to notice that the sheep are getting hammered out there?
I could go on. The main thing about the film is that you can cover it with any meaning you want, because it's such a huge space with so little dialogue in it (and only half of that is intelligible) that you can have the characters be anyone you want without fear of them saying anything to contradict you. The open spaces (of where? That's right, Alberta) are so beautiful, and the human spaces are so grim and awful, that at times you wonder why everyone in the film doesn't take off to Brokeback Mountain to go fishing. Of course everyone won't. But once in a while, when you do, it all works out okay.

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