Friday, April 07, 2006

I Care 4 U...



The slight problem I have with films like Brokeback Mountain and Good Night, and Good Luck (both Oscar nominated films I've recently seen for the first time) is that, despite their honorable intentions and decidedly apolitical positioning, the very nature of their subjects nullifies their attempt at simplicity. What you are left with are films that are far too simple minded, if not good hearted, merely serving as conversation starters on very important issues. I should note that this is not necessarily the fault of the films or filmmakers. Art is still art in lieu of definitive statements or expansive discussion. Connection is always key for myself in such instances--and connections are made in both films. What is a tad unsettling to me is their indescribably high regard amongst certain circles (typically liberal) that allow the film's obviously "lite" philosophies to be passed off as genuine observations on cultural mythos.

Brokeback Mountain is a particularly heartbreaking film. An unpopular opinon, however(one that I hold), is that the film is not really a love story, per se, but a story of deep and desperate connection. A fine line, sure, but two different things. Because of this, I find its honesty unsettling but genuine, and its morose melodrama a weight that drags the film down considerably. Brokeback Mountain's subtlties do not call for the specific type of treatment delivered from the script and, in turn, a pecuiliar tone is created that I couldn't really shake while watching. Of course the performances are both true to life and tragic. The deceptively sweeping and grandiose photography is surprisingly focused and personal. But it is the nagging shadow (albeit, a faint one) of an "issue" film that unfortunately peeks through the screenplay that becomes its (admittedly minor) undoing for me, simply because it doesn't carry the weight to really be one.

These are minor problems I have after a second viewing of both films, though. I really DO adore both Brokeback Mountain and Good Night, and Good Luck. Both so affecting and staggering in their respective ways. For ME, Brokeback Mountain is not the masterpiece it seems to be accepted as. But both remain fine, fine films.

1 comment:

Todd VanDerWerff said...

See? This is why no one likes you.

Excellent thoughts, though.

To some degree, I suppose the argument could be made that showing that homersexuals feel ACTUAL feelings for each other and AREN'T driven by overwhelming lust from one anonymous sexual encounter to another could be seen as controversial in some sections of this country.

But that says a lot more about how stupid this country can be than about Brokeback's profundity.