Rightwing Film Geek

Whether to see BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

In a column in today’s Dallas Morning News, Rod Dreher describes his reaction to BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, both the Annie Proulx short story and the Ang Lee film. And he cites your humble blogger as convincing him that the film was not what the Hollywoof publicity machine had been selling to the world, that it was more complex, more subtle, more *true* to what a work of art IS. I hope more people will give the film a chance — not because I think the film is perfect (I’ve seen nine films this year I think better, with more than a month to go) or because I have some particular stake in its success. But because, as I’ve said, people are judging BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN from bases other than its merits (or lack thereof).

Still, I can’t honestly blame other starboard Christians for reacting differently. People have to decide what movies to see, without having seen them. And in the past week of discussion at St. Blogs, plus a couple more conversations I’ve had in real-time, some people have made it explicit that the critical praise for BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN has turned them off. (I haven’t had the heart to tell anyone at St. Blogs that I know of critics who disdain the film for not being gay enough.)

Here is Mark Shea

My response has primarily been to the “Eat your spinach. This is a Morally Improving Piece of Agitprop About the Greatest Thing in the Universe, Gay Sex!” tone the press has take with it. I am frankly sick to death of being told by every MSM outlet that nothing less than my unqualified praise and adoration of homosex will do. So I’m not exactly pre-disposed to take critical raves seriously even when (albeit with huge qualifications, as Greydanus makes clear) a piece of art may merit them.

… or here from Dom Bettinelli.

I think my main negative reaction was against how it is presented to the rest of us. The predictable mainstream press and the Hollywood elites are calling it a manifesto for homosexuality. I predict another “Hilary Swank” lovefest at the awards shows next year, not because of any quality in the movie itself, but because of its utility in the culture wars.

Obviously, I don’t know either man’s taste well enough to guess whether he’d actually LIKE the movie if he did see it. But trust lost, as in trust in Hollywood and “the critics” (an amorphous lump in public discourse — I know very well that that’s unjust, but that’s how it is), is hard to regain. And it is lost permanently when the same patterns — “this is a great film because it’ll challenge your morals” — are repeated.

December 29, 2005 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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