EDITED TO ADD: Brokebacklash

Hmm. Reflecting upon how StinkyLu's Brokeback post leaves unaddressed the earlier gayblog hoo-ha about Ledger/Gyllenhall's comments about not playing Ennis/Twist as "gay"... how StinkyLu's appreciation of the film didn't address the whole oddly impassioned kerfluffle about whether Brokeback's a "gay film"...

So lo beho: StinkyLu bumps into this indy screed against Brokeback (courtesy of AfroFuturist).

Ignoring the obvious (read: lame) titular pun & the absurdly comic casting proposal, this piece -- which endeavors the ostensibly radical proposition that "Brokeback isn't gay at all" -- does raise at least one interesting & important point about the nature of this story's appeal, both in its prose & cinematic variants: the slash/fic angle. Approaching Brokeback through a slash/fic lens is precisely on-point (and doesn't require even a passing acquaintance with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick but probably does oblige an awareness of the basic conventions of slash/fic). Indeed, a cursory comparison between the Proulx story & the McMurtry/Ossana screenplay adaptation emphatically underscores this.

But back to the question: "Is Brokeback gay?"
StinkyLu too says: "Nah. Naht really. Naht really a problem either."

Consider David Leavitt's useful & thoughtful consideration of this very question. StinkyLu thinks Leavitt's right to emphasize how the both the screenplay & the short story draw upon a vocabulary of masculine convention, drawn as much from genre fiction as from Hollywood. Indeed, this ain't the sort of "authentic" gay story that Brad Altfest wants (nor does it address the crucial "gay for pay" violation that ultimately seems to matter most to him.) Rather, the film's accomplishment stems as much from the realignment of those conventions of masculinity within the confines of Hollywood (swimming pools & movie stars, you know). And, yes, there was a whole lotta gay history going on in the 1960s/70s, especially in towns like Oklahoma City, Dallas, Denver & Albuquerque -- towns that Jack Twist would've/could've driven through on his way to 'go fishing' (as opposed to NYC or SanFran). Indeed, Sarah Schulman (scroll way down) gets it right in her appreciation of Brokeback: ain't about gay culture or identity at all, but it sure does get to the poisonous emotional realities of homophobia. And, hey, there are worse movies to have folks sitting still for at the megaplex these days...

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