Transcript: Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Transcript of 70mm’s Brokeback Mountain (2005) Episode.
SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday I sit down to talk about recently watched movies with my dear friend and artist Danny Haas.
DANNY The cinematography in this film, the music and the shots of — am I… am I becoming a cowboy?
SLIM And our spiritual advisor, Protolexus.
PROTO That they can’t find a writer on this whole planet better than Jon Favreau? Jon Favreau, he needs to be led out to pasture, okay?
SLIM Later in this episode, we’re talking about Brokeback Mountain, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Is it the greatest cowboy love story ever told? It’s time to settle this… now.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM Should we talk about the big news this week?
DANNY Let’s talk about it.
SLIM We might be spoiler territory but there’s been a lot of buzz going online. Danny has muted Discords, Discord channels, to refuse talking about it but —
DANNY Oh, you’re putting me on the —
SLIM The Book of Boba Fett.
DANNY My gosh, dude.
SLIM Came out, a lot of people are talking about these last two episodes. If anyone wants to skip ahead, they don’t hear us, not even talk about spoilers, use the chapters. Okay? You can fast forward.
DANNY I can’t believe you’re putting me on the spot!
SLIM Let’s get into it, Proto. What did you think of the most recent two episodes of The Book of Boba Fett?
PROTO They were easily the best episodes, I think we can all agree. Getting to see the Mandalorian, whatever the heck his name is. He was great. I mean he, you know…
SLIM Let it out, Proto, this is a safe space. [Danny & Proto laugh]
DANNY Don’t look at them Proto, look at us.
SLIM It’s just us three… and thousands of other people.
PROTO I mean, Pedro Pascal, he’s looking like Laurence Olivier after we’re dealing with Temuera Morrison for four weeks. [Slim & Danny laugh] I mean, we’re, you know, I mean, I’m workshop and titles. You know.
DANNY That’s good.
PROTO Should they have called this The Book of Poopy Pants? These first four episodes are so bad. I just can’t believe that they can’t find a writer on this whole planet better than Jon Favreau. Jon Favreau, he needs to be led out to pasture, okay? I know we’re talking about the most recent eps, but I just had to get that off my chest. Anyway, this last episode, it’s really great where we’re headed. That’s all I have to say. You know, if we’re mixing in these kinds of characters, I’m onboard.
SLIM Danny, are you are you comfortable revealing your opinion? Are we still gonna keep it close to the vest for these two episodes here?
DANNY Oh for the last two episodes? Um, my opinion is they’re very good.
SLIM Quote “very good’’ from Danny.
DANNY The most recent one, I was, I think I said to you on Apex, you too, both you of you actually, that this might be top tier Star Wars media that I’ve seen in a while. At the end of Mandalorian, the Luke deep fake was fine. I liked it. I like that Luke was a part of it, I like that they had Hamill’s face, etc. But I was still on the fence of them, why not just recast the character? But the CG in this, Boba Fett.
SLIM Light years.
DANNY I couldn’t believe how good this was. It scared me actually how perfect of Mark it was. I think there’s a bits that are off but it’s CG so it’s always going to be a little bit wonky. But I was moved to see Luke on screen again. It’s impressive, like really impressive. Now…
SLIM Let it out.
DANNY I don’t know what we’re supposed to do with Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka.
SLIM All I can say is… no comment.
DANNY So that’s all I’ll say for now. But this episode, I haven’t minded this whole season. It’s been fine. I don’t mind a different take on Boba. It’s a little bit boring, but visually it’s fun to watch. Those last two episodes have been incredible, but it’s dealing with some incredible content.
SLIM Can you imagine we’re kids watching Star Wars in the theater, seeing the special editions and then like future selves of us say, “Hey guess what? When you’re older, there’s going to be a live action Boba Fett series, and it’s gonna be boring as hell.” [Slim laugh]
DANNY Okay, okay.
PROTO Yeah, that’s this thing about this like, that’s what Disney has figured out, is that they don’t need to have good writing, because like the design of the stuff, the CGI, the world the practical effects that they have in this, all the creatures the droids, any little thing, like we were all eating that up, anytime they show like a droid of any kind.
SLIM Eating it up.
PROTO The ship! I mean Mando’s new ship. That Naboo fighter? Like come on. That’s amazing.
DANNY Kiss me.
SLIM Come off of it.
DANNY Yeah. Anyway, I’m very excited to see where these next couple episodes go. I don’t know how many is left for this season. But also this makes me like it credibly excited for Obi Wan. It hurts how excited I am for Obi Wan.
SLIM I heard that’s coming out in May. You heard those whispers? I heard May.
DANNY No comment.
SLIM I heard May. I was on the subreddit. I think Star Wars subreddit, they were talking. Okay?
DANNY It’s exciting.
SLIM Can you imagine, also maybe last thing I’ll say about Luke, maybe the Luke series we get live action. Maybe he has a beard. And maybe they’re more comfortable recasting at that point. Sebastian Stan, you know, bearded Luke?
DANNY I mean, I think if they’re going to do a Luke series, it would need to be recast.
PROTO There’s no way they’re gonna have a CGI main character right? That’s insane!
DANNY Ton of work.
SLIM Listen. Kurt’s in chat suggest Chunk from the Goonies. [Slim laughs] American hero, Chunk.
DANNY The thing that excites me the most about Obi Wan as we know the acting chops of Ewan, so it’s it’s exciting to know that we’re going to have some top tier acting on top of in our Star Wars again. So I’m very excited about him.
SLIM I also need Timothy Olyphant’s hair investigated by the FDA. Because there’s something illegal happening on that head and I want a piece of it.
DANNY I want all of it.
SLIM You know, normally we announce next week’s episode, next week’s movie.
DANNY Oh, we’re going right in. Let’s do this.
SLIM At the end of the show. Okay, this this episode is jam packed. We got a lot of things cooking, a lot of things in the burners. Podcast burners. But we were DMing with some friends of ours.
DANNY Dear friends.
SLIM At Movies Anywhere. Danny, do you use Movies Anywhere?
DANNY I just used it to watch The Color of Money for our council pick. And I’m always in awe of the power of Movies Anywhere.
SLIM I can’t believe movies anywhere is the thing that exists. I remember like, I think we I think every month we explained to Ian, former producer this show what is possible with Movies Anywhere.
DANNY He doesn’t get it.
SLIM He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t think it’s real. So if you haven’t used it, you can. If you buy movies on Apple TV, Prime, you haven’t like all different places. You can use Movies Anywhere and just watch all your movies in one place. Just have one library with movies anywhere. So we were chatting with our friends at Movies Anywhere. And we were wondering, how can we go big for Valentine’s Day? How can we go bigger than we had before. So they’re actually getting a bundle of four movies for us to give out to our friends in live chat. One bundle this week for the best comment of the week. And the four movies included in there, let me just recite some of these movies you’ll get for free.
PROTO Read them.
DANNY Read them.
SLIM Brokeback Mountain is in there. Which we’re covering tonight. PS I Love You.
DANNY Excuse me.
SLIM One of Danny’s favorites.
DANNY Never seen it. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM Hillary Swank. Love Actually.
DANNY Ohhh baby.
SLIM Also gonna be in that bundle for free.
PROTO Cult classic.
SLIM And I hope everyone is sitting down, I hope to have their socks on for our movie next week, which is also included in this bundle. We will be covering for Valentine’s Day, The Notebook next week.
DANNY The Notebook.
SLIM So that’s included. So best comment in live chat gets the bundle you redeem these movies they will appear on Prime, etc. Or you just read all in Movies Anywhere the digital code can be redeemed on Movies Anywhere only. This is my legalese portion of the show. Registration with Movies Anywhere required. Open to US residents 13 and up, so my son is not allowed to participate. Download the free Movies Anywhere app or visit moviesanywhere.com to redeem your code. So The Notebook, I have not seen The Notebook, ever.
DANNY Ever? I think I’ve only seen it once, actually. And it is exciting that we are doing back-to-back MTV Award Best Kiss winners, Brokeback and Notebook. [Slim laughs] 2005, 2006 reigning champs.
SLIM Casey in chat is asking who’s the judge? Should we make Casey the judge or should we be the judge of the comment of the night? It means Casey has to stick around the whole time.
DANNY She’s not going to do that. [Slim laughs]
SLIM So sad white boy returns next week for The Notebook, very excited.
DANNY Our king sad white boy.
SLIM Proto’s boy. So we’ll give away that code later in the show. Proto, did you watch any movies this week?
PROTO I did get around to watching a movie or two. Oh, I watched Ridley Scott’s movie from 2021.
DANNY Oh, yeah!
PROTO The Last Duel.
DANNY You liked it.
PROTO Yeah, I gave it four stars. It showed up on HBO Max. Love HBO Max. And I was looking at it. And I saw oh, man. I’ve watched a lot of long movies recently. And it’s two and a half hours long. So I really, I kept putting it off and putting it off. And I finally put it on. And I was planning only to watch like an hour of it one night. But I stayed up till 12:30 and watched the whole thing, the whole dang thing.
PROTO Because I just was having a great time. So it’s set in, I think it’s the 14th century. It’s like, I think 1386 and it centers around, it’s in France, and it centers around I guess what is historically supposed to be like the last official duel that happens and it’s between two noblemen or two or a knight and a squire. One accuses the other of a crime and then they have a duel to the death. And what’s cool about it is it’s one of these movies where it actually you see the movie kind of like three times because you get it from three different perspectives. And there’s been a few movies like that. I know. I don’t know if you guys remember that movie Vantage Point?
DANNY Oh, yeah, I do.
PROTO Yeah, it came out, I don’t know when it came out. But there’s a few movies that have tried this where they just show you from different perspectives. And the ones I’ve seen have never worked, but I found this very compelling. I thought the performances were great. Adam Driver, Matt Damon, and then Jodie Comer in this movie, I’d never seen her in anything, but she just blew my socks right off. Amazing. And then of course you get the Ridley Scott action. Like if you’ve seen Gladiator, you know, what was I? Sixteen watching Gladiator for the first time? Or yeah, 10 years old. My mind was blown with the combat and this and this harkens back to that, you know, it felt very Gladiator-esque. And I was just like oh yeah! We’re in the dirt. We’re two handin’ the sword, poppin guys in the face. It’s great.
SLIM Is this the one with Matt Damon with the fro hair? The fro mullet?
PROTO Yeah, the mullet. I thought you saw it, Slim?
SLIM No, I’ve only seen the photos of his hair matching that idiot from Raised by Wolves.
DANNY Raised by Wolves, that’s right.
PROTO Yeah, the only thing I will say, it does have some pretty rough stuff centered around sexual assault. So I think if that is, you know, tough for anybody I would you know, maybe pump the brakes or just read a bit about it because there are some really rough scenes in this movie. But um, overall I really, I really loved it.
SLIM Ben Affleck’s goatee is disgusting. Paul just posted a photo of it.
DANNY I don’t even want to look at that. Paul’s been disqualified from the Movies Anywhere award. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM Paul is the first one to drop!
DANNY That goatee.
SLIM No Notebook or Brokeback for Paul. Sorry. [Danny & Slim laugh] He is not happy in chat! Cripes. Anything else, Proto, that you wanted to spotlight?
SLIM How about Black Narcissus?
PROTO Yeah, this was the guys who did The Red Shoes, who were the Pressburger and Powell. So this has been on my watch list for a long time. You know, it’s from 1947. So I guess it actually came out before The Red Shoes. And I gave it three stars. I wasn’t really like blown away by it. You know, I thought it was good. Some neat stuff in there. But yeah, that was the other movie I watched it, not much to say about it.
SLIM Okay. You don’t have to. We’re fine with that. Danny, did you watch the movies this week?
DANNY I watched one that I disliked quite a bit because it was very boring and was 155 minutes long. 1993’s Sydney Polack’s The Firm. And this movie, was rough. I mean, the cast alone in this film had me pretty excited. You have Tom, Gene Hackman, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Wilford Brimley, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Gary Busey. And it’s boring! Like all those people in this film and it’s a boring film. Tom is solid in it. He’s better than he is in The Color of Money, which is not saying much. But that’s all I watched this week leading up to this week.
SLIM Gene Hackman. Where did we go wrong with Gene in The Firm? We should say hello to some new patrons, new friends of ours who joined at 70mmpod.com. Get access to episodes early, uncut eps. We just dropped our Goblet of Fire ep and our Color of Money ep will be coming out potentially when this episode drops, stay tuned. So there’s I think 24 episodes now.
SLIM In the vault, only for supporters on Patreon and Apple and Spotify. But those new friends are Swamp Preacher, Colin, Max, and Josh, all joined this week. So thank you for your support. Do I want to talk about a movie?
SLIM Let me check my diary here. I watched The Last Castle. You heard about this? Robert Redford.
DANNY I’ve heard of it.
SLIM The Wig, they call him now. [Proto & Danny laugh] 2001, so any movie that came out in like 2001, that was when I was taking them home from West Coast Video. Vanilla Sky was a big one back then too. But Robert Redford plays a court martialed general who goes into like a military prison for I think like listening to an order that got a bunch of men killed. Actually no, defying an order. And James Gandolfini plays the guy running the prison. Mark Ruffalo is also in it. Delroy Lindo plays another Gen. Robin Wright. So pretty great cast. And he’s he’s kind of just there to serve his time and go home afterward. But there are some illegal activities happening at this prison, namely murder, and the soldiers that are in there, all the former soldiers are trying to like, ask him for help. And he’s like, nah, I’m not doing that. I’m retired. I’m not a General anymore. And then eventually, he decides that maybe it’s time to take a stand. And it’s probably not a four star movie in terms of quality. It’s four star movie to me. But I had a lot of fun rewatching this I have the VHS of it as well. And Redford looks amazing in it. Let me see. I googled his age. I think he was 60, maybe? Yeah, in his 60s during filming, and he’s in better shape than I am. Makes me friggen’ sick. Enough. So Last Castle I watched, that’s on Hulu. We should also say The Notebook is on HBO Max too, for next week. So if anyone wants to watch along. I watched a lot of old dude movies. I watched In the Line of Fire, but I don’t want to talk about that.
PROTO Are you gonna watch all these Jackass movies before you watch the new one?
SLIM I do want to watch 3 before I see Forever.
DANNY I didn’t see 3. I think I only saw 1 and 2.
SLIM I watched 2 today while I was working so I didn’t give it a star rating, I was kind of distracted. 2 is not good as the first one in my opinion. There’s still a lot of great scenes in it. But everyone is shredded in that movie. Another movie where all these dudes are in great shape. I don’t know if they were on something or what but I’ll be watching through before forever. I think former producer this show is at the theater right now seeing Jackass Forever, Ian. God bless him. Should we talk about the movie?
DANNY It’s time.
SLIM The big one. This week. Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee, 2005. We chose this together. We thought, you know, maybe we need to go big for these movies for Valentine’s Day, week, weeks. And these are at the top of the list for a lot of people so why not? Proto, what is Brokeback Mountain?
[music from Brokeback Mountain plays]
PROTO In 1963 Wyoming, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist are paired to hurt sheep on the slopes of Brokeback Mountain. As the months pass, a friendship grows. And one fateful night, it grows into a romance. But when their time on Brokeback ends, so does their time together. Four years passed before meeting again. And in that time, they both start families and try to move on from one another. But their forbidden love is rekindled and kept alive year after year as they escape on trips to nowhere. As their lives unfold, they are haunted by what they could have had. And never forget what they did have on Brokeback Mountain.
SLIM I’m going to be playing the guitar, record myself playing the guitar. Now Proto, you had mentioned in Discord that there was a short story. Did you read the short story ahead of recording?
PROTO I did. Yeah. Yeah, I did.
SLIM How was it?
PROTO It’s fantastic. It’s really, really good. So it’s written by, I think her name is Annie Proulx. And it’s, it just has such like, incredible style, the way she writes it. She does like a lot of unconventional things as well like the way she writes like dialogue. It’s, it’s not as in the moment, it’s almost in some ways, like she’s retelling this story for these characters at different parts. But it’s very grounded and feels very much authentic in terms of like what this life is like living in Wyoming or Texas, and being a cowboy or ranch hand, because like just the lingo. And the jargon that she uses is very, feels very, I mean, it’s like terms I’ve never heard of and just the way they talk and the phrases they use. So I think it’s great. It’s it’s it was originally published in 1997, I think in the New Yorker. So if you just Google it, you can find it online, and you can read it on their website. And it’s only, you know, it takes probably like a half hour to read, but it’s a really great story.
SLIM Okay. You know, this movie was a big deal when it came out, critical acclaim. Do either one of you have any history with this movie? Seeing it in the past? Danny, what about you?
DANNY I have seen it in the past. It’s been easily a decade I think, since I’ve seen it. Other than what felt like controversy around it coming out, I guess mainly in the crowds I was in. I don’t know. It just felt like there was more negative about this film coming out that I remember then any sort of positive aspects of the release of a movie like this.
SLIM Are you telling me the Baptist Church would be against the movie Brokeback Mountain?
DANNY Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if I was in a Baptist church at this. I mean, that’s yeah, basically it was but yeah, that’s probably where I heard most of the negativity around. But yes, they would definitely not be for this film.
SLIM Proto, any history with this movie?
PROTO I did see it. I don’t know, when I saw it. I probably, you know, probably a number of years after it came out. But I do remember this movie, just the talk around it. And it coming out. I mean, I was still a teenager when this was released. And yeah, I mean, it was like, kind of like in the culture, at least to me. Let’s just say I remember it being referenced on like, Xbox Live Chat for certain reasons. So like, it was kind of like there and yeah, it was like a joke for numerous reasons. But also, yeah, I mean, it was talked about in a lot of different circles. But I think in the similar to Danny, it was kind of like almost like a taboo movie. Just like, you know, growing up in a church like oh, yeah, you’re not supposed to watch Brokeback Mountain.
SLIM Yeah, I was thinking of how this would probably was a movie that I had zero interest in watching when I was younger. Whereas Portrait of a Lady on fire as an adult. I’m like, hell yeah, I want to see this movie. It’s getting a lot of buzz. You know, I wasn’t in the place to desire to see this movie. You know, in 2005. I was watching Jean Claude Van Damme filth with like, he had a twin or whatever, or he and Dennis Rodman. Those were the movies that I was watching when this came out. So my first note, you know, in this segment of the podcast, we all have the top three items that we really want to hit in our discussion that we took away from this viewing. And then we’ll give our honorable mentions and our Letterboxd rating. Kind of like a brief note, I didn’t even remember until it happened on screen the ;I wish I knew how to quit you’ line was from this movie.
DANNY No, you didn’t? [Danny laughs]
SLIM So I was like, ohhh, that’s right. Like when that one came out, I like slap my forehead. Because I can’t remember, I’ve never seen this movie it just was never on my radar and no desire to revisit at the time. So when that scene, it like shocked me when I wanted it to happen. But my first point is the passage of time overall, in this movie, you know when this first when this starts out, they they’re together on Brokeback Mountain together, and they have that first night where they’re in the tent together, and they have sex. And then years and years go by in the story. And I had no idea that that was the plot of this movie. The buzz around this week has been like, oh, Slim, you’re gonna cry, you’re gonna cry. So I kind of like we’re thinking, like, oh, what’s the sad thing that happens in this movie that I forgot about, or what. So I kind of had no inclination that they stayed in their marriages, or separately for decades, and would just meet, you know, a couple times a year, over the years. So that one was really, like I struggled with, I just felt like, the whole viewing and most of my post-viewing of this was just living like that, for decades. And keeping that inside, and being unable to live fully, was, it didn’t really, like impact me while I was watching it, but like after, and I was like, reading my notes. It’s just so like, unreal. Like that kind of yearning and loneliness is just like crushing to me.
PROTO Yeah, it like puts a rock in your stomach just thinking about it. And, and just like the way that the performances communicate that. Especially Heath Ledger, you know, just just the, when you just, that’s it, yeah, just considering the passage of time, and what they went through and just how you get kind of like bullet point highlights of different milestones in their life. And just considering that, you know, and then at the, you know, at the end, where they kind of have that fight where they see each other for what, I don’t know if that was the last time or not, but and just Jack Twist, Jake Gyllenhaal’s character just communicating, like, you know, what, you know, we just, it’s been like this forever, you know, it’s like 20 years of fast at this point, and it’s just once or twice a year that they see each other and now it’s going to be even less, you know, for different reasons. Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s tough.
DANNY I think one of the things about the passing time that I like, because it is very hard to it’s hard to grasp it because in the they don’t do a lot of aging of Jake and Heath, there’s just a bit of wrinkles added and the beards for Jake, but the aging of Heath’s children I thought was a smart way to show the passage of time. The different kind of decades of his daughters, I thought was kind of smart, very smart for this because of how fast this movie moves through 20 years.
SLIM Yeah, I mean, even in that last scene where Jake says, Heath asked him like, oh, you have a better idea than us seeing each other more than twice a year and —
[clip of Brokeback Mountain plays]
ENNIS I’ll tell you this, I can’t quit this one. I can’t get the time off. It’s hard enough getting this time. The trade off is August. You got a better idea?
JACK I did once.
ENNIS You did once.
SLIM Where he said no to them, like living together. Ugh.
DANNY Yeah. I mean, pre-marriages at that point to where they have connections.
SLIM But we also Heath reasoning for not is like 100% sound. He tells that story about how his dad showed what the locals did to the two rumored gay man in the desert. Like I would be scared shitless too at that point.
DANNY I mean, at that point, it’s 1963. So 62 was the first time ever I think it’s only in Illinois was that decriminalized sodomy. So even the thought of these men being together it’s still a criminal offense in all the other states.
SLIM Proto, what’s number one on your list?
PROTO Number one for me really is Heath Ledger’s performance. I feel like I’m gonna cry talking about it. [Proto laughs]
DANNY Let it out.
PROTO I mean, that was like my main thought coming out of this like man we really lost like an amazing actor. He is just so strong and compelling in this movie. Just the, man, the sadness that he carries this whole movie, the way he speaks, his mannerisms, but then also like there’s these characters such few words. But it almost doesn’t matter because you feel like in his face, you see like this character’s whole life being played out. And just how much you like know about him, even from that opening scene of him just them waiting on the stoop of of their of their boss who’s gonna like send him on at this point they don’t know each other. And Heath Ledger’s character gets there first, and he’s just sitting out there and you can just tell like, he’s like introverted. He keeps to himself, but he’s like a real, you know, he’s a tough dude as well. I mean, he gets into scraps, just, you know, just for the heck of it to feel something. So he’s like, just, this character is like, very layered and complex. And it’s just amazing how much I thought Heath communicated that.
SLIM I was blown away by his performance in this. I mean, his voice, his accent, everything about him was so good in this movie. And like every time he was on screen, so one of my one of the things I wanted to call out to about his performance was his character, his character, you know, his daughter, here’s one thing that I really wanted, that I didn’t get in this movie. And I’ve been like grappling if it was like a positive or negative or was just like real life. I wanted him so much to talk to his daughter about who he was. I was like, like, I might cry now. But like, I felt so awful, that he could not talk to his daughter about his true self. It was awful. Like, I can’t stop thinking about it. Like, even when I was writing my notes. It’s just like, this is real life, that like there are people out there that can’t be authentic. And they are afraid to tell people they love and it’s awful. So I just really struggled with that part of the movie, for better or worse.
DANNY Yeah, and it’s interesting because of how much, I think that’s almost a, one of my problems with this film is how at the end, there is such an emphasis on how his daughter is really connected to him. And I don’t feel like they showed it well enough for an ending like we had with the two of them together like she was she really loved him. And I didn’t see that really growing up in the quick scenes that we got with the two of them, because I mean, he was always running off and leaving them etc. So I was more surprised that his daughters had any connection to him at all as they got older. And I wish that I had seen a little bit more of a connection with the two with him and at least his oldest, Kate Mara’s character. But I do agree at that moment, where he’s in his trailer with her talking about the boyfriend, that they’re going to get married come to the wedding. It’s like, I would love I mean, we’re at the end of this two hour film. So yes, it would have been great for them to have that conversation. This was, I mean, even to tell her about Jake, or Jack would have been, like a way to like fade out the film. A great way to end it. But yeah, I know.
PROTO Yeah, I think um, I like I liked how it ended because I think you know, this character, he really is just like a truly tragic character who lives an entire life and is never able to communicate how he feels. The only person who really knew is Jack Twist and you know, even with him, he didn’t really it was almost like they, they had a different kind of connection. You know, like a wordless like emotional connection through the work and their life that they shared. But even with Jack like, he didn’t really talk in like a free way. And I feel like almost like that was like that the way it ended was just kind of proof that even if Jack was still around, they wouldn’t have been together even then, because this character. he’s incapable of giving himself that or taking that risk. It’s just like a like an immovable object within his life that he that he can’t get beyond and it’s truly tragic. I mean, this movie it kind of makes me feel awful. And there’s few movies that I like that gives me that feeling I think. The other movie that I always think of is Moonlight. This reminded me a lot of Moonlight, just the way I felt after seeing that.
SLIM Traynor in chat says, we’re talking about him, we wanted a little bit more with his daughter. But Traynor says the growth was him leaving a job for a new kind of love, you
know, love with his daughter. Danny, what’s number one on your list?
DANNY Number one on my list is actually still talking about Heath. And I just want to piggyback on one of the things Proto said that Heath does great in this film is his his silent acting, the way he can sit and be quiet and when the words do come from him, they’re so kind of like punchy and emotional and because when he finally speaks to someone, it almost feels painful for him to talk to people. And even the people he loved.
[clip of Brokeback Mountain plays]
JACK Your brother and sister do right by you?
ENNIS They did the best they could after my folks was gone. Considering they didn’t leave is nothing but $24 in a coffee can. Got me a year high school, before transmission went on the pickup. M sis left, roughneck moved to Casper. Me and my brother, we went got ourselves some work on a ranch up near Warlin till I was 19. Then he got married and no more room for me. That’s how come you end up here. What?
JACK Man, that’s more words than you spoke in past two weeks.
ENNIS Hell, that’s the most I spoke in years.
DANNY It’s such a powerful performance. And there’s so much that he does physically with his face his body language that just made you believe he is tormented. And there’s just so much about him, that is, he just lives kind of in pain. So I’ll jump to another point the cinematography in this film, at least the beginning. I mean, carried out through all of it, whenever you see them and going to the mountains, but the sheep herding, and the music and the shots of like, am I becoming a cowboy?
SLIM We need to become cowboys right now.
DANNY Are we being cowboys? It’s just gorgeous. And one of the smart things that Ang and I don’t remember the name of the cinematographer does, is they make the life on Brokeback, colorful and beautiful. And when they get to the cities, it’s drab and bad to look at. And it’s that life that they don’t want to be living in. It’s, you know, the sadness of Ennis’ wife that he is, you know, destroying that marriage and what he’s doing to her and his kids. And it’s just it’s a really crazy juxtaposition to when they’re out in the mountains. And then when they’re back at home.
SLIM Rodrigo Prieto tow was the cinematographer. Golly. Yeah, one of the odd thoughts that I had was this movie didn’t look like it took place in the 60s. Like when they were back in the town. I was like, this is present day my friend. There is nothing dated about what I’m seeing right now. [Slim laughs]
DANNY Besides the cars.
PROTO Yeah. I thought their clothing just looked way too clean. Like if you’re out herding sheep for months on end, You are not looking this fresh.
DANNY I’m sorry, Ang, they still sell that Carhartt jacket in the stores now.
SLIM I love seeing the Dickies logo. Who’s turn is it? Is it my turn? Let’s see. I do want to talk about the wives. Michelle and Anne. Well, I mean, the cast is insane in this movie, we talked about that last week. But Michelle is incredible as Heath’s wife, and I loved as Jake’s wife and I loved they’re talking about Anne Hathaway. I thought their relationship was so fascinating about how they kind of went in divergent paths, where Jake was like struggling to get you know, mainly approval from his father in law, and was never getting it until he you know, use the anger that he had from his, you know, pseudo falling out with Heath to like, verbally destroy him during Thanksgiving dinner or whatever dinner that was. How amazing was that scene? And then the camera like shows and kind of like grinning that like, oh, yeah. I thought that was that was awesome. And also, Michelle, you know, their marriage. She sees him, kiss him outside of their house, like right away, you know, and they’re living. She’s living through that for years, knowing that that’s what he’s doing going on these trips, three times a year. Can you imagine us all hanging out at a lake house three times a year?
DANNY I’d be divorced.
SLIM He’s going 14 hours to see him too. Right? That’s how long he said the drive is?
DANNY They drove forever to get out of there.
SLIM But my heart disintegrated when Michelle saw that. My heart disintegrated, was it Randy Quaid is using his binoculars and sees that, like it skipped a beat. Also just the level of kind of despair that Michelle Williams character had to go through for years. Never having that discussion with him until after the divorce, living through that lie for so many years. So, I mean, she gets really, I would say the raw end of the deal, but she ended up going into arguably a better marriage. Who knows? But really difficult to grasp the kind of journeys for the women. I mean, even Anne kind of she I think she knows when he calls her, you know, when they were when he explained what Brokeback Mountain was. And she makes that noise on the phone, when she started informations together so difficult, difficult journey for them in this movie.
PROTO Yeah, and that’s what’s interesting with just being able to compare the two because you’re getting two looks at both of their Thanksgiving dinners. And both of them like have this moment where where Jack twist is confronting his father in law and kind of gaining the respect of his wife at like a different level. And then here’s Ennis, kind of like showing up to his family’s, you know, new family with with this new dad, new husband. And he, you know, she confronts him, he blows up, storms out of the house, and just like the the tapestry that you get of both of these lives, and everybody who’s connected to them, and just like what this relationship, how has it affected these two households is really compelling and really well done. The thing that broke my heart really was that when Ennis’s wife sees them together. And then he comes back in to grab, oh, no, it’s the next day. I think. He comes in to grab his stuff. And then she says, Are you forgetting something? As if, to me that sounded like she wanted to be acknowledged, like, are you gonna give me a kiss? Goodbye? Are you gonna, like acknowledge me? And he’s like, oh, right. And he just grabs like his tackle box, and like, runs out. And then you can see like, in our eyes, it’s like, oh, it’s so like, I’m not really anything to him in and now that this character. Jack in my life.
SLIM Megan in chat talks about the cause of death for Jack Twist, you know, and answers the phone and explains that, you know, tire exploded on the side of the road. And Ennis has this vision of his nightmare coming true that Jack was murdered by you know, homophobes in the middle of nowhere. And Megan says she lied about his cause of death. Do you think that was just a vision of the worst from Heath in that moment? How do you think Jack Twist did die?
DANNY You know, I think what we see is Ennis’ trauma of what he saw as a child. I don’t I won’t presume and it’s it’s smart how they don’t show us Jack. I mean, they show flashbacks. But I do think it’s him projecting on what he thinks happen to Jack. I think that his wife was told that story about the tire iron and I think she was lied to. But I think she didn’t believe that lie, because it’s interesting how she explains it to Ennis.
SLIM She’s also pretty like non nonplussed, non emotional. Proto, you read the short story. Does that —
PROTO Yeah, so I think they both so it’s a little different in the short story, but I think they’re both subtle, in really good way. So in the short story, when Jack’s wife is telling Ennis about it. She gives it to him straight. And then I think Ennis thinks like, oh, but he wonders if it was a tire iron was involved, which is like a tire and iron is mentioned with the story that his dad told him when he was a kid. And when they saw the dead, the man was murdered. And then later I forget what triggers? Oh, I think it’s so when he goes at the final scene to Jack’s parents house. And they tell Ennis that Jack was talking about bringing another guy to work on the ranch. There’s a line where it says, and that confirmed for Ennis that basically he was murdered. So at least in Ennis’ mind, he’s convinced that he was killed by someone.
DANNY Yeah, I don’t I don’t believe that he wasn’t murdered. I just think that in the moment, Ennis is having his like traumatic flashbacks and projecting visually on what happened to Jack and I think it’s smart. I think it’s smart that we don’t see the act leading up to Ennis getting the phone call. I think it’s a really smart storytelling on both, I’m assuming in the short story and in the film.
SLIM I feel sick even thinking about those scenes again now. I mean, his dad was pretty cold at the house. So I guess it does, unfortunately make sense that he probably was murdered. Proto, we all know you’re number two, I think?
PROTO I don’t really know how to talk about it too much. But I just like just their relationship, these two characters, I feel like it’s, it’s just like one of the more complex and undefinable relationships in cinema that I can remember. Just the way they like, like the, the scrapping and fighting that they have with one another.
SLIM I love those scenes.
PROTO Yeah, like, the way they relate to each other. It’s, it’s so, it’s powerful. And the the performances in it are amazing. I mean, the scenes of them, like making out is like incredible, like, acting like, it’s just like, it’s so real and raw. And then them just like starting to punch each other, like it just like is, it’s just like coming out of them. Like, all these feelings and the things I’ve been like pent up and like kept inside of them their whole, you know, their whole lives and just like, trying to understand themselves and each other and like what this means for their lives. Like you could write a whole book I feel about just like their relationship. It’s just, it’s really incredible their performances.
SLIM I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I love them rolling around the grass. I wrote that down in one of my honorable mentions, you know, it’s like the fun they are having. The relationship that they can have for, you know, 50 weeks out of the year, 49 weeks out of the year where they can’t express how they feel. Beautiful stuff. Danny?
DANNY Number three, we talked on it real quick, is Jack’s death. But we can shift into the ending with the shirts and Ennis walking through Jack’s old home with his parents and her allowing him to go up to the room. And him finding that shirt with the blood still on it. It’s nice to know that there was a emotional loving side to Jack that we don’t see a lot because Jake’s performance as Jack is very you know, he’s just he’s very, he wants Ennis all the time. And it’s it’s apparent. And so that scene is just it’s really beautiful Heath is he’s performance. Not only like hugging the shirt, but when he opens it up and adjusts in his trailer at the end with the postcard from Brokeback. It’s incredible. I mean, we talk Heath’s performance over shines Jake’s but Jake is really good on this as well. The two of them together. It’s really hard to think about anyone else performing these roles as well as they did.
SLIM Totally agree. What a moment, what a scene. Going through my list for my number three, let’s see talks about the cast, the loneliness, their first night together. This score, the guitar. Think it won an Academy Award. You know, this was just kind of like a mental note that I had for myself, about men watching these movies. Like I think there’s, yeah, I referenced Portrait of a Lady on Fire. And I wasn’t sure how to articulate this. But like, I think it’s just like obvious that like men are more comfortable watching two women in this kind of a movie than two men. And that probably speaks to me as a younger person, like I will probably have zero desire to watch Brokeback. But I am now and I just wish that maybe anyone listening to this that has made it this far maybe gives that a chance. I mean, you can kind of relate to a group of people that maybe you didn’t know when you were younger, but you’ve you’ve met over time and learned more about their experience, and you can learn to appreciate and empathize with them more. I talk about trans stuff on the show a lot. And having those lived experiences, learning from others is so vital to your personality, your future, other people’s future. So go in with an open mind and learn from other people if possible. So that’s kind of like my third note of this movie. Proto, did you give your third? Did we all give our thirds?
PROTO Well just continuing what you were saying there. Yeah, I think what’s what’s like important about seeing a movie like this too, is that , you know, this is just like one story of countless real stories of people who live this and like, or lived entire lives and didn’t get this kind of like love. Like this true love. Yeah, so it’s just, it’s so real in that way. Whereas in some, in some ways it can seem maybe far away for a lot of people. And I think that makes it like worth seeing. This is such a real experience for so many. My final thing was I just really love the faithfulness to the short story in this. There’s the dialogue is, like directly from the short story, most of it. I would say like 90% of it is like just like carried over directly. It’s pretty amazing. It’s like they just use the short story as a screenplay. So I love that aspect of it. I thought that was incredible. And then what you were saying about the score, I love how the score is I think at the beginning of the movie, it feels kind of different as they’re on Brokeback Mountain. They’re doing their day to day work. And it feels like maybe sombre, like this like and very like relaxing. But man, the end of the movie hearing that same guitar riff you know when he’s looking at the shirt it’s so like powerful the way it just like communicates this this life in this experience of the characters. So I can understand why won, because it really works so well in this. Are we doing star ratings now? To me, it’s a hard movie to watch because it is like so tragic. But I think it is really great. There’s amazing performances in this. So I’m at four stars for Brokeback Mountain.
DANNY Amazing. Yeah. I’m the same way. This really is a special movie. I don’t think I appreciated it when I watched it as much as I do now. And what Proto said, what a loss that we have when it comes to Heath and what he could be doing now and stuff like in movies now. This film, it’s really funny because it’s so hard to look at this as a love story. It’s really tragic to every character involved in this film. The wives, the men, the children, it’s almost a tragic, a very tragic story for all of them, that really, it didn’t need to happen, which is also what’s wild. But I have this at five on Letterboxd and it’s staying at five stars.
SLIM Also the art is gorgeous that you did for this movie. Love the — I was instantly reminded of Portrait. I love the parallels. Gorgeous art.
DANNY I used the same palette as the Portrait of a Lady.
SLIM How about him having the horses in the back of his pickup truck? Did you catch that? I mean, that truck. Oh my God, I don’t even know it’s possible, two horses in the back of a pickup truck. Yeah, I don’t know. I was more emotional writing my notes than I was watching the movie. You know, kind of formulating and thinking about my experience, sitting there with these characters, wishing that he would have that conversation. Like I was legit angry when his daughter was driving away. You know, when like, I was like all of this the moment and then it’s like, two seconds later strapped. Yeah. So I’m at four and a half stars for Brokeback Mountain. Fantastic performances. Visuals are incredible. And it’s an experience that I hope most people, I mean, most people have probably seen Brokeback Mountain. So I’m one of the last people ever to see it. So I’m glad I finally did.
PROTO Welcome. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Next week, The Notebook. We’ll see how it goes. I’m finally checking that off my watch list.
SLIM But we have some voicemails to get to, I think at least one. Host of the Will Run For podcast has left a VM this week. Renmiked. And you can leave us a VM or a letter each week at 70mmpod.com. There’s links in there for you to easily do that. So let’s hear from Renmike.
VOICEMAIL Hey 70mm, it’s Michael. So I wanted to leave feedback for this because Brokeback Mountain is probably my favorite movie and what I consider maybe the best movie of the early 2000s. From the way Ang Lee shot it, just those opening scenes where we see the mountains of Wyoming and but not too much of them and but we see them out there with the herds of sheep and just how they are out there on their own and alone and then we contrast it when later on these with when Ennis goes to Jack’s boyhood home, and just how stark and barren it is. And it’s almost like from another time even though it’s supposed to be the 60s, it still feels almost older than that, almost like his family is stuck in the 1800s and still, you know home steading or something. It’s just so many amazing scenes in it so much. Just the acting is amazing. The cinematography is amazing. And just that uh that end scene when you just get Ennis staring out the window after he sees the shirt and the postcard and he’s not out in the mountains anymore, he’s just a farmhand or ranch hand or whatever he’s doing at that point in some way oil farm or corn farm or whatever it was at the end. I forget what it was. And it just his daughter’s going off to have a life and he’s he just stuck in this trailer alone until the end. So just a beautiful, simple movie and hopefully it’s shown off tonight. I know Danny loves it, so, fingers crossed.
SLIM If you’re into running, check out the Will Run For podcast that Renmike does. It’s a member of the Tapedeck network podcast, by the way.
PROTO That is so true. I think in the short the short story I feel like communicates much better that it feels older. There’s like a lot of great description that like Ennis doesn’t have socks or underwear and like, yeah, his like their boots have holes and it just feels like these guys are dirt poor. You know, they have like nothing when they meet each other. That was one of my other notes. The violence against denim in this movie. [Danny laughs]
SLIM What kind of violence against denim? I didn’t notice any.
PROTO Oh, and they’re just grabbing each other. I mean, they’re just like they got the denim jackets. They’re just like ripping each other apart.
SLIM That’s love. How about that fishing spot they had right before they went skinny dipping? Imagine camping there for a week!
SLIM Fudge. Holy moly. The average rating for Brokeback Mountain, according to VGER, the supercomputer who loves movies that Proto created, let’s see, 4.17 on VGER.
DANNY It’s a beautiful thing.
SLIM Let’s see what the average rating for The Notebook is. VGER, calculate, Notebook. Oh my god. Three and a half stars. My god.
DANNY Big week.
SLIM 3.75. Sorry. Correction. Kev says Proto just won the comment contest for violence against denim.
SLIM So is Casey going to pick a winner for comment of the night?
DANNY I think she stayed around. I don’t think she knew she had that job. [Danny laughs]
SLIM Casey, sorry. You have to choose now. Officially. While we think about that. Let’s see. Sarah has a review for The Notebook. I’m a sucker for romance when I’m drunk. Diamond, I want that Noah and Allie love though. Mckenzie. Didn’t realize how much nostalgia I had for this film until I found myself weeping at the end. Tyler, I love this movie. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Not a lot of Letterboxd logs for The Notebook among the village to be honest. Oh Casey does. Okay. Hold on.
PROTO Open the envelope. [Slim laughs]
DANNY Kurtz for the GIF.
SLIM Well Kurtz wins the Movies Anywhere Valentine’s Day bundle.
DANNY What was the GIF?
SLIM Kurtz, congratulations. I hope you enjoy The Notebook. [Danny laughs] Brokeback Mountain again. PS I love you. And Love Actually, from our friends at Movies Anywhere. Alright, so that’s our first foray as we prep for Valentine’s Day. Next week is The Notebook. We just posted two episodes to the 70mm vault. [Slim & Danny laugh]
DANNY Stupid ass.
SLIM That GIF. Proto, do you have any closing thoughts for this week as we look forward for The Notebook?
PROTO Oh, man, you know I wanted to, I took a paragraph from the short story. Should I read it? It’s about the shirt in the end. And I just thought it was so beautiful. And there’s a lot of beautiful lines in it. But um, so this is how the pretty much ends. The shirt seemed heavy until he saw there was another shirt inside it. The sleeves carefully worked down inside Jack’s sleeves. It was his own plaid shirt. Lost, he thought, long ago in some damn laundry. His dirty shirt. The pocket ripped buttons missing, stolen by Jack and hidden here inside Jack’s own shirt. The pair like two skins one inside the other, two in one. He pressed his face into the fabric and breathed in slowly through his mouth and nose, hoping for the faintest smoke and mountain sage and salty sweet stink of Jack. But there was no real sense only the memory of it. The imagined power of Brokeback Mountain of which nothing was left. But what he held in his hands.
SLIM We’ll see everybody next week for The Notebook.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]