Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dreaming about Brokeback

Last night I had a dream...

I was sitting on a bench next to my mother at a dimly lit shopping mall. We were surrounded by several friends of my sister, all of us gathering to see a movie together, some movie I had never heard of. My sister wasn't with us yet. She was somewhere in the mall, traipsing after an old friend she hadn't seen since junior high. The theater was located in the mall and when the box office opened we all decided to purchase our tickets. One by one our group passed through the line and entered the theater. I was last and as I neared the cash register I began digging in my purses for my gift certificate. The crowd behind me was pressing against me and I almost lost my balance. I turned to them and rudely shouted, "Stop pushing me!" The manager of the theater was operating the register and as I turned back toward her to make my ticket purchase she smiled and said, "I hope you're seeing Brokeback Mountain." I sighed, handed her my gift certificate, and said, "No, I've already see it. One for Stand Up...Stand...Stand whatever. Whatever you're showing that has Stand in the title." She handed me my ticket with a look of disappointment and I moved forward, towards the door. But, right before I was about to enter I leaned back and told her, "I agree. Brokeback Mountain is really good."

In order to get to your individual theater you had to enter the first one, which was already showing a movie, edge your way along the back, in the dark, until you found the one showing your movie. I was stumbling around in the dark, already separated from my group. I swore I saw Christian Slater seated in the crowd. He looked right at me. I found a door, entered, and discovered an outdoor patio situated in the center of the building. It was surrounded by glass windows and doors, the doors leading to the separate theaters. The light was blinding compared to the darkness I had just inhabited. As I made my way across the patio--a gorgeous patio with pebbled pathways and luscious green vines hanging everywhere--I decided I wasn't going to see this no-name, B-grade movie I'd never heard anything about. I was going to see Brokeback Mountain again. That's when I noticed my mom through the glass windowpanes. She was wearing sunglasses and sitting on a bench inside waiting for me. I prepared myself to enter the theater and inform her that although I didn't have a ticket to Brokeback, I was seeing it again. That's when my cell phone rang, or what I thought was my cell phone. It was really the alarm. I had to lay there in my dark room for a bit because my dream was so real and so vivid it left me disoriented. I couldn't figure out where I was and had to lay in stillness in order to get my bearings.

I saw Brokeback Mountain three weeks ago. It has haunted me since. It has left me with so many questions, questions about love and sex and the labels we sometimes create in order to have a place to put our fears and judgments. I want to see it again. Not because this dream is some sign, not because a second viewing will answer my questions, but because I need some time to sit in a dark room with people experiencing the same story to think about why this movie won't let me go. Is it the best movie I've ever seen? No. Does it deserve to win this year's coveted Oscar? I don't know. Is it a movie I'd highly recommend to everyone? Not everyone. You see, it's not the movie itself. It's the questions it's left me with. It's the feelings I haven't been able to shake for the past three weeks, feelings and questions I don't know how to describe or explain.

It's a quiet movie, a gentle unfolding of two men's ordinary lives. It's one of those movies that sneaks up on you and grabs hold without your realizing it. It's a story that connects to your heart and before you know it, you're a puddle of tears, you're a human aching for the pain of another human. And when you leave the theater to get back to your life, it stays tucked behind your mind, nagging you, begging you, not to turn away from what you just saw and experienced. At least that's the impression it made on me. If you've seen it let me know. Tell me I'm's just a movie. Or, tell me you understand just what I'm talking about and you can't shake it either.


Blogger telfair said...

It hasn't started in Australia yet, but the commercials & trailers I've seen look so's the next movie I'll see.

9:03 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

yes yes yes. i am haunted by all the feelings, thoughts, emotions that came up and keep coming up. beautiful. amazing. sad. so much there.
thank you for writing about this...

9:41 PM  
Blogger Deb R said...

I haven't seen it yet but I want to (and your description makes me want to even more). I feel almost certain our little local cinema won't get it, but I'm hoping the weather will hold for me to make the drive into the city and see it before it leaves the big screen.

9:42 PM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

i haven't seen it yet
but i have kind of gotten the same
"vibe" or "feeling"
in what other people have written
that echoes what you have said
(not so eloquently though, heehee)

now i am really curious.
too bad i only pay to go to movies
about once a year...and this ain't
the month for it heh heh
i'll be waiting on the dvd
as per usual

3:16 AM  
Blogger mayseek life said...

i did see brokeback a few weeks ago... i saw it with a good friend and it kept us talking hours afterward. the "what ifs" and "if onlys" got explored and filed away. just the imaginings you wrote of are what makes cinema such a joy for me. the power of images,sound(music)and contemplating life because we are choosing to do so are a luxury and gift. so many movies do this for me, and yes brokeback mountain did it too.
aren't dreams incredible?

5:45 AM  
Blogger Alexandra S said...

That is the most beautiful movie review I have ever read. Truly. I've been wanting to see it but your entry just made me want to see it tonight, which I now will. Thank you so much for taking the time to describe it and its impact on you so beautifully. I love your writing.

9:59 AM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

This movie completely sneaks up on you and grabs hold, a perfect way to describe it. I was ambivalent about going to see it, I love Ang Lee so I knew it would be beautiful. To me, the love story of it was pure in the sense that it seemed gender-less and really, just captured the essence of unrequitted love and the bittersweet heart it leaves you with.

11:33 AM  
Blogger kelly said...

i haven't seen it yet, and really didn't know if i did want to see it. [we don't spend money at the movies, i may make ito one a year]
but the more i hear about it, the more i want to go see it.

i think i may have to go myself!

12:10 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

dreams and haunting questions... all good things. i haven't seen the movie yet, but i hope to this weekend. here's a link to columnist Mark Moford's comments on Brokeback. though the tone is too sarcastic and heavy on ridicule for my tastes, my gay supervisor says it's the best description of what it's like to be gay he's ever read:

12:33 PM  
Blogger brainhell said...

just a movie but pretty good. i usually pick them apart looking for flaws. this one has not turned up any flaws yet.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous cathie chang said...



4:07 PM  
Blogger dani said...

this is on my list. for a few reaons, because of all the hoo-haa, because of ang lee & heath ledger, but mainly because when i heard ang lee say with his wise face and zen like stillness, it's one of the best love stories i ever read - that is why it has touched you so deeply, love stories and the human condition leave their imprints for a long long time.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Wenda said...

I'm still recovering from the emotional impact of the written story, though eager to see the film version soon.

Thanks for linking me and for the plug. I appreciate both.

4:17 AM  
Blogger yaya said...

I read the story a few years ago (probably more like 6 years but you know...) and I felt exactly the same way - I had to read it a couple of times for me to grasp the utter sadness. I still can't believe they have made it into a movie because I really didn't think it possible.

4:20 PM  

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