30 for 30: Brokeback Mountain (2005)




It’s easy to remember things in the immediate past but when you go back six-seven years, things start becoming foggy. 2005 may have been one of those years if it weren’t for things like the experience of sky diving in the spring with Matt, Jaime and Osvaldo; my summer trip to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Goa, India for Angelo’s wedding; and my last Christmas in the Middle East. I do remember the fall – October to be precise. Mostly, because it was the month I was introduced to Katrina, Rita and Wilma (the Hurricane sisters). Being without power = not fun. Hurricane parties on the other hand = “the roof is on fire!”

I don’t think there’s any easy way to segue into this one. Brokeback Mountain was the movie that took me by surprise in 2005. “Surprise” in that I wasn’t anticipating it the way I was anticipating Spielberg’s Munich (my #2) and more importantly, surprising in that I didn’t expect to like the film as much as I did. Although I was serious about film, I was still a naïve 23-year-old straight male who was raised in a conservative culture. So the thought of going to the cinema to watch a gay romance was, yes, a bit weird. But here’s the thing: I love movies. It doesn’t matter what the subject is… a good movie is a good movie is a good movie. And everything I had heard led me to believe that this was something well worth checking out. I watched it opening weekend with Matt and Vivi and remember being absolutely floored by the acting, writing and direction. This wasn’t just the “gay cowboy movie” but a tragedy about lost souls, heartbreak and the consequence of leading a lie. My lasting takeaway from Brokeback Mountain is that it made me see the genius of Heath Ledger and Ang Lee, two filmmakers who would figure in later #1s (2008, 2012). People have dubbed this a landmark socio-political message movie. It certainly fit into the narrative of that year’s Oscar season – especially when you take account the other Best Picture nominees Good Night, and Good Luck, Munich and Capote. Maybe there was a time when I thought it was but more than anything, it’s a fucking incredible piece of filmmaking – something that would have made for one of the great Best Picture Oscar winners. I don’t think anyone can say the same about that piece of shit that eventually won.

About 30-for-30

Movies are a huge part of my life – I mean, why else would I be running a blog/site devoted to movies? To commemorate the occasion of my 30th birthday (later this month), I’ll be counting down to the big day by posting a photo of my favorite movie for each year of the last 30 years I’ve survived on this planet. These aren’t my favorite 30 movies EVER but merely the movie I consider my favorite (or the best) of each year. This is my 30 for 30. Click here to see the other 30 for 30 posts.


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