Thursday, December 08, 2005

Man, This Sucks

This is a full-fledge rant, so get your earplugs out.

I've been hearing a lot of wonderful buzz about the upcoming Brokeback Mountain, which is scheduled to hit movie theaters tomorrow. Based on a short story by Annie Proulx, it stars actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger and is about two cowboys in the 1960s who fall in love with each other but, because the social biases against homosexuals are so terrifyingly strong, can never be together. It's being billed as a love story more so than a Western, and the critics are talking Oscar noms for both best picture and for Ledger.

I cannot wait to see this movie. I mean, I'm talking stand-in-line, opening-weekend-like-Harry-Potter-4, get-a-babysitter-for-the-kids kind of can't wait.

Except, Brokeback Mountain won't be playing at any theaters near me. In fact, it won't even be playing until next week (Dec. 16), and then at only one theater, in downtown Chicago, some 16 miles and headaches-worth of traffic away.

For crying out loud, I live in the third largest city in the United States of America with one of the largest concentrations of gay people in the country. For midwesterners we are amazingly open-minded in this here town, and I'd even wager this accepting attitude extends the twenty or so miles into uptight suburbia. So why in the world don't any of the dozen gazillion-a-plexes within a five-mile radius of my house have any scheduled showings planned?

Okay, some research has indicated that the December 9th date is a limited release, with Dec. 16th being the true 23-city release. Apparently the movie will be released in more theaters once the distributor has a chance to gauge audience response.

Which is just fancy talk for admitting that if mainstream America runs screaming in a fit of homophobic frenzy to their pulpits where they can yet again hit us over the head with their anti-gay agendas, the movie will slip away quietly into the night. In which case, the majority of us who don't believe only heterosexuals are entitled to life, love and happiness will have to wait for the DVD.

And, come on, who are we kidding? Does anyone have any doubt at all what the mainstream response is going to be? Remember, this is America. Home of the Bush. Land of the outspoken repressed. Playground of the bible beating hardliners. Only here can you experience the ridiculousness that was Nipple Gate.

Besides, it looks as if some folks from Wyoming, the state where a good portion of the movie is set, have already got their panties in a twist before the movie has even hit the streets. From the Drudge Report came this moronic statement from some mystery commentator:

Playwright and lifelong Wyomingite [sic: Who is not specified] tells the STAR-TRIBUNE of Casper this week that she has never encountered a gay cowboy, and doesn't think it's right for Hollywood to portray Wyoming as a state with gay cowboys.
Her message to the writers of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: "Don't try and take what we had, which was wonderful -- the cowboys that settled the state and made it what it was -- don't ruin that image... There's nothing better than plain old cowboys and the plain old history without embellishing it to suit everyone."

Uh...who wants to inform the mystery Wyomingite that over the course of Wyoming's history, surely there had to have been at least ONE gay cowboy, and that it's a pretty sure bet that after six months on a long, lonesome cattle drive, more than one cowboy probably thought that the other cowboys were looking mighty pretty. Funny that the entire point of Brokeback Mountain is that those very same not-gay cowboys maybe weren't so much not gay as not allowed to admit that they were gay. Just because you choose not to see them - or allow them to be seen under threat of death or worse - doesn't mean they don't exist.

I've long ago accepted that there will always be a sadly large portion of people who will never accept anything other than their own egocentrically defined idea of what constitutes appropriate love versus inappropriate. As if any sort of love could be inappropriate if it involves consenting adults. These folks will preach their message of the Golden Rule - accepting and loving their neighbors as they love themselves - while they practice something else altogether toward those who don't measure up, because, really, isn't that what God meant? Love only those who they've determined are worthy?

But because this is America, where freedom of speech, religion, expression and all of that other good stuff runs thick in our social veins, I have to accept that these people will keep at it forever. Whatever.

Meanwhile, I'm going to call this limited release while waiting for audience reaction what it truly is: Censorship.

And I'm going to make the trek to downtown Chicago to use the one true power I'm truly imbued with. In the end, The Almighty Buck speaks pretty darn loudly.


Sara said...

I'll ditto that: Man, this sucks!

I, too, was anticipating this movie. I didn't even think about checking to see if would be playing because... why wouldn't it? Well, it's not even available in my area yet. And there's no indication of when (or if) it will be. I just hope I don't have to wait for the DVD. :P

Anonymous said...

When "The Broken Hearts Club" came out several years back, I had to drive up to Chicago to see it. (It was at the Music Box, if I remember the name of the theater correctly.) It was opening weekend, and since we had our doubts that it would ever make it to the non-major-city theaters, a group of us met up in Chicago for the event. For me, it was a three hour drive. We all had a great time -- and thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic movie -- but I figured it would be my last opportunity to see it until it hit the video stores.

Fast forward a few months, when the movie's distribution started trickling down -- and the reviews were all glowing -- and to my shock, I opened the newspaper of my mid-sized, middle America town, and found that the local arts theater was showing this movie. And, in fact, they held it over for a couple weekends, since it was so popular. Could have knocked me over with a feather.

So basically, I do think that -- if the buzz is good and there are nominations being bandied about -- this movie WILL make it to the smaller theaters. It just may take some time. Not that this is much consolation, since the point of your entry here is clearly the much bigger issue (and you stated it very well, might I add). But I do think that money will win out once the buzz starts to build.

Ridiculously stupid entries in the Drugg Report notwithstanding.


Megan Frampton said...

Yay for you for posting this. I had a friend who denied there was homophobia in this country, and the same-sex marriage outcry was not homophobic but something else entirely--I honestly am not sure what she thought it was, I was too stunned to absorb what else she was saying.

Democrat4life said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.