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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • February 22, 2006


    Brokeback Mountain Firework Scene

    That I nourish a burning desire tinged with a sense of obligation to talk about Heath Ledger's firework scene in Brokeback Mountain I decide to defer the book review to tomorrow. The immediate reaction to the fourth viewing is while both Gyllenhaal and Ledger are handsome the casting of these two teens idols might seem somewhat of a gamble in the beginning. Once I was able to regain composure which was inevitably robbed by how inexplicably handsome our two rugged cowboys were, I found both performances to be affectionate. Ledger, as many have said before, is the more effective of the two as the shy closeted Ennis. My friends have argued fairly that Ennis is the easier of the two roles because there is so much more to play. Where Jack is certain about his feelings, Ennis is excruciatingly conflicted. Ledger plays the role quite well with a sense of truancy that his loneliness has caught up to scorn him, even heartbreakingly well as the film closes.

    A handful of critics deemed the scene where Ledger faces down a pair of drunk bikers unnecessary because it does no more than a reassurance of Ledger's manhood. I like the compelling visual of Ledger against a night sky background filled with fireworks. Some critics even suggest to relegate the scene in order to edit the film tighter. Well, repetitious viewing of the film confides the significance of this scene. The contumely of the bikers lies not in their impolite rowdiness, but in what they said to him about his sex life with his wife, that squeezes his heart - the random spasm of the bikers' rude remarks hit home for Ennis. For he is more realistic and aware of the social barriers to such a relationship. He realizes that after Jack, who has reinstated their affair after they are married, the danger of their secret affair is on his brow because his out-of-control, flaming passion for another man is forbidden.


    Blogger Jef said...

    I must admit that the scene they have used with Ennis standing apart from Alma and the girls under the fireworks is very iconic and symbolic of the story.

    It's been awhile since I saw the movie, but my impression was that it was also related to Ennis deciding he was no longer going to trouble Alma for sex, and was just a rechanneling of his agressive, sexual energy. I'll try to remember to look at the script and check it out. I find it hard to believe that Larry and Diana wrote anything unnecessary.

    2/22/2006 9:10 PM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Hey I still have to catch up with all your posts! :)

    2/23/2006 10:06 AM  

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