There’s much to love about Choire Sicha‘s feature on "Brokeback Mountain" at the New York Observer, first and foremost that it’s written by Choire Sicha, but beyond that, that he takes some issue with the generally accepted truths about the film’s boundary pushing laid out in Anne Thomson‘s Hollywood Reporter column. Sicha:
[T]he eight years it took to make Brokeback suggests something else: Hollywood isnâ€™t leading, itâ€™s lagging. Newsweek, in its Nov. 21 issue, described how Hollywood producers thought playing gay would trash the careers of Mr. Gyllenhaal and Mr. Ledger when they took their parts. Yeah, theyâ€™re way ahead of the social curve out there…
If Hollywood’s so damn liberated, well then, whatâ€™s everyone so worked up about?
Sicha also points out that the romance and the eroticism of the film are aimed at women ("’Brokeback Mountain’ declares that boy-on-boy is the new girl-on-girl.") and even cites yaoi manga in his attempt to analyze the appeal (to the female population) of Jake and Heath in hot lip lock, which treads into anthropology dissertation territory. We’re seeing the film ourselves next week (woo!), but must confess we have no idea how it’ll be received â€” our instincts tell us that no one will make a fuss in the face of the glory that is quivering, emoting hotyoungactorflesh, but then there are things like this hilarious Drudge Report "news flash" from last week on the following shocking revelation:
Arriving with nudity and explicit gay sex scenes between two cowboys, UNIVERSAL/FOCUS FILMS’s BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN has quietly become an award season frontrunner, interviews with Academy members reveal.
Our favorite part is less the awesome lateness of the report (Dude, Salon ran a feature on the then-still-in-planning film in January of last year!) than the "quietly," which is just silly.
It begins early one morning in Baltimore, where Gene Siskel and I are scheduled to appear on a morning talk show hosted by a newcomer named Oprah Winfrey. The other guests on the show include a vegetarian chef, and four dwarfs dressed as chipmunks, who will sing "The Chipmunk Christmas Song" while dancing with Hula-Hoops.
Anne Thompson points to Matt Welch‘s piece on Reason on the death of the celebrity profile, and weighs in herself ("At last month’s Reuters panel on celebrity and the media, I argued that the well-written celebrity profile had been killed by too-ardent publicity wrangling."), and we’d just like to say, good lord, yes. We’d rather read five thousand words of George Clooney talking about his favorite meatloaf recipes than see yet another near-identical Q&A about meeting him from coffee from a day of his making the rounds pushing his film.
+ Chokeback Mountain (NY Observer)
+ Ang Lee’s ‘Brokeback’ explores ‘last frontier’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ HOLLYWOOD ROCKED: ‘GAY COWBOY’ MOVIE BECOMES AN OSCAR FRONTRUNNER (Drudge Report)
+ How I gave Oprah her start (RogerEbert.com)
+ Trailer: Tideland (Official site)
+ Movies: "Syriana" (Washington Post)
+ Celebrity profiles (Risky Biz blog)
+ Hollywood homies hammered (MSNBC)
+ Reverse Shot. Autumn 05. (Greencine Daily)