Monday, January 23, 2006

Brokeback Update

I've tried to steer clear of gushing too much about Brokeback Mountain -- I saw the movie the week it was released here and it was beautiful and heartbreaking. That being said, there are plenty of bloggers who write plenty about it. (That's a whole lot of plenty!)

Still, I'm amused to look at some of the conservative pundits who tried to wish this movie into oblivion -- take, for example, Bill O' Reilly, who said: "But I don't care about the movie. I'm going to make the prediction. The movie will get a lot of Academy Awards, because again Hollywood is very sympathetic to the gay movement ... But I will submit to you this movie does not do big box office outside the big cities. It won't. They're not going to go see the gay cowboys in Montana. I'm sorry. They're not going to do it."

Of course, in the late part of January, the movie is #5 at the Box Office, having grossed $42 million, with a budget of only $14 million. That's a tidy profit, even if the movie stopped showing today.

Newsweek wrote an article about this phenomenon -- Essentially, Brokeback has been a big hit with women in the so-called Red States, to the conservative pundits' dismay. "From early on, Focus said the film was aiming for the same female fans with upscale tastes who loved Titanic." The article quotes a 63 year old woman in Scottsdale (down the road from me) who went to a lunch-time, midweek showing and discovered the theatre packed with other (straight) women as proof of this demographic.

So, what makes this so significant? Apparently, this demographic includes my mother, who made a point of telling me Thursday night she had gone to see Brokeback... While I came out to my family 6 years ago or so, I know it hasn't always been an easy process. So, that we both admitted to crying at the film was a quite a significant thing.

While the political battles the gay community faces right now are important, I can't shake the feeling that the most important moments are the ones like that one -- they're the ones that will make a difference.


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