tag : bright yellow-green apples: if you go down to the woods today...

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Saturday, January 21, 2006

if you go down to the woods today...

do not attempt a relationship with this man

The lesson of these two films seems to be that if you head out into the middle of nowhere, you'll be surprised.

Brokeback Mountain, adapted from the excellent short story by Anne Proulx, managed to convey the impact of this very intense love story. Ennis, played by Heath Ledger, was especially believable - playing the damaged, yet compelled, victim of love's forces. What the film captured well is that none of them - Jack, Ennis, and their families - were pure victims or monsters in the resulting betrayal and compromise. This is what I mean by realistic. It communicated the agony and ecstasy of the emotional forces we cannot easily control, or even take total responsibility for. From their first surprised fumblings on the eponymous mountain, to the final tragedy of death and separation, everyone has to put up with a lot - sometimes rising to the occasion, but often walking through a fog.

Wolf Creek is a seriously grim film. The tagline is that it's based on real incidents of backpackers and travellers going missing in the Australian outback. But the makers of this story seem to want to condense everything into grisly and harsh endurance test for the audience. The three characters predictably break down, get picked up by a slightly odd guy, fall asleep, wake up imprisoned, try to escape, and get picked-off with lots and lots of blood along the way. I suspect they were watching Jeepers Creepers and The Blair Witch Project while making this one, but this whole type of thing just irritates me. The lesson of this film seems to be that you should never go further than 10 miles inland, in Australia, cos you will get tied up and abused by a man with a receding chin.

In short, go with the gay cowboys and not the apparently nice loner - you might find your heart broken, but at least your skull will remain in one piece!


Blogger Martin said...

Your take on Brokeback Mountain sounds like you're trying to argue against someone, you know!

And you've succeeded in making Wolf Creek sound crap, so I won't go and watch it. Well done!

11:17 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

I would've attmepted a point-by-point rebuke of some of your criticisms, but this was just attempting to get my admiration out my system now!

Ahhh I can chalk up a sucess in the whole review business ;)

12:13 AM  
Blogger rach said...

Absolute genius to review both of these films together. I've seen(/endured) Wolf Creek - definitely not one to show your gran just before you head of for a backpacking holiday is it?! Not seen Brokeback yet though... it's on the list.

(P.S. You need to know that I'm NOT just commenting here to wind Martin up... that's an added bonus!)

6:22 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

I hadn't considered that possibility. Oh, the power! :-p

6:33 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Rach -

Thanks, it just struck me at the last minute how much milage they can make together. And, if nothing more, any film's going to look suptle and impressive compared to Wolf Creek!

12:20 AM  

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