A different perspective on Brokeback Mountain

A different perspective on Brokeback Mountain

Victor Morton offers a different perspective on the movie “Brokeback Mountain,” which I raised a stink about last week. More accurately, I raised a stink about the US bishops’ conference’s movie review of it, since as Victor points out, I haven’t seen the movie. And his praise of it notwithstanding, I probably won’t see. There are too many movies that I want to see that I don’t get to that I’m not going to see this one just so I can criticize it.

Victor may be right that there is something to praise in this movie, but that doesn’t mitigate the problems. I think my main negative reaction was against how it is presented to the rest of us. The predictable mainstream press and the Hollywood elites are calling it a manifesto for homosexuality. I predict another “Hilary Swank” lovefest at the awards shows next year, not because of any quality in the movie itself, but because of its utility in the culture wars. Of course, I reacted negatively to the same impulse from our side. It seemed people wanted “Lord of the Rings,” “The Passion of the Christ,” or now “Chronicles of Narnia” to win awards or make big bucks, not because of the quality of the films but as Christian propaganda. They’re movies. They’re not Scripture. And they’re not supposed to be propaganda. We play into the hands of other opponents when we invest movies or TV shows or pop music with such weight.

Some movies should not be watched, no matter how good

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
7 comments
  • Dom,

    I wanted to raise a further point in light of your last paragraph – whether we should see “good movies” when they have content that is not suitable for a Christian audience. 

    I think one must approach the subject of movies in the same manner as one would approach a book or sculpture or painting that may have certain elements which follow the norms of artistic excellence.  Yet, with all these forms of art, including movies, one cannot just examine the artistic excellence without examining the message of the art itself. 

    Art has a message whether we like it or not.  It is a powerful medium that can be used for good things and it can be used for bad things.  We have to get to the heart of the matter – the INTENTION – and see what is being portrayed in the art piece as the focus.  The CIRCUMSTANCES/ACCIDENTS surrounding the art piece may mitigate or enhance the INTENTION of the piece of art but its circumstances/accidents cannot change the very essence/message of the piece itself. 

    The glorifying of same-sex sexual activity and same-sex relationships as normal, loving, and fulfilling is reprehensible.  Nothing can be further from the truth about the human person.  The positive portrayal of this same-sex affair colors the film, whether one thinks the cinematography was excellent or the score was moving or the acting superb or the plot tragic. 

    This follows for all sorts of movies, books, paintings, sculpture, etc.  One could justifiably make a case that such “art” should never be viewed by most Christians.  The world we live in is so constantly in sin and its portrayal of sin no doubt gives new ideas and thoughts into many Christians who are incapable of living virtuous lives.  A Christian must be vigilant, always, to protect his mind and soul and not to allow himself to be moved by filth and sin. 

    “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.”

  • Sorry, but there can be nothing good about a movie glorifying homosexual affairs, especially one called “Brokeback Mountain.”  Even the title’s suggestive and lewd.

    For Pete’s sake these acts are:
    1. Homosexual, and therefore gravely sinful.
    2. Affairs, and therefore gravely sinful.

    What people are pulling out of this dumb movie is, no doubt, the sappy emotionalism so rife in our culture.  Just because it waters you up, doesn’t mean it’s worth anything.  So do rotten onions.

    Good thing the story line doesn’t have either of these derelicts catch a venereal disease and infect the family…..that might knock some sense into the viewers though, and we can’t have that.

    There’s nothing to see here.  Move along, folks.

  • I suspect that anyone lauding this movie for its content is either soft in the head or homosexual.  Maybe both.

    It’s disgusting when the USCCB tries to give such filth decent marks.  It makes me wonder about some of them all over again.

  • When I purchased my home 7 years ago, I had the drains and sewer connections checked by having a small camera inserted down them and getting a fine film of any blockage.  The NYT failed to review this great film of which I only have a single, rare copy.

    When two men engage in anal intercourse, they are dealing with a body orifice the matter of which is ultimately treated by sanitation plants to eliminate (no pun) the vast amount of diseases.  If “Brokeback Mountain” and its genre are art, then the septic systems must be high architecture.

    And if we don’t start growing up soon and acting like the mature adults that the Lord expects of us, and insist on playing with matter best left to messy toilet-training toddlers as well as sniffing dogs, then perhaps al Queda is not entirely off the mark.

  • I wish to applaud James, michigancatholic and john hetman for excellent comments.  You have expressed my sentiments in an eloquent manner. Thank you.

    The usccb apology is not adequate.  What they need to do is do public fasting and penance for all the faithful to witness. Then seriously consider to dislove the so called right arm of the confernce—the committee that speaks for the bishops.

  • I guess I wanted to raise a question in general about the rating system of the USCCB.  Why is there a category for L (what was previously A-IV)? 

    It says that “L—limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. L replaces the previous classification, A-IV. 
    A-IV—adults, with reservations (an A-IV classification designates problematic films that, while not morally offensive in themselves, require caution and some analysis and explanation as a safeguard against wrong interpretations and false conclusions).”

    I guess the I have to ask the question.  What type of adults are they referring to when they say that L rated films would be “troubling”?  The L category seems to a lame attempt at trying to say this would offend most adults but those rare few it wouldn’t offend, you could enjoy it.  Doesn’t it seem that way?  Isn’t it a categorical shift purely for linguistic reasons?  Isn’t a L film really a film that has good in it through the eyes of the reviewer but yet may have awful content?  I mean, check out the content in the movie Jarhead – and it has a L rating.  See Rent (a communistic homoseuxal proganda film) which has a L rating as well.  see Just Friends (its awful potty humor) which has a L.  Especially, check out Kiss Kiss Bang Bang under the limited release section.  A film with that much offensive material and yet it only gets a L rating. 

    What good can be salvaged from movies that have excessive and usually pointless sinful content?  Oh, it’s witty! or it has good acting!

    I seriously think we need to begin a campaign to provide solid movie reviews for Catholics who take their faith seriously and want to know what kind of movies are out there.  Too bad we can’t find a way to take away funding from the USCCB.  Maybe we should begin campaigning with our local bishops first to get them aware of this crap that’s being sold to the Catholic public as reputable Catholic reviews.

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