Annie Proulx’s “Brokeback Mountain” is an intimate but unromantic love story. Her prose, blunt and matter-of-fact, is the only way to tell this story that does justice to the lives of her roughneck characters and sets the tone for Ang Lee’s restrained, yet urgent, adaptation. It’s in their understated approaches that short story and film reveal the passion—a tornado of longing, fury, grief, and love—that sits at the heart of the repressed relationship between Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar. Brokeback Mountain is a chance to explore both the depths a short story is capable of and the ability of film to turn a short story into a fully realized on-screen world. – Sarah Soliman, series curator
Based on a short story of the same name by Annie Proulx from her collection, Close Range: Wyoming Stories, Ang Lee’s (The Ice Storm; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) Brokeback Mountain is set against the sweeping landscapes of Wyoming and Texas, the epic love story of two young men, Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), ranch hands who meet in the summer of 1963 while driving cattle on a mountain range. After a passionate and unexpected sexual encounter, the two forge a lifelong connection, one whose complications, joys and tragedies provide a testament to the endurance and power of love. A cultural and box office sensation upon release, the film garnered eight Academy Award nominations which turned into three wins—including one for Lee’s direction and another for Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana’s adapted screenplay. Ledger, Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams were all nominated for their performances.
JBFC Members can purchase a ticket package now for three or four Adapted screenings at a discounted price of only $15 per screening. Subject to availability, any remaining tickets to individual screenings will go on sale to JBFC Members and nonmembers in mid-August.