Film Studies

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How Sound, Cinematography and Mise en Scene have produced Masculinity in the film ‘Brokeback Mountain’

The 2005 film by Ang Lee, known as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ is one that is keen on matters that concern sexuality. Mostly, it focuses on the sexuality of the homosexual males who attempt to explore their masculinity. The film has introduced a new form of genre, which focuses on the relationship that exists between the two protagonists. The cinematography used mostly in the film is referred to as lush paranomaric vistas (Bronski, 2008). The mentioned aesthetics is used as part of the modern cinematography methods. It should be known that the mountain mentioned in the film symbolizes the protagonists’ masculinity. The word mountain is, in fact, a metaphor, which symbolizes the relationship that the two leading men have. This shows that landscape can be used as a method of expressing masculinity as has been used in the film. The two protagonists explore their sexuality as the mountain environment provides them with an opportunity. Furthermore, the mountain area is described as being primal in nature (Bronski, 2008).

It is quite evident that the film ‘Brokeback Mountain’ created a lot of controversy because it focused on homosexuality. In fact, many people seem to believe that this film is one of the few to attempt to reach perfection. The cinematography displayed in the film is flawless as witnessed in various scenes. For example, perfect cinematography is witnessed when the sheep were seen on a green slope running up and about, and long shots were being taken at the same time. Also, intelligent mise en scene can be witnessed when the sexuality portrayed by Anne Hathaway dies slowly (Gilbey, 2006). Thereafter, one can view her sexuality from her exceptionally long nails as well as her blond coif. The film had a spare script, which in this case, was another vital aspect of its mise en scene. The film’s cast acted their roles well and the most outstanding character being Heath Ledger. He is portrayed as a man who utters words that he cannot be able to control in turn; most times he is tampered down (Williams, 2008).

In other movies that have been directed by Lee, focus had been on women who were oppressed in the societies they lived in. In this film, he chose to focus upon homosexual men, who are victimized in society. The latter are often denied an opportunity to express their masculinity, but Lee made a perfect attempt in demonstrating this. The cinematography made sure that when a non -gay person watches the film, they will not be prejudice against those who are gay. Most people who have watched the film claim that it is a tearjerker, because one feels compassion for the protagonists (Gilbey, 2006). The extremely purposeful and powerful mise en scene shows how Ennis and Jack demonstrate their masculinity, when they engage in acts of seduction. Each of the various scenes, where foreplay and seduction take place is in an almost slow motion. This ensures that the person watching the film becomes fascinated by the mysterious love story.

It is clearly evident from the film that males can also express their masculinity and sexuality, just as women do. In the first scene, a long shot is taken to show how the two protagonists meet each other. In this scene, bogy language is expressed well and one notices that Jack is the one who seduces Ennis. He does this by holding himself suggestively as he waits for a response from Ennis. In the coming scenes, close up shots have been used to show how Ennis reacts after being seduced. It is evident that Ennis is trying to hide his true character by not responding to the advancements made by Jack (Williams, 2008). The shot that comes after shows how Jake views Ennis from his mirror, which suggests that he is still trying to seduce him. In the last shot, Jake is seen trying to shave, while at the same, time talking to Wood and Ennis. Jake seems to appreciate male masculinity as shown by the film’s cinematography. For example, when Ennis strips to bathe, Jake tries extremely hard not to look at him, and this shown from the shots taken in the scene. While the two are warming up a.............


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