Week 14 Reading Response – Joe Viola

In “Framing Brokeback Mountain: How the Popular Press Corralled the ‘Gay Cowboy Movie,’” Brenda Cooper and Edward C. Pease discuss interesting points regarding the reception of the film, which I found to be some of, if not the most, compelling discourses surrounding Brokeback Mountain, which I saw years ago at an age that was probably too young to fully absorb the film’s meanings. Cooper and Pease discuss several moviegoers and reviewers’ tendencies to compare the romance in Brokeback to that of similar, albeit inherently different, love stories such as Romeo and Juliet. While the validity of the comparison lies in the tragic nature of both stories, the authors bring up the fact that making such a comparison ultimately leads to a distraction of sorts from the queerness of Brokeback, in an attempt to heighten the film’s relatability to a more heteronormative audience. I don’t think there is any problem in comparing or relating two romantic or sexual works of art two each other (after all, love is love), but I do agree that ignoring the core of the romance (i.e. the queerness of Brokeback Mountain) ultimately renders viewing the film as rather pointless. The queerness of the film is what pulls several people in, and whether or not everyone finds something relatable in that is arbitrary, but the fact that any one person or group of people might is of greater importance.

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