Thursday, January 12, 2006

Re: Fri. 30 Dec./Margaret: Is searching for/being stymied by/hiding one's identity a thematic link between BbkMtn & MyArch? Is MyArch's 1st-person narration inevitable for a documentary? (Am I remembering accurately, or is this term used for feature films, that BbkMtn seems to be "told" by an omniscient narrator...hmmm, no, that doesn't make sense for drama, does it. It's "told" audio-visually via action in space and time....)

To me, the difference between the narrators is that Nathaniel Kahn comes out from behind the camera and makes himself as much a "character" as a "director"; Ang Lee, while he is telling the story, never enters into it as a character. So there is a difference between how a "narrator" tells a story, and how a "director" tells it--but can both be happening simoultaneously? Or must it be one or the other? An interesting film to throw into this sub-topic is Luis Bunuel's "Land Without Bread." In it, he is able to have a narrator that exhibits one point of view, but Bunuel the director is able to counter it and project his own viewpoint. He accomplihes it through images and montage, by having the visual element of the film clash so highly with the audio that the movie takes on an ironic, cynical air that is not present in either the sountrack or the images alone.

I would agree about the thematic link between MA and BM being about identity. One of Kahn's partners fled to Maine when she was having her baby, not unlike Ennis and Jack's retreat to Brokeback Mountain. To what degree are Nate Kahn and Ang Lee revealing identity with their films? Certainly this seems to be at the forefront of Kahn's film--rediscovering his lost family--but what about BM? Was their relationship hidden, or was it a "known secret" as Ennis presumed? What about that end scene when he visits Jack's parents? it seemed to be that they knew about his and Jack's relationship, or at least inferred as much.

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