Monday, February 27, 2006 

Brokeback Mountain

Reminds me of the good old Pushing Hand days of Ang Lee……..

The story is set in the 60’s, the Malboro Man era; due to a job offer, two cowboys met.

In Brokeback Mountain.

Through the eyes of the director, there’s a sky and clouds, there’s the mountain and forest, and there too, herd and the two lonely cowboy. Amongst these, occasionally thunders are heard. Like a breathing earth, telling the story of two men.

Unfortunately, the sky is too high, the land is too wide, and the tent is too small.

This is the clever reason the director linked all these together. In Brokeback Mountain, the world belongs to themselves where their love blossomed and the warmth of their bodies cherished. When they came back to the so-called “Real” world, locks and chains and boundaries set by the moral standard tie them down. OR tied them up for all the other thousands things they need to do to live in it.

In the mountain, there"s only one place they could stay-in, the tent; they’d found true freedom.
In the society, there’re thousands of possibilities and chances they could work on and go for; they lost themselves.

Ang Lee projected in the film that there’re two worlds, one in the heart/spirit, and one where they lived in. Only problem is both actually are exactly opposite of what they appeared to be.

In nature, names have become unimportant. The two cowboys are presented to the audience as their characteristics.

One with a square face, brown jacket, quiet, and wore his hat when he bath. Basically a person with a great sense of insecurity; lack of self confidence, passive, and rational.
The other one is more good looking, more talkative, smile a lot more, and wear his boots in his bath. A playful type, more aggressive, and knowing better of self-protection.

Hat in the head reflects being rational, let the brain be the lead. Boots on the feet represent follow the heart, action comes first. When two don’t sync, tragedy born. (Probably Ang Lee has read the Russian story about a hat fell in love with a pair of boots. They will never be together until they are not needed anymore to serve their functions.) In the later part of the movie when one of them was dead and the other one went to his home and noticed the pair of boots in his friend’s house. The camera showed the man with his hat looking at the pair of empty boots, we are shown by the scene the contrast between these two men’s personalities.

Ang Lee is making a love story. A story with a love story hidden behind these two characters. I think is so clever that he has made this movie in such subtle manner. Just like the two cowboys and the society around them in the movie, the audiences are constantly being presented with objects that’re so hidden yet so obvious. Yes, he is telling a love story, in the era of the macho Malboro man, a love story between two of them.

Taboo is the word.


Ang Lee

Tui Shou , or Pushing Hand (USA), is the first full length motion picture I watched directed by Ang Lee.

Love the show and had pretty good impression on this Chinese director.


Hsi Yen (The Wedding Banquet, 1993)……

Yin Shi Nan Nu (Eat Drink Man Woman, 1994) …………..

Loved them both. Just couldn’t help but have this prejudice that Asian director can never make it into 1st rank director in Hollywood.

Then again,

Wo Hu Cang Long (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000)…….

Like it. But again, believed it’s success was mainly because of luck, and the westerners’ total lack of oriental cinematography knowledge. A Discovery Channel flick to them.


Hulk (2003).

Glad that finally an Asian get to have control of big budget film (I think I really have prejudice against Hollywood. Bad me!) However, didn’t pay much attention to this piece of his work because I thought he did lost his own style to please the “Guai Low”; both his boss and the audience.

Brokeback Mountain.

I admit, for a while I did have prejudice against this movie (“Strange to have a Chinese direct a film about Cowboys”). However, after watching it the 2nd time with my wife, only I realized how stupid I was. My perception of his work was still remain at his Pushing Hand and Eat Drink Man Woman era. Always thinking he change his style to suite the westerners, the prejudice blinded me to watch/read his style with care. The word isn’t change, it is evolve.

Gotta start learning about this director’s work. Anyone out there who’s a fan of this Asian director’s work? Need some insightful opinion.


New Year, Old Fart

Another spring, another foot in the grave.


I am getting old.

No doubt about it. Age is just a number you say? Nope, age has everything to do with it. I find myself behaving like an old fool, playing safe, taking less risks.

Case in hand: I used to play the infamous Playstation Action Adventure game Resident Evil, and I played all 3 sequels. I am talking about blowing off the heads of zombies and night creatures alike, alone, at 3am, with guns ablazing, heart thumping, sweaty palms and all. Now, I can’t even last 3 minutes on Kuon or Fatal Frame (to the uninitiated, think :”The Ring” but in real-time term). The thought ot being face-to-face with the undead sends chills up my spine.

It also takes a little longer to get ready for work each day, having to hide the hateful fine lines around the eye area.

At meals, I do a mental calculation of my cholesterol and calorie intake. I do salads for lunch at least twice a week. I cheat sometimes, but not without fretting and frowning about it, which aggravates more wrinkles. *sigh*

My version of a wild night is having decaf coffee at 6 in the evening.

I maker it a point to gym at least 3x a week, sweating profusely and not stopping until I feel the painful pull of my muscles, like today.

I only check in at hotels with clean, private toilets. Failing which, I bring my own Dettol to disinfect the toilet bowl.

With other married colleagues, all we ever talk about is how to get rid of shirt collar stains.

I keep my eyes peeled for warehouse sales every weekend.


This is bullshit.

What happened to the gung-ho, risk taker, say it as I see fit daredevil that I was? Will I end up being one of those old folks who talk and talk without getting any point across?

Que sera sera.

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