‘You know I ain’t queer,’ Ennis Del Mar says to Jack Twist. ‘Me neither,’ says Jack. Then they get back to having sex with each other, high up in the hills of Wyoming.
I would have liked to have seen Brokeback Mountain with a Wyoming crowd, or at any rate an audience of rugged laconic men in tight jeans, such as Jack and Ennis. Unfortunately, Brokeback doesn’t appear to be playing in any rural districts other than, er, the Hamptons and Provincetown. So I had to go and see it in Montreal, where its author, Annie Proulx, once attended Sir George Williams University. The joint was packed, and you could have heard a pin drop when Jake Gyllenhaal’s pants dropped.
I like Ms Proulx’s books not because of the characters or the plots but because she’s spent much of her life roaming the same turf I have — Vermont, Quebec, Newfoundland — and she’s got a tremendous ability to capture the essence of the land, and in particular the way a harsh land shapes the character of its people.