The Western genre had become so flexible that Brokeback Mountain had been able to introduce successfully new ideas into its plot, and although it had a more romantic feel to it because of the relationship between Ennis and Jack, it was still recognized as a Western film. This relationship between the two cowboys is one of the major changes that are prominent in the movie. Ennis and Jack being gay lovers was a newly introduced concept in the Western genre. It could be argued that there is and has always been some sort of underlying element of homoeroticism in Western films before, but not like it was in Brokeback Mountain, where it was so readily explored, and even as such made the central theme of the movie itself, and as seen in most W...
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... incorporated it at all, and others, like Hell's Hinges, where Blaze, after being attracted to Faith becomes more of a hero than a villain, and The Virginian, where the Eastern schoolteacher Molly got along really well with The Virginian, but even in where the element of attraction was introduced, there was still a severe lack of it in the earlier Westerns, as unlike Brokeback Mountain, they were not typically solely focused on the romantic aspect of it all – but it still held true that the genre was ever-changing and still is to this day, and though the traditional aspects and concepts of the Western are still used in order to identify as such, the Western films of today are not solely focused on what they were in the distant past.
Brokeback Mountain. Dir. Ang Lee. Perf. Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams. DVD. Focus Features, 2005.
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