Saturday, February 18, 2006

Another kind of cowboy love

Brokeback Mountain and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada are about men who love each other in the alienating wilds of the frontier, where society is made of small corruptions and conventions. Brokeback is a big deal because sex and sexual desire are part of this love. But mosey on down to Texas and you'll find Tommy Lee Jones, wracked by what he believes is a do-or-die responsibility to fulfill a promise he made to his dead friend. Jones's character is as repressed and doomed as Heath Ledger's, all on account of loyalty, and their movies are as similar and different as can be. Three Burials opened wide Feb. 3, and it's a perfect companion piece to Brokeback.

1 comment:

J.J. said...

I would like to amend my use of the word "cowboys," before someone corrects me. The more accurate term is "frontiersmen," at the very least. Nary a cow is seen in either movie. If anything, Brokeback has "sheepboys" and Three Burials has "border hands." The point is that they're doing a lonely job in a lonely world.