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Brokeback Mountain & The Exorcist: AUDIENCE RESPONSE in Ideology, Narrative, Cinematography, Mise-en-scene, Sound etc.


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This was for my college assignment for Film Studies

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Brokeback Mountain & The Exorcist: AUDIENCE RESPONSE in Ideology, Narrative, Cinematography, Mise-en-scene, Sound etc.

  1. 1. Popular Film & Emotional Response Brokeback Mountain (2005) & The Exorcist (1973)• Directed by Ang Lee • Directed by William• A Drama/ Romance about two Friedkin cowboys that accidently fall in • A Horror/ Thriller about a love with each other at a young young girl whose suddenly age, then later try to move on getting „fits‟ that cannot be with their lives by having a wife explained by doctors, so they and family. Their love is too go through this journey strong to let go but they are trying to make some sense of confused about what they what is happening to her should do, which ultimately which leads to the last resort leads to a very horrific and of an exorcism upsetting ending Gloria A. Tafa
  2. 2. Emotional Responses Brokeback Mountain The Exorcist• In this sequence audiences • As it is adapted for true go through many emotions events the audiences fear at once, many people feel becomes more real as they shocked when they kiss watch this• Desensitization for • An emotional contagion as homosexuals as they are all the audiences most naturally exposed to this probably react in the same way with similar emotions• In this clip Jack and Ennis finally meet again after • In this clip Regan is being some long years, but possessed but is thought to unaware that their secret be in a fit so the mother and has been found by nanny call the doctors to someone closer to home... come and investigate... Both are controversial films that evoke the element of surprise
  3. 3. Brokeback Mountain- Audiences feelings & emotionsUsing Stuart Halls‟ theory of Audience Positioning ill be talking about the different emotions the audiences go through these short 5 minutes  The audience which have a preferred or dominant reading feel excitement with Ennis as the audience understand that they both havent seen each other in 4years -On the opposing side of the audience they would be feeling disappointment, just as they thought Ennis and Jack were settling in with their „normal‟ families and lives.  When they run to each other and kiss- there are two ways again the audience might react- either thrilled/please or disgusted/revolted. The people who respond positively to them kissing would most probably be the homosexual audiences or the female audiences as they are the majority of the dominant audience. On the other hand, the people who respond in a negative way are the Resistant readings which oppose every thing about the scene (and the movie itself)  When Ennis‟ wife catches them kissing, the audience, no matter the audience positioning, feel sympathy/pity for her  The feeling of amazement comes in when the audience is frustrated that Ennis‟ wife did not say anything  When Jack and Ennis enter the house they „play it cool‟ and start talking about their children , the audience at this point are appalled that they can act as if nothing happened, the audience are still empathise with the wife  Then Jack and Ennis leave together, as Ennis puts on his coat he says that they‟ll be “drinking and talking” but as the audience know their characteristics and what they get up to, they would feel uncertain/doubtful that Ennis is telling the truth (the wife feels this way too)  As it cuts to the next scene with an establishing shot, we see a big MOTEL sign, the viewers immediately know whats going on and the audience are proven to be certain /right.  Next shot is Jack and Ennis smoking and holding each other in a bed– Again ,depending on the position of the audience they might feel aggravated by their actions or delighted that they together again.  But the opposing audience may feel relief when Jack asks “What are we gonna do now” and Ennis replies “I doubt theres anything we can do” which obviously will make the opposing side happy as they are against this, however the preferred audiences might be saddened/ disappointed because they have followed these characters through a journey
  4. 4. Emotional Responses Brokeback Mountain The Exorcist• In this sequence audiences • As it is adapted for true go through many emotions events the audiences fear at once, many people feel becomes more real as they shocked when they kiss watch this• Desensitization for • An emotional contagion as homosexuals as they are all the audiences most naturally exposed to this probably react in the same way with similar emotions• In this clip Jack and Ennis finally meet again after • In this clip Regan is being some long years, but possessed but is thought to unaware that their secret be in a fit so the mother and has been found by nanny call the doctors to someone closer to home... come and investigate... Both are controversial films that evoke the element of surprise
  5. 5. The Exorcist- Audiences feeling & emotions Automatically we know something is wrong because in the background we can hear Regan screaming uncontrollably so they feel relief when the door bell rings and help is on the way. The audience might feel annoyed/frustrated that they are doctors because at this point are convinced that she is not ill but possessed, especially when they start talking about spasms and medications, but the opposing side might be still relieved because they probably feel like this is all psychological and the doctors are here to fix it Shocked/horrified when the door opens and we see Regan being possessed, this is the same feeling as the characters in the room, we see all of them with the same reaction in one frame. As Regan screams “Make it stop!” “Its burning!” the audience (and the adults in the room) feel helpless because they cannot help her and scared for Regan, also because she is shouting for her mothers help and all she can do is watch Frightened/petrified Regan‟s eyes turn white as she ejects a roaring voice, the film makers achieve this fright with a close up shot of her head plunged onto the pillow which shocks the audience because she comes in shot and they didnt‟t expect this Sickened when her neck swells up- Passive readers would see this as her simply being possessed, but most probably oppositional would argue that the reason for her neck swelling up is because she was injected with a needle not so long ago Shocked when Regan slaps the grown man, they make him fall violently to show how much strength she has Then Regan jumps on the bed and repeatedly shouts inappropriate words, at this point the audience will feel outraged/appalled at this behaviour, it makes it more inappropriate that she is a 12 years old and also on her bed with legs wide opened Then there is a shot of her mothers reaction screaming while clutching her napkin, we can see that she is distraught by Regans actions although as the audience we understand she is possessed and not Regan‟s actions Relieved when they hold her down and give her an injection to calm down and understanding when the mother is forced out of the room screaming .
  6. 6. Cinematography• Eye- level with Ennis from Coach to window which • Shaky hand held cam to follow the action turns into a medium close up - the audience get to as they are running up the stairs that see his change in emotion from boredom to evokes a sense or rush and desperation happiness as he sees Jacks car • The camera tracks them all the way to the• POV of Jack coming out of his car door for a sense of following them through• When they hug we get 2 different shots from 2 angles this odd encounter, the tracking picks up cutting in and out of each other so the audience can see both of their reactions on their conversation and their sense of panic• The camera follows Ennis pushing Jack towards the wall -during this shot we see the lust/love in their • As soon as they walk in we cut to Regan on eyes, helps the audience understand their emotions the bed for a few seconds, then quickly• Extreme close up when they kiss- shows the intensity into a reaction shot with all characters in a as they grab each others faces – and highlights Jacks single frame to show how intense they wedding ring then also Ennis‟ which will obviously look which is what the audience probably outrage the audience feel as well• High angle, POV from the wife as she catches them • Panning from the adults to the bed so we kissing and a reaction shot can get an insight of what they are seeing• Slowly tracking the wife as with a medium shot • Lots of close-ups for single reactions helps the audience see how she is coping• Inside the motel its a low-key soft lighting that gives • Very shaky hand held as Regan jumps a sense of romance which also suggests to the everywhere on the bed audience that this is a special moment for Jack and • POV from Regan as she get injected, helps Ennis the audience see from Regan‟s perspective• 2 shots, close-ups to show the intimacy between them and signifies how they feel- close
  7. 7. Genre• Brokeback mountain is a Drama, Romance and • Adapted from a novel but concentrates Western .. It challenges generic convections of on the supernatural side which attracts the western melodrama with a gay narrative. mainstream audiences- which is its target audience• Western themes are evident in Brokeback Mountain, yet the film does not stick to all the Western convections • The Exorcist is said to be one of the scariest horror movies, especially in the• Brokeback Mountain was supposedly marketed year 1973 when audience had never seen towards older women anything like this• It appealed to female audiences because the • It evoked new and more real emotions melodrama genre is traditionally targeted at females of fright from the audiences
  8. 8. Narrative• Convectional narrative • Classical Narrative- the structure- easier for the audience follow the audience to follow and characters from the doesnt confuse them- beginning• Double journeys- helps the • Scenes of horror adds to audience get a perspective the build-up of narrative from both sides so that they and keeps audiences on are emotionally attached to edge for the next scary both Jack and Ennis, rather scene than having a protagonist Both follow the Classical Hollywood Narrative, they are not set out to manipulate audiences emotions with an unconventional plot
  9. 9. Ideology- Messages and Values• Brokeback Mountain was an introduction to • Ideology of Heaven and Hell explored, the battles homosexuality and gave us an emotional insight to gay between good and evil in the context of religion men on-screen--The film was celebrated for the ways in • Science vs. Religion which the gay male characters were represented, and the • Loss of Faith from the younger priest but Gaining resulting impact on mainstream culture. Faith from the mother perspective• Brokeback does not conform to American Ideologies, or • Innocence being damaged by evil as Regan is to a political ideology, but instead presents itself as an exposed to this Supernatural event examination of a homophobic culture where • Censorship-It was banned in 1986 under the Video homosexuality did exist and was not necessarily flamboyant or overtly gay. Recordings Act because it was too scary for home• New Queer Cinema movement typically share certain viewing ideologies, such as the rejection of the „normality‟ of • Government censorship banned The Exorcist heterosexuality and the lives of LGBT protagonists living because they believe it presents "unjustified" on the edge of society propaganda in favour of Christianity• LGBT community Ideologies- in this film „queer‟ ideological concerns are put forward addressing Both Films hold religious responses/issues homophobia that not everyone agrees with and goes• Ideology of romance and tragedy that is found in many against their believes. Being gay is an melodramatic films abomination in Christianity/Islam and the• Ideology of clashing cultures where Censorship was needed- Many countries disagreed with what this film fear of evil/demons are in support of has to offer, places like China and the Middle-east put a Religion which frightens the audience as religious and political ban on it they most probably had to second-guess their believes after watching The Exorcist.
  10. 10. Mise-en-scene• The outfits and props are of convections • The Prop operator put Linda Blair (Regan) to the western genre on a harness and thrashed her everywhere to make it more believable that she is being• The different coloured hats worn by the possessed- seeing a little girl suffering is cowboys are representing their difference what evokes outrage within the audience in character, the black and the white hats • Prosthetic- for neck swelling up, looked very contrast each other just like their realistic for viewers in the 70‟s- but personalities, yet just like the colours, audiences now are desensitized to horrific they compliment each other too. scenes from the Exorcist and will not have the same emotional reaction as they did• The appearance of his young daughter when the film came out makes the audience a bit uncomfortable • No special effects which is what makes it and sense that it is not right more terrifying as it looks more believable
  11. 11. Sound• As they kiss each other, -the • Non-diegetic screaming from filmmakers add a guitar playing in the background which softens the Regan in the background- leaves roughness of the cowboys grasping the audience to imagine what is each others faces – adds a sense of happening – makes them romance for the audience curious and frightened• Heavy breathing and panting as they • Non-diegetic demon voice as she grasp each other – helps the audience see the heat that they have for each roars and shouts other • No music in the background to• Guitar stops for the reaction of Ennis‟ concentrate on the action wife at the door to focus on her face- • Continuous screaming by the the silence intensifies her emotions for mother in background adds to the audience the tension• Sound of Ennis‟ daughter in the background as they arrive in the house makes the audience realise that it was thoughtless of them to do it near the presence of a child- it contributes to the outrage of their behavior• Non- diegetic cars going past Motel..• Atmosphere, as they lay in bed talking- helps focus on Jack and Ennis conversation
  12. 12. Context of Spectatorship• Stuart Halls theory suggests a • The horror genre is one of Negotiated and Opposing the most genres that is reading due to the content watched with other people for entertainment• Uses and Gratifications Theory- under personal • Mainstream appeal for a identity, a spectator might find simple convectional an aspect of the film that Hollywood film relates to him e.g. A gay person might identify with Jack and • Horror approach makes it Ennis‟ situation more appealing to the mass audiences – and regular• The advanced content suggest horror spectators mature audiences that can handle unexpected emotional reaction
  13. 13. Brokeback Mountain Spectators/ Fans “I first felt the power inherent within my “Here is a love story from director Ang Lee in own gay spectatorship of Brokeback which the taboo word "love" is never spoken. InMountain when Ennis and Jack kissed for fact the whole movie is a rich, spacious, the first time... The success of Brokeback passionate way of showing, not telling, feelingsMountain only added to my expectations of that dare not speak their name - and doing so seeing a queer on-screen representation with superb intelligence and magnificent that would be positive and affirming. ” openness.” Craig Snyder, ‘Fear and loathing Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian on Brokeback Mountain’
  14. 14. Brokeback Mountain CriticsIt is a gripping love story about two individuals whose unconventional “In presenting Jack and Ennis as affair is not easily understood by the rest of society. „normal‟ married men who like to go Im of course referring to "King Kong." on fishing trips together, Brokeback"Brokeback Mountain," on the other hand, is a dull and often carelessly Mountain threatens our culture‟scampy romance that rivals "The Hours" as the most overrated movie of very definitions of heterosexuality the decade. and masculinity.” John Niccum ‘A Dull and Overrated affair’ Harry M. Benshoff writes, University of North Texas – Jump Cut
  15. 15. The Exorcist Spectators/ Fans An unforgettable horror film that doesnt just get under my skin - it stays there. Beth Accomando, If movies are, among other things, Like all good horror, it taps into the opportunities for escapism, then The Exorcistaudiences primal fears such as madness, is one of the most powerful ever made. random evil, and transformation. Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times Matt Ford, BBC
  16. 16. The Exorcist Critics I have always believed The Exorcist to beoverrated. It is a creepy and atmospheric film that contains a fewshocking scenes, but it is There is profanity and the use of Christ‟s name in vain. Morenot as far above the likes negatively, there are numerous accounts of demonic activity, of The Omen and including Regan masturbating with a crucifix. While I have no Rosemarys Baby as its doubts that a demon could do this, it remains shocking andproponents would argue may drown out some of the God-triumphing-over-Satan aspects which dominate the film‟s core. James Berardinelli Andrew Hager, Christian Answers
  17. 17. Summary• Both Brokeback Mountain and The Exorcist are controversial movies with themes of religious views• They are both films that break comfort zones of audiences• Shock and surprise plays a huge part in these films which is the main emotion detected• Both have had Censorship due to provocative narratives• Two great films that will always be debated and argued over because of the different views that each spectator holds