American Indies Series Editors: Gary Needham and Yannis Tzioumakis This series of books covers contemporary American films that have found commercial success but which have not been constrained by the formal and ideological parameters often associated with mainstream Hollywood cinema. Each volume explores a specific film and combines innovative and original research with clearly defined classroom-orientated frameworks of film analysis. Brokeback Mountain Gary Needham Upon its release in 2005, Brokeback Mountain became a major cultural event and a milestone in independent American filmmaking. Based on the short story by Annie Proulx and directed by Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain situated a love story between two closeted cowboys at the heart of American mythology, film spectatorship and genre. Brokeback Mountain offered an independent and queer revision of the conventions and clichés of the western and the melodrama through a studied exploration of homophobia and the closet. This book examines Brokeback Mountain in relation to indie cinema, genre, spectatorship, editing, and homosexuality. In doing so, it brings film studies and queer theory into dialogue with one another and explains the importance of Brokeback Mountain as both a contemporary independent and queer film. Key Features * Offers an overview of Focus Features as a hybrid company operating across both the mainstream and independent cinema sectors * Analyses Brokeback Mountain as a western and places it within an enduring historical and cultural context of relations between homosexuality and the genre * Analyses Brokeback Mountain as a melodrama examining the film's relationship to concepts of pathos, backward feeling and passivity * Proposes a new way of thinking about gay spectatorship that takes into account how editing and cruising relate to one another Gary Needham is Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at Nottingham Trent University.
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