Eight Oscar Nominations For “Brokeback Mountain”

Cowboy romantic bonding, a gay author biopic and the often humorous story of a transsexual woman all captured Oscar nominations Tuesday. “Brokeback Mountain” led the Academy Awards field Tuesday with eight nominations, among them best picture and honors for actor Heath Ledger and director Ang Lee. “We didn’t make the film for any kind of political movement, Ledger told the Associated Press following the nomination announcement. ” We never expected to change people’s minds but if it does affect people’s hearts, if perceptions can get altered, that’s a good thing.”

“Capote”, the story of gay author Truman Capote while he was writing his classic “In Cold Blood” was also nominated for best picture along with “Crash,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Munich.”

“Capote” star Philip Seymour Hoffman joined Ledger in a best actor nomination, along with Terrence Howard, “Hustle & Flow”; Joaquin Phoenix, “Walk the Line”; and David Strathairn, “Good Night, and Good Luck.” Hoffman has already won a Golden Globe for best actor for “Capote”.

Felicity Huffman, who stars as a pre-op transsexual in “Transamerica” was nominated for best actress. Huffman has already won the Golden Globe award for best dramatic actress for “Transamerica”. Also receiving nominations in the category are Judi Dench, “Mrs. Henderson Presents”; Keira Knightley, “Pride & Prejudice”; Charlize Theron, “North Country”; and Reese Witherspoon, “Walk the Line.”

Jake Gyllenhaal, who stars with Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain” got a nod in the supporting actor category. Also named were George Clooney, “Syriana”; Matt Dillon, “Crash”; Paul Giamatti, “Cinderella Man”; and William Hurt, “A History of Violence.”
Brokeback’s Michelle Williams was nominated best supporting actress. She joins Amy Adams, “Junebug”; Catherine Keener, “Capote”; Frances McDormand, “North Country”; and Rachel Weisz, “The Constant Gardener”.

For best director it was Ang Lee for “Brokeback Mountain” and Bennett Miller for “Capote”. They’re competing against Paul Haggis, “Crash”; George Clooney, “Good Night, and Good Luck.”; and Steven Spielberg, “Munich.” Lee has already picked up best director awards for Brokeback at the Directors Guild and the Golden Globes.

Brokeback, Capote and Munich also received nominations for best adapted screenplays. Nods went to Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana for Brokeback, Dan Futterman for Capote, and to Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, “Munich.” Kushner is best remembered for his award winning “Angeles in America”. Brokeback also got nominations for best original score.

The Oscar winners will be announced at the March 5th award ceremony in Hollywood.

Calm Solitude: III


Returning to my earlier theme of "relaxation and calm," here is the last picture in the series. One might think of it in terms of internal psychological processes. Looking closely, one imagines the interplay between shading or emotional restraint in the foreground (grass or wheat; dark and gray colors) and the emerging press to express/display/share pleasantly fulfilling emotions (the rise of pale blue in the sky).

For me, it captures the sense of calm associated with one's ongoing experiences of dialectical tension between the wish to express or gratify primary wishes and feelings, in juxtaposition, responding to a bidding to control them.

The latter dimension, the wish to constrain primary gratifications, can lead to a sense of satisfying self-confidence, which is derived from feeling sturdy and resilient regarding the ability to control them.

Posted in Art, Music, Peace, Personal Thoughts, Psychoanalysis, Rest. Comments Off

Brokeback Mountain Honored With Top Golden Globe Awards

The groundbreaking film about long-term loving feelings of attachment between two cowboys took top awards at the 63rd Golden Globes on Monday, a ceremony dealing almost entirely with low-budget, art house films that have not yet broken through to blockbuster-size audiences.

Brokeback Mountain, a poetic film that spans a 20-year private romantic bond between two men, based on the short story by Annie Proulx, won best dramatic film, best director for Ang Lee, best screenplay for Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana and best song.

The film, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as the lovers, has raised the issue of the acceptance of gay relationships on screen and in wider American society. The film has been enthusiastically embraced by critics and within Hollywood….

Accepting his award, Mr. Lee saluted “the power of movies to change the way we’re thinking.”

In other roles that dealt with gay and gender issues, Felicity Huffman won best actress for her portrayal of a transgendered man in “TransAmerica.” And Philip Seymour Hoffman won best actor in a dramatic role for playing Truman Capote, the flamboyantly gay and brazenly ambitious writer, in “Capote.”

The awards were a triumph for the many smaller films that dominated this year’s nominations for the Globes, which are seen as an important steppingstone to the Oscars. The 84-member Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents the Globes, nominated almost no major Hollywood productions for this year’s awards, instead singling out an eclectic group of lower budget movies that haven’t been widely seen by American audiences.

In addition to the winning Brokeback Mountain, other small films nominated for best drama were Mr. Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck,” about the newsman Edward R. Murrow’s battle with Senator Joseph R. McCarthy; “A History of Violence,” a mobster mystery starring Viggo Mortensen; and “The Constant Gardener,” directed by Fernando Meirelles.

In this main category the Foreign Press Association ignored major Hollywood productions like the director Sam Mendes’s “Jarhead,” Steven Spielberg’s “Munich,” Ron Howard’s “Cinderella Man” and Peter Jackson’s “King Kong.”

Adapted From:
Sharon Waxman
Copyright: The New York Times
January 16, 2006

Posted in Academy Awards, Gay, Media, Music, Personalties. Comments Off

Calm Solitude: II

As mentioned previously, at first I was going to present three pictures related to the sense of “feeling calm.” Then I realized that, although of the same emotional genre, the pictures displayed markedly contrasting states of feeling calm.

That earlier discussion was accompanied by a picture reflecting the type of quiet, calm solitude that engenders periods of light reflection. The landscape photograph presented here, on the other hand, conveys a more outwardly expressive, lively, bright and colorfully emotional sense of calm, but still within the overall context of constructive solitude.

As before, I will be extremely pleased if this provides you with a moment, if only just a moment, of restfully peaceful calm, along with feeling of relaxation.

Posted in Art, Humor, Peace, Personal Thoughts, Psychoanalysis, Rest. Comments Off

Calm Solitude: Light Reflections

Heck…”the sound and the fury” of the holiday season is behind us, and many are in need of a sense of calm and relaxation. Cognitive behaviorists describe relaxation in terms of a set of “scientific” procedures, such as tensing and then relaxing one’s muscles, meditation, breathing exercises and self-hypnotic measures.

In other words, for the behaviorists, the procedure (relaxation) always precedes feelings of release from distress. Avoiding the uncertainty and ambiguity of life, they purport to have laid claim to a scientific truth, specifically that conditioning is the “royal road” to the alleviation of emotional torment.

However, this “truth” can be viewed from other, as good as or possibly even better, perspectives. For example, “There could be certain forms of calm that can be attained without first going through the state of relaxation. Moreover, it may well be that those particular styles of feeling calm at the same time supply the sense of relaxation,” (Author, 2006). I’m sure that readers can think of many other rich perspectives regarding the “truth” of behavioral conditioning (i.e., that mechanical procedures are preeminent when compared to human emotional life).

For myself, with regard to the sense of calming relaxation, I prefer the more human process of self-reflection, while interacting with pastoral scenes. The picture above is one example of those images. At first, I was going to present three pictures related to “feeling calm.”

Then I realized that, although of the same emotional genre, the pictures displayed markedly contrasting states of feeling calm: (1) a calm solitude engendering periods of light reflection; (2) a lively, bright and colorfully emotional sense of calm; and (3)a sense of calm associated with one’s ongoing experiences of dialectical tension between the wish to express or gratify primary wishes and feelings, in juxtaposition, responding to a bidding to control them.

The latter dimension, the wish to constrain primary gratifications, can lead to a sense of satisfying self-confidence, which is derived from feeling sturdy and resilient regarding the ability to control them.

I have written this little piece as tightly as possible (for now), hoping that it would evoke further thought for you. To conclude, I have chosen to share the picture that for me creates an experience that represents a calm sense of solitude, which engenders periods of light reflection. I will be extremely pleased if it provides you with a moment, if only just a moment, of restfully peaceful calm, along with feeling of relaxation.

CELEBRATING DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

 

Pablo Neruda: I’m Tired of Being a Man…

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

“Walking Around”

It so happens I’m tired of being a man.
It so happens I enter clothes shops and theaters,
withered, impenetrable, like a swan made of felt
sailing the water of ashes and origins.

The smell of a hairdresser’s has me crying and wailing.
I only want release from being stone or wool.
I only want not to see gardens and businesses,
merchandise, spectacles, lifts.

It so happens I’m tired of my feet and toenails,
my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I’m tired of being a man.

Still it would be a pleasure
to scare a lawyer with a severed lily
or deal death to a nun with a poke in the ear.
It would be good
to go through the streets with an emerald knife
and shout out till I died of cold.

I don’t want to go on being just a root in the shadows,
vacillating, extended, shivering with dream,
down in the damp bowels of earth,
absorbing it, thinking it, eating it every day.

I don’t want to be so much misfortune,
I don’t want to go on as a root or a tomb,
a subterranean tunnel, just a cellar of death,
frozen, dying in pain.

This is why, Monday, the day, is burning like petrol,
when it sees me arrive with my prison features,
and it screeches going by like a scorched tire
and its footsteps tread hot with blood towards night.

And it drives me to certain street corners, certain damp houses,
towards hospitals where skeletons leap from the window,
to certain cobbler’s shops stinking of vinegar,
to alleyways awful as abysses.

There are sulphur-coloured birds and repulsive intestines,
hanging from doorways of houses I hate,
there are lost dentures in coffee pots
there are mirrors
that ought to have cried out from horror and shame,
there are umbrellas everywhere, poisons and navels.

I pass by calmly, with eyes and shoes,
with anger, oblivion,
pass by, cross through offices, orthopedic stores,
and yards where clothes hang down from wires:
underpants, towels and shirts weeping
slow guilty tears.

-Pablo Neruda

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