Jump to content

Utah cinema gives 'Brokeback' the boot


Recommended Posts

Utah's at it again....

Last Updated Sun, 08 Jan 2006 12:24:34 EST

CBC Arts

A movie theatre in Utah has abruptly pulled the gay Western romance movie Brokeback Mountain from its screens.

The Megaplex at Jordan Commons in Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake City, posted a message on its ticket window Friday: "There has been a change in booking and we will not be showing Brokeback Mountain. We apologize for any inconvenience."

The movie was supposed to open Friday but an advertising agency was asked to remove advertising for the film late Thursday.

The Megaplex is owned by auto magnate Larry Miller, who also owns the National Basketball Association's Utah Jazz team. Both Miller and Cal Gunderson, manager of the Megaplex, have declined to comment on the matter.

Miller had given a pre-taped interview to the local public radio station KCPW-FM on Thursday. In it, he said booking a movie like Brokeback Mountain was a business decision: "I don't think I'm qualified to be a community censor."

According to the station, Miller was unaware of the movie's storyline at the time.

The film, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, has been described as a tender love story between two Wyoming cowboys who unexpectedly fall for each other but eventually marry two women. They meet and rekindle their romance over a 20-year period.

Focus Features, the movie's distributor, said theatre management had "reneged on their licensing agreement" and had refused to open the film. The distributor called it a "deplorable" business practice.

[color:red]Conservative groups have lauded the decision.

"I think it sets an example for all the people in Utah," said Gayle Ruzicka, head of the Utah Eagle Forum. "It's such a terrible show and it is such a horrible message."

Gay rights advocates say they are disappointed.

"It's such a shame that such a beautiful and award-winning film with so much buzz about it is not being made available to a broad Utah audience," said Mike Thompson of Equality Utah.

Predator comment by NBC reviewer upsets gay groups

The film is available at other theatres in Utah. The movie, an adaptation of an Annie Proulx short story, has garnered high praise earning movie–of–the–year awards from the Utah Film Critics Society as well as the New York Film Critics Circle. It's also up for numerous awards including the Golden Globes, the Writers Guild Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Gay rights groups are also up in arms over comments made by Gene Shalit in his review of the movie on NBC's Today Show.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has demanded an apology from the critic and the network after Shalit's Thursday morning review in which he called Jake Gyllenhaal's character Jack a "sexual predator" who "tracks Ennis down and coaxes him into sporadic trysts." Ennis is played by Heath Ledger.

"Shalit's bizarre characterization of Jack as a 'predator' and Ennis as a victim reflects a fundamental lack of understanding about the central relationship in the film and about gay relationships in general," said GLAAD in a statement.

Shalit gave kudos for Ledger's performance but said that the Ang Lee-directed film was "wildly over-praised, but not by me."

GLAAD said Shalit had every right to criticize the film but not to brand the character of Jack as a predator just because he's interested in someone of the same sex.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...