Monday, March 06, 2006

Brokeback Alberta

Thousands of men are arriving every day to work in camps in Alberta's booming Tar Sands.

Men, thousands, horny, in camps.

You don't have to be a cowboy to realize why Alberta was perfect for filming Brokeback Mountain.

But had they called it Fort McMurray would it have won?

Alberta Conservative MLA praises Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain, a Academy Award-winning movie shot in Alberta about two gay cowboys, has won high praise from a Conservative member of the Alberta legislature.

In a member’s statement today, George Groeneveld, who represents the southwestern riding of Highwood where it was filmed, congratulated those who worked on the movie.

The film won three Oscars at Sunday’s Academy Awards, including best director. It had been nominated for six, losing the highly coveted best picture honour to Crash.

Groeneveld said it captures the best Alberta has to offer tourists - big skies, beautiful landscapes, horse trails and the ranch experience.

He didn’t mention the plot of the movie, which is about two cowboys who fall in love while herding sheep in the mountains and spend the rest of their lives trying to come to terms with their secret relationship.

Yep he is still in denial unlike the Calgary Stampede folks the ultimate cowboy fetishists.

Gay connection

Call it karmic justice.

The province long admired by human rights holdouts as a shining beacon of hope in denying gays their full dignity has contributed much to what may well be a watershed in their ultimate acceptance.

Cementing that irony is the vehicle employed, one normally an icon of masculine heterosexuality that's as much a symbol in Alberta of rock-ribbed adherence to tradition and convention as anything -- the cowboy.

Brokeback Mountain's a film that's done more to normalize homosexual relationships than any pop culture entry in memory and Alberta is its canvas.

A rollicking rhapsody of frothing Alberta rivers, alpine crags and raucous honky tonks set the stage for forbidden love.

If cowboys riding the rugged range can be gay, maybe they really are born that way.

It's a truth laid bare on film that's highly toxic to those who'd withhold equality from some of their neighbours.

And how will the Calgary Stampede react to the new version of the romance of the old West?

Will Stampede queen take on a whole new meaning?

Surely Brokeback stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger are parade marshal material, whose presence would pay worthy homage to the heart of the new West. And better still for the purveyors of family entertainment, they're straight.

One would assume the invitations have already been sent.

A spokesman for Calgary's ultimate old boys' club sounds downright enlightened, bullish on all things Brokeback.

"It's a celebration of the cowboy lifestyle ... it's a love story and there's nothing wrong with that," says Lindsey Galloway, who sounds like he's playing with a fire hot enough in these parts to brand with.

"We're certainly leveraging the opportunities of Brokeback Mountain ... it wouldn't go against our values."

That sounds like fertile ground for a "salute to the alternative cowboy" with a once-taboo turn in the Grandstand Show.

And not to be left out of the Oscar frenzy and Alberta love in with Brokeback Mountain even the Alberta government press release quotes the union involved in making the film. The Union. In anti-union, anti-gay Alberta.

Damien Petti, president of IATSE Local 212, the union representing most of the 600 crew who worked on the film, was also among the cheering crowd watching the Academy Awards. "Credibility. Alberta crews have even more of that after tonight. Our crews have had an amazing year, and we’ve proven to the world that we can produce high-quality films right here in Alberta."

And of course we will camp it up with our cowboy culture cause thats what brings in the tourist bucks. Besides the Stampede is the ultimate in cowboy camp.

Searching for the real 'Brokeback'

FILM, BOOK DRAW VISITORS TO THE BREATHTAKING VISTAS OF WYOMING, ALBERTA


See my other Brokeback stories


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

funny, that got a chuckle
alberta the right wing anti gay marriage capital of canada , funny