This book situates Brokeback Mountain, a queer film based on the short story by Annie Proulx and directed by Ang Lee, in relation to specific frameworks and debates: indie cinema; the Western; the melodrama; gay spectatorship and cruising. The chapters can be read in a linear fashion but also read in isolation. What links them together, other than the film itself, is Brokeback Mountain's status as a key indie feature and the way that fosters a dialogue between film studies and queer theory and the myriad ways Brokeback Mountain seems to circulate as both a mainstream (must see cultural phenomenon) and an alternative (independent, queer) film. Brokeback Mountain's reception, whether it was the first reports from film festivals, coverage in gay lifestyle magazines and national newspapers, the forums dedicated to the film, the way it was received at the 2006 Oscars, all these contributed to an incredibly rich source of zeitgeist buzz.
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