Beyond Brokeback

Beyond Brokeback
From Story to Screen to Sensation
Beyond Brokeback: The Impact of a Film
Can one film affect thousands of viewers from countless cultural, ethnic, religious and generational groups? Can it galvanize men and women across the globe from all walks of life to change their lives in unforeseen ways? The answer is yes-if that film is Brokeback Mountain.
And now, a new book celebrates that phenomenon. Beyond Brokeback: The Impact of a Film has just been released. It’s a collection of deeply moving and thought-provoking personal essays from 130 contributors who found themselves inexplicably moved by Annie Proulx’s award-winning short story and the film that followed.
It all started in late 2005, when early buzz for the film caught the attention of journalist Dave Cullen. He started making posts on his website,, and soon discovered throngs of people were logging on, passionately interested in the film. Cullen called it “a heartbreaking yet oddly universal story of two gay cowboys in love,” but it proved to be even more than that. After the movie lost the best picture award at the 2006 Oscars, members of the forum created and paid for an ad in “Variety” thanking everyone involved in making the movie. From the website came the idea to produce a book that would showcase a sample of personal stories posted by Forum members.
Beyond Brokeback contains 178 personal essays, stories, and quotes from people who had little in common, other than a sense of personal upheaval after seeing the film. Some of the essays include:
* Mejack, whose viewing of Brokeback Mountain triggered his memory of a long-lost love and set him on a quest to find out his love’s fate;
* Carol and Heidi, two women who found an unexpected love and had to deal with the repercussions in their lives; and
* Maggie, a research scientist, who was inspired by the film to write her first poetry.
Volunteer editors read thousands of posts before selecting the pieces to include. Artists volunteered their time to design the book. The book will be produced initially in limited quantities and proceeds from sales will support the Forum’s campaigns of donating free copies of the original film DVD and the new book to public libraries that may not have the resources to buy them.
from Dave Cullen

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