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Brokeback Mountain
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

George is an embarassment. I actually feel stupid just listening to him.
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carolg



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 19
Location: NYC, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another trailer for Brokeback fans...not to be missed
http://www.break.com/index/brokebackpenguin.html
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just seen it and LOVED it-what a touching story. I love Jack's /Jake's eyes...

so much love and pain and suffering and longing and happiness and joy...beautiful.

George should be forced to see the film-might do him some good....
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madame- You sound like a Catholic school survivor too. Have you seen Magdalene Sisters? You might enjoy it (in a completely horrifying way, that is).
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey,
My mother is a Catholic school survivor. A few years ago we went to see the one woman play "Late Night Caticism" ,(spelling?), she laughed herself silly.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey--I didn't see the movie but was it based on Joni Mitchell's haunting song "The Magdalene Laundries"? (which appears on her CD Turbulent Indigo and also on The Chieftains incredible Tears of Stone)

I was an unmarried girl
I'd just turned 27
When they sent me to the sisters
For the way men looked at me.
Branded as a Jezebel,
I knew I was not bound for Heaven
I'd be cast in shame
Into the Magdalene laundries.

Most girls come here pregnant
Some by their own fathers.
Bridget got that belly
By her parish priest.
We're trying to get things white as snow,
All of us woe-begotten-daughters
In the steaming stains
Of the Magdalene laundries.

Prostitutes and destitutes
and temptresses like me-
Fallen women-
Sentenced into dreamless drudgery...
Why do they call this place
Our Lady of Charity?
Oh charity!

These bloodless brides of Jesus,
If they had just once glimpsed their groom,
Then they'd know, and they'd drop the stones
Concealed behind their rosaries.
They wilt the grass they walk upon.
They leech the light out of a room.
They'd like to drive us down the drain,
At the Magdalene laundries.

Peg O'Connell died today.
She was a cheeky girl,
A flirt.
They just stuffed her in a hole!
Surely to God you'd think at least some bells should ring!
One day I'm going to die here too,
And they'll plant me in the dirt
Like some lame bulb
That never blooms come any spring,
Come any spring, No, not any spring....

A downer I realise but what a powerful piece of work!
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David, what an amazing song, very powerful and tragic. The girls in the movie were younger than 27, but had similar experiences to the woman in the song. Was there a chain of these laundries in Ireland, I wonder?

Another incredibly powerful movie is 'Vera Drake'. I had to see it a second time to take it all in. Mike Leigh dedicated it to her parents, a doctor and a midwife, and as a midwife myself I could only feel great sympathy (empathy? But I would never do what she did) with Vera in her attempts to help 'girls in trouble'.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For anyone who has seen the film...here's a review by Victoria Alexander..I enjoy her writing ...the last sentence struck me...however methinks that's another film ...this was a hand in the fire pain of awareness for many...to watch the film...a zillion films wouldn't cover
"the subtle societal dynamics and ideology that allowed the Magdalene Laundries to prevail and prosper. " Perhaps a zillion zillion might get close.. Crying or Very sad

http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,4120,793110,00.html

The film was made after the director saw the documentary "Sex in a Cold Climate"..


The Magdalene Sisters
By
Victoria Alexander
FilmsInReview.com

Brilliant, brutal, and cruel, but Mullan’s one-sided horror story never even pauses to delve into the ascetic doctrine explained by Gregory of Nazianzus as “the pleasure of no pleasure.”

It is the horrific true story of sadistic nuns running a slave laundry factory, The Magdalene Laundries, in Ireland, under the auspices of Catholic Church’s Sisters of Mercy. In full bloom by the 1970s and through the 1990s, there were 30,000 women who worked under vile circumstances paying for their sins by washing other people’s clothes. The last Magdalene Laundry was closed in 1996; by then it was essentially an old age home for the women who had spent their lives in prison-like misery. The Church did not know what to do with the basically “institutionalized” women.

“The Magdalene Sisters” introduces us to three true stories: Margaret (Anne-Marie Duff) is raped by a cousin at a wedding. Bernadette’s (Nora-Jane Noone) crime is simply that she is beautiful and represents a sexual threat at her orphanage. Rose (Dorothy Duffy) is pregnant and not married. Margaret, Bernadette, and Rose are sent off to a Magdalene Laundry run by Sister Bridget (Geraldine McEwan), a Hitlerian monster. Whenever we see Sister Bridget she is counting money or brutally beating a girl.

The Magdalene Laundries obviously served as a financial venue for the Church but also was allowed to operate by the communities it served. These laundries were not hidden away but were openly in full view. It is clearly shown that the families of these women did not want them. Going home was not an option. Their families placed them there. No one went voluntarily. Out-of-wedlock pregnancy, though acceptable today, was shameful and not greeted with “hail-fellow-well-met” cordiality. Families were shamed by female teenage sexuality. The moral restrictions of these Irish communities were not Taliban-like imposed. These values were community based, upheld and supported.

On Sept. 10, 2003 a new videotape showing Osama bin Laden was released. Bill O’Reilly, and I’m a disciple, ridiculed the tape. Smugly, he hoped bin Laden was happy living in the unforgiving mountain dirt crouching in a dark, damp cave. No plumbing big man! Watch out for the goats! What makes bin Laden so terrifying is he chose the cave instead of the Saudi palace he was entitled to by birth. Palace or Prophet of Islam? Americans are dangerously vulnerable because we do not understand the seductiveness of the cave and the power of a prophet-elect. We do not understand “the pleasure of no pleasure.”

I bring this up here because writer/director Peter Mullan does not let up for one brief moment in depicting every nun as a narrow, life-long sadist. What drove a nun to live a life of pure evil? Were they good, honest Catholics before taking their vows and then miraculously turned into violent prison guards? Every nun in “The Magdalene Sisters” spends every moment of their entire lives delighting in persecuting hapless women. So the nuns did absolutely no good “nun work” but were really dedicated lesbian sadists preying on poor girls abandoned by their families.

At least the SS-Einsatzgruppen were given a little R&R from time to time and were allowed wives and children.

This film is defiantly brilliant on many levels. It evokes unrelenting, harrowing drama. Mullan paints a revolting, stunning portrait of despair. Mullan, by the way, likes suffering. He is masterful in depicting it. The shameful degradation of the girls being humiliated by the nuns signifies Mullan’s point of view. He will not be sidelined by objectivity. This makes for a powerful statement of directorial purpose. Mullan also gives himself a pivotal role as a father of one of the girls who has escaped. Returning her, he beats her in front of the other girls. Beatings were a way of life.

Mullan’s screenplay is based on testimony by Magdalene inmates and I am not criticizing the accuracy of the screenplay or testimony. As provocative as it stands, I would have hoped Mullan would have delved into the subtle societal dynamics and ideology that allowed the Magdalene Laundries to prevail and prosper.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. The Brokeback Mountain soundtrack is exquisite...it is filling this space with such beautiful sounds...

2. Saw it again last night...Annie Proulx says she loves those two men...her creations...her imaginings...I think of all those in the flim who are diluting themselves...lessening their BEings...dear 9 year old Ennis...taken by his pappy to see the disfigured and tortured body...early on he learnt that to survive in that climate he'd need to dilute his BEing....he says he couldn't be sure that his pappy didn't have some part in the murder...if ya think your pappy can do that to a man who loved another man...well dilution of BEing seems pretty wise...

3. Imagine the dvd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. from an article by Paul E Pratt

In preparation for the roles, the leads were sent to “cowboy school” to get hands-on experience with horseback riding and ranch work. Lee says Ledger, already familiar with farm life, was bored. Gyllenhaal, who the director describes as a “city boy,” was frustrated by splinters, bloodied hands and all that goes with building fences, feeding animals and moving bails of hay.
“We tried to rough him up a bit. There’s nothing I could do to make Jake look like a cowboy,” Lee jokes, “But they looked like they would make a good couple.”
As Lee hoped, the men also used the time to bond, which becomes more than obvious during their raw, powerful, on-screen love scenes. Though the director admits making Brokeback Mountain presents a certain professional risk for all involved, he does not find the act particularly “brave” of his stars. “They’re actors,” he notes. “Of course they want juicy parts.”
“I’m not their manager. I don’t care if this movie dooms the rest of their careers,” he half-jokes. “All I cared about was that they performed for me.” Besides, Lee provides his own unique perspective.
“I was directing a gay Western set in the mountains of Wyoming, and there is nothing further from my personal experience,” he says. “If I can do it and make it convincing, so can they.”

5. Lee said he would have been jealous if anyone else had directed the film...love that passion ...simply love it!
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter Mullan, who directed The Magdalene Sisters was superb and unforgettable as the title character in Ken Loach's 'My Name is Joe' - one to look for next time you're in your video store wondering what to rent.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David- I have no idea what came first but the lyrics you shared with us tell the same story. Here's a link to a site as well: http://www.netreach.net/~steed/magdalen.html

It says that there were a number of facilities where that kind involuntary servitude was practiced throughout Ireland. Whether I read it there or elsewhere, apparently it happened in other countries as well but nowhere as extensively (I believe there are some Canadian orders who have some shameful history with First Nation people. I first heard the Magdalene story on CBC in the context of those residential schools the Canadian nuns operated.*). The site says that there were at least some women who went to them voluntarily (probably to give birth to their babies) and it suggests that there were facilities that were [i]not[/] operated by cruelty. But the overwhelming conclusion is that most were, and, as a result, kept their internal operations as secret as possible, even though the convents themselves and their "missions" were well known.

The story came to light when unmarked graves were discovered with tens of thousands of remains; thousands more, even, than the records of the women who lived within the facilities.

* Not intending to single Canada out. Just seemed to personalize it and it's the only specific example of a non-Irish equivalent that I'm aware of myself. The US has its own shameful past regarding residential schools for Native People but I don't think they had anything to do with the Catholic Church.
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Last edited by Rainey on Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

madame- I was in Catholic schools from the time I was 5yo until I was 16. I guess I knew my share of nuns. Some were kind and personable and tried to be professionals. Mostly they were fiercely controlling. But some were just plain old mentally unbalanced. That could, at times, take the form of cruelty and sometimes it was outbursts of emotional instability. I'm talking ranting and hysterical crying (the nuns) and sometimes physical and emotional abuse of kids.

This was in the 50s and 60s. It could be very different now and different convents/schools/experiences were very,very different I have no doubt. That was most assuredly true of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who taught in my elementary school. A different group of the same order produced Sister Mary Corita Kent whose joyous art was iconic of the 60s and 70s in the US. No less a luminary than Buckminster Fuller says she and the nuns of her convent were the most creative experience he ever had. One of my son's teachers was a woman who was one of Corita Kent's students. We shared experiences and hers and mine were night and day. ...of course, Cardinal McIntyre eventually drove Corita Kent out of the order. I'm not sure what that means...

I say all this as preface to the observation I made as a very young child and articulated much later. The young nuns I knew were idealistic and hopeful. They were nice to know and professional about being educators. The older ones, though, were not mentally healthy people. I don't say that as accusation (and I hope everyone else's experience was different!) but as observation. As they aged they became frustrated, angry, moody and genuinely unstable. At least the convent where I went to school didn't appear to be a healthy place to live and work and it probably took more of a toll on those women than it did us kids.

I didn't have much compassion about it at the time. Today I have more perspective and think they didn't mean to lose their way. They probably wanted to rebel at the extremes of control as much as we did. At least we got to go home at the end of the day. And even if our parents didn't believe what we told them about what went on at school, our terms of confinement were limited by our growing up. The nuns, at that time, were in it until they died and knowing that must have weighed very heavily on them — especially since they didn't give themselves the permission to at least resent it land talk about it among ourselves like we did.

I hope I'm clear that I only intend to describe my experiences and opinions. It isn't my intention to offend other Catholics who have had different experiences and draw different conclusions.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, no problem with you pointing to Canadian examples, but I will expand. The Canadian Residential School System was not necessarily run by Catholic orders only. The Anglicans, Pentecostals and even the United Church all share in the same shameful past (perhaps others as well). I also have friends who are survivors of the system. Sam for example was plucked at the age of 6 from his home on the Ballantyne Band Camp in Northern Saskatchewan and flown out to a school in Prince Albert. He spoke no English, had never seen a car, a cow, not even many white folk. So there is little Sammy, a Northern Cree tossed into a school mixed with Plains Cree, Blackfoot, Ojibway, Sioux and Saulteaux which of course immediately sets up little cliques and rivalries. They were beaten if they spoke their own language and were often flown back to their families only for the summer. Many were sexually exploited, many more physically harmed, all were culturally deprived. The philosophy of the time was to "de-Indian" them and get them to integrate fully with the white community. Anyway they proved a failure and the scars will remain for another generation or so. A sad period indeed, but at least the Catholics can share the guilt!
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
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Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, David,
My grandparents were young teachers in Canada when this was going on. After a short time and much discust as to what happened, they left and devoted much time and money into helping Native North Americans.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wonderful thing about talking about "bad" things is 1) you have an opportunity to correct the situation or make a resolve not to let it happen again and 2) you find out about wonderful people who consulted their consciences, found great courage and did the right thing.

Thanks to your brave and humane grandparents, Erin. You must be very proud of them. And I've sure it makes them proud to know what a wonderful person you are.
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