November 29, 2005

Proulx on Lee's Brokeback Mountain: Happy As A Ranch Hand In Love. Er...

Annie Proulx has seen "Brokeback Mountain" twice: once, when the characters and story originally made their way from her head to her short story in the New Yorker. Then again, when Ang Lee's film rose up before her on the screen. She's as happy as a woman can be about doomed gay cowboy love.

The Village Voice's Jessica Winters has an account of the story's translation from the page to the screen:

In transcribing a 10,000-word story onto a celluloid canvas, Brokeback Mountain takes the opportunity to enlarge and embellish upon Proulx's glancing details and grace notes, or as [co-screenwriter Larry] McMurtry puts it, "We milked it for every single sentence, every single phrase we could." Proulx adds, "Usually, screenwriters work with novels, and that means whittling and chopping and squeezing it down into 90 minutes or whatever approved movie length."

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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