Brokeback Mountain Movie

For showing the movie Brokeback Mountain, you will be able to approach several different topics.  (Brokeback Mountain Lesson)  You can approach the movie from the viewpoint of societal expectations of men during the 1960s, the stereotypes of men and cowboys, and the difficulty of having a same-sex relationship during this time period.

Once you are done watching the movie, you will want to discuss Ennis’ strong fear of being intimate with another male while Jack is the one that pushes more for the relationship.  This has a lot to do with the stereotypes of men and cowboys.  This one topic starter is one great way to discuss pretty much everything that is important to the movie.

Since Ennis is the one that is more fearful, you can bring up how his father tried to ensure that Ennis and his brother knew that homosexuality is wrong.  Since Ennis’ father did this, you can discuss how this effected the course of the movie.  How Ennis got married, forced his real love of his life ~ Jack ~ to essentially do the same, started a family, and was involved in a twenty some year relationship with Jack.

The discussion should also weave into a comparison of a 1960s to the 2000s and 2010s.

As for an evaluation, a typical reaction paper.  The requirement for the quotes should be easy to resolve if anyone complains by either having them take notes, going to IMDB’s Brokeback Mountain page, and I am sure that the students can find other ways to get access to the movie.

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Prayers for Bobby Book & Movie

For this unit, you will be covering both the book and movie Prayers for Bobby.  (Lesson Plan)  With this lesson, it will take at least two weeks to do since you will be covering a book and a movie.  But I would personally budget three weeks for this unit.

With this book and movie combo, you will be covering two different mediums for delivering the same story.  One nice thing about this is that it since you will be covering two different sources, English professors and classes could adapt this lesson for their course.  However, the main goal of this unit is to cover how two different set of people ~ a book writer and editors | screenwriters and film producers ~ go about telling the same story.

This is helpful for the fact that you can go about discussing with your class about what both sets of people decided which aspects of the story was worth telling.  Mainly, how the writer of the book and his editor(s) wrote the book and then how the movie was based off of the book; which this could lead to the discussion to what is viewed to be the most important about this story.

The lesson plan states how that once the you are done with the movie, you will discuss the two works.  There are several different ways that you can do this, but the main thing ~ as stated before ~ is to discuss what are viewed to be the most important parts of the story.  Another thing that is important to discuss is the religious aspect of the story.  The reasons why this should be brought up is that religion always seems to creep up into the conversation of the LGBT community.

In terms of the paper, a reaction paper may be the best way to go about it.  A five page paper should suffice with it being doubled spaced.  Or you could change the length of the paper could easily be increased to seven or eight pages doubled spaced since this does cover two works.  Yet, I think five pages is a good length.

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Summer Storm Movie

The movie Summer Storm lends itself to be a great teaching aid.  (Lesson Plan)  This movie showcases the struggle that people who are LGBT have with coming out and coming to terms with their feelings of sexual attraction to someone of the same gender.

As seen from the trailer below, one concern that may be brought up is that it is an international film.  Even with that in mind, the fact that this film isn’t set in the United States allows us to see that this isn’t just something that is something that is going on in the states.

Another great thing about this movie is that it does also approaches the issue of athletes dealing in the LGBT community.  This is an important thing to considered since athletes, especially male ones from my personal experience, can be more scared at what being gay might mean for them.

As for the discussion portion of this lesson, you can easily gear it towards what the students in your class found interesting in the moving.  Which character they connected with the most.  What they thought about the ending.  And so on.

With possibly bring in a paper in to evaluate the students, I think a reaction paper is the best way to do so almost.  Even though the link I have included states to use quotes and the students may complain about not being able to look up quotes, they can easily find the quotes online or you can make them take notes during the class with the knowledge that they will be writing a reaction paper on the movie.

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Rent, The Movie

The movie Rent lends itself too for a good unit.  (Lesson Plan PDF)  For this film, what I see to be a good reason to use this film in a class about LGBT issues and literature is the three different relationships: Roger and Mimi, Collins and Angel, and the final couple being Maureen and Joanne ~ you could throw in the possibility of including Mark in this couple due to the fact that he use to date Maureen and there are still hints of him having feelings for her.

It goes without saying that watching this film in class.  Depending then on the length of your class period and how many days you meet, you will of course have to budget enough time you think is a fair amount of time for the discussion afterwords.  The main thing that you may want your class to discuss and pay attention are to the relationships in this movie.  This isn’t due to the fact that they are the main theme in the film, but because the relationships deal a verity of different issues.

The Relationships with Paper Topic Ideas

With Roger and Mimi, the main thing that this couple deals with is Mimi’s drug use.  This is due to the fact that Roger had lost his last girlfriend to April to learning that both Roger and she had AIDS, which they acquired from their drug use days.  In the lesson plan, I mention the paper is a to be a critical essay on the relationships in the movie.  What I would suggest is to encourage whomever in your class(es) decide to use this couple as their paper topic, have them critically analyze the AIDs effects Rogers and Mimi’s relationship or to critically compare their relationship in terms of how it compared to the other two couples we are introduced to in the film.

Now, when it comes to Collins and Angel’s relationship, we are introduced not only an intercultural relationship ~ which we also see with our third couple ~ but the added layer of Angel being a drag queen.  We also see the same issue of the fact that Collins and Angel both are AIDS positive.  With this couple, the fact that we have these differences than the other two couples, Collins and Angel are probably the couple that has the most to offer to in terms of paper topics:  intercultural relationship, AIDS in LGBT Men and why Mimi is the only main female character that has this particular STD in the film.

With our last couple, Maureen and Joanne portray the lesbian with Maureen being the flirt ~ with everyone ~ and Joanne being the easily jealous girlfriend.  During the course of the movie, these two are the only ones to have gone through a relationship to a commitment ceremony of sorts to breaking up at their commitment ceremony.  This couple brings to the table for the paper how even though the LGBT community has to fight harder for the same rights for marriage, there’s still that chance of a LGBT couple to break up afterwords.

In Class Discussion Ideas

For the discussion portion of this movie activity, use some of the things I pointed out above about the relationships.  Also, discussion on AIDS and HIV might be a good incorporation to this lesson.  The reason is because it will allow you to discuss how this particular STD doesn’t discriminate in terms of sexual orientation or color.

Another possible and encourage topic of discussion is to discuss Angel’s role of being a Drag Queen in Angel and Collins’ relationship.  This is an important area to discuss because you can ask your students about how this possibly made their relationship slightly easier throughout the film and how a gay couple that has one member who is a drag queer and if it makes it easier or harder.

A final thing that you can discuss is how Maureen use to date Mark, but we only see her in a relationship with another woman in this film.  The reason why this is an important thing to bring up during the discussion is because you should – as a class discuss if Maureen can be considered “bi” or a “lesbian” in the film.  Through out the film, I don’t believe she directly calls herself a lesbian; but regardless, we presume that now she is lesbian.  So this is something that needs to be discussed: can or should we only label people ~ in TV shows and movies at least ~ to only be gay or straight?

Other Resources For Film/Discussion/Paper

Here are some possible resources for this unit:

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