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Beyond Brokeback: "Out" West

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Brokeback Mountain: Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal
(Image by brokebackmountainmovie.com)
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Los Angeles: The Autry National Center commemorated the fifth anniversary of the iconic film, Brokeback Mountain, with a series of events on December 11th, as it completed the first successful year of its acclaimed "Out West at the Autry" program. ( http://theautry.org )

The Autry National Center, Los Angeles. Photo: Abel Gutierrez
(Image by The Autry National Center)
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The program was conceived by noted author and consulting producer, Gregory Hinton, and will continue with additional events in 2011.

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Hinton notes, "2010 has been a rough year for members of the gay, lesbian, and transgender community, with an epidemic of teen suicides, bullying, and disappointing setbacks in such highly charged issues as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell', and marriage equality. I believe that we achieve visibility and normalcy by telling our stories, sharing our culture and staking our claim in the lodestone of Western American History."

Brokeback Mountain Shirts (collection Tom Gregory)
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"Out West at the Autry" was inspired by the museum's recent installation of the iconic shirts worn by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in the film, and also by the permanent inclusion of the International Gay Rodeo Association's (IGRA) archives into the Autry Library.

The shirts are on long term loan from actor, radio personality, Broadway producer and HuffPo columnist, Tom Gregory. (www.showbiztom.com )

Saturday mornings' events began with a special screening aof the award-winning movie, Brokeback Mountain. The movie was based on a short story by Pulitzer-prize winner Annie Proulx, and was directed by Oscar winner Ang Lee. More than 10 million people saw the movie in theaters, which ranks 8th among the highest grossing romantic dramas of all time.

Diana Ossana and an attendee. Photo: Linda Andrews, used w/permission
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Diana Ossana, who co-authored the screenplay with Larry McMurtry, made a surprise appearance at the event.

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Beyond Brokeback performers. Photo: Abel Gutierrez
(Image by The Autry National Center)
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The concluding presentation, Beyond Brokeback , was a staged reading with songs. The reading was scripted by Hinton, and the stories presented were based on the book of the same name.

Beyond Brokeback: The Impact of a Film
(Image by Beyond Brokeback)
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The book, "Beyond Brokeback: The Impact of a Film," is a collection of stories culled from the posts on the Ultimate Brokeback Forum, created by Dave Cullen in the wake of the movie. More than a half million posts were made in the forum's first year. And even more revealing is the fact that between fifty and one hundred thousand silent guests visited the site each month. http://www.brokeback.davecullen.com

The songs offered during the presentation were selections from Shawn Kirchner's CD, Meet Me on the Mountain, which was inspired by the movie. www.shawnkirchner.com

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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