Last December I had the opportunity to talk with Heath Ledger at The Drake Hotel in New York City. In the film Brokeback Mountain, Ledger plays Ennis Del Mar, a ranch hand who falls in love with cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) while the two spend the summer of 1963 herding sheep in the mountains of Wyoming. But prior to his widely-praised and Oscar-nominated performance in this entrancing story of forbidden love, Heath struggled to find his niche in Hollywood films. However, with this triumph, Ledger is finally receiving the accolades he so rightfully deserves.
DAZE: Many are calling Brokeback Mountain a love story for this generation. Coming from a college newspaper, how do you think our readers will receive this film?
Heath Ledger: Well, I’m hoping that today’s society, especially your generation, is a little more mature and accepting of our story. I think it’s really naive for people to be so opinionated about expressing their disgust or fears concerning how two people want to love each other. Shouldn’t we be doing that about how two people express anger instead? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
DAZE: But Ennis is angry, he has numerous violent outbursts throughout the film. Is that related to his emotional repression?
HL: Violence was the one form of expression he allowed himself. It was also part of punishing himself because he hated the way he loved. Essentially, Ennis is a homophobic man in love with another man. And that’s why he beats himself up in the alleyway, that’s why he goes to a pub and starts hitting a guy in a car, just so he can get beaten up by another person. He wants to feel pain and be punished for loving who he loves.
DAZE: You met your fiance
Students looking for exciting summer plans this year will now have the option to study in Greece, courtesy of the one of the University’s newest summer session courses.
The course, NES 378: Into the Labyrinths: Amazing Myths Meet in Crete, will be held from May 29 to June 23 in Crete, Greece. The course website promises to allow participants to immerse themselves “in the rich multifaceted culture of Greece as it is expressed today on Crete.”
Crete is the large island in the Mediterranean Sea southeast of mainland Greece. Prof. Maria Hnaraki, Near Eastern studies, who will be instructing the course, is from Crete herself. She described the island as rich with tradition and culture, with very expressive people and “tastier” food.
“I am quite sure that people who have been to [other parts of] Greece before will notice a difference [in Crete],” Hnaraki said.
The emphasis of the course will be on cultural immersion rather than on Greek language or history; thus, anyone can apply, regardless of previous knowledge of Greece or the Greek language.
“[Participants] are not required to know Greek, but they will be exposed to the language,” Hnaraki said. “It will be an opportunity to learn and have fun.”
Coursework will be comprised of standard written work combined with field trips to cultural sites, celebrations and concerts, Hnaraki explained. The class is being offered for four credit hours from the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions.
“You will read about a place, then go and study that place,” she said.
The course is also open to students outside of Cornell and other interested people, who must be able to supply an academic reference. Hnaraki said she was happy that other people, including retired teachers and students from other universities, had applied to the program.
The official deadline for applying to the course was Feb.15, but because of the late announcement date, Hnaraki said she is still accepting applications.
“So far, there have been five full applications,” she said, adding that the “ideal” size for the course would be 10 students, but that she would be accepting a maximum enrollment of 20. Although there is no set cutoff date for late applications, she encouraged interested people to apply before April.
Christina St. John ’09, one of the students enrolled for the class, said she first heard about the summer course last semester in her Modern Greek class.
“I wanted to go right when [Hnaraki] mentioned it,” St. John said.
St. John is also bringing along her brother and cousin, both college students enrolled in other universities.
“I love the [Greek] beaches and mountains,” she said, describing the whole country as “beautiful” from her impressions of the last time she traveled there.
“I expect the course to be really fun,” St. John said. “I’m really excited.”
Archived article by Chris BarnesSun Staff Writer