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Shortbus

Drama movie directed by John Cameron Mitchell

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Best Film Of 2006

  • May 16, 2009
Rating:
+5
John Cameron Mitchell's sophomore effort Shortbus was easily my choice film of 2006.  Unfortunately, it's sad but many won't share my opinion of what could one of the most revolutionary American films I've come across in some time. In days like these where the multiplexes are flooded with an imposing flux of lackluster cinema, all I hear is how explicit or graphic Shortbus is or how shocked everyone is rather than praising the film for it's bravery & honesty.

I'll admit there are some very graphic scenes here & you may wish to skip the film altogether if that offends you. If you can get past this, you are in for a ground-breaking poignant independent film with real heart. Trust me, it's been many moons since I've seen a film which hit so close to home & moved me the way Shortbus has.  
 
After Hedwig & The Angry Inch, Mitchell has crafted yet another wonderful film which thankfully didn't suffer the sophomore film curse. In fact, I might even liked this one a little bit better. Shortbus focuses on the lives of several young people who are all having problems in their existing relationships or simply struggle with their own identity. They all come together at a club by the name of shortbus to discuss their lives, engage in very adult activities of the illicit kind, & to shed light on their most basic instincts.
 
Throughout the course of the film, we see various character portrayals which identify some very tortured souls with unclear direction in their lives. By the end of the film, we see them in completely different ways & each has made their own personal self-discovery. A film to admire, a film to share, & a film to watch over again. Much recommended. I was definitely moved & I hope you will find it within your heart to seek out this film as soon as humanly possible.
Best Film Of 2006 Best Film Of 2006 Best Film Of 2006 Best Film Of 2006 Best Film Of 2006

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December 02, 2009
you had me at explicit and illicit! Sold!
December 02, 2009
I bought this film several years back & I've loved it ever since. Really, really good film!
 
August 15, 2009
wait! this movie has an overall theme in it? I'll have to watch it again, but it was more like a direct-to-video version of XTube: The Opera.
August 15, 2009
Yepster, I think you should definitely watch it again. Thanks for the comment. ;-)~
 
June 02, 2009
Though I felt like half of the nudity and explicit sex scenes in this movie were gratuitous and took away from the message of the film (at least to some people who can't get over such content), I was still very touched by it and enjoyed it immensely.

I fell in love with John Cameron Mitchell after watching Hedwig and the Angry Inch and became a total Hed-Head.  I've probably seen the movie about 20 times, and saw the musical live once, so I couldn't wait for his second movie to come out.  I remember when he was casting for Shortbus, he didn't yet have a script, and he asked for couples of all shapes, sizes, races, etc, who were comfortable with their sexuality and being nude to audition.  I love how after the cast was complete, they all came up with the script together.  Good stuff.
June 02, 2009
Definitely agree with you again Devora. I think I would watch just about anything Mitchell makes & can hardly wait for his next endeavor. As much as I love this film, I think I would have been completely out of my element & could not picture myself nude or able to film many of the scenes in this movie. I, do, however, really relate to James. After you've been around the block a couple of times, you really become very cautious & almost distrusting of people. It's also harder to feel "real" love once the real thing comes along. In many ways, his journey was not unlike mine & Shortbus really hit home in that respect. Thnaks again for your wonderful comments!! I really do value them. Much love.
 
May 20, 2009
Before I read this I thought it was another film about zombies attacking handicapped campers. Oops. It does sound intriguing though and I think I might add it to my list.
May 20, 2009
I really did like this film. It had a great of heart & I thought the dialogue was quite intelligient. Let me know if you enjoy it should you decide to rent. :-)
May 20, 2009
Its on the list although its got to battle its way through the horror, the Bollywood, and the misc. recommendations.
May 20, 2009
Did you ever see Mitchell's Hedwig & The Angry Inch? If not, I also strongly recommend that one. They are both entirely different pieces of art but I think they are certainly worthy films.
May 20, 2009
I've seen it listed on so many top ten lists on NetFlix that I've wondered about it, but I've never read any reviews. To tell the truth I thought it was concert footage of a punk rock band.
 
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More Shortbus reviews
review by . June 04, 2008
This movie is simply phenomenal. The movie is about human relations with oneself, each other and about sex. The movie attempts to de-mystify and de-eroticize sex in such a splendid and matter of fact way that it succeeds, and while doing so manages to make a great film.     "Shortbus" is about several characters. Sofia is a sex therapist who has never had an orgasm, James is a gay man in a great relationship but suffering from depression and Severin is a dominatrix who is unable …
review by . December 19, 2007
Pros: See review...     Cons: See review...     The Bottom Line: Shortbus is at times physically stimulating, but not as much as it is emotionally and mentally) arousing; and aren¬ít those the two erogenous zones that matter most in sex?      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. It’s a sad testimony to American cinema that the vast majority of (Hollywood produced) movies come and go without much in …
review by . October 27, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Stories, characters, acting, pacing, and every other good adjective appropriate for films      Cons: Fewer people will see it because of the overt sex/sexuality      The Bottom Line: You may have heard that the sex is the reason Shortbus needs attention. That doesn't even begin to cover the warp and weave of this film. Recommend HIGHLY.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot.   …
review by . May 14, 2007
"Shortbus" deals with many of the same issues as "Hedwig" and the "Angry Inch," but in a new and equally groundbreaking way. Yes, there is hardcore sex, and honestly, there should have been even more, it is used as another layer of paint on one of the most poignant canvases I have seen in years. This film is part of a new breed of cinema that dares to force actors to cross over the line from acting in a film and portraying a fictional character to actually being a subject in a documentary: the once …
review by . March 16, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Finally there is a film that rises to the intelligent choices of European cinema! In a giant leap forward John Cameron Mitchell has broken the taboo of frankly cinematically captured sexuality that has so long embarrassed American filmmakers. What he has created in this important experimental film SHORTBUS is not only a fascinating probe into the complexities of contemporary sexuality but also a group of relationship stories that stand on terra firma and are not merely a matrix for the frank sexuality …
review by . March 08, 2007
"Shortbus"    A Gay Non-Gay Movie    Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride    "Shortbus" is the best gay Movie I have ever seen and it is not even a gay movie. What it does is explore the emotional and sexual loves of some beautiful and young New Yorkers. This is not something new being done in the world in the world of cinema we have seen many movies dealing with this group over the last few years. "Shortbus", however has something that the others …
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Brian ()
Ranked #28
I've spent years trying to make others happy & not really focusing on what's most important in my own life. Having said that, my own health & security are paramount so now I'm more … more
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In his aim to make an honest film about sex, John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) has taken a somewhat documentary approach toShortbus, a film describing various New Yorkers' sexual pathos. Framed by shots roving a homemade diorama of the city,Shortbusis comprised of vignettes featuring actors who helped craft this story of people's disconnect in sexual endeavors. Jamie (PJ DeBoy) and James (Paul Dawson), a gay couple experiencing a lull in their relationship, visit Sophia (Sook-Yin Lee), a sex therapist whose inability to orgasm results in her clients inviting her to a sex club after which the film is titled. Sophia's husband, Rob (Raphael Barker), is also willing to experiment, so the two independently embark on adventures in self-pleasure. Dominatrix Severin (Lindsay Beamish) plays a crucial role in Sophia and Rob's lives, as her search for real humanity overlaps with their desire for passion. As each character's plot complicates, the viewer sees a similar melancholy bulldozing its way into these seemingly disparate lives. The depression is repeatedly used in comedic scenes, such as when James is asked on a date while still hospitalized for his attempted suicide. Yo La Tengo's score, which includes Animal Collective among others, lends this film a graceful ambience. Unlike porn,Shortbushas a resonance that encourages the viewer to consider one's own sex life as an important aspect of happiness.--Trinie Dalton
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"A Gay Non-Gay Movie"
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