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Shortbus 2006

A group of New Yorkers caught up in their romantic-sexual milieu converge at an underground salon infamous for its blend of art, music, politics, and carnality...

Release Date:
October 6, 2006
101 min
John Cameron Mitchell
Matt Thomas, Lindsay Beamish, Jon 'Corn Mo' Cunningham, ...
Drama, Comedy, Romance ...

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 6.6


Imdb rating: 6.6



I'd give you something around 10/10 for observational skills.

But yeah, spoiler alert, they are regular people and they don't take the bus.
@Nazdroth Couldn't said it better myself; and yeah in those very graphic parts I just skipped it a little and kept watching the movie.
I actually don't like pornos very much, but I agree with you, some good stories and some decent acting.

I enjoyed the movie, and some scenes are pretty darn funny. Some are pretty darn sad also. But it was a good movie and well made, not too much drama (for a movie about being yourself and having a satisfying sexual life and all the problems you face when you are "different"). Liked it, even if it's probably not the best movie ever, it's worth the time you'll spend watching it.
Also, if you are not open minded you will see that as some garbage and go puke in your toilets because some scenes are kinda sorta very graphic.
You've been warned.
Look I'mma give it straight: If you're bothered with watching all types of porn don't think about wathing this one. If you're not watch it, Has some good stories, if you're an open minded person you'll enjoy it. 8.5/10 (
In the first ten minutes of John Cameron Mitchell's (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) second feature-length film, Shortbus, moviegoers can expect the following, full-frontal male nudity, masturbation, auto-fellatio, exhibitionism, voyeurism, a straight couple having sex, and a dominatrix forcing a talkative client into submission. None of the sex is simulated, all of it is as real as you'd see in porn (yes, that means shots of penetration and the money shot). Rather than string together a series of sexual encounters, anonymous or otherwise, or focusing primarily on sexual acts (as filmmaker Michael Winterbottom recently did with 9 Songs), Mitchell is interested in depicting straight and gay couples as they work through relationships issues, e.g., monogamy, sexual satisfaction, etc., but within the context of sex as the road to or an impediment to, personal fulfillment.

James (Paul Dawson) and Jamie (PJ DeBoy), a gay couple in a long-term relationship, find themselves at an impasse. While Jamie gives James the emotional support he needs, he's also controlling, leaving James feeling stifled and overwhelmed, preferring self-love to physical intimacy with his partner. Jamie is also unfulfilled in his job as a lifeguard at a local gym, but finds some satisfaction in a personal video project drawn from different periods of his life, including his childhood. A neighbor, Caleb (Peter Stickles), keeps his camera trained on James and Jamie's apartment, growing increasingly concerned with the state of Jamie and Jamie's relationship. James and Jamie try to work their problems out with the help of a sex therapist/couples counselor, Sofia (Canadian singer and radio/TV personality Sook-Yin Lee).

Sofia is married to Rob (Raphael Barker). She works, he doesn't. Sofia and Rob are the straight couple seen earlier having sex. Sofia and Rob's relationship looks solid, but it isn't. Sofia can't achieve an orgasm, eventually sharing her problem with James and Jamie. James and Jamie suggest Sofia go to the Shortbus, an underground sex club/salon that caters to every sexual orientation and fetish (plus music and screenings). The Shortbus emcee (Justin Bond), guides Sofia through the intricacies of the club. At the club, Sofia meets and befriends the tightly wound Severin (Lindsay Beamish), the dominatrix we met earlier working with a client. Meanwhile, James and Jamie meet Ceth (Jay Brannan), a male model that attracts them both.

Although moviegoers might assume that Shortbus is simply tricked-up porn with a storyline and characters, Shortbus is more than that, borrowing and updating from the avant-garde, independent cinema that long ago defined itself by challenging and overturning (if only temporarily) social and sexual taboos. But with porn readily available through every medium imaginable, artists hoping to challenge social structures and sexual hierarchies aren't challenging much by including real sex between actors in their films. If anything, Shortbus updates the liberation-through-sexual-exploration dramas (e.g., Looking for Mr. Goodbar) that coalesced into a sub-genre back in the 1970s. Mitchell's decision to center the action on a sex club loosely based on Plato's Retreat, a sex club that had its heyday during the 70s, adds to the retro feel, as does the transvestite emcee that could have stepped out of The Rocky Horror Picture Show or Cabaret.

Story wise, though, Shortbus never manages to overcome its retro feel. Sure, Mitchell layers in comments about AIDS and STDs by having a character at the Shortbus offer Sofia condoms minutes after she enters the club and has another character, the former (closeted) mayor of New York City, say that he did everything he could to keep New Yorkers safe, but ultimately, the scene and character seem superfluous (because they are). More importantly, as the characters struggle to express profundity through dialogue, they instead slip into triteness and clich
I saw the premiere of SHORTBUS at the Cannes Film Festival. Given that this was truly one of the worst films I have ever seen, I was shocked by the fact that the French audience gave the film a lengthy and enthusiatic standing ovation.

SHORTBUS falls into the category of those movies that are so bad no one wants to criticize them. Like the townsfolk in the fable THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES, people are sometimes reluctant to state the obvious for the simple reason that it's just too obvious.

And SHORTBUS is obviously grotesque. Though the director at the screening insisted the movie was "not pornography", one can accept such a declaration only if we change the definition of pornography to suit the needs of filmmakers seeking their next theatrical release.

A reviewer recently called SHORTBUS a "song to New York". If that's true - plug your ears and movie to Phoenix.
I highly recommend seeing this film, it was an incredible experienced and I walked out of the film hopeful that things can change.
A good movie that explores all ranges of human sexuality and makes you
think. It's explicit yet isn't pornographic. The movie is not intended
for the faint of heart to watch. But with an open mind, you'll learn
something from watching this movie.

The acting is the only weakness in this movie (and a few strange
psychedelic scenes in the end), which explains the score I give the
film. But, I applaud James Cameron Mitchell for directing a movie that
so candidly and honestly explore all the relationship issues that all
human beings have, and not just limit it to a category of people. While
many may dismiss this movie as a poor excuse to shock people with sex,
people who delve deeper will find that the director has a deep
understanding of what a majority of people on this planet go through in
their every day love life.

Check it out, withhold your judgment, and stay open to ideas. I think
it will teach you something.
For those of us that need a film like this every now and again to remind us that vanilla sex is so passe, I'm sure Shortbus is a wild ride. I'm no stranger to alternative lifestyles though, and I've seen more challenging gay interest films recently (the Night Listener, Whole New Thing). Unlike A Dirty Shame or Crash, Shortbus expresses sexual diversity through the cast of characters without resorting to fetishism.
Shortbus is by far the most explicit film about sex I've seen, but it uses generous amounts of comedy to keep the film lighthearded. The cast is capable, but I found the story a bit boring and sort of gave up on trying to follow each character's sexual evolution (since everyone eventually becomes vaguely omnisexual). Shortbus is a likeable film, with good intentions, but not one I would widely recommend.

Flash back to 1979 - Penthouse Publisher Bob Guccione attempts to blend real sex with drama in the epic historical disaster Caligula. Now, in 2006, John Cameron-Mitchell's Shortbus is a film that tackles the issues of sexuality and relationships head-on, with nearly every actor in the movie taking part in a sexual act that isn't simulated. Is it porn? I'm going to say no, but there will be others that disagree. After all, sex is a major, intricate part of real life and Shortbus doesn't want you to forget it.

Sofia, a couples therapist, has a major problem that is plaguing her everyday life, as her internal noise interferes with her job and how she functions as a human being. What's Sofia's diagnosis? She can't have an orgasm. The reality that her husband can't give her an orgasm keeps her from being open about the problem.

Jamie and Jamie (or James, as he changes it to accommodate their situation) are looking to possibly add another person into their relationship. A threesome, yes. Jamie is in love with James, and James is in love with Jamie. But James has issues with his past that haunt him so much that he is filming a personal movie... what it's for? you'll have to see for yourself.

Finally, the dominatrix named Severin, the seemingly simple single female, compared to the Jamies and Sofia, just wants a relationship. She possibly hasn't had a single one ever in her life, and would like a connection to another person, which doesn't have to be sexual, but should be deep and involving.

So where do these four conflicted souls meet to work their lives out? None other than Shortbus, the orgy/brothel/sanctuary with a conscious thought process and much awareness to so-called sexual "dysfunctions", giving pleasure to those who need it, either with others or with others watching. Nobody at Shortbus rides the big yellow Schoolbus, and the palace opens itself to them, giving their pain and needs a home to feel what they want and do as they please.

The film Shortbus is not afraid of the problems that hamper the main and supporting characters. In a day and age where movies can be edited for content, Mitchell's film wants to rip the rug off the stain on the floor and expose the open wound of not only these people, but for their New York City. The love note that the film gives to these oppressed feelings and the undeveloped ground-zero leaves both with nothing but respect, and exposure that is anything but judgmental. You will not find a stereotypical gay couple or a frigid married female or a slutty S&M goddess. Too often perception puts on the blinders and prevents the reality to be brought out in front of us on film- and that's the beauty of this movie. Often these are not actors playing people with problems, but actors putting a face to what we chose not to face in others and ourselves. While not all of us have issues with our sexuality or in the act of sex or just with other people- are we so sure of it? Can we look inside ourselves, accept who we are and face the issue without degrading ourselves?

While it is not a perfect film, Shortbus is a revelation. Again, it is not pornography, but Mitchell's seamless placement of sexuality and drama is stellar. This could possibly be one of the most important films of the year, if not the decade. And it most likely will not be able to be seen by those who should. So thank goodness for DVD. Put "Shortbus" on your "To-do" list... no pun intended.
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