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‘Shortbus’ rides onto DVD

By | 2018-01-16T02:56:23-05:00 October 31st, 2017|Entertainment|

To say John Cameron Mitchell’s look at life in post-9/11 New York is touching doesn’t seem erroneous when considering the emotional current the director inflicts over the porn-like hanky panky. There’s multi-dexterous hetero sex. A three-way between gay men (complete with an anal-anthem of sorts). And let us not forget the self-sucking scene – jizz and all. For some, the film’s opening semi-animated montage, a quickly paced peek into the sex lives of New Yorkers, will shoo them away faster than – well, maybe not as fast as they’d like.
Like sucking on a Tootsie Pop, there’s a magnetic force to reckon with and an ultimate payoff that gradually unravels itself through its prominent conflicted characters – a gay couple struggling with their relationship and an anti-orgasmic woman who’s a sex therapist of sorts. These lives converge in an underground sex club, Shortbus, where “it’s like the ’60s, only without hope,” according to pansexual ringmaster Justin Bond.
Throughout the underground salon there’s a plethora of bodies, congregating in erotic acrobatics and immersing in sexual yak. There’s Sofia (Soon-Yin Lee), the sex therapist – er, “couples counselor” as she insists. There’s Severin (Lindsay Beamish), the emotionally conflicted dominatrix. And there’s a gay couple, James (Paul Dawson) and Jamie (PJ DeBoy), who attempt to add an addition, Ceth (Jay Brannan), to shake up their relationship.
On Shortbus, variances of lives connect, both physically and emotionally. And through Cameron’s poignant script, we’re driven through the haven’s deep human nettings that exceeds the face value of any of the film’s graphic sex scenes. There’s a sharp, genuine edge to the script’s humor, and a poignant fixture to its tone. Looming above us it’s this fixture that connects us in all of our differences. Because, as Cameron’s script beautifully suggests, we’re all looking for similar somethings. And here on Shortbus, as Justin Bond’s touching dramatic finale-tune “In The End” sums up, those things aren’t just dreams. If we’re hungry enough, they can be reality.

‘Shortbus’ DVD: A-
DVD features include:
How To Shoot Sex: A Docu-Primer
This 8-minute feature proves that it’s not easy having sex. Mitchell coaches the orgy folks all while they focus on, um, other stuff. To feel the love, so to speak, the director saunters clothes-less into the swarm of sexified bodies. Unfortunately for us, most is left to the imagination.
Gifted and Challenged: The Making of “Shortbus”
Script, cast, production. That’s the typical chronological order of a film, but “Shortbus” clearly, with its graphic sex, doesn’t fall into the “norm.” That’s why Mitchell didn’t follow the conventional guidelines, according to this making-of feature. First, he cast the actors, then through workshops they worked on a story, then came sex-time during the principal shooting. And it’s all here, in an informative peek behind the scenes.
{ITAL Also: Deleted scenes and filmmaker and cast feature commentary.
Available March 13}

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.