Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 2006. thinkfilm, Fortissimo Films, Q Television, Process Media. Screenplay by John Cameron Mitchell. Cinematography by Frank G. DeMarco. Produced by Howard Gertler, John Cameron Mitchell, Tim Perell. Music by Yo La Tengo. Production Design by Jody Asnes. Costume Design by Kurt and Bart. Film Editing by Brian A. Kates. Gotham Awards 2006. Independent Spirit Awards 2006. Toronto International Film Festival 2006.
Sofia (Sook-Yin Lee) is a relationship therapist who has never had an orgasm; James and Jamie are losing the flame in their relationship and invite Ceth to join them in the hopes of spicing up their union; Severin is a dominatrix whose lack of a deeper connection to others has made her feel hollow. These and more are the characters that populate John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig follow-up, a lovely film that has garnered no end of controversy for its sexually graphic scenes (yes people, they’re really doing it) but is more memorable for how graceful and affecting it is. The individuals presented, who all meet at an underground swingers club called Shortbus, are looking to supplement the physical intercourse they participate in with something more meaningful, and it is to Mitchell’s credit that their emotional exposures makes a hell of a lot deeper an impression than their carnal indulgences. Lee is particularly excellent in the lead, and Ya Lo Tango’s musical score is terrific. Look for cameos by Hedwig‘s Yitzhak Miriam Shor and by Mitchell himself.