Shortbus (2006)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB

USA, 2006.  thinkfilm, Fortissimo Films, Q Television, Process Media.  Screenplay by John Cameron Mitchell.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , John Cameron Mitchell, .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by

Sofia () 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 Yo La Tengo’s musical score is terrific. Look for cameos by Hedwig‘s Yitzhak and by Mitchell himself.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2006

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