Directed by John Cameron Mitchell
This was a film that pushed the sexual envelope when it hit the screens, and today it still reaches erotic heights that few other movies would even dare to approach. It is a celebration of sex of all kinds, but at the same time don't misjudge this unusual flick... besides its exuberant sexuality (and sensuality) it is also a meditation on the world around us, and the need for an approach that changes our lives. The sex scenes are graphic, but not pornographic, a pretty rare feat in cinema. It was created by by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and dives into an experimental sex/art/underground scene in New York City.
The narration drifts through the lives of several different people, all from different backgrounds, whose experiences are woven together. I won't go into details here about them, because I would rather let them unfold for themselves. But along the way a lot of questions are raised, often shattering our own fixed ideas about sexuality. The title Shortbus refers to a place where people come together and are encouraged to experiment sexually with the support of others. There are no racial, age, or gender divides, and it is a kind of alternative community. The entire shooting of the movie also reflects this solidarity, since it was made collectively with non-professionals, and without following a script. In the end, the film thematically almost becomes a political manifesto for tolerance and sexual freedom.
Yes, it is about eroticsim, but the movie isn't shallow or one-sided. It makes some sharp comments about the modern world in general, not just in terms of sexuality. It's a film about closeness, both physical and spiritual - and therefore, in a sense, it's the perfect movie to experience while we are still under the influence of the lockdown and social distancing... a return to intimacy. The music soundtrack is composed by singer-songwriter Scott Matthew, and it includes music by Yo La Tengo among others.
One viewer's comment: "A lovely travel through your own sexual limits to grab your social persona in the midst of promiscuity, freedom and caring for strangers. LGBT classic, with a footnote for premature climax-fighters and sexually challenged women seeking happiness. Life's lamppost is the orgasm and you are the light, my child..."