07 November 2006

School Bus : 2 = Shortbus

"It's everything you need, to get through the next two years of George Bush."

I'm sorry, I didn't write anything in October, but that month was really packed, my schedule virtually exploded with things to do. But now, while yesterday was movie night, I'm back with another short review. So, here comes...

Director John Cameron Mitchell (awarded best direction at Sundance Film Festival for his debut HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH in 2001) brings us a story of very different people, all meeting up in a salon called SHORTBUS. Just across Brooklyn Bridge, off the island of Manhattan lies a small warehouse, filled with the hopeless, those seeking for forgiveness, which they won't find in their everyday lives on the island. It is but there, where they can really live sexual liberty together and without shame. After counseling the same-sex couple Jamie & Jamie (Paul Dawson & PJ DeBoy), sex therapist Sofia (Sook-Yin Lee), joins them at the club in her desperate search for the highest of feelings, which she never has experienced, although she and her husband tried everything from the book of Kamasutra. The two gay guys feel the need to spicen up their relationship and take home the ex-model & singer Ceth (Jay Brannan), even though one of them has far darker motives in doing so. On the other side of the street lngers a silent watcher, Caleb (Peter Stickles) is a keen voyeur, documenting the life of the two Jamies. While the boys are "connecting on a much deeper level" Severin, a lonely domina (Lindsay Beamish) tries to help Sofie to get to her first big O.

This is an order to watch!

I admit, that I didn' really have a clue about the film and the description "porn meets social study" doens't quite fit it. Mitchell shows explicit sex, but no ponrography. That might sound strange, but you'll know what I mean with that when you've seen it. Because most of the sex portrayed in the film is really silly and hillarious, it gets unexpectedly funny, including some of the most wicked remarks on contemporary, post 9/11 America, and esp. New York as a city.

Places of national grief, those that have left scars on the hearts and minds of the american people, become ordinary, when in a bedroom nearby lust is sold and baught and as a result a Jackson Pollock gets another "splatter of color" on it. Even the national anthem.. well.. you'll never see it like that during a broadcast of Superbowl. The movie has an intense capability to get the audience involved; as soon as one falls for the comedy of one moment, another traumatic moment follows, so you gotta be careful not to get hickups from suddenly suppressed laughter.

Within in the club itself one feels remembered of those Hippie-days of free love, which is supported by the strokes on an acoustic guitar by some bearded guy in a self-made sweater. Next to the Mistress and Dragqueen of the club, there's a testosterone-free zone, next to the buffet and screen, there's the multi-sexual playground. A family aside the family, giving love and forgiveness to a city, longing for salvation (which was represented as a really sweet paper model). The costumes and ideas for drag where sometimes off the chart.

This film is sexy, it is thrilling, it's got eytremely good music, it shows people from next door, it's a fantasy, it's real, it is funny - you wanna scream. Make Love, Not War.

"And then there was light".

still here in theaters


- Drama - USA 2006
- FSK: no clearance (ages 18 and up)
- Running Time: 101 Min.
- German Publisher: Senator
- German Publish Date: 19.10.2006

Visit the Shortbus MySpace-Page and Blog.

for more information:
Senator Minipage
Official German Site
Official US Site