After the independent release and critical acclaim of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, director John Cameron Mitchell became interested on furthering his creative motion pictured portrayals of social constructs to the screen with the audacious Shortbus, an instinctive and noble delineation of sex and sexuality.

Mitchell heavily involved the cast members to shape the concept and screenplay of the film, with improvised shootings to give the motion picture an authentic and rawer feel. Mitchell’s involvement and incorporation in the film brings more significance and credence in his inspired vision.

Shortbus explores the doings of a sexually repressed woman (Severin), a gay couple attempting an open relationship (James and Jamie) and a frustrated pre-orgasmic sexologist (Sofia). It finds its characters testing new waters at an underground salon, Shortbus, where the wildest of fantasies take place and become a reality. All the characters explore themselves and others in the gathering, to eventually establish their preferences, learn to be in touch with their bodily sensations and sentiments, and lastly find meaning to their frustrated sexual impulses and failed connections with their love counterparts.

Aside from the fact the film is explicitly and openly sexual with non-simulated sex sequences, it is a remarkable representation of the misapprehensions of homosexuality, female orgasms and the different means of attaining sexual pleasure such as fetishism, sadism and masochism. In spite of its full frontal nude scenes, and the largely graphic panorama, it does not fall in the category of pornography nor does seem crude or vulgar, but on the contrary, it is an artistic illustration of the physical pleasures and sexual experimentation. Sex is used throughout to reveal the characters and to reach a deeper sympathy with their intense emotions.

Having won awards in several independent film festivals (in Zurich, Gijon and Athens to name a few), Shortbus is an artistic visual enlightening of how misconceived sex and sexuality are perceived by society and its members. It addresses crucial themes concerning love, as well as the role sex and intimacy play in matters of the heart.

Independent film making has never hit this gallant greatness until now.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Check out the trailer below!