Feb 1, 2008


John Cameron Mitchell’s "Sex" film Shortbus more resembles a cultural Marxist cosmopolitan car wreck than any type of sexual statement. Keep in mind that I am a huge fan of Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Shortbus is a film about sexual hedonism and the enslaved individuals that fall victim to it. Gay orgies, lesbian seafood buffets, and old man confessions only go so far in keeping ones interest. Mitchell thought he could make a feature length by mixing real sex with conversations about sex. He could have done this with a 10 minute short.

Despite the variety of sexual interests, the characters are fairly boring and one dimensional. The most interesting character of all is an Asian sex counselor that can’t have a orgasm. She decides to take it upon herself to ask lesbians for advice. The butch with the Mexican mustache from Le Tigre even adds her opinion. What a horrifying sight.

Mitchell is doing nothing new with his “cinematic” sex film. The sexploitation films of the 1970s and 80s have much more character, not mention better music. The combination of some of the sex scenes and the horrible pansy music make suicide a reasonable consideration. It is depressing to know that the director of Hedwig and the Angry Inch could go from fun music to something that could be played in the coffee bar at Borders.

Shortbus was supposedly inspired by European films featuring sex. Unfortunately Mitchell had no clue how to execute these scenes and construct a solid film. Shortbus comes out more like a porno flick for fans of the Jean-Luc Godard. It can be certain that the film is highly revered on liberal arts universities countrywide.

Fans of Hedwig and the Angry Inch should consider watching Shortbus. It confirms that directors of musicals shouldn’t bother doing anything too far out of the genre(although Shortbus had a couple horrible musical numbers). Musicals and porn films have a similar format. Scenes of intense “action” and a little bit of plot.

-Ty E

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