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#Oscars2018 Foreign-Language Film: Today, October 6, submission from Syria, Senegal, Mongolia, Honduras, Haiti, Costa Rica, China and Australia.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Shortbus


Yesterday I stopped by the nice video club near home and found a movie I’ve been avoiding as according to sensationalist general comments, I decided that I didn’t wanted to see it. But, since I had it there in front of me I succumbed and rent it, even when the much concerned clerk told me to be aware of the… I said: graphic? Yes he said and told me that he couldn’t see it and turned off after a few minutes. Lol!

Well, sometimes I really do not understand the reasoning behind the marketing of a movie. This movie was marketed with an explicit graphic sex orgy scene and a tag line that reads: Voyeurism is Participation. When I think about the general message to attract viewers, I think of a movie I do not want to see, as I imagine everything close to an unpleasant visual experience in porn or soft porn. This movie is quite far from being that and actually is a very good bittersweet drama with a good message and very nice positive ending.

Okay, it has very explicit graphic sex, but if you have seen before European movies is nothing new and the very short orgy scene is shown within a context that makes total sense within the story. As a matter of fact the truth is that maybe the first scenes my shock you if you’re not use to see male frontal nudity, but believe me what you will see is crucial to the story, so go on watching don’t turn the movie off. In the end, all the nudity and sexual behavior REALLY becomes secondary to a very interesting, attention grabber and amusing story.

This John Cameron Mitchell movie basically tells the story of Sofia, a sex therapist that never had an orgasm and a couple of gay guys, Jamie and Jamie, that consult her as they want to open their relationship. After their first session, they decide to invite Sofia to a post 9/11 New York underground salon infamous for its blend of art, music, politics and carnality. The name of the salon is Shortbus. From that moment on the story develops with some very hilarious moments, some very touching human moments, some very educating moments and a plethora of diverse characters.

What I told you is the linear story of the movie, but actually the movie is about people in search of acceptance of what you have been doing wrong for many years and realizing that you have to stop a moment to allow yourself to be a happier person and move on to a better existence. Yes, is an intense drama where sexuality (not sex) is explored as a cause of malfunction of relationships.

Anyway, the movie was quite a surprise to me and I wasn’t prepared for a movie that took me into such a delicate personal human subject matter and much less, done in the most sensible way that really touches you on a personal level, even if you do or don’t relate to the specific situations they show.

The only actor I was familiar with was Daniela Sea (she plays The Little Prince, and yes brolyn, she’s here) and the rest of the cast are unknowns to me. One particular character really called my attention and I believe stole the movie with great screen presence and is the owner of the Shortbus salon played by Justin Bond who was himself in the movie, as he is a celebrated queer icon performer out of NYC.

The movie is the winner of 6 awards and 3 nominations in different festivals and awards allover the world and has the honor of being screened out of competition in the 2006 Cannes Festival.

Sometimes we have to not pay attention to what the media, marketing and comments tells us. This is absolutely one of those times. I suggest you rent the DVD as the extras are very interesting, specially the deleted scenes and one that has an extended scene of the all lesbians in the room of the Little Prince with a quite amusing conversation that I’m really sorry they cutoff in the released version.

I strongly recommend this movie to everyone that feels like seeing what sexuality can do and does to relationships.

Enjoy!

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