Tuesday, September 09, 2008


SHORTBUS (John Cameron Mitchell, 2006)
not rated

Not rated as I didn't make it past the revelation that the film's (I'm assuming) central character (Sook-Yin Lee) was introduced as an acrobatic, enthusiastic sex partner, a couples counselor, and a sex therapist but had (gasp!) never, ever had an orgasm herself. It was a cheap reversal worthy of an Alan Ball script (I didn't make it through the True Blood pilot either, though I made less of an effort to do so in that case.) and killed what little interest I still had in the second film from the maker of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH. (That film's unappealing amateurishness kept me from finishing it as well despite my fondness for the show's songs).

My sole reason for writing about this film is that I learned the following: When you cast actors on the basis of their willingness to perform sexually graphic scenes, all of their insecurity as performers gets channeled into the other scenes. They earn my sympathy as fairly inexperienced film actors--game, but stranded--working for a not-especially-talented writer/director.

I'm sure my reaction has much to do with how they expose themselves in the film's opening sequence. I thought it interesting how so quickly I felt for them something distinctly different than the sorrow and pity I project onto actors in pornographic films. I saw nothing that makes me think I missed out a good performance by turning the film off but I'd be happy to be mistaken or even to know that any or all of these actors develop their talent such that it matches their effort.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

although not their best work,i did enjoy the score that Yo La Tengo contributed, which was the singular reason why i rented the film to begin with. in retrospect, wondering if the dislike of the film tainted my feelings about the soundtrack. maybe i will revisit the music sans cock for cock's sake images.jhs

11:25 AM  

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