Friday, March 16, 2007

Shortbus


I've always been intrigued by the idea of mainstream/arthouse movie with hardcore sex.

I'm intrigued also by the exploitation movie with hardcore sex, but will leave that discussion for another day... perhaps when I've gotten a chance to see more than a couple of them. In fact, I've never even seen the X-rated cut of Alice in Wonderland, although I quite enjoyed the R-rated cut when I saw it.

Most of the mainstream/arthouse movies I've seen, say Devil in the Flesh and The Brown Bunny, seem to feel a need to apologize for their hardcore content by being inordinately dull for the rest of their running times. Although the hardcore scene in Devil in the Flesh manages to rise above and be quite remarkable.

I have not, for whatever it's worth, done anything like a complete study of this. In fact, I have notably not gotten around to seeing Intimacy.

But seeing Shortbus, one of the first notable things is that it does indeed have a sense of humor. It's definitely not a movie out to punish us in order for us to earn our chance to see porno footage. It is, as director John Cameron Mitchell says, a movie about love and sex that doesn't censor itself rather than simply a gimmick.

That said, I think I enjoyed the making of documentary on the DVD more than the movie itself. It's an engaging enough movie, with some real honesty in the performances and some truly wonderful moments.

I need to note briefly that the deleted scene "Marlboro Man with Titties" should not have been cut. I assume it was cut under the theory that it was too on-the-nose, but it wasn't. It's a wonderfully honest and real moment, moreso than any moment left in the movie and would have improved the storyline its in a lot.

But the enthusiasm and passion put into the movie in the documentary is so incredibly engaging and exciting that I couldn't help wishing the movie itself had fully captured that level of excitement. And this is one of those difficult things to write, again, I'm focusing on the movie I wish I watched instead of the movie I watched, which really is quite good.

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