The Reeler


A Girl and a Gun
Ain't It Cool News
Alliance of Women Film Journalists
Anne Thompson
Art Fag City
Better Than Fudge
Big Picture Big Sound
Bitter Cinema
Blank Screen
Brian Flemming
Bright Lights
Celluloid Eyes
Chutry Experiment, The
Cinema Confidential
Cinema Eye
Coming Soon
Cool Cinema Trash
Cyndi Greening
Dark Horizons
Drew's Blog-O-Rama
Esoteric Rabbit
Film Detail
Film Experience, The
Film Journal, The
Film Journey
Film Stew
Film Rotation
GreenCine Daily
Hacking Netflix
Hammer to Nail
High Sign, The
Hollywood Elsewhere
House Next Door, The
IFC Blog, The
In the Company of Glenn
IndieScene Movie Marketing Blog
indieWIRE Blogs
Jay's Movie Blog
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Kaiju Shakedown
Like Anna Karina's Sweater
Last Night with Riviera
Light Sleeper
Long Pauses
Masters of Cinema
Matt Zoller Seitz
Midnight Eye
Milk Plus
Mind Jack
Movie Blog, The
Movie City Indie
Movie Hole, The
Movie Poop Shoot
New York Cool
NY Post Movie Blog
News of the Dead
No More Marriages!
Notes From Underdog
Out of Focus
Persistence of Vision
Queer Film Review
Reel Roundtable
Screen Rush
Screener (Film Journal Int.)
Screening the Past
Self-Styled Siren
Short Sheet, The
Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine Blog
Still in Motion
Stranger Song, The
They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
Tisch Film Review
Vince Keenan
World Film (at
You Know, For Film
Premieres & Events

NYC Premiere: Shortbus

I guess it was kind of metaphorical: While the rest of the world drank in the preening pageantry of The Departed's premiere Tuesday night up at the Ziegfeld Theater, I made the trip to the real show to end all shows: The New York premiere of Shortbus, John Cameron Mitchell's bohemian paean to (actual) sex, relationships and the social fabric of the city's underground.

End of the line: The cast of Shortbus flanks director John Cameron Mitchell (center) at their film's New York premiere (Photos: STV)

And more than a year after calling bullshit on Mitchell's sweeping proclamations about sexualizing cinema and the potential for Shortbus to affect a crowd above 14th Street (or Bedford Avenue, for that matter), I had to face the filmmaker for an apology of sorts: Shortbus is, in fact, funny, humane, entertaining and absolutely pulls off its fusion of romantic comedy and hardcore sex. It seems perhaps a tad too much in love with its own overactive imagination, but given the film's literal, enduring embrace of onanism, you might as well applaud its consistency before writing it off in haste.

I will have more on this next week, including a podcast with Mitchell leading up to Shortbus' Oct. 6 release. In the meantime, I asked the director--whose Cannes premiere was received with a 10-minute standing ovation--how he felt about finally bringing his New York story home. "Woody Allen is thought of as a New York director, Scorsese, Abel Ferrara--there are all kinds of New York directors," he said. "But they're natives, so they had the roots, they had the family, and a lot of what they were doing was escaping the family. They had the buddies, the wiseguys, whatever.

"That's a different New York than Shortbus, which is the New York of the outcasts of the rest of the country and sometimes the world: the punk rockers, the freaks, the faggots. ... William Burroughs and all those people who came here from somewhere else in the spirit of the Statue of Liberty--to make their own way and create their own communities and be safe from persecution while making their own American dream. That's why I came and why pretty much everyone in the film came--to come and get fucked, for better or worse. To be fucked and forgiven, for real or imagined sins."

Justin Bond (right, with mic) leads the wild Shortbus sing-along in the Lower East Side

Fair enough, though neither really occurred for me at the screening (sitting among the film's orgiastic "sextras," such inauspicious luck) or at the party at Angel Orensanz or at the after-party at the Delancey Lounge. I consoled myself with a steady diet of spectacle: Mitchell's typically kinetic rock-outs; Dirty Martini's tassel prowess; Julie Atlas Muz's showstopping bleeding-heart act (no, really, she danced with a bleeding heart); Shortbus cast member Jay Brannan's chair subsequently sliding in the blood beneath him; and, ultimately, the bombastic "We All Get it in the End" reprise led by Justin Bond. Not a bad homecoming by half.

Anyway, look for more about Shortbus here in the days ahead. I've been at this for a while; I need a shower. -- STV

Posted at September 28, 2006 1:57 PM

Comments (1)

I would like to be put on the mailing list for
2007 film festival.

Post a comment


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference NYC Premiere: Shortbus:

» Boys on film from Weblog - Gay Global - Times Online
While we're on the subject of politicians who aren't all they seem to be, I saw a screening of Shortbus earlier this week, directed by John Cameron Mitchell (of Hedwig and the Angry Inch) fame. The film appears in this month's Times bfi London Film Fes... [Read More]

Search The Reeler
Join the Mailing List

RSS Feed


Send a Tip