By Jeff Walsh
"Shortbus" is a movie that I have a hard time getting my head around. On one hand, it is best known as the movie where the actors all have actual sex and orgasms, which is why it is clearly and defiantly unrated. On the other, it is about what lengths people go through to find intimacy and connection in a world that seems orchestrated against it.
So, I love the themes it explores and what it is trying to achieve, but I just didn't think the combination worked for me. The movie starts with nearly every character in the movie engaged in some form of sexual activity, so there is no crescendo where it builds up to the nudity, it all starts immediately. So, if you're not ready for a lot of gay activity and frontal male nudity, they get you out of the theater or pressing STOP on your DVD player pretty quickly.
For the people that stick around, there are a few intertwined narratives where the characters search for connectedness.
The new film by John Cameron Mitchell (AKA Hedwig, from Hedwig and the Angry Inch).
It's an x-rated drama / comedy, with tons of real , unsimulated, incredibly graphic sex scenes. The simple fact is, it's not really a porn film, as the sex is kind of integral to the story.
Any attempt to censor the film would completely destroy it, but as it stands, it's one of the most earnest and frank portrayals of human sexuality I've ever seen.
Also makes me wish we had a shortbus club where I live =)
By Jeff Walsh
When I first came out, at the late age of 23, I made up for lost time by going from closeted to activist. I became obsessed with people pushing the boundaries, challenging the norm, advancing the cause. My two immediate role models became Larry Kramer and Michelangelo Signorile. As it turned out, Larry was just about to release his new play in New York City shortly after I came out called “The Destiny of Me,” which advanced the characters and story of his earlier play, “The Normal Heart,” about the AIDS Epidemic as how it divided and rallied the gay community in New York City. So, I told my straight friend we were going to New York City, and I bought us tickets to see “The Destiny of Me.”