Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Sexy Film Reviews: Shortbus

This is a very explicit, tender, inventive and fascinating film. It has an almost surreal and distinctly ethereal quality to it, beautifully accentuated by modeled artwork depicting sweeping cityscapes, which creative interludes deftly signal the heightened artistic sensibilities imbuing the narrative.

The intertwining tales of (to quote from the DVD cover) ‘a sex therapist who has never had an orgasm, a dominatrix who is unable to connect and a gay couple looking to open up their relationship’, as well as numerous other supporting characters, form a heady, spiraling montage of feelings, ideas and textures revolving around issues of identity, aspiration, searching and belonging which is, in the end, both boldly abstract and refreshingly human.

I really enjoyed this movie. There are some simply exquisite scenes, such as, to give just one example, when Sofia, the sex therapist, becomes distracted mid-session and wanders off in her thoughts into the trees which are through the window and across the way and then disappears into the undergrowth. It was odd, disorientating, inventive, engrossing. Much like the movie as a whole.

The thing that worked best for me, though, and the main reason I enjoyed Shortbus so much, is the fact that the characters were so beautifully conceived and so fantastically well portrayed. I found I was engaged by them from very early on, was intrigued by their individual journeys, wanted to find out what happened to them, and wanted them to be okay.

Ultimately, this is a distinctively quirky and finely crafted film, and one which I cannot see failed in any of its objectives. It felt fresh, vibrant and generous. A film with heart, soul and vision. Highly recommended.

Reuben’s Rating: 9/10

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