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Shortbus on DVD

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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars Based on 11 Customer Ratings

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" Rude, nude, sad, happy, and fantastic!! "
5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

We hired ‘shortbus’ ages ago from our local video store was surprised to actually find there! but Since then been looking for it to buy and came across Mighty Ape, way to go you little monkeys!!!

"A risque film with many great messages"
5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Although a somewhat risque film that some may feel creeps towards pornography, Shortbus is a brilliant film about openness, understanding, love, anger, sadness and humour. With a cast of mostly unknown actors John Cameron Mitchell has truly made a top notch film in which people will laugh, learn and perhaps cry.


Writer/director John Cameron Mitchell follows up the cult classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch with another salacious slice of sex-laden cinema. Mitchell interweaves three separate tales of highly sexed and sexually frustrated New Yorkers, all of whom find some kind of salvation at an underground club named Shortbus. Anything goes at Shortbus--wild orgies between people from different ages, backgrounds, and sexual preferences are treated as commonplace, and most of the sex scenes shot through Mitchell's voyeuristic lens are completely unsimulated. Mitchell allows little time for his audience to pause for breath, opening Shortbus with a frantic collage of copulation and carnality that features most of his central characters. These include Sofia (Sook-Yin Lee), a sex therapist who has never reached full orgasm; gay couple James (Paul Dawson) and Jamie (PJ DeBoy); and Severin (Lindsay Beamish), a dominatrix who finds herself unable to find true love. 

Mitchell lets his cast of characters unravel their tales of woe, interspersing the touching and mostly sad stories with eye-popping scenes from Shortbus and swooping birds-eye shots of a computer simulated version of New York City. The director also draws heavily on an indie-rock soundtrack, making repeated and effective use of the beautiful ‘Winters Love’ by Brooklyn-based group Animal Collective. But it's the sex scenes that will really get tongues wagging, and its testament to Mitchell's fearless and uncompromising vision that he depicts sexual acts that run the full coital gamut, from amusing to titillating to shocking. Amid all the boundary-pushing there is a tender heart buried in Shortbus's central narrative, which revolves around the search for identity and acceptance.

Special Features:
  • Deleted Scenes
In his aim to make an honest film about sex, John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) has taken a somewhat documentary approach to Shortbus, a film describing various New Yorkers' sexual pathos. Framed by shots roving a homemade diorama of the city, Shortbus is comprised of vignettes featuring actors who helped craft this story of people's disconnect in sexual endeavors. Jamie (PJ DeBoy) and James (Paul Dawson), a gay couple experiencing a lull in their relationship, visit Sophia (Sook-Yin Lee), a sex therapist whose inability to orgasm results in her clients inviting her to a sex club after which the film is titled. Sophia's husband, Rob (Raphael Barker), is also willing to experiment, so the two independently embark on adventures in self-pleasure. Dominatrix Severin (Lindsay Beamish) plays a crucial role in Sophia and Rob's lives, as her search for real humanity overlaps with their desire for passion. As each character's plot complicates, the viewer sees a similar melancholy bulldozing its way into these seemingly disparate lives. The depression is repeatedly used in comedic scenes, such as when James is asked on a date while still hospitalised for his attempted suicide. Yo La Tengo's score, which includes Animal Collective among others, lends this film a graceful ambience. Unlike porn, Shortbus has a resonance that encourages the viewer to consider one's own sex life as an important aspect of happiness. --Trinie Dalton
Release date NZ
June 14th, 2007
Length (Minutes)
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.78 : 1
Movie Format
  • DVD
DVD Region
  • Region 4
  • Standard Edition
Box Dimensions (mm)
Product ID

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