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Shortbus (Unrated Edition) (2006)

Sook-Yin Lee , Paul Dawson , John Cameron Mitchell  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sook-Yin Lee, Paul Dawson, Lindsay Beamish, PJ DeBoy, Raphael Barker
  • Directors: John Cameron Mitchell
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Anamorphic
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Velocity / Thinkfilm
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,555 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shortbus (Unrated Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by the filmmaker and cast
  • Deleted scenes with commentary
  • "Gifted and Talented: The Making of Shortbus" featurette
  • "How to Shoot Sex: A Docu-Primer"
  • Trailers

Editorial Reviews

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 hospitalized 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

Product Description

From the director of ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ comes SHORTBUS, an exploration into the lives of several characters living in present-day New York as they navigate the comic and tragic intersections between love and sex. Male and female, straight and gay, the characters find one another – and eventually find themselves – when they all converge at a weekly underground salon called "Shortbus," a mad world of art, music, politics, and polysexual carnality. One of the true sensations of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, presents sex and sexuality as never before seen in mainstream entertainment, and promises to be one of the most talked-about films for months – and years – to come.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
283 of 304 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Uncensored December 15, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I will admit, One of the main reasons I wanted to see this movie was because of the buzz about it being one of the most sexually explicit movies ever made in the non-porn industry. I didn't really expect to find the movie interesting, I just wanted to see what everyone was talking about.

The first minute or so was nothing but explicit sex and I almost turned the movie off thinking it was going to be pointless, that this was all there was to the movie, but I had nothing better to do so I kept watching.

This movie is not porn, nor is it erotica. This movie IS an uncensored look at the truth about love and sex, and is probably one of the best movies I have ever seen. It is brutally honest, thought provoking, intense at times, and funny at others. These are characters that we can relate to, because they are real.

I can not say enough positive things about this movie, it is art, it is truth, it is exceptional.

It will definitely be a part of my DVD collection.
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141 of 157 people found the following review helpful
Strange as it seems, I watched "This Film is Not Yet Rated" and "Shortbus" in the same day. And some part of me wondered ... did John Cameron Mitchell even bother to submit this to the MPAA? Not, of course, because he expected to receive a "passing-grade" from the prudish parents (and the two members of the clergy) that run the ratings and appeals board ... but simply to force the cloistered collection of puritans to watch couples attempting to negotiate their sexuality.

The fantastic ensemble cast is phenomenal at arousing laughter, compassion, and perhaps a few tears. Moreover, in a weird way, watching Sofia navigate the Shortbus haven is kind of like a return to high-school parties: everyone is making out, someone is crying in the closet, a couple of people are watching television, a group of desperate goofs are playing "spin the bottle," and your boyfriend (or girlfriend) is bored. Ohh, and you never leave very satisfied:)

What surprised me was how this film could have been painfully predictable, but was not. For instance, in the film's introduction, Sophia expresses that she has never climaxed with her husband. When she explores Shortbus, she meets Severin (a tortured dominatrix). When the two women bond and become intimate, the viewer is convinced that satisfaction will come from another woman. Not so (thank goodness!). In fact, she is betrayed by Severin's greedy lust. This is an unexpected, painful, and realistic turn for the film. I applaud the fact the Mitchell complicates sex ... there are no easy answers for Mitchell (Thank you!!)

Unlike some of the reviewers here, I do not think "less is more." We have lived with "less is more" for way too long. We Americans think sex is shameful ... and if any films include it, they better be hidden in back rooms ...
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147 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boom! January 3, 2007
Any supposedly straight (as opposed to a soft or hard pornographic film) that begins with a montage of sex scenes featuring both men and women in full disclosure is alright with me.

That I was witnessing this montage in a suburban multiplex (ok albeit an "art house") eating popcorn popped in Canola Oil and sipping a diet Sprite, sitting next to two blue hairs (who promptly exited, only after it might be noted, the completion scenes) only added to the surrealism of the situation.

Jamie (played by PJ DeBoy with a hang dog expression and tear welled eyes of which you soon grow weary) begins the film totally nude, filming himself auto fellating but blows the scene by doing just that too early.

Jamie is gay and a former street hustler and lives with James (Paul Dawson) in a decidedly one-way relationship: James loves Jamie and Jamie loves himself and says that he "feels nothing, nothing at all."

Jamie and James consult a sex therapist, Sofia (Sook Yin Lee) for help and guidance and during their first session, Sofia blurts out that she has never had an orgasm.

The solution? All three hoof it out to Shortbus: a sort of Plato's Retreat in which all manner of sex is performed in every position by every conceivable combination of men and women. Not all participate, no one is pressured, many just watch pretty much as we in the audience are doing: mouths agape, wondering how did Mitchell get the money to make this movie and more to the point: how did he get it released?

Justin Bond (played by himself), manager/chorus master/drum majorette of Shortbus describes and dissects the Club's ethos as "like the 60's but with less hope.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
The reviews for this film are almost as entertaining to read and ingest as the movie itself. That may or not be a good thing. For example, here on Amazon, Shortbus is averaging 4˝ stars as of this writing. On, it has a respectable 7.2/10 score from viewers. On, the average critic rating is 64 (65 on, while the average user rating is 8.7/10. A conspicuous variance.

I rented the movie for two reasons: 1) I find that Hedwig and the Angry Inch is not only a brilliant film, but it is also one of my top-10 favorites "of all time" and have been waiting for John Cameron Mitchell to come out with something new for a while, and 2) to be embarrassingly honest, to satisfy a carnal curiosity.

Shortbus is a film focused on relationships and inner demons, and sex seems to have come along for the ride. In the opening scenes, we are witness to the most vivid sex I've ever seen on film that hasn't been classified as pornography, and these scenes were far "harder" than any soft core porn I've ever seen and in some cases better than the hard stuff, undoubtedly because this had the distinct stamp of feeling real. There's a young man auto-fellating (James, played by Paul Dawson), a "trust fund Muppet" and a Mistress (Justin Bond playing himself and Lindsay Beamish as Severin), and a heterosexual couple (Sook-Yin Lee as Sofia and Raphael Barker as Rob). Sofia and Rob have the most straightforward sex - pun intended? - as the first two scenes are more exploratory in theme and content.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Damn it
Great movie! But i ordered one that was for the wrong region or whatever. So, my dvd player doesn't recognize it and won't play it. GRRRRRR. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eric M. Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Bold but interesting
This is a very unexpected movie, but besides the bold side, also is interesting to think about the message the director wanted to transmit
Published 3 months ago by Luis R Ortiz
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal!
This is one of my all-time favorite movies, truly. Hysterically funny one moment and purely tragic the next, Shortbus is an amazing piece of work. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lynn B. Schornick
5.0 out of 5 stars "One of the Best Indie Films EVER!"
I recently acquired a copy of the film "Shortbus" because I am writing an essay on independent films around the world. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Terrance Richard
4.0 out of 5 stars Shortbus is Good
It is a very good movie. Erotic cinema at its best! I laughed, cried, and got horny all in same breath!
Published 7 months ago by Antonio Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistically real
I had heard about the movie, but only because of the title, I did not know what the movie was about or even the plot. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Daniel
4.0 out of 5 stars Shortbus is too short
Very interesting sex of the explicit kind, but not foolish. The actors are certainly very brave to "let it all hang out" as they do.
Published 8 months ago by J. K. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Unique
This film blew my mind when I first saw it as I don't think there's ever been anything quite like it. Read more
Published 8 months ago by T. Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Now get on the bus and Ride
This move is raw sex raw emotion and most of all raw truth. It is the beautiful and dark that we all truly have in our lives. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Stars
4.0 out of 5 stars Sexual Healing
The notion of legitimate actors engaging in explicit on-screen sex as part of story and character isn't quite as new as it seems. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gary F. Taylor
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Shortbus R-Rated vs. Unrated Versions
Buy the unrated. There is no point if you dont.
Mar 23, 2007 by C. Marcacci |  See all 6 posts
Unrated R1 vs. R2 Be the first to reply
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