Jay and the Bus

It's high time I let you all in on my newest musical and movie obsession, which are co-linked, co-mingled, and co-ol.

A while back I had read up some buzz on an indy flick called "Shortbus." Being a fan of good indy films, I couldn't resist checking it out. Of course, I now know why this film never was or will be mainstream. Because it's too good. But more to the point, it has unsimulated sex scenes that don't leave the imagination much material.

So I know this isn't everyone's movie. And that's fine. But a few things to dispell as readers will no doubt jump to conclusions (like the floor game in "Officespace"). First off, it's not softcore porn. Porn has sex for the sake of having sex. Or for arousal purposes. This movie doesn't use sex in that way. It's difficult to describe, but I honestly cannot imagine this movie without it. It would feel like a cop-out. And I just realized I could rearrange that sentence to come up with "cop a feel." Gutter mind.

Serially though, it's an honest portrayal of sex. From the couples counselor who has never had an orgasm to the dominatrix who just wants a real connection with another person, there's honesty in this movie. And the sex isn't pretty. It's messy, it's awkward, and it doesn't always end with two people showing their "O" faces in a simultaneous climax (because that happens so often). And now I've made it sound like this movie is nothing but intercourse. Which is not true.

The characters and the dialogue have heart. My favorite person in this movie is Jay Brannan, who plays Ceth. There's something so inviting and charming about Jay. His smile and his laugh can ease my darkest mood. And then I found out he's a musician. The song he sings in the movie (Soda Shop) is intercut with one of my favorite scenes because it's funny and touching. It's just about a conversation between three people. Jay's voice sets the mood, and it's beautiful. After the movie was over, I hunted him down on the internet and found out he has a ton of videos on YouTube and songs for purchase on i-Tunes (including "Soda Shop"). God bless modern distribution technology.

There's so much more I love about this movie. It's set against this rather memorable moment in recent history (I remembered it, at least), but I won't give it away in case you want to see the movie. Some of the best lines go to Justin Bond, who runs the sex salon called Shortbus, a place for the gifted and challenged, as he puts it. The soundtrack really rocks in a "Garden State" kind of way, only with less-known artists. A few highlights include "Language" by Scott Matthews and "If You Fall" by Azure Ray. And of course, "Soda Shop" by Jay.

This movie really affected me. It made me think about a lot of things. And I feel the decision to have explicit sexuality was a way to make the actors, and thus, the characters more vulnerable and accessible. And that takes guts and guile for those folks. And it makes the experience more real in a way the mainstream can't reach. I appreciate it for that.

So check out my new Fake Boyfriend Jay! I've included links to a few of my faves:

- Body's a Temple (official video)

- On All Fours (with some Jayspeak)

- Soda Shop (from live show)

- Blowin' in the Wind (Bob Dylan cover)


Allie D. said...

I have not seen this yet. It is on my Netflix queue though...

Bubz The Troll said...

Where did you see this film? It's not on DVD yet apparently.

rambergirl said...

Did I read the name on the poster snapshot right, that John Cameron Mitchell directed it? I don't know if you ever saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but it's a musical film also and I'm 99% sure that he wrote and directed that one as well. I'd recommend it, especially based on what you said about Shortbus.

Army said...

Allie - I think you'll love this movie!

Bubz - you can get it on Netflix. And I know it's for sale on Deepdiscount.com because I'm going to buy it soon! I'm thinking other outlets like Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, and the like probably won't rent it out because it's too "risque."

Ramblergirl - Yes, that's the same guy! I haven't seen that film, but I've heard enough about it to queue it up on Netflix : )