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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > October 2016 > Shortbus

Shortbus

Since it’s release in 2006, John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus has become an essential addition to the canon of alternative LGBT+ films. To celebrate a decade of this important piece of cinema, and with interviews with the director and two cast members, we tell the unusual story of its production and explore why its themes are still so relevant ten years later.

It’s rare in cinema that, within the first ten minutes of a film, you witness a man autofellate and ejaculate in his own mouth, a woman and her husband fornicate enthusiastically all over an apartment, and a dominatrix prostitute help a man cum so hard that he spurts all over a Jackson Pollock. But then Shortbus is no ordinary film.

Set in the early 2000s, Shortbus deals with a myriad of characters as they navigate their complicated emotional and sexual lives in a post-9/11 New York City at the dawning of the digital age. Converging at a weekly social, sexual and artistic salon party in Brooklyn, where sex in all its forms is welcome, the ensemble cast explores the multifaceted and intricate workings of the human condition.

Touching on topics of anorgasmia (the inability to orgasm), sexual fluidity, intimacy (or the lack thereof), self-preservation, sexuality, technology and mental health, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Shortbus is a recent film; in fact, the film celebrates its tenth anniversary this October.

Directed by John Cameron Mitchell – who is also behind the subversive genderqueer musical dramedy Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which is currently enjoying a successful revival on stage in the US – Shortbus has all the magical realistic hallmarks of a movie musical, but rather than letting music help the story, Mitchell uses sex.

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Our brand new cover star is the next great LGBT+ role model and one of the most important queer musicians of our time – it’s Mykki Blanco. In our exclusive interview, Mykki pulls no punches as he takes on the music industry’s glass ceiling for gay artists, talks candidly about his HIV diagnosis and explains why he doesn’t want to be the “watchdog” of the gay media. Also in your brand new GT, Olympic gold medallist Callum Skinner opens up for the very first time about his gay family life in an exclusive interview, while we also shine a light on how the government is helping victims of LGBT+ hate crimes. Plus, we have exclusive interviews with Ricky Martin, Broadway star Ramin Karimloo and Maggie Wheeler – aka Janice from Friends. Oh… My… GAWD!
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