Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
At Toys in Babeland, a sex shop in lower Manhattan, sales increased 30 percent in the wake of 9/11, according to the New York Observer. A year after 9/11, the number of babies born in New York hospitals was up 20 percent.
These statistics form the background for John Cameron Mitchell's enchanting "Shortbus," the most unexpectedly honest and moving American feature film about 9/11 yet. And by far the funniest.
No, this is not a gripping docudrama, extrapolated from eyewitness accounts and official investigative findings, pumped full of Hollywood dramatic speculation and designed to elevate real-life heroism into the realm of pop-culture super-myth, like "United 93" and "World Trade Center." Instead, "Shortbus" takes place entirely in a fantasy post-9/11 New York City (played in the film by an ingenious handcrafted miniature), an interstitial dream in the chasm between that black day in September 2001 and the blackout of August 2003. In this ephemeral temporal-geographical metropolis, a lot of people engage in a lot of sex for a lot of reasons. And not to make you feel better about their valor, but simply because they're human beings who are still alive.
Some of these Sodomitic Gothamites seek post-traumatic sexual healing in the aftermath of so much disjunction and death so close to home. Some are looking for the Big O, or the Little Death, a way to lose themselves -- their fears, their pain -- in a larger psycho-sexual release. And some are searching for someone or something to make themselves complete, the physical and emotional "other half" depicted in Mitchell's previous movie musical, "Hedwig And The Angry Inch":