Monday, August 20, 2007

Short Bus is the Other School Bus

Short Bus really packed a wallop for me. Its frank sex is shocking on the screen, but only because you never see sex like this except if it's pornography. The film has a very clear message about people who are trapped in themselves, and about people who can't talk to the ones they love.

While the context of the movie is sex and sexual pleasure, I think the message is finding the right way to experience and express desire. Love means taking chances, giving up, being hurt, and feeling out of control. Love is a queer universe, naughty and chaste, naive and experienced. It's a scary destination. Short Bus examines the place in detail, and I squirmed a lot.

The movie gets it's name Short Bus for being the other yellow school bus, the one for kids with special abilities and needs. Short Bus is the name of a New York sex club where much of the story takes place. The people who inhabit this world are special, needy, a little off-kilter.

The other thematic context of the film is the animated cityscape that ties the various storylines together. It's childlike and inviting, and the soundtrack for the cityscape draws the viewer into the soul of the film.

I didn't know any of the cast members, but the performances were very strong and engaging. They seemed real, rather than acted. I was especially impressed by Paul Dawson as James, and Sook-Yin Lee as Sofia. Both of their storylines were compelling and mysterious. Finally, Justin Bond as Justin Bond is a fabulous performer.

I cried when I watched this film.