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'Shortbus'
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Wesley Morris's top 10 best films of 2006

"SHORTBUS"

New York used to be interesting. Then the money came, and Giuliani and 9/11, then even more money. So the interesting people, the ones who didn't get rich or elected, moved underground -- the artists, the gays, the outsiders. You could tell a version of this story in any big American city. John Cameron Mitchell tells most of his, "Shortbus," in a floor-through Brooklyn apartment. A couple of nights a week it becomes a bustling carnal funhouse where you can talk, you can look, you can touch. But this is hardly a sensationalist's paradise. Mitchell's movie, with its proudly amateur cast and homemade aesthetic, is about three disconnected, lost souls wandering from room to room, hoping to fix themselves. Anyone who's seen "Shortbus" has experienced something special, a movie as outrageously funny as "Borat" and as privately, emotionally transparent as some diary entries. While more grandiloquent directors were thinking globally (perhaps you caught Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Babel"), Mitchell acted locally. His movie is not revolutionary simply because it's the first to depict real sex in a life-size emotional context. It's that it dares to celebrate its dysfunctional heteros, homos, and uncategorizables as equal in eyes of love. Time magazine just paid tribute to our fractured culture by making "You" its person of the year. According to this eloquent movie, that person is "Us."

(ThinkFilm)
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