EROS AS PATRIOTISM
Gregg Goldstein in The Hollywood Reporter has an interview up with John Cameron Mitchell about his new film, Shortbus, which premiered in Cannes this weekend. The film is Cameron Mitchell’s much-awaited follow-up to Hedwig, and it’s that rare dramatic film that uses (a lot) of explicit hardcore sex to tell its story.
Here’s Cameron Mitchell from the piece:
I wanted to create something through improvisation with the actors and explore sex as a cinematic language in a way that I hadn’t seen, where it wasn’t trying to be erotic or horrifying or negative or dreary. The experience has taught everybody involved how it is to connect, and, as I suspected, sex is just one way of describing that desire. It’s also a love letter to New York and a small act of resistance against Bush and the America we live in because it’s trying to remind people of good things about America and New York, i.e. a refuge for those who aren’t accepted elsewhere, a place of personal expression, not just tolerance but acceptance of diversity, individual freedom and different ways of dealing with conflict than just brute force. After the last election that I worked on in Ohio, there was a great deal of disillusionment, and all I could think to do was put it in my work. For me, it’s a very patriotic and political film even though it’s not overtly so. It’s much more personal.