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Old 08-24-2005, 03:50 PM   #46
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I'd hate to be married to one of the actors that is actually having sex in the movie.
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Old 08-24-2005, 05:22 PM   #47
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I'd hate to be married to one of the actors that is actually having sex in the movie.
Yeah...I am not sure I could deal with it either....
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Old 08-24-2005, 05:37 PM   #48
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I'm surprised that not one person has mentioned the idea of spreading HIV if actors really had sex.

Personally, I think there is too much sex on tv and movies. It's sad that there aren't that many movies I could go with my niece or nephews to see that arent either filled with sex...or a cartoon which is way too young for them.
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:51 PM   #49
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I'm surprised that not one person has mentioned the idea of spreading HIV if actors really had sex.
Or the ramifications of not having "safe sex". Movies undermining sex education classes.....
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:57 PM   #50
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I'm surprised that not one person has mentioned the idea of spreading HIV if actors really had sex.


actually, the porn industry is one of the safest places to have sex imaginable. screening and testing is mandatory before each and every shoot. don't forget -- these actors, porn or not, are valuable assets, sometimes worth $20m a picture (in Hollywood, not porn) so that is no reason a studio executive wouldn't take very, very good care of his $20m investment.
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:40 PM   #51
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I know what you are saying Irvine and I do agree that screening would help. But, fact of the matter is, condoms break, accidents happen...people get HIV.
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Old 08-25-2005, 04:11 AM   #52
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Old 08-25-2005, 06:08 AM   #53
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Director Tests Boundaries With 'Shortbus'

By JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press

The scene inside the cavernous warehouse on the banks of the East River looks something like a bohemian circus. Perched in front of makeup mirrors are lesbians with dreadlocks, ripped jeans and knee-high boots, drag queens wearing violently colored wigs and a man in a fleshy fat suit covered with plastic doughnuts. A buxom blonde in a floor-length evening gown adjusts the pink flower pasties under her top, while members of a marching band mill about warming up their trumpets and trombones.

It's just another day on the set for director John Cameron Mitchell, who glides through the crowd in a spray-painted leather jacket, kissing hellos and making final preparations for a party scene in his sophomore film, "Shortbus."

Regardless of what the actors are wearing on this day, it's what they're not wearing in much of the film that has generated all the early buzz. Four years after Mitchell put on a coifed blond wig and punk rock T-shirt as an East German transvestite singer in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," the director is pushing new boundaries with an unfiltered look at sexual relationships that promises to make "The Brown Bunny" and "Mysterious Skin" look tame by comparison.

Despite initial problems getting money for the project and the prospect of being slapped with an NC-17 rating, the 42-year-old filmmaker says he's unwilling to hold back on any of his vision — to depict (real) sex in as realistic a fashion as possible.

"I wanted to make a film about sex that had humor, emotional weight and metaphor all at the same time," Mitchell says at his production office. "That's how I've experienced it in my life."

"I have seen so few films in which the sex felt really respected by the filmmaker," he says. "Hollywood too often shies away from it or makes adolescent jokes about it. ... Sex is only connected to the negative because people are scared of it."

To keep the sex real, Mitchell says he avoided casting professional actors — "stars don't have sex" — and instead placed ads in alternative weeklies inviting people to send in audition tapes. After selecting a cast, he began holding "structured improv" workshops about two years ago to work out a rough sketch of the plot.

The film revolves around a salon of the Gertrude Stein model from the early 1900s, where artists, writers, musicians and intellectuals converged to share their works and discuss new ideas in art and politics. Mitchell's version attracts an updated assortment of regulars culled from New York's burlesque and gay performing arts communities — or, as he says, the kinds of people who belonged on the "shortbus" for gifted and challenged children in elementary school.

Though the cast includes actors with varying backgrounds and sexual orientations, the thing connecting them is their humorous and frustrating explorations of sexual relationships. One character, a sex therapist, has never herself experienced an orgasm. A gay couple is thinking about opening up their relationship to include other lovers.

"It travels the fence between tragic and comic, and that's where my life teeters," Mitchell says.

To make everyone comfortable from the start, Mitchell says he kept the improv sessions light, playing "spin the bottle" to help the cast open up. He formed the movie's couples by having the actors watch each other's audition tapes and vote on who they were most attracted to.

Although the cast knew what they were getting into when they signed up, some still had trepidation about having sex in front of a movie crew, let alone a camera.

One actress, who goes by the name Capital B and plays opposite her real-life girlfriend in the movie, says before shooting began earlier this year that Mitchell allowed them to state their own boundaries.

"It was an interesting quandary of mine," she says, adding that initially she didn't see a problem but then didn't want anyone to see her naked.

Adds PJ DeBoy, who plays part of the gay couple exploring an open relationship: "We're lucky because it is a small crew, and we've known each other for over two years, so there's a real great comfortability between all of us."

"Most people get self-conscious being naked in front of other people, but we're really concerned with the story, what's going on within these characters," DeBoy says. "The fact that we're naked having sex in front of each other, it's just a variable that's very easy to deal with."

It wasn't so easy for potential financial backers to deal with, though. Mitchell says he initially approached about 50 to 60 investors, with little luck. Even envelope-pushing HBO, which filmed parts of the audition process, eventually backed away from the project.

"Regular financing companies were scared because they have parent companies," he says. "A lot of investors said they were interested, but they didn't trust their guts."

In the end, most of the budget, which Mitchell estimates at $1 million to 2 million, came from a new gay and lesbian TV network called Q Television. The network, headed by Frank Olsen, will retain the film's cable rights.

The next hurdle will be finding a distributor, which Mitchell hopes won't be difficult after "Shortbus" premieres in 2006 at a film festival, such as Sundance or Berlin. He's going to allow the film to be unrated, rather than take a chance on receiving a potentially stigmatizing NC-17 rating.

But Mitchell believes there's an audience for his film. He says many people around the country are concerned about the recent influence of conservative mores on arts and entertainment and would welcome a movie to challenge that.

"This is an act of resistance," he says. "There is such a reluctance to address sex as an inherent part of the human experience in this country. ... The true perversion to me is crushing it and hiding it."
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:26 AM   #54
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Songs' doesn't score

Release Date: 2005

Ebert Rating: **

BY ROGER EBERT / Aug 26, 2005

Show rock concert, show sex, show icy wastes of Antarctica. Repeat eight times. That's essentially the structure of Michael Winterbottom's "9 Songs," a movie that marks an important director's attempt to deal with explicit sex. As an idea, the film is fascinating, but as an experience it grows tedious; the concerts lack closeups, the sex lacks context, and Antarctica could use a few penguins.

To begin with the sex: The story involves a British scientist named Matt (Kieran O'Brien) and an American named Lisa (Margo Stilley), who is visiting London for obscure reasons; she mentions jobs and studying. They meet at a rock concert in Brixton, go back to his place, and have sex. It is real sex. Real, in the sense that the actors are actually doing what they seem to be doing, and real, in the sense that instead of the counterfeit moaning and panting of pornography, there is the silence of concentration and the occasional music of delight.

Altogether, they go to nine concerts and hear nine songs, but this is not a concert film and the performers are mostly seen in long shot, over the heads of the crowd, which is indeed the way most of us see rock concerts. That works for realism, but it does the musicians no favors.

The nine sex scenes are filmed with the detachment of someone who has no preconceived notion of what the characters will be doing, or why. They lack the choreography of pornography, and act as a silent rebuke to the hard-core image of sex. Winterbottom seems deliberately reluctant to turn up the visual heat; he accepts shadows and obscurities and creates a certain confusion (in the words of the limerick) about who is doing what and with which and to whom. The occasional shots of genital areas are not underlined but simply occur in the normal course of events.

There is also some dialogue. No attempt is made to see Matt and Lisa as characters in a conventional plot. They talk as two people might talk, who have fallen into an absorbing sexual relationship but are not necessarily planning a lifetime together. Matt likes her more than she likes him. There's a revelation late in the film, concerning the flat where she lives, that is kind of a stunner. What Winterbottom is charting is the progress of sex in the absence of fascination; if two people are not excited by who they are outside of sex, there's a law of diminishing returns in bed. Yes, they try to inspire themselves with blindfolds and bondage, but the more you're playing games, the less you're playing with each other. Their first few sexual encounters have the intricacy and mystery of great tabletop magic; by the end, they're making elephants disappear but they know it's just a trick.

The Antarctic footage is mostly of limitless icy wastes. Matt's narration observes that a subzero research station causes simultaneous claustrophobia and agoraphobia -- "like a couple in bed." Yes. They're afraid to be trapped, and afraid to leave. There is some truth here.

The sex scenes betray the phoniness of commercial pornography; when the Adult Film Awards give a prize for Best Acting, they're ridiculed, but after seeing this film you'll have to admit the hard-core performers are acting, all right; "9 Songs" observes the way real people play and touch and try things out, and make little comments and have surprised reactions.

That said, "9 Songs" is more interesting to write about than to see. Its minimalism is admirable as an experiment, but monotonous as an experience. To the degree that O'Brien and Stilley exchange dialogue on screen and inhabit characters, they suggest that a full-blown movie about these characters might be intriguing. What Winterbottom does in part I'd like to see him do in whole: Show a relationship in which two reasonably intelligent and sensitive adults pick each other up for sex, enjoy it, repeat it, and then have to decide if they want to take the relationship to the next level.

In many movies, the first sexual encounter is earth-shaking, and then the lucky couple is magically in love forever -- or at least until the story declares otherwise. In real life, sex is easy but love is hard. Sex is possible with someone you don't know. Love is not. In a way, "9 Songs" is about the gradual realization by Lisa and, more reluctantly, by Matt, that there is not going to be any love and that the sex is therefore going to become kind of sad.
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:59 AM   #55
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i belonged on the short bus
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