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DVD: Shortbus and the Joy of Deleted Scenes

April 11th, 2007 · 9 Comments · Culture, Film, Fringe, LGBT, Neo-Futurists, Theater

Shortbus DVDI was strangely resistant to seeing Shortbus when it was playing in theaters last fall, and I’m not entirely sure why. I suppose partly I was put off by all the buzz about it, because I’m the kind of person who gets put off by buzz sometimes, and partly I was suspicious of the “graphic sex” angle because it made me worry that graphic sex would be all the movie had going for it.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got the DVD and watched it — it’s a smart, well-crafted story with a talented cast and a lot of beautiful small moments. (Plus, I got a kick out of the fact that my old college roommate’s little brother, Paul Oakley Stovall, is in it. Last time I saw Paul was in the early 90s at Live Bait Theater, when The Neo-Futurists were still performing there!)

But I’m actually glad that I waited to see Shortbus on DVD, because watching the making-of featurette added a lot to my appreciation of the film and how the characters and their relationships were developed.

Also, some of my favorite scenes are the ones that got cut out of the theatrical release. Can I just say how much I love deleted scenes? I live for deleted scenes. I can’t tell you how many times I find myself shouting at the TV set, “WHY DID THEY CUT THAT OUT? THAT WAS THE BEST FREAKING LINE IN THE MOVIE!” Well, my downstairs neighbors can probably tell you, or my cats.

In fact, if I were starting a band this week, I’d name it The Deleted Scenes. Wait, let me Google that, I bet it’s taken. Ah, here we go!

Have I mentioned yet the existence of Awl’s Law, which is that if you think of a good name for a band you can rest assured that it’s already taken, simply by virtue of the fact that you thought of it? Wait, I’ll bet someone else has already thought of that law and named it after themselves. Oh, Google it yourself, I need some tea.

Bonus: If you haven’t already seen it, here’s Jay Brannan doing that soda shop song on YouTube. On the toidy, natch.


9 Comments so far ↓

  • Aaron

    Did Paul Stovall go to U of I? Or I.S.U. or something? I think I had him in a round of novice D.I. at the Bradley tournament once. He did “The Crucible.” I did “Harvey.” He made finals.


    That was like 20 yrs. ago. I can’t believe I still remember these people…

  • Ocelopotamus

    I’m not sure where Paul went to school … I didn’t meet him until later on, when we were both in Chicago. But his brother Chuck was my first roommate at Bradley. That said, I think maybe Paul did do college forensics — I kinda sorta remember talking about it with him.

  • amyc

    Shortbus was my favorite movie of last year. I highly recommend the soundtrack as well.

  • Ocelopotamus

    Yeah, it is a great soundtrack. In addition to “Soda Shop,” I really love that Hidden Cameras song.

    My top spot for 2006 is still a tie between The History Boys (ooh, that Jamie Parker) and The Science of Sleep (Parallel synchronized randomness + giant hands + 1-second time machine + boat full of trees + Gael Garcia Bernal in a bathtub!) But I’d say Shortbus is a very solid #3.

  • Paul

    Hi Dave (i’m assuming this is Dave Awl),

    this is Paul, and yes, i went to U of I for one year. I did forensics and it’s quite possible that i did the crucible. so, aaron, if u read this…hi and help me remember who you are! and thanks Dave for mentioning me in Shortbus. I have stories i could tell… thanks again for supporting the film!

  • Ocelopotamus

    Paul! Yes it’s me. So great to have you stop by my humble blog, and nice to hear from you after all these years. I loved Shortbus and got a huge kick out of seeing you in it. Tell Chuck I said hi, too! I still remember him singing along to my Lene Lovich records …

  • Aaron

    You would not remember me! I was a nondescript person attending a nondescript community college, and continue nondescript to this day! I think it was just the one round we had together…(it might have been my first round EVER of ANYTHING, which might be why I remembered). When I saw your name mentioned here, it sort of flashed back to me.

  • Paul

    well tell me more about you and where you live and what you are up to! i might remember you too. you never know. i’m living and working in new york, doing my thing, ya know. send a pic to powerpaulnyc@gmail.com

  • Paul

    and Dave, i will tell my brother hello!! he’ll be happy to know that i fell back in touch with you!