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Real Sex FilmsThe New Intimacy and Risk in Cinema$
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John Tulloch and Belinda Middleweek

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190244606

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190244606.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 January 2021

“Desperate for Intimacy”

“Desperate for Intimacy”

Loneliness and Fun in 9 Songs and Shortbus

(p.165) 6 “Desperate for Intimacy”
Real Sex Films

John Tulloch

Belinda Middleweek

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 shifts focus from French to North American real sex films, beginning with film reviewers’ positive response to the film Shortbus because it contains an optimistic humor absent from European-made films. Addressing these industry critiques of European “doomed, furtive or violent” real sex as in Intimacy, the chapter asks: Does this represent a different worldview? It draws on Kelley Conway’s interest in seeking out different authorship/generic configurations within a historical “malaise” by exploring the layers of narrative history conveyed by comedy and political subtext in John Cameron Mitchell’s U.S-made film Shortbus. The chapter argues that Shortbus and Michael Winterbottom’s British real sex film 9 Songs have a similar combination of sex and music, but find that this is used in very different narrative ways. Moreover, unlike 9 Songs, Shortbus has a strong political subtext that critiques both the current (capitalist) commoditization of communication technologies and the US invasion of Iraq.

Keywords:   Shortbus, John Cameron Mitchell, 9 Songs, Michael Winterbottom, confluent love, Kelley Conway

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