On The Bus' original intention was to be a fun-loving, rambunctious, half-hour Internet program about a group of young, gay men on a bus trip from Los Angeles to Burning Man, a festival of ... See full summary »

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On The Bus' original intention was to be a fun-loving, rambunctious, half-hour Internet program about a group of young, gay men on a bus trip from Los Angeles to Burning Man, a festival of radical self expression in the Nevada desert. However, after returning from a week of shooting, stereotypes had fallen apart, and it became clear that this story had far more to tell than a half hour internet show could lend. Almost immediately On The Bus challenges the viewer with the notion that "Even in absolute freedom, some things are still sacred." - Damon Intrabartolo (cast member #6) . It is here that Director Dustin Lance Black begins this story. Lance is hired by The Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) to produce, direct and participate in an Internet reality show with an all gay cast. He then hires Billy Kaufman as co-producer and cast member number two. Charles Kinsley, a gorgeous actor/waiter, Jason Webb, porn star Dean O'Conner, and Jimmy Sjodin, a Swedish Olympic diver soon follow. ... Written by Anonymous

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10 June 2002 (USA)  »

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A Great Burning Man Gay Reality Road Movie
12 October 2002 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

When I first heard about a reality show about six gay men traveling to Burning Man on a bus, I was very excited to see it. I am happy to report that it was even better than I imagined it could be.

What sets this film apart from other reality shows is the director's obvious love for his fellow travel companions (and the love they have for each other) despite the trepidation expressed by all at the beginning of the road trip. It is completely opposite from, say, an MTV reality show which purposefully creates antagonism in order to boost its ratings.

This was a clear opportunity for the director to use this film as some kind of vehicle for his own self-promotion, but instead he does the exact opposite, giving his new friends most of the screen time while he took a modest back seat. It isn't until the end that we find out exactly how much love and respect the rest of the cast have for him. And I got the feeling that this praise for the director (Lance) is only there because he couldn't figure out how to cut it out. And I'm really glad it's there.

The shots of Burning Man are great. Anyone who has been to this radical free expression arts festival in the desert will immediately experience nostalgia. And the style of film-making is fantastic. The use of split screen, the placement of still photos and the style of the subtitles makes this movie great fun to watch.

I found myself instantly caring for all six men: Jason, the beautiful, insecure and insightful 19-year-old porn model; Billy, the really hot and funny mother hen; Jimmy, the fey and fun Swedish diver; Charlie, the beautiful, masculine and sweet free spirit; Damon, the witty, caring and repressed composer; and Lance, the sensitive, sweet, lonely, adorable director.


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