Film / 9 Songs

9 Songs is a 2004 British Romance/Drama film directed by Michael Winterbottom.

Over a period of 12 months, british Antarctic researcher Matt (Kieran O'Brien) has an affair with American foreign exchange student Lisa (Margo Stilley; no last names are given for either character) in London, England. During these 12 months, they attend 9 rock concerts (which owe the film its title). In between these rock concerts, they have sex.

A LOT of sex.

Alas, the sex eventually becomes bland and unsatisfying, and at the end of the 12 months Lisa abruptly ends the romance by going back to America; leaving Matt, now in Antarctica, to tell the film in Flashback.

A huge deal was made over the depiction of said sex, especially given that it was entirely unsimulated. Contrary to the depiction in most films of this calibre; it is shown full-on, 1 rung down the ladder from genuine hardcore pornography (basically that rung being simply the fact the film wasn't produced by a porn studio and features actors not associated with porn - and porn generally has better lighting). There are full-on, up-close, uncensored shots of both male and female frontal nudity, masturbation, fellatio, cunnilingus, ejaculation, penetration and vibrator-use. Said depiction almost got the film Banned In Australia; and surely you don't need to be informed what the Moral Guardians' reaction was.

The message of the film, as far as it can be discerned, is that a purely physical relationship can only provide so much fulfillment; that eventually, without a lasting emotional relationship to compliment it, it will wither and die.

Critical reception to the film was mixed. It honestly isn't a particular great film; not necessarily bad, and certainly bold, but not really good either.

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