Film / 9 Songs

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

Over a period of a single year, British Antarctic researcher Matt (Kieran O'Brien) has an affair with American foreign exchange student Lisa (Margo Stilley) in London. During these 12 months, they attend nine 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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