9 Songs


Reviewed by: Gary Duncan

9 Songs
"Not surprisingly, for a movie dripping in bodily fluids, it's about as sexy as cold rice pudding."

You hear the same question every time you see a couple get it on in front of the cameras. Did they, or didn't they? Usually, they didn't. This time, there's no doubt. They did. Not only that, they did it every which way and they did it again and again and again.

Matt (Kieran O'Brien) and Lisa (Margot Stilley) meet at a gig. They go back to his place and have sex. They go to another gig and have more sex. And so on. When they're not gigging, or fucking, they're sitting around Matt's filthy flat, where Matt cooks and they talk, mostly about fucking. They still go to gigs, but only to get pumped up for the next bout of sex.

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Writer/director Michael Winterbottom shot the movie on handheld digital video and it shows. On the plus side, this gives it a raw intensity that fits perfectly with the bare-bones storyline of boy meets girl, boy and girl fuck each other's brains out, boy loses girl. The gigs, featuring the likes of The Dandy Warhols and Franz Ferdinand, are brilliantly real, so in-your-face you can almost smell the sweat and the stale beer.

On the negative side, the whole thing's as messy and pointless as a home movie. There's not much in the way of back-story to fill the holes. Matt is a scientist of some sort - something to do with the Antarctic ice shelf - but he could just as easily be a milkman, or a brain surgeon, because it has no bearing on the story. Lisa's a student and American, not that it matters. Matt narrates the story from the Antarctic, although we're never sure why, and Lisa goes back to America at the end and we don't know why, either, and don't really care.

Not surprisingly, for a movie dripping in bodily fluids, it's about as sexy as cold rice pudding. Anal, oral, clitoral, Matt and Lisa do the lot and Winterbottom's camera is never far from the business end of the action. But therein lies the problem - nothing is left to the imagination. We're given too much, and in the end there's just the sex. Graphic yes, and shocking to begin with, but even at a slim 69 minutes it still seems to drag on.

Reviewed on: 12 Feb 2005
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9 Songs packshot
Two people meet at a gig and have lots of sex, while Michael Winterbottom watches.
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Director: Michael Winterbottom

Writer: Michael Winterbottom

Starring: Kieran O'Brien, Margo Stilley, Huw Bunford, Cian Ciaran, The Dandy Warhols, Elbow, Franz Ferdinand, Bobby Gillespie, Bob Hardy, Dafydd Ieuan, Alex Kapranos

Year: 2004

Runtime: 69 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


Sundance 2005

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