9 Songs Michael Winterbottom

Celebrated British director Michael Winterbottom raised quite a few eyebrows when he premiered 9 Songs, a controversial, experimental film that challenged the confines of mainstream cinema; it's otherwise known and labelled as "the most sexually explicit British film of all time." Not surprisingly, he lost the war with the censors (that's what happens when you show a cum shot) and the film was relegated to limited screenings and basically sentenced to DVD, but his vision was an inspired one. Simply put, 9 Songs is structured in three ways: a concert film, a love story and a tasteful porn flick. American Lisa (Margo Tilley) falls for Brit Matt (Kieran O'Brien) while living in London; the two share a flat, go to see bands like Super Furry Animals, Franz Ferdinand and Primal Scream on a weekly basis, and fuck like rabbits in an array of positions and methods. It's an interesting concept, but the film becomes monotonous after the pattern is revealed, despite a short running time of 69 cheeky minutes. Winterbottom, thankfully, includes an interview to explain the reason for making the film, which considering the context, works much nicer than a commentary. He's convincing in his argument that the film is an exploration of a relationship and how the sex is merely an expression of physical love fully realised, but without anyone to challenge him it's hardly argumentative. O'Brien is much more to the point in his interview, admitting how Winterbottom approached him to star in his "porn film," immediately putting a kibosh on the director's suave depiction, and showing his admirable humility in expressing how embarrassing some of the scenes were to shoot. Tilley tackles the issues of the film and its repercussions in her interview, coming across more seriously and full of contemplation about the process of making such a daring film. The music is also divided into its own part for those who appreciate the concert performances over the sex, and some extras, including promo videos by Elbow, Dandy Warhols and the Von Bondies, are added to boot. Recommended for those porn-loving romantic music nerds and controversial film seekers, but not very highly for the unlike majority. (Alliance Atlantis)