9Songs as many reviewers have already stated, contains graphic, unsimulated sex.
Is it porn? No.
9 Songs is a story of reflection. A young man remembering a lost romance. His sense of isolation after the break up conveyed through the isolation one feels in the Antarctic. (where Matt, the 'hero' - played by a very brave Kieran O'Brien - works).
Criticism has been placed on this film for the editing. Sex, music, sex music, sex music and so on. However, what seems overlooked is the film is from Matt's perspective. He remembers points in the relationship he's had with Lisa - played by an equally brave Margo Stilley - which were marked by pivotal moments in their relationship: going to see rock concerts.
A modern relationship, we can assume Matt and Lisa met while they were each attending a rock concert. Is this the foundation of their relationship? Is this the one thing they really had in common? We have to assume so, as they seem their happiest when at the concerts.
Like any other initmate relationship there's sex. Winterbottom allows us to share some of the intimate moments Matt experienced with Lisa. Awkwardness, through to being comfortable with one another's nudity, through to the too familiar, almost disinterested area where people just go through the motions because they're a couple.
The film has flaws, but Winterbottom has at least tried to depict a modern relationship. Lisa is just out to have some fun, Matt, however, is being drawn into feelings he didn't expect. When his feelings towards Lisa are not returned in kind, the relationship goes down hill ("I can't make you love me, if you don't, I can't make your heart feel something that it won't" - as George Michael once sang).
Unscripted and improvised, this is a bold offering from Michael Winterbottom (Code 46, Jude, Wonderland) and one I think, he, Kieran O'Brien and Margo Stilley, should be very proud of.
Kieran O' Brien (Band of Brothers) and Margo Stilley enter into a depiction that most, if not all, actors would steer well away from. Whilst many more famous actors like to appear to be 'sex' symbols, they never depict if they are worthy of that adolation. We certainly know that both the leads in 9 Songs, can and do 'perform'. The brief moments of intimacy at times remind the viewer of more innocent times in their own lives, free from responsibility or care.
This is certainly not a porn film. It does not try to excite or stimulate a sexual response from the viewer. It, perhaps unsuccessfully in areas, allows the viewer to experience the intimate moments in an already doomed relationship. Winterbottom fits into 69 minutes what it takes most married couples quite a few years to realise and attain.
Worth a watch if you like to discuss the film afterwards. Interesting and considerate. Graphic yet gentle.