22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Effectively Fuses Pornography into the Mainstream,
This review is from: 9 Songs [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not sure there is much to say here. Simply put, Michael Winterbottom has entered the world of pornography, at least partially. Here, he has definitely made a very dirty film with very little else to say. I'm not saying it offends me. Perhaps Winterbottom's 9 Songs comes off this way because it is about a relationship founded on and maintained by its sex. We see Matt, a guy who does some work in Antarctica, meet Lisa, an American student. Their relationship seems to be based predominantly on two things; a common bond with music and a common bond in enjoying sexual intercourse. There is seemingly very little attachment beyond that and then the relationship ends when Lisa returns to the states.
The explicit sex scenes are intertwined with footage of rock bands including the Von Bondies, the Dandy Warhols and Franz Ferdinand, just to name a few. I was tempted to praise the film for combining elements that are pornographic with a compelling story and somehow attempt to not be gratuitous. I don't know whether to call the graphic scenes honest or exploitative, but I suppose they serve some purpose within the context of the story. It definitely seems empty and bleak in their final scene together. 9 Songs portrays sex far colder and realistic than porn does.
I'm not sure that means it should qualify as good movie, but it certainly seems like an honest attempt to be original and bring elements like this into mainstream cinema, for better or worse. The performances have been praised by some as daring but I have to say, any acting was pretty much a non-factor here. I assume the performances are muted intentionally but they are either done so because the relationship portrayed is a bleak and selfish one or because the acting chops were just no there. It really doesn't matter why because either way it conveniently and perhaps unwittingly works for the benefit of the film. It is a glimpse into the very private lives of too people only associated by their lust.