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9 Songs

  • Film

Time Out says

Sex and drugs and rock and roll… Welcome to 65 minutes of handheld digital cinema during which the prolific Mr Winterbottom serves up a condensed London tale that explores the birth, life and death of a young couple’s sexual relationship, complete with cocks (well, one cock), tits, sucking, fucking, a bit of cocaine, a dash of Franz Ferdinand and a healthy serving of music by Michael Nyman. Winterbottom’s film – which was the subject of tabloid hysteria after it screened in Cannes last year – is short, scrappy and experimental. But the experiment is a pleasing one that manages to harness lashings of explicit sex to tell a love story that is tender, exciting, credible and sometimes erotic.

Our narrator is Mark, whose work as a science researcher occasionally takes him from London to Antarctica (a fact somewhat superfluous to the film). Heading south is clearly a pre-occupation for Mark, though, for when he’s not flying over icy expanses in a light aircraft he’s thrusting his head between the legs of Lisa (Margot Stilley), an American ex-pat who describes herself as ‘21, beautiful, egotistical, careless and crazy’. Mark and Lisa meet at a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gig and take things from there. It’s a simple narrative: gig, fuck, gig, fuck, gig… Dialogue is minimal, although the conversation we do hear traces the death of passion well, drawing a line from ‘I love you’ to ‘Did you put sugar in my tea?’

So is this porn? Don’t be daft; there’s not a false thrust nor misplaced yelp in sight. True, the sex is real, but how many porn flicks have you seen where the characters talk about (and even wear) condoms? Neither does any of the sex feel unnecessary or intended purely for kicks. Hardcore, yes. Porno, no.

The music includes two Michael Nyman tracks from Winterbottom’s earlier ‘Wonderland’, as well as live footage from the composer’s sixtieth birthday concert. This musical link to ‘Wonderland’ is another happy reminder of just how adept Winterbottom can be when capturing life in London at a specific time.
Written by DC

Release Details

  • Rated:18
  • Release date:Friday 11 March 2005
  • Duration:65 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Michael Winterbottom
  • Screenwriter:Michael Winterbottom
  • Cast:
    • Super Furry Animals
    • Franz Ferdinand
    • Kieron O'Brien
    • Margo Stilley
    • Michael Nyman
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