9 Songs (2004)

MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.  

, 2004.  .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Film Editing by , Michael Winterbottom.  Toronto International Film Festival 2004.

The complicated path of erotic connection is lightly explored in this short feature by filmmaker Michael Winterbottom, making one of his most provocative yet least deeply felt (no pun intended) films.  A couple who meet over a shared love of music spend their days together in the paradise of physical connection, their sexual chemistry mined freely by Winterbottom, who films his actors having unsimulated sex in just about every scene.  Their trysts in bed together are broken up by the concerts they attend, a series of live performances that also offer a mood reflection on the way that their relationship develops: as they continue their affair, and as reality sets in with the awareness that she must leave her British boyfriend and go back to America, it’s insinuated that there is also a change in the way they connect in the sack as well.  Of course the sight of these lovely actors, who both give credible performances, baring all and going this far for their audience is a thrilling sight, but the film is too short to really make an impression, and whatever character development is meant to be explored through the various ways they get it on doesn’t exactly read.  The music performances are filmed from too far a distance and provide only faint commentary, while the actors rarely get to be anything other than daring experiments in onscreen bravery.

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