"It┬┤s claustrophobia and agoraphobia in the same place. Like two people in a bed." Agoraphobia is when a person begins to avoid open spaces or situations associated with anxiety. We hear this line of narration spoken by Matt (Kieran O┬┤Brien) as we are in a small tent with him in the middle of nowhere - Antarctica. He is describing the threatening isolation of the icy landscape where he is doing research on glaciers. But the statement is also a metaphor for his brief and intense love affair with Lisa (Margot Stilley) ... .
Prolific British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom who directed the well-received "24 Hour Party People" (Golden Bear, 2002), "In This World" and "Code 46", is perhaps known for making films with little or no emotion. But his latest film 9 Songs, shot with a handheld digital video relying on existing light and unscripted dialogue, is a tender and melancholic love story.
The film intercuts between scenes of desolate Antarctica, explicit unsimulated sex between Lisa and Matt┬┤s, and footage from the live concerts they went to, including performances from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Von Bondies, Elbow, Primal Scream, The Dandy Warhols, Super Furry Animals, Franz Ferdinand und Michael Nyman.
Winterbottom┬┤s cinematic experiment portrays a relationship between two people by exposing its most casual, least self-conscious moments. It shows the human struggle to balance an individuals needs for protection and individuality on one hand, and self-surrender of love on the other. It┬┤s a portrait of a failing relationship with infatuation, disillusionment, and a need for escape. It┬┤s about intimacy.
Warning: 9 Songs does contain explicit sex - male ejaculation and cunnilingus - but it isn┬┤t a pornographic film. It isn┬┤t voyeuristic. You are not aware that "this is only a film". 9 Songs is a deeply moving film made by a respected film maker who is trying to find a cinematic means of portraying love with all its banality, physicality and life-changing force.
(original version with German subtitles)
Gro├čbritannien 2004, 69 Minuten
Stardust Filmverleih GmbH
Regie: Michael Winterbottom
Produktion: Andrew Eaton
Kamera: Michael Zyskind
Besetzung: Kieran O┬┤Brien, Margot Stilley
Kinostart: 20. Januar 2005