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USA: Tartan Films
UK: Optimum Releasing
Cast: Kieran O'Brien, Margo Stilley
Director: Michael Winterbottom
USA: 69 mins
UK: 72 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains frequent strong real sex
USA Release Date: 22 July 2005 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 11 March 2005
Two lovers. One year. Nine Songs.
9 SONGS takes place in London in the autumn of 2003.
Lisa is an American student in London for a year. Matt meets her at a Black Rebel Motorcycle Concert at the Brixton Academy. Matt falls in love with her and the film follows their relationship, as well as seeing songs from each of the concerts they go to together:
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
The Von Bondies
The Dandy Warhols
Super Furry Animals
In between the music and the bands we see Matt and Lisa making love and it is through their lovemaking that their relationship unfolds.
We follow their love affair up until Christmas when Lisa leaves to go back to America.
Michael Winterbottom was initially inspired by Michel Houellebecq's sexually explicit novel Platform - 'It's a great book, full of explicit sex and again I was thinking, how come books can do this but film, which is far greater disposed to it, can't?' Michael met with Houellebecq, but as it turned out the French novelist had his own film plans for the book.
The film is told as a flashback. Matt, who is fascinated by Antarctica, is visiting the white continent and recalling his love affair with Lisa. In the voice over, Matt compares being in Antarctica to being 'two people in a bed - claustrophobia and agoraphobia in the same place'. The images of the ice and the never-ending landscape of Antarctica are effectively cut in to shots of the crowded concerts.
The film had no script. The dialogue evolved during the filming through improvisation and interaction between the actors and the director.