Lovemaking, the Antarctic, and Rock & Roll
9 Songs
Review by Ross Anthony

"9 Songs" is an interesting mix, almost a mosaic piece of art for the movie screen. Un-apologetically cutting from peaceful white Antarctic snow landscapes, to tight shots of two naked lovers impassioned in a dimly lit home, to the over-saturated colors of a rock concert. These destinations cycle into a pattern, a motif, a mosaic.

The love scenes are extremely graphic (if you don't like that, you won't like this film), at the same time, it seems wrong to call them pornographic. So often in films (and even TV) the suggestions of sex are much harsher, much less beautiful. In this film, though graphic, the sex is more lovemaking. A beautiful thing. A monogamous couple (at least for the duration of the film).

As for the musical engagements, most are shot as if bootlegged by the crowd. There are no strong shots of the band members. Generally mediocre at best, these scenes are nothing impressive, stay to the edge of their welcome, but do serve nicely to punctuate the film.

Unfortunately, the filmmakers chose to use a few special effects of the day -- the momentary speed up of the camera, or slow down. I found this technique annoying, unnecessary and somewhat disruptive of the otherwise beautiful interplay of the lovers.

For the most part, the verbal exchanges between lovers feels very real -- almost like reality TV for couples in love (or couples where at least one person is in love -- anyway). If these actors are not improvising, then they're absolutely phenomenal. They're darned good either way, actually -- and brave.

It's not a film with a traditional story line, climax, resolution etc. More of a slice of a sweet, sensual love affair. I enjoyed the beauty of that. The film went a bit far into the kinky for my tastes, and indulged once or twice in drug usage which I personally frown on ... but, I found it's daring, beauty, and artistry, refreshing. A strong B, weak B+

I'm tempted to round up for daring and tempted to round down because of the film's short length -- 65 minutes. While this is a duration that works well for the piece (longer would only strain), filmgoers deserve more actual film time from a feature. So, I'm left to round up purely by mathematic convention.

Again, if you find graphic sex upsetting, then stay away from this film. Regarding which, the director makes this comment: "The idea of the picture is not to shock, or arouse people, but to capture something of what it's like to be in love, or to remember being in love."

  • 9 Songs. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Kieran O'Brien, Margo Stilley.
  • Directed by Michael Winterbottom.
  • Produced by Andrew Eaton at Tartan Films (c) 2005.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:22:18 PDT