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9 Songs | Review

The X Generation

Winterbottom mixes crowd surfing with muff diving.

Juxtaposing the pure raw energy found in the U.K music scene with the heart pounding, erection-giving thrills found in a newly created relationship, – Michael Winterbottom’s 65-minute rated-R experiment comes across as an attention-getting venture that merely fills the temporary void in-between the director’s more serious efforts of 24 Hour Party People and Code 46. Structured as a couple’s short-lived personal travelogue, 9 Songs is the sort of expose that takes the viewer through the evolution of a relationship strictly by what happens behind bedroom doors. With a variation of his-and-her exchanges of pleasure and one amusing bath tub stroke session – Winterbottom might up the ante in explicit terms but the story-less look at the sexual play from first-name-only Matt (Kieran O’Brien) and Lisa (Margo Stilley) hardly connects with the sectioned-off, bootleg ugly footage from headlining acts from the U.K. Despite the close-up nature of the film, this grainy, digitally-shot, jump-cut friendly short has very little going for it – the unscripted nature of the script and the obsolete character development makes this a paltry exercise. Ultimately fans of the British director will find that 9 Songs has very little to get off on.

Rating 1.5 stars

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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