Nine songs. Two copulating actors. One London apartment. Zero script. Sketching the relationship of Matt (Brit regular Kieran O'Brien) and Lisa (US newbie Margo Stilley) through a plotless hopscotch of live sex and live rock concerts, Michael Winterbottom's controversial DV strip-down adds up to far less than the sum of its parts.
Like Gus Van Sant's Gerry gone nude, Winterbottom's brief encounter teases with light-dappled naturalism only to wilt into numbing boredom. With O'Brien and Stilley improv-ing a fizzle-free intimacy void, it's as blank as the Antarctic wastes O'Brien's character reminisces over (a trying metaphor, that). Even Brit cinema's first mainstream pop-shot is delicately edited for anti-erotic effects.
The heat, in fact, comes from 9 Songs's grainy concert footage, from the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Primal Scream. So, a skin-flick that leaves you keener to catch a live gig than shag an aloof American girl? Something wrong there.
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