by Hank Yuloff
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Here are 9 things you should know about 9 Songs, the new movie by Welcome to Sarajevo director Michael Winterbottom:
1. It should have a plot. This is an “ART” film. A one year snapshot of time in the life of Matt and Lisa told against the backdrop of, you guessed it, 9 Songs. We see them at 9 concerts watching 9 songs. We see them have sex. That’s really about it.
2. There are more than 9 songs in the movie. Evidently the background music does not count in the title quantity, just the concert pix. So if you keep track of the songs to see when you can leave this flick, you will get to 9 about four songs early. I only recognized one of them, C’mon C’mon by The Von Bondies and that didn’t help figure out the plot either.
3. What does the Antarctica thing have to do with the movie? At various points in the movie, we are taken to Antarctica where Matt (Kieran O’Brien) is working as a glacioloist, remembering through flash back, his one-year with Lisa.
4. It’s not porn because the only “money shot” we see is not on her breasts. But all of the sex we see IS real. The actors are having actual intercourse, as difficult as it is to see. Which brings us to number 5.
5. Sometimes out of focus, badly lit, and a scratchy film look is not art. It’s just bad production value. You want me to like the movie? Let me see them have the actual sex you talk about so much in the production notes!
6. No, he is not circumcised.
7. Put that chick on the Super Size Me diet. Actress/model Margo Stilley is so skinny that when she asks O’Brien (24 Hour Party People) if she looks like a boy, the audience audibly said… “Yes.”
8. Watch the clocks. If this were your basic popcorn movie, I would rail against the continuity people because when you look at the clocks during any of the sex scenes, time jumps back and forth. It could be bad editing, but I will give Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People) some leeway and think that he is saying when you are that much in lust with each other, time matters not.
9. I hate it when it takes me longer to drive home than the movie lasts. At 69 minutes (giggle, he said 69), this movie is more like short that needs, like its female lead, to be fleshed out. The concert footage seems to have nothing to do with the story and is shot with hand helds that instead of making me feel like I am there, just bored me.
Look for this one to run constantly on the Sundance channel but don’t go pay to see it, even if you only have 69 minutes to waste while waiting for your car’s oil to be changed.
Hank Yuloff is a film critic and entrepreneur in La-La Land.
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