Movies - 9 Songs (2004)


The film tells the modern love story set over a period of 12 months in London, England, of a young couple: Matt, a British climatologist, and Lisa, an American exchange student. The story is framed in a personal review from Matt's perspective when he is working in Antarctica. Their main common interest is a passion for live music and they frequently attend rock concerts together; the film depicts the couple, or Matt alone, watching nine songs at Brixton Academy and other concert venues. It also shows their weekend getaway into the countryside, and their travels around London. Lisa brings their short and intense relationship to an end at Christmas time when she returns home to the United States.

According to The Guardian, 9 Songs is the most sexually explicit mainstream film to date, largely because it includes several scenes of real sex between the two lead actors. The film is unusual in that it features its lead actors, Margo Stilley and Kieran O'Brien, having unsimulated and very graphic sex including genital fondling, masturbation with and without a vibrator, penetrative vaginal sex, cunnilingus and fellatio. During a scene in which Stilley masturbates O'Brien's penis after performing fellatio on him, O'Brien became the only actor who has been shown ejaculating in a mainstream, UK-produced feature. In the interest of sexual health and to avoid any possible pregnancy, O'Brien wore a condom on his erect penis during the vaginal sex but not while receiving oral sex. Furthermore, Stilley asked that Winterbottom refer to her simply by her character's name in interviews about the film.


The release sparked a debate over whether the scenes of unsimulated sex artistically contributed to the film's meaning or crossed the border into pornography. In the UK the film received an 18 certificate from the British Board of Film Classification and became the most explicit mainstream film to be so rated in the country.
In Australia, the Office of Film and Literature Classification gave the film an X rating which would have prevented the film being shown theatrically and restricted sale of the film to the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The OFLC Review Board later passed the film with an R rating, although the South Australian Classification Council raised the rating back to X in South Australia.






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