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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on July 24, 2006
First the good news. I had seen the original, unedited version of this film and was impressed by it's sheer animal intensity. Basically a film combining music with sexuality, the music fed the explicit sexuality and vice versa. Once one recognized that the minimal plot (and by minimal, I mean that a Dr. Seus book would be Tolstoy in comparison to this screenplay) is simply a framework upon which to hang the interaction between the sex and the music, the film can be quite compelling.

Now the bad news. I purchased the imported DVD from Amazon to find that it was in fact an "unrated edited version" and that virtually all scenes of explicit sexuality had been cut, obviously to conform with whatever obscenity laws/rules impact the distribution of films in Canada and the USA. In doing this, the intensity and power of the film which led to the standing ovations at Cannes is gone. Instead, what one is left with is basically a softcore porn film with better music.

If you can get your hands on a copy of the unedited theatrical version of the movie, it's worth purchasing. Otherwise, if you end up with the edited version, there is a feature that allows you to play only the music scenes from the film. Do yourself a favor and view that, or better yet, buy the soundtrack on CD.
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on January 23, 2011
There are apparently 3 different versions of this disc. The one I wanted is 74 min long and is unrated/uncensored. The disc I received is 61 min long and unrated/uncensored, but is edited which is to me the same as being censored.
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on August 30, 2007
I'm not sure there is much to say here. Simply put, Michael Winterbottom has entered the world of pornography, at least partially. Here, he has definitely made a very dirty film with very little else to say. I'm not saying it offends me. Perhaps Winterbottom's 9 Songs comes off this way because it is about a relationship founded on and maintained by its sex. We see Matt, a guy who does some work in Antarctica, meet Lisa, an American student. Their relationship seems to be based predominantly on two things; a common bond with music and a common bond in enjoying sexual intercourse. There is seemingly very little attachment beyond that and then the relationship ends when Lisa returns to the states.

The explicit sex scenes are intertwined with footage of rock bands including the Von Bondies, the Dandy Warhols and Franz Ferdinand, just to name a few. I was tempted to praise the film for combining elements that are pornographic with a compelling story and somehow attempt to not be gratuitous. I don't know whether to call the graphic scenes honest or exploitative, but I suppose they serve some purpose within the context of the story. It definitely seems empty and bleak in their final scene together. 9 Songs portrays sex far colder and realistic than porn does.

I'm not sure that means it should qualify as good movie, but it certainly seems like an honest attempt to be original and bring elements like this into mainstream cinema, for better or worse. The performances have been praised by some as daring but I have to say, any acting was pretty much a non-factor here. I assume the performances are muted intentionally but they are either done so because the relationship portrayed is a bleak and selfish one or because the acting chops were just no there. It really doesn't matter why because either way it conveniently and perhaps unwittingly works for the benefit of the film. It is a glimpse into the very private lives of too people only associated by their lust.
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on December 4, 2016
Despite the significant amount of sex in this film it really was not the dominant component of the storyline. It truly reflects young love and infatuation tied into the rock music world which I think provides and feeds the energy in the intense relationship. And, for the male partner the frenzy is offset by the tranquility, beauty and harshness of his other world working in the south pole. The movie could be perceived as pornographic, but in fact I believe it is a depiction of lust and young love of two people trying to find an emotional equilibrium between themselves. Nonetheless, it might have been as good and perhaps even significantly better without the sheer amount of sex. Certainly not for the prudish viewer.
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on August 25, 2015
I recommend this movie [uncut version] but I recommend the dvd over the blu-ray.
I just watched the blu-ray from accent films and I have seen dvds with sharper picture.
The point of paying more for blu is for a better picture, so don't waste your money.
I can't speak for the Tartan blu-ray, as I haven't seen it, but I would be surprised if it is better.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 23, 2007
This is a love-it-or-hate-it film, as reflected by the deep divisions in critical response. It is a serious piece of film-making but there are two major components that you may love or hate - extreme sexual explicitness and modern rock music. No narrative, no back story, no characterization, just plenty of sex and music. It's hard to know just what Winterbottom is trying to achieve with this film. There certainly is a good film to be made about a relationship built on sex, indeed there have been a number of classic films which do tackle the subject intelligently and provocatively, such as 'Last Tango in Paris' or 'Ai No Corrida'. But both those films benefited from strong character development and at least one superb performance ('Tango' is Brando's finest hour while Eiko Matsuda is extraordinary in Nagisa Oshima's film), and these are aspects that are sorely lacking in '9 Songs'.

But the flaws of '9 Songs'' structure are the least of the film's problems. The main reason it doesn't work is down to the poor performances and total lack of chemistry between the two stars. Admittedly they don't have much to work with, as character development does not seem to rank highly on Winterbottom's agenda, but Matt and Lisa are such a dull, irritating couple that it is impossible to care what they get up to. The two actors are unconvincing and the heavily-improvised dialogue is utterly dismal (sample conversation: "Those glasses look stupid" "I'm trying to look stupid", "They look ugly" "I'm trying to look ugly").

I'm sure Michael Winterbottom had good intentions with '9 Songs', but his experiment has turned up a dull, shapeless mess of a film which would surely have disappeared from sight completely if it wasn't for the fuss over the sexual content. Disappointingly, that sexual content may mean more people actually want to see this than any of Winterbottom's previous, superior films. And that's a real shame. Come again? No chance.
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on December 2, 2006
This totally uncut version of 9 songs does a far superior job of making Michael Winterbottoms point than the director's cut, as he was the director this doesnt make much sense. The uncut version however is the version that won the awards which should tell you something.
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on May 30, 2014
The concerts make getting this worth while alone. The porn/eroticism mixed with the concerts is pretty interesting. For those who are into erotic films, like Emmanuelle etc... you might enjoy this. Make sure to get the unrated version if possible of this film for more x content.
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on September 8, 2007
Michael Winterbottom did a great job with this. Good story line, great music and hot uncut sex, not exactly safe sex, someone should tell Kiernan about the invention of condoms. Definitely worth buying.
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on July 3, 2014
Très bon service et produit.
Gabriel Daniel
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