Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"9 Songs": A scientist from Antarctica plays hard back at home in London

The film “9 Songs”, which has some solitary awesome shots of young glaciologist Matt (Kiieran O’Brien) alone on the Antarctic polar cap, and it mentions that the glaciers are receding. This little film was shot about a year before Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”.
The rest of the film, however, would seem to justify the late Roger Ebert’s claim that NC-17 should be a legitimate rating for mature films for adults.  Technically, the film (by Michael Winterbottom) is not rated.  The story of his relationship with college student Lisa (Margo Stilley) is told quite explicitly, even with a little bit of SM.  The third layer of the film is the projection of all this (into nine specific musical numbers) into rock band music, from the Vlack Rebel Motorcycle Cliub, Von Bondies, Elbow, Primal Scream, The Dandy Warhols, Super Furry Animals, Franz Ferdinand, and Michael Nyman.
Physically, Matt seems to come out of all of this amazingly unscathed physically.  Wouldn’t he get frostbite in the Antarctic?  It hasn’t warmed that much.  Winterbottom says he researched the living conditions of scientists in close-quarter tents or Quonsets  before making the film. (Sound familiar? No privacy?)
The intimate scenes, as shown, though, are accompanied usually by modern classical piano music, usually Bartok or Satie.
The movie (from Revolution Films, Palisades Pictures and Tartan) still has a site in France, link
The director says that many actors would not be OK with telling a story in this manner.  Actors often don’t know what will be expected in a  “legitimate porn” film like this.  He also says that the nine songs were chosen from among 150.  

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