I'm all for more realistic depictions of sex in mainstream cinema, but it seems everyone who attempts it ends up making a cruddy film. The most disappointing thing about Michael Winterbum's 9 Songs is that it's a lost opportunity to finally disprove the cinematic equation that explicit sex = crap film (or video, as the case may be).
Whilst the performances in 9 Songs are far superior to anything you'll see in your average porn flick, Winterbum really lets them down by not crafting any character or narrative. I really wanted to know more about the two leads, Lisa & Matt, but instead of seeing more of their relationship in between the frequent sex scenes all we get is dodgy concert footage of songs that seem to have no thematic or emotional tie to the couples' relationship.
Sex scene, dodgy concert footage, sex scene, dodgy concert footage, and so it goes on for the, in-joke, 69 minutes running time.
It's like watching Pay TV with someone arbitrarily flicking between the adult channel and the music channel.
9 Songs fails as conventional cinema due to it's lack of character and story, and it fails as pornography due it's lack of genuinely arousing explicit sex (sorry porn fans, despite the controversy, there’s actually not that much genuinely explicit sex in 9 Songs).