9 Songs

My interpretation of Michael Winterbottom's impressive film "9 Songs" (2004) is that he is attempting to show -- really show, via actors who have actual graphic sex on screen -- the humanity of sex; its importance to being young, beautiful and in love.

Instead of eloquent dialogue to profess their love for each other, Winterbottom uses sex. They say virtually nothing of importance. They don't need to. Their bodies say everything. They have a deep connection, one that can't be verbalized or even understood. And what I found overwhelmingly refreshing was that Winterbottom was brave enough to let the sex and the music (the film features nine concerts) say everything needed. For me, it was enough. It's an ambitiously abstract and complex attempt on his part.

I'm currently taking a course on classical liberalism. During one session we talked about how naming something, categorizing and defining it, is an act of violence. You do violence to something when you try to understand it and make it concrete. Winterbottom understands this perfectly. The sex is just sex, but it also speaks to so much about these characters relationship, who they are, what it means to be human, and so on.

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