Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pretensions Toward Porn (A Review of 9 Songs)

I have to admit 9 Songs was one of the most uninteresting independent/art-house films I’ve ever seen: boring people listening to boring music and having boring sex. At least now I know how homely American girls do it.

There is neither plot nor character [development]. The worst part of the film was the meager attempt to tie it all up in an all-to-meaningful bow by using ice as a metaphor for the “relationship” (read: fucking) of the two characters.

Yes, yes, it’s all very deep and significant—like an iceberg; I get it: claustrophobia = agoraphobia at both the South Pole as well as in our post-modern urbanity; the Antarctic ice shelf symbolizes Lisa—both are surveyed by Matt, and both leave him cold; despite the “extreme” intimacy of the two, there is no real connection; man is doomed to endless and meaningless repetition (as exemplified by the juxtaposition of the sex scenes and the concert footage ad nauseum as well as the frozen landscape); intelligent beings are doomed to pay good money to see shit that passes itself off as art (as exemplified by both the concert footage and my own pocketbook). I don’t need to be prodded toward interpretation by a robotic voiceover, particularly when it’s all cliché.

By the third time you have to suffer through the same inane “dialogue”—
Lisa: You look silly.
Matt: I’m trying to look silly.
Lisa: You look stupid.
Matt: I’m trying to look stupid.

Matt: Forget who you are.
Lisa: Fuck me harder, Matt.
—you start to wish the director would ask his mom for more money to cover the cost of a screenwriter.

Only people who have never had or seen good sex would find this flick sexy. Pornography is cheaper and doesn’t beat you over the head with pretentiousness. Only the insipidly pretentious would find this flick deep and meaningful because of it’s art-house attempt to portray “reality” by showing raw sex footage. Pornography is more real, and the “actors” are much more attractive. And likeable.

The most insufferable review of this film was that it’s pornographic. Well, that’s just a slap in the face of the porn industry. Equally intolerable is the “emotional distress” suffered by the actress while filming. You mean you were unclear on the notion of getting paid to have sex on film?!?! Come on, just how much did you get for every scene you had to put Kieran O’Brien’s willie in your mouth? Or every scene where you had to shove a vibrator or dildo up your vag? Being an actress is hard! Wah wah! I mean, the film was only 69 minutes long (another triteness, eh?)!

Another indication that it’s not pornography is that I had to sit (uncomfortably) in an auditorium with scads of other people instead of the typical private cabin with a stack of tissue paper. So, I don’t have a problem with porn; I do have a problem with seeing shitty, pretentious films that attempt to be pornographic.

The only “surprise” was that the film contained more than just nine songs and somehow much less of everything else that makes either a good story or a good sex flick. To quote a wise person sitting next to me: “I was so glad when that ninth song started....”

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