Tag Archives: Unsimulated sex

Nightcall – Curt McDowell’s ‘Thundercrack!’ (1975)

30 Jun

Where does one begin with a film like Thundercrack!? In all honesty, I’m not quite sure where, because the film feels like a dense two-hour plus epic of bizarre proportions. Once seen, definitely never forgotten. Essentially Thundercrack! is an ‘old dark house’ horror story with a tonne of gratuitous hardcore sex scenes thrown in for, what feels like some very strange, fun. Directed by Curt McDowell and written by Mark Ellinger and George Kuchar (the well-known American underground and avant-garde filmmaker), the feature is beautifully shot in black and white with frames composed to highlight the physical and mental mess of the characters minds and lives. Mess I might add is a bit of an understatment.

This is an entry I’ll keep incredibly brief because the film is one that really has to be seen to be believed. Do you like weird, quirky, sexual films with a heavy B-movie aesthetic even though the flick is question is probably lower than B on the movie scale? Great! This one is definitely for you. With a varied amount of highly strung and very over the top characters (Mrs Gert Hammond in particular), weird-multi stranded narratives and enough sex to shake your stick at, you can see why this film is a bit of a cult favourite. Not to mention one that has been unavailable in parts of the world until late because of its content (lots and lots of lovely hardcore shots including vaginal penetration, anal penetration, sex toys, erections, masturbation, oral sex, ejaculation…). Throw in a generous dash of black humour (very fake flashbacks, paper sets, someone inadvertently masturbating someone else, an incident with a gorilla…) and you’ve got an unforgettable film that is well worth picking up.

Threshold – Zalman King’s ‘Wild Orchid’ (1989)

1 Jun

From the people who brought you 91/2 Weeks!’ screamed the DVD cover and so, me being gullible me, I bought Zalman King’s Wild Orchid expecting some late 80s erotic romp in a similar vein. What I ended up getting was a late 80s mildly erotic inferior cousin to one of my favourite films of the decade.

Wild Orchid see’s a young expert linguist, Emily Reed (played by Carre Otis), flown out to a new job in Rio De Janeiro the day after her initial interview. Upon her arrival she is instructed by her new boss (Jacqueline Bisset) to take go on a date with a business associate, James Wheeler (Mickey Rourke) in her absence. Reed goes on the date but eventually leaves hastily when someone dressed as Wheeler tries to seduce her. And from there onwards I honestly have no complete idea of what happens in the movie because, quite frankly, it was utterly dire.

Otis’s character Emily clearly has some sort of psychosexual problem in the carnality of human interaction and the idea physical closeness with someone. She has a near panic attack when she witnesses a couple of strangers having animalistic sex in a run-down hotel and gets angry at Wheeler when he encourages a broken married couple to have sex in front of them. Similarly, Wheeler also has issues with getting close to people which culminates in Reed having sex with a stranger at Wheelers encouragement. Funnily enough, none of them enjoy it but Reed realises that this is Wheeler’s way of getting close to people. Fair enough for a story except that the plot is padded out with a background story of the business that threatens to actually become the main storyline of the picture (hence my confusion to what actually happened in the picture…).

My other issue with the film is that there isn’t enough character developement to make neither them as people interesting or what happens between them believable. Reduced to a fifty minute short, completely focused on Reed and Wheeler, with more emotional weight and the film would probably be a fair rival to 91/2 Weeks (which director Zalman King wrote and produced). Instead, Otis plays Reed as a sexually neurotic young woman without giving any reason to her behaviour and Rourke plays Wheeler as an incredibly arrogant and one-dimensional bland stereotype. Even when we do find out why he acts the way he does, it’s so predictable that it has barely any redeeming value for his character. What is most surprising is the complete lack of chemistry between the two on-screen given that during filming the two leads became a couple and subsequently got married. Even that infamous sex scene at the very end of the film (often wrongly cited as unsimulated, both parties have said they weren’t having actual sex) seems incredibly mechanical and lacks any real excitement.

As for them riding off into the sunset as a happy couple in the closing moments, don’t try to fool me. She’ll still be incredibly neurotic and he’ll end up pushing her away when she disappoints him. He even says that he’s played games for so long he doesn’t know if he can ever stop. Comparisons to 91/2 Weeks will continue and it’s easy to see why. Truth is that Weeks is actually a far more superior and intelligent film, genuinely exploring human sexual interaction and the consequences that can arise from pairings of opposite people. Wild Orchid is simply a bloated attempt to create something and cash in on it.

‘Rivelazioni di uno psichiatra sul mondo perverso del sesso’ (1973) review

24 Feb

I love recommendations, the chance to seek and hunt out films that you may never have found for yourself (although I’m still wondering why so many people thought I’d like Island of Death, blatantly the goat scene…). So when the lovely folk at VTSS sent me the present of an Italian film to watch, I was more than happy to give it a go. And with a title like Revelations of a Psychiatrist in the World of Sexual Perversion, I really could not wait…

So attempt number one came and then went rather abruptly. You see, Revelations… isn’t really a film with a plot but more of a chronicle of sexual perversions with a documentary feel. The overarching story is that the cases of sexual perversion are being discussed by a lecturer and his group of students. He reads off examples of each case and classmates discuss and debate, more in the tone that you are watching small filmic vignettes of Krafft-Ebing’s seminal piece of work ‘Psychopathia Sexualis’.

You can, then, imagine the type of stuff the film focuses on. Witness some bizarre scenes, like the man who likes to act and be treated like a dog, his face in a muzzle, nuzzling up to some pretty epic displays of 1970’s pubic topiary, or the woman who rubs a huge plush donkey up and down herself whilst masturbating. Yes, just like in Emanuelle in America there is a scene involving bestiality but that finishes almost as soon as it starts and if you can bear that for the sake of the rest of the film, you’re in for a treat (this is where attempt number one to watch the film stopped for me, when you’ve spent a week accidently stumbling upon things whilst doing research on a documentary on zoophiles, even this scene – which is rather tame I can bloody assure you – was enough…).

The rest of the film then explores other scenarios, perversions and fetishes. In your typical exploitation way you’ve got some glorified rape and a rather long but pretty good orgy sequence with a tonne of hardcore shots and lots of ejaculation. Add to that some slightly humorous escapades of individuals who like the thought of ironing out the female form (yes, a man, a prostitute and an iron…) and being a train. All of this, and more, interspaced between some genuine musings from the studies of Krafft-Ebing, Jung and Freud make for a rather interesting watch…

God, I love presents.

Robinson Devor’s ‘Zoo’ (2007)

26 Jan

Having a deep interest in human sexuality, Robinson Devor’s documentary Zoo has been a film I’ve wanted to see since its release a few years ago. Praised in every magazine review I’d read, I was really excited and desperate to see the character study of an individual who came to be defined by his sexuality upon his death. Chances are you’ve heard about Zoo yourself, it’s selection to be played at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals in 2007 was met with mixed reactions. Some thought it was a well judged piece, others thought it was nothing more than proof that some filmmakers were sinking to new depths in a bid for their work to be considered ‘art’. Needless to say the film is one that will stay with you after viewing, it’s ability to make you question your own opinions and feelings so strongly as disturbing as some people would find the content of the subject. Zoo is the life and death story of Kenneth Pinyan, an American who became infamous for dying from injuries he sustained after having sex with a horse. Devor uses the documentary as an attempt to explore the life of Pinyan and the community he not only belonged to in America but the community for which he also became permanently associated with.

It’s a testament to Devor’s talent as a filmmaker that the documentary remains impartial throughout the entire duration of the study. He neither condones nor condemns what actually happened or the people involved and their feelings. What the audience are left with is a very insightful and sympathetic piece that includes stories and opinions from the various people involved in the 2005 Enumclaw horse sex case. You hear from representatives of the animal charity who were drafted in to take the horses from the farm they were on in King County, Washington to their animal shelter. Neighbours and friends who knew Pinyan tell stories of their times together and what they knew of him. Actors hired to play characters in the documentary’s dramatisation of events express their views on what they learnt doing research for their roles. Fellow zoophiles talk about how well they knew Pinyan and try to explain their sexual orientation and feelings. The importance and revolution of the internet is highlighted and discussed as a platform that these people could and can meet each other through, finding like-minded people worldwide. The documentary is keen to point out that this isn’t something that happens in your stereotypical hillbilly backwards farm towns across the States, it’s a sexual orientation that crosses countries (Germany, Poland, America, even ‘Soldiers in Iraq’) and races (caucasian, black, hispanic).

After viewing, what you are left with is an overwhelming feeling of mixed emotions; disgust and anger, sympathy and confusion. This is an unbiased portrait that really challenges you to consider your immediate feelings and opinions on something and then re-evaluate them once you’re told more of the story. Zoophilia is something I neither support nor judge people for. It’s brave that those in the documentary try to explain to the audience how they feel and why they feel the way they do, especially hard for a sexual minority which is viewed with such repulsion and hatred by the public. They are only human, the film emphasising this as they talk about how hard they have found living with their feelings and how, for some people involved in the incident, their lives have been completely destroyed. It’s especially hard to hear when you see actual footage of the horses in question. They look well, are loved and looked after, fed and have large amounts of land to roam wild in. Although deemed animal abuse, it’s very hard to see signs of injuries or serious neglect that is immediately connected with such an issue. Sexual interaction aside, all men involved admitted to never once hurting the animals; ‘Do they look neglected? No. You love your wife and your kids. It’s the same thing. I took better care of my animals then I ever did care for myself’.

At the centre of it all you have Kenneth Pinyan himself, who will forever go down in pop culture as ‘the guy who died from fucking a horse’. Take a look on YouTube, you’ll find dozens of reaction videos of people watching the video his friend shot of him and the horse in question. Not just any incident, but the one from which he died a few hours later. Search pretty hard and you might even find the video itself. Some of you will even think that he deserved to die after what he did. At the end of the day we have to remember that he was a person too and that there was more to him than just what he is remembered mostly for (again, I will add  that I personally neither condone nor condemn what happened and who these people are). Pinyan was a devoted father desperate to get his life back on track and move his family into a bigger home, a very hard worker for Boeing in America, a son and brother, friend to many people and incredibly close to his ex-wife who he looked after. His role as ‘Mr Hands’ (the name he distributed bestiality pornography under) was just another side to him, something he explored when he found a community of like-minded people he didn’t feel alienated from. In the King County he was respected and liked, he was Kenneth. An actor who played a Cop in the documentary highlights how he felt after doing research for the role by trying to imagine and describe how Pinyan must have been feeling knowing he was dying. Was he scared and fearful at how he’d be treated after telling hospital staff what happened? Was he thinking about his son and what he could say to him to try to explain who he was as a person? All we know is he died a very slow and painful death through blood loss, refusing to listen to friends who said he should seek medical help until it was too late. It must have been terrifying.

Zoo is a sad portrait of a man and a community who will probably never be understood or accepted by anyone outside of the world that they know. This is a film that is well worth a watch if you liked to be challenged or like watching things that make you think. Underneath it all, it poses a serious question; how well do we know the people we think we know? Everyone has something they’re holding back from other people, a secret they’ll never tell. Maybe society has made us all far too judgemental on initial appearances. Needless to say, not everything is as black and white as it seems and Zoo really does try to paint the spectrum in between.

Crimewave – Willy Roe’s ‘Playbirds’ (1978)

14 Sep

Watching the beginning of Playbirds doesn’t feel much different from watching most recent blockbuster or big budgeted films released today. Why, I hear you ask? Product placement. There’s a reason why publisher David Sullivan was a millionaire by twenty-five and controlling half the adult magazine market by the mid 1970s and that was his understanding of the industry and its consumption by the public. After producing the successful Come Play With Me in 1977, which was self-promoted to high heavens in his publications, Sullivan set about making an official follow-up as soon as he could, again taking inspiration from what he knew best…

And so Playbirds opens with a photographer shooting the centerfold for Sullivan’s very own Playbirds magazine. The said centerfold winds up dead and the police become involved, casually reading copies of Playbirds at the scene of the crime and flashing the magazine around for all to see. This scenario happens again and again until there are four bodies and a sex pervert that needs catching.

Suspicion falls on the photographer who happens to photograph everyone before they die and has an interest in the occult. The second suspect is the publisher of Playbirds himself, here played by Alan Lake in the most stereotypical gold-medallion-wearing porn baron type, who has an interest in horses and is obsessed with his racehorse, also called Playbirds. There’s also the outspoken MP who thinks ‘pornography is like heroin for the soul’ but enjoys it none the less. Other red herrings are dropped but it’s clear from the start that the police are completely inept and have no clue what they’re doing.

Enter Mary Millington. Dating Sullivan at the time of the film’s production and being one of the most popular models in the UK, Playbirds was conceived as another vehicle for Millington, taking her from the smaller role she had in Come Play With Me to a lead. She plays WPC Lucy Sheridan, an officer chosen to be a plant for the killer as, surprise, no other girls want to model for Playbirds whilst the killer is still out there. Whilst she certainly looks pretty and pulls off some scenes very well (namely a striptease and a photo shoot which she did for a living anyway), Millington can’t act very well and comes across as quite wooden, if you excuse the pun.

This makes the rest of the film rather dull to watch. The story is essentially a poor man’s retelling of Cover Girl Killer (1959) and the second half plods along rather slowly, with half the audience wanting more sex and the other half wanting the conclusion to a half-hearted British attempt at including giallo influences into a sexploitation feature. Still there are a few nice touches. Most people will recognise much of the cast from British film and television, including Glynn Edwards (Zulu, The Blood Beast Terror, Get Carter, Minder television series), Dudley Sutton (Lovejoy, The Devils) and Derren Nesbitt (Where Eagles Dare). It’s also nice to see Millington giving the police a sort of middle finger by ironically playing a cop in a sex feature. Millington was vocally against censorship and frequently endured police raids at the sex shop she owned. As you can imagine, they weren’t too happy seeing her play the role…

Overall the film is an okay effort but far less entertaining than its predecessor, despite it also being a commercial success. It is essentially an eighty-nine minute long advert for Sullivan’s paper publication. Come Play With Me comes with a higher recommendation, or failing that, one of Millington’s own pictorial’s where she doesn’t need to act…

Go With The Flow – Bud Townsend’s ‘Alice In Wonderland’ (1976)

26 Jul

Following on from Al Adamson’s sexploitation-musical Cinderella 2000 , I gave Bud Townsend’s 1976 X-Rated musical Alice In Wonderland a viewing, with it proving more entertaining than the former! Originally released as an X certificate feature, the film was picked up by 20th Century Fox and re-released the following year with an R-rating and three minutes of cuts. Upon its VHS release, the three minutes of hardcore footage were reinstated and the DVD disc menu gives you the option to watch either this ‘XXX’ version or the cut ‘X’ version. Of course I was going to choose the ‘XXX’ version!

The picture begins with a screen message telling the audience that the feature being seen is a ‘brand new motion picture’ with ‘never before seen scenes’. The supposed speculation that extra footage had been shot was correct and ‘the Producer has finally relented. The public should be allowed to see this motion picture as it was intended to be shown’. In other words, the cut footage has been put back in. After a credit song that could rival the disco-esque title tunes of Cinderella 2000 and Norman J. Warren’s Spaced Out (1979), we are introduced to our titular Alice, Playboy Pin-Up and cover girl Kristine DeBell. The situation that Alice is in is your very basic and typical porno/sexploitation relationship scenario. She has a potential love interest, William, but she spurns his advances deciding working as a librarian is more important and time-consuming. Cue William’s response of ‘You’re body’s all grown up but still the mind of a little girl… too bad you’re missing so much… You’ve got all the equipment, you just don’t know how to put it to work’.

Kristen DeBell promoting the film on the front cover for the April 1976 issue of Playboy

 After being left by William, she falls asleep reading a copy of Alice In Wonderland and suddenly finds herself being taken on a journey of sexual discovery. This is when it starts to get a little bizarre, with cue cards announcing sexual landmarks that Alice is about to overcome (‘Alice makes new friends and gets a lickin”, ‘Alice learns you can’t keep a good man down’) and the odd moment that’s meant to be erotic but feels awkward. Kudos to the filmmakers though for being the first adaptation of Alice that I’ve seen where she drinks the ‘Drink Me’ potion and her clothes don’t shrink with her. Then again, it is a porno so getting her nude in the first ten minutes is pretty much a ‘must’…

The film is full of a cast that Lewis Carroll would be jealous of. Wonderland’s animal creatures are far more disturbing than the woodland friends of Cinderella’s in Cinderella 2000, channeling the school-play-gone-bad look. They also play host to the most awkward sexual moment in a porno I’ve seen so far, asking Alice to come back and let them play with her when her breasts are full of milk. Not really what I want to hear when I’m trying to get off… The Mad Hatter is typically off the wall with a penis that’s just a big to match (‘That’s not the size of my hat, that’s the size of my thingymajig!’). Much to my surprise, Humpty Dumpty makes an appearance (I had no idea he featured in Carroll’s sequel Through The Looking Glass) with a problem that could easily be solved in this decade with a certain blue pill. The Queen of Hearts is a sexual predator out to sleep with whoever she wants, with a wardrobe that could quite possibly be worn by Lady Gaga in the next few weeks. My favourite interpretation would be that of Tweedledum and Tweedledee, two incredibly randy teenagers who are stuck to each others bodies like glue. They also get the prize of the best interchange between two characters; ‘I love you like a brother’, ‘Aren’t you forgetting I am your brother’.

To sum up, if you like dated porno chic and pornography that genuinely tries to have some kind of narrative then this is a must. Far more musically accomplished than other musical sexploitation pictures that came out in the same decade, the film certainly does have some unique charm about it despite being full of clichés (Alice and William do end up together in the end, having the most ‘romanticized’ candle-lit sex with each other I have seen yet…). Kristen DeBell is delightful as Alice and tries to play her with more to her character than just a two-dimensional adult movie prop. She continued to act in TV movies and series but her career never really took off to stellar heights which is a shame as she seemed to have some actual talent (and no, I’m not talking of that kind of talent…). If it’s sex you’re after than the ‘XXX’ cut has its far share, from the somewhat touching moments between Tweedledum and Tweedledee to the random, like The White Rabbit taking the euphemism for cunnilingus of ‘eating out’ to the next level by literally eating out a woman’s vagina with a spoon. Now, if that doesn’t sell it to you somehow, I’m not sure what else will.

 

9 Songs later… Raw sex on the British screen

8 Apr

Real, unsimulated sex. Three words that will forever be associated with Michael Winterbottom’s controversial film 9 Songs. The most sexually explicit British picture ever made, 9 Songs was passed uncut as an art house film that showed sexual activity as opposed to being out right pornography.  Full of scenes showing visible vaginal penetration, oral sex, erection and ejaculation, it received mixed reviews upon its release in 2004. And yet, I actually liked it.

I have no doubt in my mind that anyone who went to see this film in the cinema only went because of the real sex between actors Kieran O’Brien (Matt) and Margot Stilley (Lisa). And Winterbottom does not disappoint. The audience is first visually introduced to the two characters during one of their sexual encounters. The emphasis on the sexual side of their relationship is also justified by Matt’s third sentence of dialogue; ‘I think about her smell, he taste, her skin touching mine’. This is a film about the role that sex plays in a relationship and what can arise from it. Due to its explicitness, I get the feeling that this is sometimes overlooked and instead people tend to focus on the reality of the sex itself. Or the music, which is interlaced throughout the film by the different gigs that the couple attend.

Like any relationship, the film charts the change of behaviour between Matt and Lisa and how this is reflected in their sexual activity. Winterbottom himself said that the film was more of an ‘experiment to see whether you could convey what it is like to be in love by watching people together as opposed to creating a narrative’. Although not a perfect experiment, upon watching the film, it is clear what Winterbottom was trying to do. Straight away, we are thrown into the sexual aspect of the characters bond. We do not see how they met or how they got to know each other, just how they interact sexually. And we get to see lots of it.

Kieran O’Brien & Margo Stilley – Last Tango in London?

Matt is a climatologist with an interest in the Antarctic. As the film begins, he is currently working in Antarctica and is reminiscing about the time he spent with Lisa. And just as Matt is in the South exploring this vast continent, the human body is being explored by the camera, substituting as Winterbottom’s own Arctic expedition. Lets make this clear, the film is visually very graphic and has encountered arguments as to whether it can be considered an art house film or whether it constitutes pornography. Neither O’Brien, Stilley or Winterbottom consider the film pornography. I feel that its best left for the viewer to decide upon watching it. However your opinion, the facts remain the same. 9 Songs is the most sexually explicit mainstream film to date after being passed uncut with an 18 certificate by the BBFC. It shows graphic scenes of oral sex (both cunnilingus and fellatio), masturbation, mutual genital stimulation and penetrative vaginal sex. The are numerous scenes of penile erection, graphic vaginal shots showing labium and the clitoris and O’Brien is the only actor in a UK mainstream feature to be shown ejaculating. On being passed uncut for theatrical release, Sue Clark, the BBFC’s director of communications said ‘The intention of a sex film is sexual arousal. This is not the intention behind this film.’

This is where the argument for it being an art house film comes into play. The BBFC recognised that the intention of the film was to explore the narrative between Lisa and Matt which encompasses sex, talking to each other and their interactions with the environments around them. The board decided that the amount of unsimulated sex was justified as it was in context; the purpose of the film was to show the developments in the couple’s relationship and sexual activity happens to be a part of that union.

Despite all this sexual realism, most of the sex scenes in the film lack chemistry or excitement making them somewhat awkward to watch. During one scene, the couple have sex in Matt’s kitchen. Lisa asks him to ‘fuck her’ with Matt’s response being ‘Fuck you? Say it again’, clearly enjoying her dominating and demanding behaviour. Yet it feels so childish and crude, as if the dialogue is unnaturally wrong. There is a sense that, here, both O’Brien and Stilley are trying far too hard to be believable that they end up becoming almost unintentionally laughable in their delivery. The same goes for a scene in which Lisa tries to assert her domination by wearing stiletto boots and seduces Matt whilst he is tied to the bed. The scene is far from sexy. Stilley appears wooden, as if taken slightly aback by the role she needs to perform. Stilted whilst trying to be dominating in real life in bad enough but on screen it is just uncomfortable viewing.

Having said that, I do feel that there are some scenes in the film that convey far more sexual honesty and feeling. The couple go away for the weekend and in one scene are shown sharing a bath. There seems to be natural developement here and a real sense that they are a couple with a sexual connection, as opposed to two people having sex with no feeling. The two leads seem genuinely relaxed and the shot shows the smooth fluidity in which sexual behaviour naturally developes between people. Sitting either end of the bath, Lisa stimulates Matt with her feet, slowly working from his thighs to his penis. It culminates with her leaning over to lie atop him so they can kiss. It shows that not all sexual activity in heterosexual couples ends in vaginal penetrative sex and ejaculation. Instead, the scene focuses on the connection between the two and the greater picture of their sexual relationship. I wish that Winterbottom had included more tender scenes like this in the film that add a mutual sweetness to their relationship that can easily be mistaken as a one-sided love affair.

A rare tender moment between Lisa and Matt

 A film like this was never going to attract big name stars and, in casting unknowns, it shows. Stilley is very wooden at times and, aside from her orgasms, comes across as very unbelievable in her improvised dialogue and timing. Being a model with no previous acting experience wasn’t the strongest card to be dealt. It doesn’t help very much that Lisa is incredibly unlikable as a character. Clearly not as besotted with Matt as he is with her, Lisa comes across as being someone just coming along for the ride and gaining as much sexual experience as she can. She has no problems in recounting her whole sexual history to a somewhat uncomfortable Matt on a weekend away and even hints at having possibly prostituted herself at one point. On a visit to a lap dance bar, she becomes more interested in a dancer than Matt and clearly enjoying the attention and encounter, refuses to share it with him, instead ignoring him outright. The look of dejection on Matt’s face is another brief glimmer of honesty in the film, whereupon he realises that she is getting more sexual gratification from the dancer than their sexual interactions. The fact that she constantly refers to their sexual encounters as fucking shows an emotional detachment.

O’Brien, although no thespian, fares far better and not just because he happens to have talent, if you know what I mean? Compared to Stilley, he is slightly more believable as the one in the relationship who’s in it far deeper than the other. He appears more honest in his fluctuating feelings towards Lisa, going from keen and deep in lust at the start to someone in love and feeling a great gulf between him and his partner by the end. When he says he loves her, she replies in a joking manner whilst a game of word association brings about sincere disappointment when Lisa answers reveal her temporary attitudes towards their companionship; ‘Ocean.’ ‘Space.’ ‘Desert.’ ‘Storm.’ ‘Love.’ ‘Lust’. Nothing says it quite as strongly as the look on his face as he watches her masturbate alone, she is unaware she is being watched, enjoying the strongest orgasm she has throughout the whole film. One in which he is not involved. Their disconnection is summed up further when the following night, he goes to a gig alone, the first one without her since they met. His own words; ‘5,000 strangers in the room and you can still feel the love’. He is able to feel a united love from strangers and yet he knows that the person who he feels most strongly for is a complete stranger emotionally to him.

The film’s trailer doesn’t give much away, not that it had much to work with…

So despite all its faults, why do I like it so much? Because, at least in its sexual depiction, its honest. Its nice and refreshing to see a film that doesn’t conform to Hollywood’s standards of sexual depiction. Not all sex is erotic and perfect. Sometimes it isn’t highly pleasurable and it doesn’t always last for hours on end. It’s nice to see a couple have a quick fuck and one in which there isn’t a massive awe-inspiring awakening in which both participants orgasm simultaneously. In  society where the media is flooded by images of either sex as depicted in cinema or sex as depicted in real pornography (I mean films made purely to arouse sexually), a film in which ‘normal’ looking people have realistic sex is inspiring to see. The complexities of sexual relationships are often ignored too. Usually characters are depicted as being ‘in love’ or ‘in lust’, disregarding the fluidity of these feelings even in long-term relationships. Sex isn’t as black and white as Hollywood and the porn industry like to make out it is and so I like that 9 Songs has a relationship that is played out with some subtle nuances. Even if they aren’t acted out completely well…