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(aka "Ice (UK) (working title)" or "Nine Songs (UK)")

 

directed by Michael Winterbottom
United Kingdom 2004

 

What is a relationship, what is love between two people, and why isn’t it allowed to show to people in love having sex? Those were the questions which lead Michael Winterbottom to “9 Songs”, a love story told from a sexual point of view by two people making love.

Told from the perspective of Matt (Kieran O'Brien), who is on an expedition to the Antarctic, it is his memory of his one year long love affair with Lisa (Margo Stilley), the memories of her presence, the sex, their intimate moments and of the music at a club.

Filmed without a script, completely improvised and shot over a period of five months, “9 Songs” is apart from being Winterbottoms most experimental film in terms of reduced narrative and memoria editing, his most honest and daring film to date as a filmmaker.

The most sexually explicit British film to date, Winterbottom openly displays oral sex, intercourse and masturbation, but never exploits its sexual nature, by always keeping the focus on the intimacy between two lovers. And this was also why the BBFC passed the film uncut with a 18 certificate for general release. In their opinion, both his intentions and the portrait of the sexual situations were not pornographically, but a display of intimate physical love. As such, “9 Songs” is a landmark film, the first film to break the BBFCs code.

Winner of Best Cinematography at San Sebastian, “9 Songs” is a immensely beautiful and intimate film. The most honest film to date by Winterbottom and one of the best films of the year.

 

Henrik Sylow

Poster

Theatrical Release: May 16, 2004 (Cannes Film Festival)

Reviews         More Reviews         DVD Reviews

Comparison: 

Optimum - Region 2 - PAL vs. Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Palisades / Tartan - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the DVD Review!

Optimum - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

Optimum

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Palisades / Tartan

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:06:49 (4% PAL speedup) 1:06:48.080 1:09:39.216
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.48 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080i Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 16,500,019,928 bytes

Feature: 16,430,211,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 18,217,773,308 bytes

Feature: 18,162,704,832 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

DVD

Bitrate Optimum Blu-ray

Bitrate Tartan Blu-ray

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English, 5.1 Dolby Digital English DTS-HD Master Audio English 1862 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1862 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1827 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1827 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles No subtitles No subtitles No subtitles
Features Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Interviews
• - Michael Winterbottom (6:36 / 16x9)
• - Kieran O'Brian (7:57 / 16x9)
• - Margo Stilley (13:53 / 4:3)
• Introduction by Tom Dewe Mathews (14:58 / 16x9)
• Trailer (1:36 / 16x9)
• The 9 Songs (music only option)

DVD Release Date: June 27th, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

 

1080i Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 16,500,019,928 bytes

Feature: 16,430,211,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• none

Blu-ray Release Date: July 20th, 2009
Standard UK (thicker) Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Palisades / Tartan

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 18,217,773,308 bytes

Feature: 18,162,704,832 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• none

Blu-ray Release Date: May 18th, 2010
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Tartan Blu-ray - April 10': There isn't a lot to say here. Technically the Palisades Tartan is the best transfer - it is progressive (perhaps bumped to a higher source before rendering?) and is in 24 fps time - running almost 3-minutes longer. I doubt too many people would be able to distinguish the visual differences with this particular film production. Audio appears to be the exact same as the UK Blu-ray with the same two options and no subtitles. My Momitsu has identified this disc as being region-locked to 'A'.

There are also no extras whatsoever. As you can see below, there is a reason why, on the UK cover, it is stated that this is "The Most Sexually Explicit film in the History of British Cinema!". Nine concert songs (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Von Bondies , Michael Nyman. Salif Keita, Elbow, Primal Scream, The Dandy Warhols, Super Furry Animals, Franz Ferdinand etc. )! and.... nine sex acts! <shrug shoulders> 

Gary Tooze

****

ADDITION: Optimum Blu-ray - August 09': As Henrik points out in the DVD review below - the film was shot on HD (actually with a miniDv with a Sony PD-150 at an interlaced 25fps - thanks Quentin!) and this 1080i (interlaced) Blu-ray rendering is inherent in the source. If indeed the DVD had PAL speed then this Blu-ray as well shares that timing. Now it does look better than the DVD but I really don't believe this move to hi-def has benefited the image to as large an extent as most would find agreeable. The video bitrate is high - but the film is not long at just over an hour. It probably looks close to how it was shot.

The audio on the other hand seems to have improved more. We get 2 options a DTS-HD Master at 1862 Kbps which really helps showcase the concert music with some depth and a linear PCM 2.0 channel which isn't bad at all either from what I tested. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified this disc as being a region-locked to 'B'.

We appear to lose all the extras that were on the DVD edition - which substantially decreases this disc's value.

Gary Tooze

****

 

ON THE DVD: Shot on digital video, the image is as expected from such a source. Some scenes display edge enhancements and noise, others are flawless. Taking this into account, this is beautiful transfer.

There are two soundmixes: A rather weak 2.0 Dolby Digital and a very impressive 5.1 Dolby Digital. While dialogue is centered on both tracks, the live music totally kicks in on the 5.1 Dolby Digital track.

The additional material consists of three interviews by Winterbottom and the two actors. Where Winterbottom talks about the production and the ideas behind the film, the actors reflect on the experience, on Winterbottom as director, on the way it was shot and so forth. Brief and very good interviews.

The film is introduced by Tin Dewe Mathews, author of the book "Censored: What they didn't allow you to see and why - The story of Film Censorship in Britain", where he talks about the contents of the film versus the rules and practices of the BBFC in a historically and politically context, of the nature of the film itself and its historical importance in terms of being a landmark film to break the BBFC code for sexually display. A superb introduction.

 - Henrik Sylow

 



DVD Menus
 

 

Palisades / Tartan - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Palisades / Tartan - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Palisades / Tartan - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Palisades / Tartan - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Palisades / Tartan - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Palisades / Tartan - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Palisades / Tartan - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

WARNING: MORE EXPLICIT STILLS FROM THE FILM ARE ACCESSIBLE BY PLACING YOUR MOUSE OVER THE BLACK IMAGES BELOW!

 

Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Images

 

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

Optimum

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Palisades / Tartan

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 



 

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