It's been pilloried as porn, but Michael Winterbottom's sexual odyssey is a frank and funny triumph, writes Sukhdev Sandhu. You can just imagine director Michael Winterbottom and producer Andrew Eaton knocking back a few pints and laughing about the idea of making a new kind of romantic film. One in which they would chop out all hint of back story or those boring preambles that focused on how the couple got together in the first place. One that took sex seriously, and refused to go in for any of the nudity-is-naughty carry-on of Calendar Girls or The Full Monty. Winterbottom would have known that he'd be pilloried by the press. That his film would be slammed for being pornographic, unsexy, or what's worse as far as we Brits are concerned, unfunny. But, being the protean, can-do maverick of contemporary British cinema that he is - his next picture is a version of Laurence Sterne's supposedly unfilmable novel Tristram Shandy - he ploughed on regardless. Not only that, but he made sure the whole thing lasts for only 69 minutes.
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On a bleak British afternoon last fall, Michael Winterbottom and his small crew were preparing for filming on the top floor of Felbrigg Hall, a possibly haunted 17th-century manor in eastern England. Winterbottom, one of England's most prominent independent filmmakers, was directing an adaptation of Laurence Sterne's often cited, rarely read novel "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman," aptly described by the comedian Steve Coogan, who plays Shandy in Winterbottom's film, as "a postmodern novel written before there was a modern. Sterne's book has frequently been described as unfilmable, which is precisely what interested Winterbottom. Published in , "Tristram Shandy" is the memoir of an 18th-century country gentleman who wishes to share his "life and opinions" but is so overcome by the urge to tell digressive, often saucy stories about his father, Walter a harmless but eccentric pedant , his Uncle Toby who rides a hobbyhorse and obsesses over an old war wound and his own conception which was botched when his mother asked his father if he had remembered to rewind the clock at the moment of climax that he barely manages to get to his own birth before the book's end. It features many of the avant-garde flourishes now associated with writers like Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer. There are drawings, blank pages and a page of solid black after a beloved character dies. In keeping with the meta vibe, Coogan plays Tristram, Walter and a version of himself interacting with the film's crew and co-stars.
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Sign In. Edit 9 Songs Showing all 15 items. Margo Stilley never wanted to be credited in the film because of the unsimulated, explicit sex scenes. She asked the director to refer to her in interviews as "Lisa", the name of her character in the film. Kieran O'Brien and Margo Stilley did not communicate with each other between filming so that their off-screen relationship would not affect the one they had on screen. This was the first film featuring explicit sex scenes to receive a certificate in the Republic of Ireland. The two leads only had three days to get acquainted before filming.
Watch the trailer for 9 Songs. Did it take director Michael Winterbottom long to persuade you to take part in the film? About five minutes. He called me and said that he wanted shoot a love story and wanted me to play the male role. Michael wanted to show it predominantly through the physical relationship, which he wanted to shoot as real. The naked truth [Sukhdev Sandhu reviews 9 Songs]. Maybe we have some sort of shorthand. That may have been totally different. Like any other.