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Nine Songs - Director facing legal challenge



Story by: Jack Foley

HAVING become one of the talking points of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Michael Winterbottom’s sexually explicit movie, Nine Songs, is now facing a legal challenge.

The director’s film production company, Revolution Films, is reportedly being taken to court by its distributor, Tartan Films, for allegedly breaking its distribution agreement.

The film, which is said to be Britain's most sexually-explicit mainstream film, is facing a £2 million court action.

Although it has yet to be passed by the censors, it quickly earned notoriety on the Cannes circuit, for its graphic close-ups of oral sex and ejaculation.

 

The film revolves around a young couple in London, Matt and his American girlfriend, Lisa (played by Kieran O’Brien and Margo Stilley).

But while the sex scenes take up more than half of the film, they are intercut with scenes of the bands playing, while the story is framed by shots of Matt flying over the plains of Antarctica, recalling the relationship he had from afar.

Winterbottom described its content as a reaction to ‘prudish’ films being made at the moment.

However, commenting on the impending legal action, Tartan Films chairman, Hamish McAlpine, said the decision to proceed had been taken on the grounds of loss of profits.

"The film business is the same as any other business, an agreement is an agreement and it has to be honoured," he maintained, in a statement. "Tartan will sue to the stone age anyone who attempts to assume our rights in Nine Songs either in the UK or the US."

Many critics who have seen the film doubt whether it will get past the censor.

But, according to a report on Variety website, Winterbottom has offered to cut some of the film's most explicit sex scenes to get an 18 rating.

This, in turn, had sparked anger from Mr McAlpine, who had made a career out of battling the censors.

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