9 SONGS director Michael Winterbottom was prepared to cut the real-life sex scenes in his controversial movie to ensure it could be screened in mainstream cinemas in his native Britain - and he urges audiences not to see it "in a pornographic context".

The headline-grabbing UK film, which follows a couple as they embark on a highly charged sexual relationship, has been granted an uncut 18 certificate by the BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CLASSIFICATION (BBFC).

Winterbottom, 43, says, "I wanted to show it in a cinema, I didn't want the film to be only obtainable from a sex shop.

"I'd rather cut a couple of shots in order to get it sold in HMV and Virgin, rather than by airmail from (porn mecca) Amsterdam. The whole idea is not to see it in a pornographic context.

"It would be misleading to call it a porn movie. It's not about showing an erect penis or (ejaculation).

"It was about doing a film where you could genuinely try and capture the intimacy of two people being in love, the physical intimacy, and hopefully the emotional intimacy."

11/03/2005 14:25