With $30,000 in development money from United Artists, last year's Golden Bear winner Michael Winterbottom has started shooting what promises to be his most contentious project yet - a fully sexually explicit relationship drama.
He is yet to decide whether the film will ever be released or indeed even completed. "We're messing around on DV. Maybe at some point, we'll either make it into a film or release it as a DVD or just keep it for our archives," Winterbottom said in Rotterdam last week.
The film combines footage of a couple at live concerts of bands (Primal Scream, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Super Furry Animals among them) with intimate scenes of the couple together. Apart from the concert footage, audiences will be given few details about the two central characters' lives outside the bedroom. "We want to film things which are normally left out of films," Winterbottom explained. "We just start with two people in bed."
Unlike Catherine Breillat's recent Anatomy Of Hell, the film does not use body doubles for the sex scenes. The English director admitted that filming sex "for real" placed heavy demands on his actors. "There was no huge financial incentive for them (the actors) to do it. They weren't people who had to make an amount of money to survive and were feeling obliged to do it. The issue was were they interested in doing it themselves."
The as-yet-untitled project was commissioned before Bingham Ray left United Artists. Winterbottom is yet to discover how his deal with UA will be affected by Ray's exit. "Obviously, we really liked Bingham and got on well with Bingham, but actually our deal with United Artists preceded Bingham's time there'I don't what the deal is between MGM and UA and so," Winterbottom stated.