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Steven Soderbergh

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Steven Soderbergh

Post by Katiedot on Fri Feb 11 2011, 11:54

From Omaha Herald

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Published Thursday February 10, 2011

BOB'S TAKE

Talented Soderbergh takes creative risks at every turn

By Bob Fischbach

Film director, producer and screenwriter Steven Soderbergh is coming to Omaha Feb. 20 to be interviewed about his career by NPR’s “Studio 360” host, Omaha native Kurt Andersen, at the Holland Center. The event is a fundraiser for Omaha’s nonprofit arthouse cinema, Film Streams.

Surrounding the event, Film Streams is showing five Soderbergh movies in its Ruth Sokolof Theater at 14th and Mike Fahey Streets, plus two films Soderbergh picked as influential to his career, Richard Lester’s “A Hard Day’s Night” and Victor Erice’s “The Spirit of the Beehive.” The screenings kick off Friday with Soderbergh’s first feature, “sex, lies and videotape.”

Soderbergh has amassed an interesting and eclectic body of work over 20-odd years.

After he won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for “sex, lies and videotape” in 1989, he was predicted to be the next auteur, heading a new wave of independent filmmakers.

It didn’t turn out that way. Soderbergh didn’t want it to. The rules of the film game say an auteur puts his personal stamp on his films. They all have certain themes or visual patterns in common.

But drawing a through-line from one Soderbergh movie to the next, what they all have in common is how different they are from one another.

For Soderbergh, each film is a new animal, an experiment in the craft of filmmaking that he solves on its own terms. After “sex, lies and videotape,” he put out a streak of low-budget box-office disappointments: “Kafka,” “King of the Hill,” “The Underneath,” “Schizopolis.”

Just when he seemed written off into oblivion, the crime caper “Out of Sight,” starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, brought him back to commercial prominence. Then “The Limey,” about a Brit ex-con (Terence Stamp) investigating his daughter’s murder in L.A., was a critical success.

And then, in 2000, he released “Erin Brockovich” and “Traffic,” each of which earned five Oscar nominations, including best picture and best director. It was the first double nomination for a director in 62 years.

For “Traffic,” about the drug trade on either side of the U.S.-Mexican border, he won the Academy Award for best director. And Julia Roberts won best actress playing “Erin Brockovich,” the true story of a single mother who assists in a class-action lawsuit against a powerful utility. (“Gladiator” won best picture that year.)

The “Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen” pictures followed, along with critically acclaimed titles such as “The Good German,” “The Informant!” and the nearly five-hour two-part biopic “Che.” Along with them, the less known and less kindly received “Bubble” and “Solaris” were released.

He’s made big-budget Hollywood hits and small-budget indies. He’s worked with huge stars like Clooney, Roberts, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, and he’s cast unknowns and non-actors. Adaptations and original material, scripts he wrote and scripts by others. Color and black-and-white. Carefully rehearsed, and filmmaking on the fly.

He has spanned a wide range of genres including biopics, science fiction, heist movies, sweeping social commentary, heavy drama and quirky comedy. Even that Ocean’s franchise — his only movies that seem alike.

Some say they see a pattern in Soderbergh protagonists: alienated, estranged outsiders and underdogs, out of sync with their environment. Others find a cool aesthetic, an impersonal detachment that makes his movies less accessible.

Writing about Soderbergh in 2009, New York Times critic A.O. Scott said he had disliked quite a few, maybe even most of Soderbergh’s movies because he was unmoved, frustrated or repelled.

“But I’ve wanted to see them all more than once. And I always look forward to the next one. ... He cares more about the movies than he cares about the audience.”

What can be said with certainty about Soderbergh is that he is a man of many top-tier talents: producer, director, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor. He cares deeply about the art of filmmaking. And he consistently takes creative risks, a truly rare commodity in Hollywood these days.

Katiedot
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Re: Steven Soderbergh

Post by melbert on Fri Feb 11 2011, 15:43

Nice write up. I hope they don't discuss his personal life in Omaha and truly discuss his films.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

Post by Merlin on Fri Mar 11 2011, 15:41

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''Erin Brockovich'' director to retire from filmmaking
PTI – Fri, Mar 11, 2011 3:20 PM IST

Los Angeles, Mar 11 (PTI) Steven Soderbergh, the man behind ''Ocean''s Eleven'' franchise and ''Erin Brockovich'', says he is done with Bollywood.
The Oscar-winning director says he plans to hang his boots after the upcoming movies with Matt Damon and George Clooney, which will be his last two films.
"When you reach the point where you''re like if I have to get into a van to do anther scout I''m just going to shoot myself, it''s time to let somebody else who''s still excited about getting in the van, get in the van," Soderbergh told Studio 360''s Kurt Anderson.
"And so it''s just time. For the last three years, I''ve been turning down everything that comes my way, so you''re not going to have Steven Soderbergh to kick around anymore," he quipped.
Anderson played a clip from a previous interview he conducted with Damon, star of the director''s upcoming ''Haywire'', who said the director had told him he was planning to retire to possibly become a painter or photographer.
"It''s just a sense of having been there before. The making of any art is problem solving, and as you work at it, you''re able to eliminate the versions that aren''t any good faster, but at a certain point the salves sort of become the same.
"And when I started feeling like I''ve done this shot before, I''ve done a scene that''s about this before, that''s when I started thinking seriously about a shift. But also I don''t want to leave you know, when you see those athletes hang on one or two seasons too long, it''s kind of sad."
Soderbergh said he''s got two more movies to shoot -- ''Liberace'', starring Damon and Michael Douglas, and ''Man From UNCLE'', starring Clooney before calling it quits.
"That''s a great way to sort of step off," he said.

Merlin
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Re: Steven Soderbergh

Post by lucy on Fri Mar 11 2011, 15:48

Sorry to see him go, since 2 of my favs to re-watch is Solairs and OOS. Looking forward to MFU.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

Post by blubelle on Fri Mar 11 2011, 17:03

He might change his mind. If GC is really doing MFU that could be really good and mainstream.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

Post by sisieq on Fri Mar 11 2011, 18:46

Thanks for the updates! So MFU must be true.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

Post by Casey on Sat Mar 12 2011, 01:25

Merlin wrote:[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

''Erin Brockovich'' director to retire from filmmaking
PTI – Fri, Mar 11, 2011 3:20 PM IST

For the last three years, I''ve been turning down everything that comes my way, so you''re not going to have Steven Soderbergh to kick around anymore," he quipped.

Geez, want some cheese to go with that wine, Steven? Between this and his affair that produced a child that he admits he doesn't want to know, this guy sounds like a real pill.

We'll all try and go on without you, Steven.

Casey
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Re: Steven Soderbergh

Post by melbert on Sun Mar 13 2011, 00:48

I wonder why he feels that he's been "kicked around"? Obviously I don't run in those circles, but until the baby thing, I hadn't heard that much about him lately. Just the association with the Liberace film and the MFU (that's fun to type!!!!!) film. I know that Che didn't get the critical acclaim he thought he deserved, but cry me a river for chrissake Steven...

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

Post by lucy on Sun Mar 13 2011, 15:48

I know whatca mean melbert, ego boo-hoo the public-peers don't get me,I'm just gonna show them and quit! But i will miss his films, not all but some.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

Post by melbert on Sun Mar 13 2011, 21:58

I think kids say it best - "I'm just gonna pick up my toys and go home".

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

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