At the age of twenty-six, Steven Soderbergh launched his career in the film industry with astonishing success. His film sex, lies, and videotape (1989), which he wrote in only eight days, won the prestigious Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, a bittersweet blessing that shaped high expectations for the young director. The film, also nominated for an Academy Award, is regarded by most film experts as a turning point in the history of American independent cinema. The Philosophy of Steven Soderbogh examines Soderbergh's full body of work, from films that brought him commercial success such as Erin Brockovich (2000), to more controversial films such as The Limey (1999), which put his name among the ranks of such celebrated filmmakers as the Coen brothers, David Lynch, and Orson Welles. Editors R. Barton Palmer and Steven M. Sanders introduce readers to the imaginative storylines, philosophically salient themes, and inventive approaches to filmmaking that distinguish Soderbergh's work. Expert scholars analyze Soderbergh's films individually, exploring topics such as the nature of reality in Solaris (2002); the heritage of Enlightenment thought in Schizopolis (1996); guilt, punishment, and redemption in The Limey (1999); altruism in Erin Brockovich (2000); truth, knowledge, and ethics in sex, lies, and videotape (1989); politics as reality and fiction in K Street (2004); and Kantian ethics, performance, and agency in Traffic (2000) and the Ocean's trilogy (2001-2007). Like the Coens and David Lynch, Soderbergh places emphasis on character over narrative, self-conscious stylistic display and visual exuberance, and a deep, often disturbing engagement with the problematic aspects of the human condition. His films take on a variety of cinematic forms, often by joining the traditions of film noir and crime cinema with European styles and themes. By consistently challenging the viewer to question the foundations of knowledge, understanding, and reality, Soderbergh's films have played a significant role in the advancement of American art cinema. R. Barton Palmer Is Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University and the author or editor of many books. Steven M. Sanders, professor emeritus of philosophy at Bridgewater State University
The industry's only director-cinematographer-screenwriter-producer-actor-editor, Steven Soderbergh is contemporary Hollywood's most innovative and prolific filmmaker. A Palme d'or and Academy Award-winner, Soderbergh has directed nearly thirty films, including political provocations, digital experiments, esoteric documentaries, global blockbusters, and a series of atypical genre films. This volume considers its slippery subject from several perspectives, analyzing Soderbergh as an expressive auteur of art cinema and genre fare, as a politically-motivated guerrilla filmmaker, and as a Hollywood insider. Combining a detective's approach to investigating the truth with a criminal's alternative value system, Soderbergh's films tackle social justice in a corporate world, embodying dozens of cinematic trends and forms advanced in the past twenty-five years. His career demonstrates the richness of contemporary American cinema, and this study gives his complex oeuvre the in-depth analysis it deserves.
How do we determine authorship in film, and what happens when we look in-depth at the creative activity of living filmmakers rather than approach their work through the abstract prism of auteur theory? Mark Gallagher uses Steven Soderbergh’s career as a lens through which to re-view screen authorship and offer a new model that acknowledges the fundamentally collaborative nature of authorial work and its circulation. Working in film, television, and digital video, Soderbergh is the most prolific and protean filmmaker in contemporary American cinema. At the same time, his activity typifies contemporary screen industry practice, in which production entities, distribution platforms, and creative labor increasingly cross-pollinate. Gallagher investigates Soderbergh’s work on such films as The Limey, Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven and its sequels, Solaris, The Good German, Che, and The Informant!, as well as on the K Street television series. Dispensing with classical auteurist models, he positions Soderbergh and authorship in terms of collaborative production, location filming activity, dealmaking and distribution, textual representation, genre and adaptation work, critical reception, and other industrial and cultural phenomena. Gallagher also addresses Soderbergh’s role as standard-bearer for U.S. independent cinema following 1989’s sex, lies and videotape, as well as his cinephilic dialogues with different forms of U.S. and international cinema from the 1920s through the 1970s. Including an extensive new interview with the filmmaker, Another Steven Soderbergh Experience demonstrates how industries and institutions cultivate, recognize, and challenge creative screen artists.
The long and prolific career of Steven Soderbergh (b. 1963) defies easy categorization. From his breakout beginnings in 1989 with sex, lies, and videotape to 2013, when he retired from big-screen movie-making to focus on other pursuits including television, the director's output resembles nothing less than an elaborate experiment. Soderbergh's Hollywood vehicles such as the Ocean's Eleven movies, Contagion and Magic Mike appear just as risky and outside-the-box as low-budget exercises such as Schizopolis, Bubble, and The Girlfriend Experience. This updated edition details key career moments: his creative crisis surrounding his fourth film, The Underneath; his rejuvenation with the ultra-low-budget free-style Schizopolis; the mainstream achievements Erin Brockovich, Traffic, and the Ocean's Eleven films; and his continuing dedication to pushing his craft forward with films as diverse as conspiracy thrillers, sexy dramas, and biopics on Che Guevara and Liberace. Spanning twenty-five years, these conversations reveal Soderbergh to be as self-effacing and lighthearted in his later more established years as he was when just beginning to make movies. He comes across as a man undaunted by the glitz and power of Hollywood, remaining, above all, a truly independent filmmaker unafraid to get his hands dirty and pick up the camera himself.
Like Michael Powell's Peeping Tom, Steven Soderbergh's sex, lies and videotape presents us with a protagonist who can only connect with others through the lens of a camera. Graham is an enigmatic young man who returns to Baton Rouge from a long road trip, mildly irritating his old lawyer friend John and wholly intriguing John's housebound wife Ann. John is conducting a sneaky and entirely sexual affair with Ann's sister Cynthia. For her part, Ann has lost interest in sex, yet Graham's obscurely charming eccentricity stirs something inside her - until she learns that he is functionally impotent and can manage arousal only with the help of a video camera and an agreeably loose-lipped female. Nevertheless, it's the dragging into the open of Graham's dirty little secret that causes all of these characters to confront their own veiled deceits and hypocrisies. sex, lies and videotape won the Palme d'Or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival, affirming the arrival of a distinctive new talent and signalling the start of a movement among young independent American film-makers opposed to the values and formats of the Hollywood system. Soderbergh's script is an unerringly elegant, witty and literate study of contemporary perversity.
Steven Soderbergh's feature films present a diverse range of subject matter and formal styles: from the self-absorption of his breakthrough hitSex, Lies, and Videotapeto populist social problem films such asErin Brockovitch, and from the modernist discontinuity ofFull Frontaland filmed performance art ofGray's Anatomyto a glossy, star-studded action blockbuster such asOcean's Eleven. Arguing that Soderbergh practices an eclectic type of moviemaking indebted both To The European art cinema And The Hollywood genre film, Aaron Baker charts the common thematic and formal patterns present across Soderbergh's oeuvre. Almost every movie centres on an alienated main character, and he represents the unconventional thinking of his outsider protagonists through a discontinuous editing style. Including detailed analyses of major films as well as two interviews with the director, this volume illustrates Soderbergh's hybrid flexibility in bringing an independent aesthetic to wide audiences.
Remakes Solaris by Andrei Tarkovsky 1972 and Solaris by Steven Soderbergh 2002
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject Communications - Movies and Television, grade: 1, Utrecht University (Media Studies), course: Remakes & Parody, language: English, abstract: Thom Patterson from CNN expresses the issue of the remake in a very nice way: Remaking well-known films can be the Hollywood equivalent of replacing the family dog or a favourite bathrobe: sometimes only the old one will do and a replacement is unthinkable." In my case study I will take a closer look at the two different versions of "Solaris" Andrei Tarkovsky's "Solaris" (1972) and Steven Soderbergh's "Solaris" (2002) Is Soderbergh's "Solaris" a worthy representative, replacement or addition to Tarkovsky's "Solaris" or is it just like Patterson describes it, unneeded like the replacement of the family dog? Is Tarkovsky's "family dog" so well-known and respected that a new "family dog" would be redundant? First of all, one should notice that both films are based on Stanislaw Lem's book "Solaris." At least that's what one can read everywhere...but is this so? Is Soderbergh's film a re-adaptation of Lem's book or is it rather a remake of Tarkovsky's film? I would like to analyse in what way the two directors developed the characters in the film having the book "Solaris" as the basis. By analysing the way, Soderbergh and Tarkovsky present the relationship between Hari/Rheya and Chris and how the two directors develop the characters, I will also try to find an answer to the question whether Soderbergh's "Solaris" is a remake of Tarkovsky's Solaris or a re-adaptation of Lem's book. What are the similarities and differences of the presentation of this relationship in the two films? Soderbergh for example never personally said that his film is only a remake of Tarkovsky's "Solaris" but also, or even more, a re-adaptation of Lem's book. This would exactly apply to the theory of Jan Speckenbach, who mentions in his first part of "On the Remake. A cinematic phenomenon" that sometimes the dir"