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Tag: Steven Soderbergh (1-10 of 32)

Film School 101: Prof. Soderbergh examines 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'


Raiders of the Lost Ark is the Citizen Kane of modern action films, a revolutionary piece of cinematic storytelling that is still the template for just about every action-adventure that rolls into theaters. Director Steven Soderbergh is a major fan, and his admiration appropriately goes to delightfully film-geek lengths. In a recent blog post, Soderbergh marvels at Steven Spielberg’s staging of Raiders; by staging he refers to the alchemic art of putting a shot together and then connecting several shots together to tell a story in the most fluid, unobtrusive, and dynamic manner.

To isolate that subtle aspect of Raiders, Soderbergh included a black-and-white version of the film that replaced John Williams’ galloping score with an intentionally dissonant electric track. “This is what I do when I try to learn about staging,” Soderbergh writes, “and [Spielberg] forgot more about staging by the time he made his first feature than I know to this day (for example, no matter how fast the cuts come, you always know exactly where you are—that’s high level visual math s–t).” READ FULL STORY

Andie MacDowell will be in the 'Magic Mike' sequel

The Magic Mike sequel, Magic Mike XXL, will, sadly, not feature Matthew McConaughey, but another romantic comedy veteran will appear. EW has confirmed that Andie MacDowell of Groundhog Day and Four Weddings and a Funeral fame is a new addition to the follow-up to 2012’s male stripper movie. Variety first reported the news.


'Magic Mike XXL' begins filming, non-director Steven Soderbergh tweets

For a man who’s retired from directing movies, Steven Soderbergh keeps finding increasingly creative ways to circumvent his vow. Behind the Candelabra was technically a TV movie (though it played in theaters in many foreign territories) and The Knick is a Cinemax TV series, but clearly, he has no intention to stop working.

The Oscar winner recently tweeted an image of a clapperboard indicating that production had begun on the Magic Mike sequel, a project he handed off to his long-time collaborator Gregory Jacobs. But Soderbergh hasn’t exactly stepped off the stage—his pseudonym as a cinematographer is Peter Andrews. So technically, he’s not directing Channing Tatum in Magix Mike XXL, but he’ll be behind the camera, as well as serving as the film’s camera operator and editor. “I want to be there, but I don’t want to be the director,” Soderbergh told GQ in June. “I want to be a part of it. I want to be in the band, but I just don’t want to be the frontman this time.” READ FULL STORY

Steven Soderbergh donates $10K to Spike Lee's Kickstarter campaign

Spike Lee’s nascent Kickstarter campaign to fund his yet-untitled movie about “human beings who are addicted to blood” just got a big-ticket backer: Steven Soderbergh.

The Oscar-winning director pledged $10,000 to Lee’s campaign, garnering him access to some Spike-centric-prizes (hype-typed by Lee in all-caps, of course), including dinner with Lee and a seat next to him at a Knicks game (score!).

Lest the prizes overshadow Soderbergh’s good will, his manager had this to say:

Cannes 2013: 'Behind the Candelabra' is more than a dark Liberace kitschfest. It's a creepily moving love story

Behind the Candelabra, Steven Soderbergh’s backstage drama about Liberace, the fur-and-sequin-clad, ivory-tickling kitsch maestro of “wonderful” entertainment, and his relationship with Scott Thorson, the dewy hunk who became his romantic partner in the late 1970s, is a movie that I’ve been eager to see for many months. Nevertheless, when it was announced that the film wouldn’t just be playing at Cannes, but that it would be part of the hallowed roster of films shown in competition here, it raised my eyebrows.

Unless I’m mistaken, this is the first time that a movie set to premiere on American television — in this case, HBO — has been honored with a competition slot at Cannes. The festival, of course, has a long-term relationship with Soderbergh, going back to 1989, when sex, lies and videotape took the Palme d’Or. But it also struck me that the Cannes programmers were making a kind of cultural-political statement. Behind the Candelabra isn’t being released theatrically in the U.S. because, reportedly, no studio wanted a part of it — the word is that a number of executives thought it was “too gay” to be commercial. And let’s be clear: That’s insane. A movie about Liberace starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon? It may not be Iron Man 3, but plenty of people, I’m convinced, would want to buy a ticket to see that. It’s hard to say what’s worse about the shunning of the movie by film studios: the implicit homophobia, or the insult to cinema. The Cannes programmers have obviously done their bit to right that wrong, and in doing so they have made a second statement as well. They have now acknowledged, from their perch of prestige, that “cinema” can thrive on TV. READ FULL STORY

Steven Soderbergh on the State of Cinema: Yeah, he's really retiring from Hollywood -- VIDEO

It’s totally fair to call Steven Soderbergh’s keynote address on the State of Cinema at the San Francisco International Film Festival a rant. After all, he did. The filmmaker, who came of age during the halcyon Down and Dirty Pictures days of 1990’s nascent indie movement, has expressed his increasing frustration about being boxed-in by the studio’s increasing reliance on blockbuster tentpoles. “I’ve been in meetings where I can feel it slipping away, where I can feel that the ideas I’m tossing out, they’re too scary or too weird,” he told the festival audience. “I can tell: It’s not going to happen, I’m not going to be able to convince them to do this the way I think it should be done. I want to jump up on the table and scream, ‘Do you know how lucky we are to be doing this? Do you understand that the only way to repay that karmic debt is to make something good, is to make something ambitious, something beautiful, something memorable?’ But I didn’t do that. I just sat there, and I smiled.”

Soderbergh’s vowed to retire from directing, and is actively seeking other outlets for his creativity. But his speech yesterday was a passionate clarion call for the industry and the art form he senses is slipping away. Here are 10 important takeaways, followed by video of his speech. READ FULL STORY

Steven Soderbergh working on 12-hour adaptation of 'The Sot-Weed Factor'

Let’s just say Steven Soderbergh’s idea of retirement doesn’t include a lot of shuffleboard. The Oscar winning director, who has said that the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra (airing May 26 on HBO) will be his last conventional feature film for the time being, tells EW that he is now at work developing a 12-hour miniseries based on John Barth’s 1960 novel The Sot-Weed Factor.

“I’ve had this on my shelf for a while,” says Soderbergh. “I was going to do it as a movie, but I couldn’t figure it out. So now I’ve had it adapted as 12 one-hour episodes.” Set in the late 1600s, the satirical story follows an English poet who moves to Maryland to take over his father’s tobacco farm. A 1960 New York Times review of the book called it “a bare-knuckled satire of humanity at large” that is “so monstrously long that reading it seemed nearly as laborious as writing it.” In other words, this isn’t exactly The Da Vinci CodeREAD FULL STORY

Matt Damon on (maybe) returning to 'Bourne' and playing Liberace's lover in 'Behind the Candelabra'


When HBO airs Behind the Candelabra on May 26, the world will get to see Matt Damon play Liberace’s drug-addled, surgically enhanced lover — a role about as far from Jason Bourne as it gets.

But Damon, who sat down with costar Michael Douglas to talk with EW for this week’s cover story, says he isn’t ruling out a return to his blockbuster spy franchise despite the fact that he handed the reins over to Jeremy Renner in last year’s The Bourne Legacy. That movie rebooted the series by introducing the idea of a world with multiple Bourne-style secret agents — which means the original Jason Bourne could still be out there somewhere.

Tony Gilroy, who wrote the first one and the second one, came up with an idea: I think they look at it as kind of the reverse of X-Men,” says Damon, who opted not to sign on for a fourth film because he and director Paul Greengrass “couldn’t figure out” a script. “Whereas with X-Men, you get a giant bunch of superheroes and then do the Wolverine spinoff, I think Tony pitched it as, ‘OK, we started with the Wolverine spinoff. Now let’s try to make the X-Men. So I’ll create all these other programs, and you can have your evergreen that way. There’ll be other agents.'”

So does this mean Damon and Renner might share the screen in a Bourne movie someday? READ FULL STORY

Box office update: Soderbergh's 'Side Effects' is no match for 'Identity Thief'

Identity Thief persevered in spite of winter storm Nemo, with an $11.2 million Friday opening. The R-rated Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy vehicle from director Seth Gordon opened wide in 3,141 theaters, and may be on track for a $35 million weekend. Bateman and Gordon scored big with Horrible Bosses, which had a $9.9 million Friday opening in July and went on to gross $117.5 million domestically. This is McCarthy’s first starring role, and could bode well for The Heat, which was pushed back to a June release. McCarthy also recently started a production company with her husband Ben Falcone and already has three projects in the works.

Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects fared less well, opening Friday in 2,605 theaters at $2.8 million–almost exactly on track with Soderbergh’s Haywire, which opened in late January 2012 with a $2.9 million Friday and a $8.4 million weekend. Channing Tatum’s last three movies, 21 Jump Street (March), The Vow (February), and Magic Mike (June), all had Friday grosses exceeding $10 million. Rooney Mara’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opened decently the weekend before Christmas in 2011, but fizzled after that.

The area affected by Nemo represents about 12% of the country’s box office. AMC alone closed 43 theaters in the northeast corridor including in Boston, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. New York theaters will attempt to open Saturday night, but Boston theaters are planning to remain closed through Sunday.


Steven Soderbergh: Why he SHOULD retire. And then come back

Over the last few weeks, I can’t tell you how many people have asked me if Steven Soderbergh is really retiring, and the short answer I generally give them is, “Of course not.” Not that I’m questioning Soderbergh’s sincerity. He has said for several years that he plans to stop making feature films once he turns 50, and now that the big birthday has arrived (it was Jan. 14), he has clung, quite directly, to that public plan, discussing his new psycho-pharmacological Hitchcockian thriller, Side Effects, as if it’s the last movie of his that you’ll see in theaters. (Behind the Candelabra, his juicy-sounding late-career Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, was turned down by all the major studios, who were scared of the subject matter — are they nuts? — which is why it will be seen this spring on HBO.) I believe Soderbergh when, in his recent wide-ranging interview with New York magazine, he talks about what he plans to do now: continue to “direct,” but in more offbeat mediums (and maybe on television), and to pursue his love of painting. One of the painters he idolizes is Lucien Freud — in the same way, perhaps, that he reveres and even deifies Richard Lester as a movie director. Soderbergh has always been a creature of role models, a guy who emulates from the outside more than he obsesses from the inside, and that may be one of the reasons that he’s such a chameleon as a filmmaker. He has many subjects that stoke his momentary passion (corporate chicanery, Che Guevara, male strippers, antidepressants), but none, perhaps, that rouse him to the point of consuming him. He dives in, then moves on. I like that about him, but a part of me hopes that it’s one of the things his retirement changes. READ FULL STORY

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