Steven Soderbergh’s Schizopolis opens with a scene of an empty movie theater and Soderbergh directly speaking to the audience about the film. Memorably, he says to the viewers, “In the event that you find certain sequences or ideas confusing, please bear in mind that this is your fault, not ours.” After that opening you can almost anticipate just how odd the movie will be, but even those expectations of strangeness would be shattered with how the film unfolds. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘steven soderbergh’
A lot of the excitement that was built up before getting to watch Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape was only amplified when I got into the theatre to find out that Soderbergh and most of the cast would be watching it along with us. I was especially excited, because I had never seen the film before, and I had had no real idea of what to expect. But I knew that it was going to be great, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The story begins with John Mullany, a young attorney, who doesn’t seem to mind the fact that he and his wife, Ann, have sex only a few times a year. Maybe, it’s because he’s too busy sleeping with Ann’s more liberal sister, Cynthia. Everything seems to be fine for a wile unto John’s old friend Graham moves back into town and sets into motion a string of lies that tests the relationships of each of the characters. At first, Ann thinks Graham is creepy with his videotapes that he makes of girls talking about personal sex experiences, but once she begins to suspect her husband of cheating, she finds that graham is the only person she can talk to.
Sex, Lies, and videotape was written and directed by Steven Soderbergh in 1989. The film was all shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he made the film with a low budget of 1 million dollars. Soderbergh screened this film at Sundance thinking that there would be very few people that would be able to relate to the film, yet it became a huge hit winning him the Palme d’Or at the age of 26.
The story of a cheating lawyer John, played by Peter Gallagher. A prude and puzzled housewife Ann, played by Andie MacDowell. A sinful sister Cynthia, played by Laura San Giacomo. And James Spader plays Graham a man that uses a video camera in a most unconventional way. Soderbergh created the perfect rectangle of drama between the four characters to entertain an audiences around the nation. The dynamic of the characters was what really helped make the movie such a success. All of the characters are unique and very different from one another. (more…)
… or at least that you ought to try and see when you have some free time and the inclination to stretch your cinematic imagination. On the eve of a new year of discovery and hype, it’s as good a time as any to see for yourself why indie filmmakers and distributors still pin their hopes on the January festival that got its improbable start in the snowy mountains above Salt Lake City, Utah. Between Netflix and Blockbuster and your local library, you should be able to find most of these.
Sundance really hit its stride in 1985. Before that it was called the Utah/US Film Festival and hadn’t yet been sponsored by Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. In 1985 it got a new name and gave the world an introduction to two of the most prolific and exciting filmmaking teams. Jim Jarmusch brought his second feature (following the largely unheralded debut film Permanent Vacation), and introduced the world to his own peculiar take on America in Stranger than Paradise. The Coen brothers (Joel and Ethan) stunned audiences with their visceral take on pulp film noir in Blood Simple. Their ability to create intensity through memorable images - a shovel dragging on the pavement, shafts of light that stab through the darkness as bullets penetrate the walls that shelter a terrified Frances McDormand - signaled the emergence of a powerful new team of storytellers. (more…)
Schizopolis, Steven Soderbergh’s unrated and hilarious film begins with an introduction to the film by Soderbergh. In this, he states his belief that every man, woman, and child should see this film, not during some matinee half-price sort of deal, but at full ticket price. He continues by saying that if any audience member doesn’t understand the film, it is their own fault and no fault of his, and they should see it again and again until they understand it fully. He follows this up by saying no expense was taken to create the film, and as such the introduction was not profit-oriented.
Funny, right? The film is a commentary about modern-day society, communication, and all of our schizophrenic tendencies. The 1996 film features Steven Soderbergh (writer and director of the film) as the lead characters Fletcher Munson as well as Dr. Jeffrey Korchek. The film contains such characters as nameless numberhead man, attractive woman #2, Elmo Oxygen, a psychotic exterminator that seduces lonely housewives and leaves pictures of his genitals on their cameras, and T. Azimuth Schwitters, the founder and spokesperson of the self-help company that Fletcher works for: Eventualism.
Steven Soderbergh is an independent film icon for his making of sex, lies, and videotape which aired with great acclaim at Sundance and Cannes, also landing him an Oscar nomination for best screenplay in 1989. But like all other filmmakers struggling to make it in the new Hollywood tidal wave, Soderbergh’s persistence and vision granted him the entry to what would become an extremely successful career, both in the mainstream and off beat markets.
Steven Soderbergh was born in Atlanta Georgia, January 14th, 1963. During his early childhood his family moved to Louisiana where Steven’s father was the dean of education at a local university. Steven began making short films at the age of 15 when he enrolled in a high school class on animation. His first break into professional film work came when the rock group Yes asked him to film a full length of their concert footage which he called Yes: 2012 live. He won a Grammy Nomination for his work, which propelled him to film Winston in 1987, as short subject film that was expanded to make his legendary sex, lies and videotape two years later. (more…)