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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:50 pm 
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Like duh who didn't see it coming but Soderbergh just won the Best Director Emmy for Candelabra (and the Editing Emmy as Mary Ann Bernard)


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:52 pm 
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If he had won for Yes: 9012Live back in the day, he'd be very close to an EGOT.


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:05 pm 
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..and Behind the Candelabra has just made Emmys history, tying Eleanor and Franklin with 11 wins making it the most awarded made for TV movie ever


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:12 pm 
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The Narrator Returns wrote:
If he had won for Yes: 9012Live back in the day, he'd be very close to an EGOT.

Since he's already mentioned his theatrical aspirations, I'd be very surprised if he doesn't direct a high-profile B'way show in the next few years and wins a Tony.


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:53 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:59 am
Been going through a Soderbergh phase, and also recently re-watched:

Full Frontal (2002): Great film, and even better the second time around. I've never understood the strong dislike & in many cases sheer vitriol against this movie. IMHO the film within a film within a film element(s) worked very well, and I thought the ending (which apparently a lot of viewers felt negated everything that had come beforehand) was excellent & quite unexpected. I saw this as being a commentary/criticism on the artificiality of Hollywood; i.e., even a supposedly "happy" ending where two people coincidentally meet & form a connection didn't actually happen, but was in actuality part of another film. Interesting, and not something I would have expected. And, as always, C. Keener was one of the best parts of the movie :wink:

Solaris (2002): Another underrated film, with a good story & effects. George Clooney's performance was amazing, and the sci-fi/horror?! element really worked well also. Creepy & poignant at the same time. Essentially, the film was about the extreme loss one feels when a loved one passes, and how difficult it can be to let go. Well done.


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:08 pm 
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Behind The Candelabra was really great, kind of like a melding between Mommie Dearest (tell-tale biography), Magic Mike (the compulsion to perform and be adored) and Boogie Nights (the eras with their title card years, charting the tragic end to an troublingly non-clear cut and arguably permissive, perhaps more innocent era)! Lots of funny lines and moments throughout (the Ludwig II one was the best!) and the elderly mother with her non-paying out slot machines has to be a metaphor for some sort of compulsive act! Rob Lowe has to be a shoe-in for any young David Bowie biopic with his look here! I also really liked Scott Bakula's pimp-like character, presumably used to trawling the clubs to pick up young fellows to order who meet Liberace's exacting requirements! And I thought it was brilliant that the 'shock' revelation of Lee without his hairpiece is almost immediately overwhelmed by the just as jaw-dropping reverse-angle of Scott in his bejewelled cod piece! But there was a core of serious darkness too.

I thought the film beautifully captured that sense of the inevitable collapse of a relationship as the other party is almost willing it to end without the wronged party being able to do anything about it except vainly protest. I particularly liked the way that Scott's drug use was portrayed as kind of an excuse to end the relationship (at least until the final scenes) rather than played-up as the catalyst for the relationship's collapse. Instead the hypocrisies of Lee are critiqued more severely, with Lee not taking any responsibilities for his behaviour or interest in his partners for anything more than what they can do for him, seen as early in the film as the scene where Scott is describing his troubled upbringing in response to Lee's small-talk question, making Lee visibly uncomfortable obviously wishing he'd never asked!

(I kind of see Liberace here as slightly similar to the main character in that Michael film, creating a private space in which he can install lovers to use and then discard according to his whims, and kind of offended at the moments where his toy refuses to play, or swears or acts uncouth as if it is revealing their individuality too much)

It all adds that feeling of tension throughout the film as there is always the sense of walking on eggshells around Lee, wondering when he will explode or twist a comment through his paranoia, or alterior motives. While Scott admirably tries to speak truth to power at many points, taking his role as a partner in a relationship seriously, despite believably caving in to Lee regularly. While I've never been in a situation remotely close to the one in the film, I could find myself often relating to Scott as I am pretty much a pushover in interactions with people in all walks of life (though I would like to believe that if I were in that kind of situation I would have at least drawn the line at submitting to the horrific plastic surgery)! The beautifully observed and very chilling turning point moment of epiphany that Scott has when he realises that all the people around Lee have almost as one begun to ignore him, confident that Scott's days are numbered, is a moment I found hit particularly hard.

I do have some very slight issues with the film though which mostly relates to the ending. I know it is a true story but the handling of the shift into the inevitable AIDS drama territory is slightly jarring here, especially the unnecessary grey colour grading given to a dying character's face for their final monologue.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Though the combination of Lee saying "don't tell anyone how I looked" combined with the remorseless close up of his grey, gaunt face without his hairpiece while Scott says he won't tell is kind of getting into brutal revenge memoir territory. Sort of Scott, after being the most put-upon character throughout the film, getting the final boot into Liberace on his death bed. Which jars a little against the way Scott is being portrayed elsewhere, though it does complicate the portrayal of Scott in a more interesting way than the more clichéd drug use does.

Though I do like the seeming allusions to modern-day managers after working their prize pig to death trying to unsuccessfully cover up their client's various indiscretions, particularly post-death, followed by gushing eulogies! And the Bob Fosse style final fantasy number!


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:50 pm 
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New Interview including why he left filmmaking


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:44 am 
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Great read. His world view is pretty fascinating.


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 Post subject: Steven Spielberg
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:56 pm 
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Soderbergh has stripped the sound and color from Raiders I wonder how many Spielberg pictures would benefit from a similar treatment. I've often thought that Spielberg's images and Williams' music are so strong on their own that when combined they become overpowering or maudlin


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Spielberg
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:37 pm 
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Soderbergh writes: "See if you can reproduce the thought process that resulted in these choices by asking yourself: why was each shot—whether short or long—held for that exact length of time and placed in that order?"
It's a lot simpler to figure that out with the original sound, because many of those decisions were made on the basis of the writing, and when you ditch the dialogue it often won't make sense the way it would need to if it were a silent film.
I don't see what changing color to black and white has to do with helping to understand the way shots are set up and edited.
His own films wouldn't even necessarily "work" at all with the sound off because the dialogue unsurprisingly is crucial to understanding what's going on in many of his scenes. Is he joking with this stuff? I don't really want to get into it, but his Heaven's Gate edit was terrible and made no sense. If anything, I thought it simply showed that he thought the film had a much longer runtime than he would have liked.


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Spielberg
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:44 pm 
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Still making my way through it, but Jesus, what's with the crappy electronica?


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Spielberg
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:58 pm 
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Isn't it to dissuade you from even attempting to listen to (much less pay attention to) the soundtrack?


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Spielberg
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:18 pm 
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Silence would've been a thousand times more effective and less irritating.


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Spielberg
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:41 pm 
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I'm not really sure we need to strip the sound from Raiders to realize how effective Spielberg's staging and editing can be. I've taught the film, and certainly turning the sound off can be useful in order to lecture over the clip and point out things, and perhaps too in order to temporarily curtail involvement in the narrative. but actually watching the whole film that way—which I sort of doubt Soderbergh even did himself—is strictly diminishing returns. it reminds me of a blogger who insisted that Jacques Tati made essentially "silent" films, which ignores the remarkable inventiveness and plasticity of his soundtracks, not to mention how much they shape our experience of his films.

Soderbergh is very smart—whip-smart, I'd say—but can also be flaky, especially when sharing his enthusiasms. it's nice to see anyone drawing attention to staging, something that's often neglected in film criticism (and films); but surely there are less ham-fisted ways to have done it.


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Spielberg
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:54 pm 
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jonah.77 wrote:
I'm not really sure we need to strip the sound from Raiders to realize how effective Spielberg's staging and editing can be. I've taught the film, and certainly turning the sound off can be useful in order to lecture over the clip and point out things, and perhaps too in order to temporarily curtail involvement in the narrative. but actually watching the whole film that way—which I sort of doubt Soderbergh even did himself—is strictly diminishing returns. it reminds me of a blogger who insisted that Jacques Tati made essentially "silent" films, which ignores the remarkable inventiveness and plasticity of his soundtracks, not to mention how much they shape our experience of his films.

Soderbergh is very smart—whip-smart, I'd say—but can also be flaky, especially when sharing his enthusiasms. it's nice to see anyone drawing attention to staging, something that's often neglected in film criticism (and films); but surely there are less ham-fisted ways to have done it.


Perhaps he did the whole film to allow people to skip around to the scenes or sequences they're most interested in. With a film like Raiders, just about any sequence is worthy of such dissection, and that's essentially what he's provided. The difference between it becoming an interesting experiment and a time-sucking, obsession-inducing project, you know?


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Spielberg
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:39 am 
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jonah.77 wrote:
I've taught the film, and certainly turning the sound off can be useful in order to lecture over the clip and point out things, and perhaps too in order to temporarily curtail involvement in the narrative. but actually watching the whole film that way—which I sort of doubt Soderbergh even did himself—is strictly diminishing returns.
I don't know, I think this way of looking at films is pretty common for filmmakers and film lovers in the video age. I do it all the time. And I know Scorsese has a habit of putting things up on adjacent monitors in his editing room, often whatever happens to be playing on TCM. While it's true that I don't usually sit down and watch an entire film with the sound off the whole way through, I've done it before and I'll surely do it again.

Then there's Godard, who with his practice of releasing the complete soundtracks to some of his films that weren't always readily available on video themselves -- like Nouvelle Vague and Histoires du Cinema in the 1990s -- invited us to listen to films in the absence of their images.


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Spielberg
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:12 am 
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warren oates wrote:
I don't know, I think this way of looking at films is pretty common for filmmakers and film lovers in the video age. I do it all the time. And I know Scorsese has a habit of putting things up on adjacent monitors in his editing room, often whatever happens to be playing on TCM.
I remember Scorsese mentioning in one of his many Charlie Rose appearances that he occasionally watches Kubrick's films without sound in order to focus on the rhythm of his images, though who knows if he really meant he watched the films from beginning to end or if he simply studied certain scenes. I remember him specifically mentioning he was quite fond the bathroom scene with Grady in The Shining.


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Spielberg
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:56 am 
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I've often hosted Halloween parties with horror movies playing on mute with the English subtitles turned on (so as not to interfere with music being played in an adjoining room). Everyone in the living room usually ends up mesmerized by the sheer power of the images in The Shining, even without sound. It's surprising when one considers how masterful that film's use of sound and music is. Point of story: many good films can work either way. Adding or removing the soundtrack merely creates a slightly different experience.

I have also occasionally de-colorized films. (I seem to recall Ebert confessing that he did this, and that he felt Fargo looked especially good in black and white). Funnily, the first time I saw Dressed to Kill and Blow Out I unintentionally watched them in black and white, having forgotten to turn the color on my TV back up after turning it down for something else. I thought that de Palma had gone the extra mile in paying homage to Hitchcock and had filmed them that way on purpose! If I recall correctly they looked good in b&w, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Spielberg
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:54 am 
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Soderbergh's been watching Raiders in B&W since at least december 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:10 pm
The Raiders in black & white is pretty interesting to see, but the electronic score is such a distraction. As an experiment and an effort to show staging, it reminded me of the "every frame a painting" series where Tony Zhou dissects the Spielberg "Oner"
http://youtu.be/8q4X2vDRfRk


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:49 pm 
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Soderbergh has re-edited 2001: A Space Odyssey


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:09 pm 
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Apparently he just re-edited Blow-Up, too


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:26 pm 
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Wait, what? Why is he doing this? What point is he trying to get across? Why do either of these films need to be reedited (as opposed to fans wanting to reedit The Phantom Menace or the entire Prequel Trilogy)?

I see the Blow-Up cut is up, but not the 2001. How do I see these?


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:36 pm 

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I only looked at the beginning and end of his Blowup re-edit. While I wouldn't be up in arms if the opening mime sequence were cut, I think the final mime-tennis scene is brilliant and extremely pivotal to the film as a whole. If it actually ended where Soderbergh somewhat awkwardly left it, just with Hemmings walking away wearily, the film would not be the masterpiece it is today.


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:05 pm 
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Soderbergh is psychologically incapable of not making movies. This is a natural consequence of his "retirement." And also, perhaps, something he's been doing as a kind of personal research experiment—I wouldn't be surprised if he's just doing these edits for his own edification and releasing them to the public because, he figures, why not?


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