SODERBERGH ON SODERBERGH^ Steven Soderbergh examines his own work and comments on all of his films. Steven in his own words…
SCHIZOPOLIS (1997) ^ A big bang that continues to reverberate for me, personally. Maybe not for other people. It’s intent was to loosen me up, and sometimes you need to know what is too far to know what is far enough. I was willing to go too far, but there’s no questioned that it has informed every movie I’ve made since, and is essentially my second first film.
OUT OF SIGHT (1998) ^ I was really happy with that. It’s arguably the easiest movie to sit through that I’ve made. If I had to leave a movie on the coffee table for someone to watch while I was out of the room, I probably would pick “Out of Sight.” I think it’s sort of a combination of studio, star movie with a distinctive tone is one that I was really happy with. I think it turned out pretty well.
THE LIMEY (1999) ^ In many ways, one of the hardest movies to make, for me, from a creative standpoint. The shoot was not easy, because it was a very short schedule and more than any other film obviously, it was played around with in the editing room, and there was an enormous amount of trial and error. But it was a great opportunity to explore some narrative ideas that had occurred to me during Out of Sight that I never got to implement. Working with Terrence was just a dream.
ERIN BROCKOVICH (2000) ^ I’m really proud of that film. I was interested in it for a couple of reasons, the main one being her character. I liked its combination of entertainment and social consciousness. It’s a “Rocky” movie, and that’s fine as long as you make a good “Rocky” movie. I think the first “Rocky” is a really good movie. I tried to keep that in mind. It’s a genre film, and my job was to keep out of her way. So in many respects it was really challenging, because I had to restrain myself, and not step between her and the audience, which is often my inclination.
TRAFFIC (2000) ^ For me Traffic was the culmination of the films that came before it. Everything I’ve learned on the films I’ve made went into Traffic on every level. It called upon everything we all had, every day. So getting through to the end of it was really satisfying. Maybe because it was my tenth film, maybe because of the scale of it, it is inarguably the most ambitious film that I’ve attempted, but it really felt like the culmination of everything I’ve done so far. I had never attempted a movie on that scale before that was that overtly political. I mean, Erin’s political, but in a slightly different way. You know which side you’re on when you’re watching Erin Brockovich. It’s a pretty clear-cut case of these people being betrayed by a corporation. There’s not a lot of ambiguity in the central issue. You cannot have mixed feelings about people being poisoned. Traffic is not like that. Traffic is a movie with several different points of view. Depending on who you are and what your experiences are you can come out of the movie with a very different idea of what you just saw than the guy behind you. I’ve already had that experience in talking to people who’ve seen the film. It’s been hilarious to hear the different takes on the same movie.
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Posted on February 15, 2001 in Interviews by Chris Gore
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