XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => The Director's Chair => Topic started by: Recce on February 05, 2003, 11:36:14 PM

Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Recce on February 05, 2003, 11:36:14 PM
What's going on with Steven Soderbergh? He used to be a great filmmaker, what with "Out of Sight" and "The Limey". But now, his films seems to be overdone. It's like he's just trying to be artsy for the sake of being artsy. Take "Traffic" for example: Was it really necessary to add blue and yellow tints to everything? There seems to be no call for the kind of styles he's been using lately. I'm all for jump cuts and disorienting cinematography, etc., but only when its needed. Its like he's throwing it into an otherwise regular movie in order to make the general masses feel cool. "Look at me, I'm watching an experimental film".

It seems to me Soderbergh is having some kind of mid-life crisis in which he has no more passion left in him. I mean, what the hell was with "Solaris"? What, did he forget how to focus?
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Cecil on February 05, 2003, 11:41:28 PM
yeah he just seems to be "having fun" doesnt he?

i take your "out of focus" comment personally though. i do that in my films as well. blur the image and whatever else to piss everyone off. thats my motto.
Title: Re: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Duck Sauce on February 06, 2003, 12:22:55 AM
Quote from: Recce
I'm all for jump cuts and disorienting cinematography, etc., but only when its needed.


When are they needed?

I think hes doing alright, I havent seen Full Frontal yet, but I think everything he has done recently has been pretty good.
Title: Full Frontal
Post by: Recce on February 06, 2003, 12:34:48 AM
Yeah, his films are alright, but Full Frontal is a perfect example of what I'm saying about his overly artsy style. I think he shot half that movie in 35mm and the other half in video. Why? "Oh, its to symbolise the gritty reality of life, man. You see, in the film world, everything is clean and clear cut, but in real life, its dirty and messy." No, I think he just wanted to do something along the lines of Traffic, where he has to find an obvious way to seperate parts of the movie. He could at least find something a bit more original. It's like he's just doing all this and sitting back and laughing at us all while we try to make sense of it. "Oh, it's so deep." That's bull.
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Ghostboy on February 06, 2003, 12:37:18 AM
I wasn't a fan of Full Frontal, but I've really liked everything he's been doing lately. Especially 'Solaris,' which I think is his best movie since 'The Limey.' And I think he's the only one who could have made 'Ocean's 11' enjoyable enough to make me look forward to a sequel.

As for the jump cuts, out of focus shots, tinting, etc...I don't like it when it doesn't have a purpose, but Soderbergh seems to be pretty consistent in using it to good effect.
Title: Re: Full Frontal
Post by: Duck Sauce on February 06, 2003, 12:54:29 AM
Quote from: Recce
I think he shot half that movie in 35mm and the other half in video.


Did he? http://us.imdb.com/Technical?0290212

Quote from: Recce

Why? "Oh, its to symbolise the gritty reality of life, man. You see, in the film world, everything is clean and clear cut, but in real life, its dirty and messy." No, I think he just wanted to do something along the lines of Traffic, where he has to find an obvious way to seperate parts of the movie. He could at least find something a bit more original. It's like he's just doing all this and sitting back and laughing at us all while we try to make sense of it. "Oh, it's so deep." That's bull.


Are those direct quotes?  :wink:
Title: Re: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: ębrad on February 06, 2003, 07:38:11 AM
Quote from: Recce
What's going on with Steven Soderbergh? He used to be a great filmmaker, what with "Out of Sight" and "The Limey". But now, his films seems to be overdone. It's like he's just trying to be artsy for the sake of being artsy. Take "Traffic" for example: Was it really necessary to add blue and yellow tints to everything? There seems to be no call for the kind of styles he's been using lately. I'm all for jump cuts and disorienting cinematography, etc., but only when its needed. Its like he's throwing it into an otherwise regular movie in order to make the general masses feel cool. "Look at me, I'm watching an experimental film".

It seems to me Soderbergh is having some kind of mid-life crisis in which he has no more passion left in him. I mean, what the hell was with "Solaris"? What, did he forget how to focus?


Grrrrrr........ okay, deep breath.

Dude, Traffic was visually stunning. I know I say this again and again but it makes me so fucking mad when people knock filmmakers who are visually innovative and want to try different things- especially someone who works very much in the mainstream like Soderbergh. I wish there were more mainstream filmmakers who took chances and tried new shit. Aren't you tired of the same old shit..... ah fuck it. I'm tired of my own complaints. Long story short- go fuck yourself.
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Ghostboy on February 06, 2003, 09:53:45 AM
IMDB is wrong (again). The majority of the movie was shot on an XL-1s, but the scenes from the movie within the movie are all 35mm.
Title: Re: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 06, 2003, 10:47:27 AM
Quote from: Recce
Take "Traffic" for example: Was it really necessary to add blue and yellow tints to everything?


Yes. Why do people always equate artisticness with pretension? Jeez...

Quote
There seems to be no call for the kind of styles he's been using lately.


It sounds like you're offended by him. Why not just let him do what he wants? Maybe he's just having fun.

Quote from: Recce
Yeah, his films are alright, but Full Frontal is a perfect example of what I'm saying about his overly artsy style. I think he shot half that movie in 35mm and the other half in video. Why?


I think there were very few movies last year better than Full Frontal. I love that movie. Yeah, most of the movie is shot in digital and then he purposefully cut down the quality from there. I think the whole thing makes sense... and you have to admit the ending was great.

Quote from: Recce
It's like he's just doing all this and sitting back and laughing at us all while we try to make sense of it. "Oh, it's so deep." That's bull.


A lot of great artists have done that... John Lennon did that with his walrus song...

Are you sick of metaphors already?
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Gold Trumpet on February 06, 2003, 11:20:56 AM
I think Traffic is a modern classic, the absolute best Soderbergh has put out. I liked Solaris but with what he did with the film and what the film already was, it shouldn't have been made. One thing is starting to bug me on Soderbergh though and that is a reliance on previous material with no original work. He's starting to remake or do true stories so much that I am wondering how much of it he is really putting in as himself because a movie like Solaris, has very little identity of its own compared to the themes of the original. I still have yet to see Full Frontal but am anxious to see it when it comes out on video next week.

~rougerum
Title: Still not buying it
Post by: Recce on February 06, 2003, 11:23:43 AM
Quote
It sounds like you're offended by him.


I'm not offended by him. I'm just not buying into his more recent films. At least other directors seem to have a purpose and if they use an artsy shot or transition or effect or lighting, there usually seems to be a point. But when Soderbergh uses them, I don't know why, but it feels like he threw it in to fill some dead space. It's hard to explain, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way (although I doubt if I'll find those people on a Steven Soderbergh forum).

Take George Clooney's "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind". I was interested by the trailer, but I was terrified that he would basically copy Soderbergh's style and we'd find ourselves with another 'empty' film. I was pleasantly surprised however. Although he does use styles that could be characterized as 'soderberghish', Clooney has developped a film where it's called for. For example, the use of TV backdrop sets and the overexposed 'real-life' interviews. See, I buy that.

I forget where I heard this, but I think it was on one of his DVD's, Soderbergh stated in an interview that it's too bad that when you begin to get bigger(in popularity, I guess) it becomes all about the money and there's not much fun left in it. I don't think Soderbergh is having fun anymore, and that's why his styles have gotten so transparent.

Don't get me wrong, I believe he is a great filmmaker, "Out of Sight" is one of my all-time favorite movies, but he's just starting to bug me now. He seems to take himself too seriously. Maybe that's what has changed, I don't know. But that won't stop me from seeing his films (even if they tend to disappoint me)
Title: Re: Still not buying it
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 06, 2003, 02:00:03 PM
Quote from: Recce
At least other directors seem to have a purpose and if they use an artsy shot or transition or effect or lighting, there usually seems to be a point.


Of course there's a point to Soderbergh's choices, you pointed one out yourself (but you don't like it.. maybe it tries to be too profound, and that's your opinion). Give me an example of a different director whose artistic choices have more of a "point" and I bet I could make the same complaint you made about Soderbergh.

Quote
Clooney has developped a film where it's called for. For example, the use of TV backdrop sets and the overexposed 'real-life' interviews. See, I buy that.


I don't see how that's elevated from the Soderbergh stuff you mentioned, and although I liked that movie, I thought it was completely unemotional. Fun, but not fascinating and ambiguous in the way I thought Full Frontal was.

Quote
"Out of Sight" is one of my all-time favorite movies


I think Out of Sight is one of his worst movies (although still very good). I think Soderbergh has grown out of the straightforwardness that you like, and I think his new ambiguity and style of "art for the sake of art" is more along the lines of Kubrick, where Clooney is more along the lines of Guy Ritchie.
Title: Re: Still not buying it
Post by: RegularKarate on February 06, 2003, 02:16:23 PM
Quote from: Recce

Take George Clooney's "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind". I was interested by the trailer, but I was terrified that he would basically copy Soderbergh's style and we'd find ourselves with another 'empty' film. I was pleasantly surprised however. Although he does use styles that could be characterized as 'soderberghish', Clooney has developped a film where it's called for. For example, the use of TV backdrop sets and the overexposed 'real-life' interviews. See, I buy that.


See this is why I think you don't really get it.  Confessions was overstylized and mostly done without motivation or proper mood.  It was done just to look like a stylized film. Soderbergh gives his films feeling with his style.  He doesn't just drape it on like other filmmakers (like Guy Ritchie).
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Recce on February 06, 2003, 05:40:00 PM
Quote
See this is why I think you don't really get it. Confessions was overstylized and mostly done without motivation or proper
                             mood. It was done just to look like a stylized film. Soderbergh gives his films feeling with his style. He doesn't just drape
                             it on like other filmmakers (like Guy Ritchie).


But he does drape it on. If you look at 'Confessions', I don't think the effects Clooney used were terribly out of place. The TV set backdrops, not only had it never been done(as far as I know, recently anyways) but they kinda related to the story. You know, TV producer, TV sets. The over-exposed interviews were a bit much, I found, but still alright. It wasn't outrageously out of place. Plus, he broke every rule in the book with some of his framing, but it looked amazing. And, I'm starting to forget where it was used in the film, but I think it was when he was thinking and planning. Its like he was giving look space to his thoughts. I'm probly pushing it, but I didn't get a sense of emptiness with confessions, though the overall story was a bit thin. But I do from Soderbergh's stuff. Like in Solaris. For what possible reason would he keep a shot out of focus for like 5 minutes (exageratting) other then to piss of the audience (in the bad way) as Cecil B. Demented stated in an earlier post.
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: RegularKarate on February 06, 2003, 05:51:27 PM
I don't remember any five minute out of focus shots.
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Cecil on February 06, 2003, 07:19:08 PM
Quote from: Recce
For what possible reason would he keep a shot out of focus for like 5 minutes (exageratting) other then to piss of the audience (in the bad way) as Cecil B. Demented stated in an earlier post.


whats pissing off the audience in a bad way and whats pissing off the audience in a good way?
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Recce on February 06, 2003, 07:34:57 PM
well, you can piss off the audience in the hopes of getting them more caught up in the story or get them pissed off becasue of what you're trying to say, but if it jsut pissed people and they start thinking about how annoying it is, that's not cool.
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Cecil on February 06, 2003, 07:47:28 PM
Quote from: Recce
but if it jsut pissed people and they start thinking about how annoying it is, that's not cool.


i disagree. i think its kinda cool when watching a movie to be "annoyed" by disorienting cinematography and such, and i dont think im the only one too.
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Recce on February 06, 2003, 08:47:16 PM
Quote
i disagree. i think its kinda cool when watching a movie to be "annoyed" by disorienting cinematography and such, and i dont think im the only one too.


Well, yeah, in some cases it's ok to be annoyed by the style of a film, but only when the directors point is to draw attention to the style. When he or she wants you to constantly fall out of the story and think about the actual production. But I don't think that's what Soderbergh wants. Consequently, he's jsut pissing people off in the bad way (or at least me).
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: MacGuffin on February 11, 2003, 06:16:15 PM
Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney launched an angry tirade against a journalist at the Berlin Film Festival - after he described the star's latest film Solaris as "boring." The sexy actor was left furious after the Turkish journalist remarked on the Steven Soderbergh film at a news conference on Saturday night. Clooney blasted, "I find you fascinating. You crack me up, man. You just wanted to get up and be a rat, you know that? You just wanted to get up and say something rotten. What a jerk! I mean honestly, you know, what a s**t thing to say! You make a lot of films, do you? You make a lot of films yourself? Yeah, I'd like to see you make a film first before you get to talk about it. What a jerk!" Solaris opened in America to mixed reviews and has performed badly at the box office, however the Ocean's Eleven star remains impressed by the work. When the same journalist asked if he was happy with the film, he replied, "Yes I am. And thanks for the question."
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Cecil on February 11, 2003, 09:04:18 PM
bah, after seeing midnight express, i wouldnt take what the turkish have to say very seriously
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Newtron on February 12, 2003, 01:14:05 AM
Quote from: cecil b. demented
bah, after seeing midnight express, i wouldnt take what the turkish have to say very seriously

Quote from: cecil b. demented
not because im racist (by all means im not)


I don't even care. There's easy ways to make fun of Turkey, and vague references to a film with a gay sex scene isn't one of them.
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: ębrad on February 12, 2003, 03:47:37 AM
Quote from: MacGuffin
Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney launched an angry tirade against a journalist at the Berlin Film Festival - after he described the star's latest film Solaris as "boring." The sexy actor was left furious after the Turkish journalist remarked on the Steven Soderbergh film at a news conference on Saturday night. Clooney blasted, "I find you fascinating. You crack me up, man. You just wanted to get up and be a rat, you know that? You just wanted to get up and say something rotten. What a jerk! I mean honestly, you know, what a s**t thing to say! You make a lot of films, do you? You make a lot of films yourself? Yeah, I'd like to see you make a film first before you get to talk about it. What a jerk!" Solaris opened in America to mixed reviews and has performed badly at the box office, however the Ocean's Eleven star remains impressed by the work. When the same journalist asked if he was happy with the film, he replied, "Yes I am. And thanks for the question."


George should've beat the shit out of him.
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Cecil on February 12, 2003, 10:19:17 AM
Quote from: Newtron

I don't even care. There's easy ways to make fun of Turkey, and vague references to a film with a gay sex scene isn't one of them.


i was talking about the violence.

why did you assume it was the gay sex?
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: MacGuffin on February 14, 2003, 08:51:52 PM
Anybody else having problems with the "Full Frontal" DVD? Usually a DVD has one dual layer change that causes the slight pause, but I swear mine  has done it about 5 times or so. Anybody else encountering this or is it just a defective DVD?
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: Duck Sauce on February 14, 2003, 09:27:23 PM
Quote from: MacGuffin
Anybody else having problems with the "Full Frontal" DVD? Usually a DVD has one dual layer change that causes the slight pause, but I swear mine  has done it about 5 times or so. Anybody else encountering this or is it just a defective DVD?


Maybe its your DVD player then, no probs here
Title: What's up with Soderbergh
Post by: MacGuffin on February 14, 2003, 09:29:35 PM
Quote from: Duck Sauce
Maybe its your DVD player then, no probs here


Player works fine with other DVDs I play. Must be the disc; I'll exchange it. Thanks for the confirmation.