XIXAX Film Forum

Film Discussion => The Small Screen => Topic started by: Mel on May 09, 2014, 04:57:36 AM

Title: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on May 09, 2014, 04:57:36 AM
Synopsis: The setting: downtown New York in 1900, a tumultuous time of massive change and great progress. The series centers around the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff at Knickerbocker Hospital, who are pushing the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics.

Teasers:





Personal comments: Yet another medical TV drama... and I'm open minded here. "The Wire" is a cop show and "Deadwood" is a western right? If someone is about to do something fresh with well established genre, I see how Soderbergh could be such a person. Teasers look promising and Cinemax is just barely entering realm of original programming - there are more likely to gamble and take risks than established channels.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: MacGuffin on May 16, 2014, 08:23:32 PM
Steven Soderbergh's Cinemax Series 'The Knick' (Finally!) Lands a Release Date
Source: IndieWire

Cinemax has finally announced the premiere date for Steven Soderbergh's highly anticipated new series, "The Knick." The Clive Owen period medical drama will debut Friday, August 8th at 10pm.

The 10-episode first season is set in downtown New York City in the year 1900, when medical practices were as experimental as they were healing. Owen stars as a surgeon who pushes the boundaries of his profession for the sake of science. There have been teasers a plenty, but little is known outside of the basic premise. Undoubtedly more will be unveiled in the coming months, marking the best result of knowing the show's release date.

While Soderbergh retired from the silver screen after "Side Effects'" release in early 2013, his HBO film of the same year, "Behind the Candelabra," was a smashing success. Now he's less than three months away from unveiling his next directorial effort. The series was written and created by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, a rather odd choice considering their past highlights are soft, romantic films like "Raising Helen" and "Big Miracle." Still, Soderbergh has always been one of the most experimental commercial filmmakers -- whatever he turns out has to be compelling in one way or another.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: squints on May 16, 2014, 09:59:46 PM
This actually looks really good.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: wilder on June 17, 2014, 01:03:48 PM
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: squints on June 20, 2014, 09:16:55 PM
I've been watching infinitely more television shows than movies lately.

I think it has something to do with what 03 has mentioned in multiple threads. People have been talking about a golden age of tv storytelling for years now but the last few months have been something else. So many good shows. So many great episodes that have felt more like watching a great film than watching a tv show. 

And now this, what the hell is this?! It looks great! Bring it on!
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: MacGuffin on July 27, 2014, 02:15:14 PM
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on July 28, 2014, 04:12:37 AM
Cinemax’s ‘The Knick’ Renewed for Season 2 Ahead of Series Premiere
via Variety (http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/the-knick-renewed-season-2-cinemax-1201260883/)

Cinemax has renewed Steven Soderbergh’s “The Knick” for season 2 ahead of its series premiere on Aug. 8, the network announced Thursday at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour.

The second season will also consist of 10 episodes. Soderbergh confirmed he will direct the entire season, as he did with season 1. Set in downtown New York in 1900, “The Knick” centers on the Knickerbocker Hospital and its groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff, who push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics.

“I’m going to do all 10 — you’re seeing a trend now of … a sense that there’s a positive aspect to having a visual language that’s very specific and very unified throughout the show,” Soderbergh noted. “It’s not only creatively satisfying, but also, practically speaking, better … in terms of economics … we schedule it like a film.”

Rumors of Soderbergh’s retirement were apparently greatly exaggerated, and the director wryly noted, “It’s sort of unfortunate that people have to keep listening to me explain why I went back to work.”

He added, “11 months ago, I did not think I’d be sitting here talking about 10 hours of material that is behind us and 10 hours in front of us, but I had a very similar reaction to the one Clive had when I read the first script … I knew that, as the first person who got to take a look at it, the second person who was going to see it would say yes. My whole life, I’ve moved in any direction that I felt was going to engage me and excite me.”

“The Knick” stars Clive Owen, Andre Holland, Eve Hewson, Juliet Rylance, Jeremy Bobb and Michael Angarano.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on August 02, 2014, 04:35:47 PM
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: wilder on August 03, 2014, 12:41:49 PM
The Director Isn’t Done Yet: An Interview With Steven Soderbergh
By Andrew Romana
via The Daily Beast

One year after retiring from film because he wasn't having fun, Steven Soderbergh is back with the brutal and beautiful Cinemax show The Knick. But what has really changed?

Steven Soderbergh has finally arrived. 

Not, of course, in the show business sense of the word; as a filmmaker, Soderbergh arrived long ago. At the end of 1988, Soderbergh, then 25, was best known—if he was known at all—for directing 9012Live, a full-length Yes concert video. By the end of 1989, his first proper movie, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, had captured the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, propelled Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s Miramax Films into the cultural stratosphere, and ignited an independent film revolution that would define the movie industry for the next decade or so.

But that’s not the kind of arrival we’re referring to. Today, Soderbergh has actually arrived—as in, shown up, physically, at the offices of No. 13, LLC, a production company housed in a handsome Art Deco building on Hollywood Boulevard.

For a moment, Soderbergh’s arrival seemed to be in question. At 9:55 a.m.—five minutes before our interview was scheduled to start—his assistant called my cellphone from New York. “Steven wants me to apologize,” she said. “He’s really sorry, but he’s going to be late.”

I took a sip of water and settled into my seat in the No. 13 courtyard. The L.A. sun was shining, as usual. The sky was an uninterrupted blue. Various species of fashionable flora swayed in the breeze. I guess I’m going to be waiting here awhile, I began to think. But as waiting rooms go…

And that’s when a pristine vintage Volkswagen Beetle, all glinting chrome and pale-green paint, pulled up, and a narrow man—bald, bespectacled, in sneakers and a plain gray T-shirt—killed the engine and emerged from the driver’s-side door.

Soderbergh. I check my watch: 9:58 a.m.

“It took me 20 minutes to go two blocks!” he says, shaking his head. “I’m sorry again.”

I laugh. “It’s nice of you to apologize… for being right on time.”

“Well, I should have been here 10 minutes ago,” he says. “In my book, if you’re on time, you’re late.”

Soderbergh is nothing if not serious about his job—and his job, until recently, was to be Hollywood’s most unpigeonholeable movie director. In the 1990s, Soderbergh followed Sex, Lies with four commercial flops (Kafka, King of the Hill, The Underneath, Gray’s Anatomy) and an experimental creative reset (Schizopolis). Then, in 1998, he returned to the mainstream with Out of Sight, a pitch-perfect Elmore Leonard adaptation starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. He spent the next 15 years following his muse from the arthouse (Full Frontal, Solaris, Bubble, Che) to Hollywood (Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s 11,Contagion, Magic Mike) and back again.

At times, it seemed as if Soderbergh, who often served as his own cinematographer and editor, was being willfully contrary—a cinematic version of the indie rocker who makes sure to release a “difficult” album the second he starts to get too popular. But really, Soderbergh was just doing what he wanted. And that’s what made him such a singular filmmaker.

Until 2013, that is—the year Soderbergh decided to retire from making films altogether. “When you reach the point where you’re saying, ‘If I have to get into a van to do another scout, I’m just going to shoot myself,’” he explained, “it’s time to let somebody who’s still excited about getting in the van get in the van.” His plan, he told The New York Times, was to try painting instead. “I’m interested in exploring another art form while I have the time and ability to do so.”

But that art form didn’t turn out to be painting, even though Soderbergh did go through an Agnes Martin phase. Shortly after bidding farewell to Hollywood with his Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra, Soderbergh read an intriguing television script. It was called The Knick. New York. 1900. The fictional Knickerbocker Hospital. A brilliant, arrogant chief of surgery named Dr. John Thackery, whose addiction to cocaine and opium is matched only by his ambition for medical discovery. His new colleague, Dr. Algernon Edwards, the first black surgeon on The Knick’s all-white staff. Race, class, blood, guts, and science. Soderbergh was hooked.

Which is why we’re here today. In a few weeks, on August 8, The Knick will premiere on Cinemax. Soderbergh directed every episode; Clive Owen stars. It’s the smartest, headiest, and most brutal show of the summer. I have a lot of questions to ask—about Soderbergh’s career, his creative process, his retirement, his issues with Hollywood, and his plans. Soderbergh, for his part, has agreed to spend a couple of hours coughing up answers.

With that, we get started—right on time.

Let’s talk about The Knick. You got the script last…

May.

Why did it come to you? You were supposed to be retired.

Right. I had really cleared the decks. I had nothing in the chamber.

I reread your retirement interviews. You definitely weren’t saying, “Hmm, maybe I’ll do a TV show next.”

All the movie stuff was finished. I had no TV stuff planned. But The Knick was just too good to let go. My manager had a feeling about it. He
said, “I know what the situation is. But you really need to look at this.”

Were you reluctant?

Very.  I really felt I was on a different track. But I knew I would regret not doing it. It would have been really hard to watch somebody else go and do it.

Why?

It’s everything I’m interested in. Literally. It’s got all the food groups.

What are those food groups?

It’s about problem solving, knowledge creation, race, class. I just felt like without ever being strident, it was touching on all the issues we’re still confronting, but in a way that was fresh. And there was an opportunity, I felt, to play with what we traditionally think a period piece should feel like. I read it and felt, “Oh, Thackery is us.” That guy, in that place, at that time feels like we feel now. For him, things are moving that fast. So how do we create that feeling? How do we shake the dust off of the period piece?

What do you mean by “dust?”

There’s a bit of a diorama effect sometimes. We really didn’t want that—in terms of the writing, the performances, the look, the sound. We really wanted The Knickto feel up-to-the-minute, if possible.
The other thing I loved about the script I read was that it had absolutely no nostalgia whatsoever for the period. At no point do you think, “Wow, it must have been so cool to live back then.” [Laughs] It was horrible.

It looks horrible.

Yeah, and I loved that about it—that your overriding emotion was one of “I’m so happy that I don’t live then.” I thought that attitude was really compelling.

You’ve always said that you love to go “narrow and deep.” Television gives you that opportunity in a way that film can’t.

It’s really fun to build a story that plays out over that length of time. The two days that we spent in New York with a giant dry erase board breaking out the year were really fun. And from a viewer standpoint, the long arc is really satisfying.

Why was it fun for you? Did it feel like something you hadn’t been able to do before?

On K Street, which was very much designed as a five-hour piece, we were building it as we went. That was stressful. Here at least we had the ability to build the whole thing in a safe environment. I’m somebody who very much is a process person more than a results person. And the process part of this, of doing a 10-hour piece, was really fun. As scary as it was before we started shooting.

So you were you afraid, too.

I was very, very worried about the schedule. I’ve dealt with some tough schedules, but this was significantly different.

Why?

It was 570 pages in 73 days. That’s five movies. But once we fell into the rhythm, it wasn’t … I was prepared for it to be really awful. To be Che-like. But it wasn’t.

How did the difficult experience of making Che help you make The Knick?

I came out of Che a different filmmaker. What we all learned from that was very applicable here, which is to strip everything down to its essence and be as simple as possible. It would be hard now, I think, to go back to a normal movie schedule. I don’t know what that would be like.

Why?

Three pages a day? What do you do with all that time? [Laughs] It would be really weird to go back. But I don’t have any plans to go back, so…

You once said of your retirement from film, “All I know is that everything depends on whether I succeed in becoming an amateur again.” Did The Knick give you a chance to be an amateur again?

It’s important to be scared. You want to be far enough away from your comfort zone that you’re scared, but no so far that you’re lost. That’s right where we were with The Knick. And that keeps you from being complacent. As I continue to work, and as I learn more, I have to keep looking for ways to be slightly outside of my comfort zone. So that’s what I’ll keep doing.

***

For years everyone has been going on and on about how we’re living through a Golden Age of Television, or even the Golden Age of Television. Do you agree?

I think that what David Chase did with The Sopranos altered the landscape so significantly. He blew everything up in every direction. Not just in terms of the show itself and the content of the show, but he also destroyed all these old ideas about when a season starts, how many episodes is a season. For a creative person to say, basically, “We’ll be ready when we’re ready. Maybe it’ll be six episodes. Maybe it’ll be eight. Maybe it’ll be 10. We’ll see.” Nobody had ever done that before. He laid the track that the rest of us are running on.

Were you watching The Sopranos in real time?

No, I caught up to it right at the end of the first season. I was shooting Erin Brockovich when it premiered, and while I was shooting someone was telling me, “You’ve got to see this. You have to see this.” So I called someone at HBO and got ahold of the first season and just watched them all in two days. That was my first experience of bingewatching. At the time, I didn’t have any understanding of how that might impact me or my career.

You didn’t say to yourself, “I have to make a TV show.”

No, I didn’t. I just thought it was great television and kept it at that. But I think the trickle-down effect has been pretty significant. It’s hard to imagine the great shows that have been on since then without The Sopranos.

Why did television acquire so much momentum in the wake of The Sopranos? There have been great or groundbreaking shows in the past that haven’t spurred such a massive cultural shift.

The Internet.

How so?

The Sopranos happened at a time when the Internet was here, was with us, and I think it enabled a land grab to take place. Television took over a part of the cultural real estate that used to belong to movies and music. Technology accelerated that. The Internet is the ultimate watercooler, and television really rewards that kind of attention. As a form it is well-suited to that kind of connectivity and engagement, week after week.

So let’s talk about the trickle-down effect. As a member of the television audience who also happens to be a filmmaker, which shows—or scenes or performances or whatever—have made you sit up and go, “Holy shit. TV is better than the movies now?”

Like a lot of people, I enjoyed Breaking Bad. Not just because it was a really good show, but also because, almost more than any other show that I’ve seen, it had a such a high percentage of really strong episodes. I felt that Vince Gilligan’s slugging percentage was extraordinarily high, given the demands of a series like that. And the fact that he managed to land the ending so well, and so publicly, is another testament to Vince’s vision.

Breaking Bad also had a stronger visual intelligence or wit than most television shows—unusual camera angles, single-concept episodes—and a fondness for cutting up chronology and playing with the narrative. Was that surprising to you as someone coming from a cinematic background?

I was really impressed with how well-made Breaking Bad was. There were some episodes that were so well directed that I went back to check who directed them. Like, I looked the directors up on the Internet to figure out where they came from and what their backgrounds were.

That brings up an interesting point. Like film actors, film directors—David Fincher with House of Cards, Guillermo del Toro with The
Strain—are crossing over into TV. Some—like Cary Fukunaga withTrue Detective and you with The Knick—are even sticking around to direct an entire season. Is this the next big thing?


I think you’re going to see more director-driven television. What the end result of that is going to be, I don’t know. But whenever I hear an idea now, my first thought is, “Why shouldn’t this be on TV?”

And yet there’s a bit of an irony here, no? The old line is that cinema is a director’s medium and television is a writer’s medium—and that seems in part to be why television has become so good: because it’s a writer’s medium.

But I think what you’re going to see in some cases is creators/showrunners recognizing that having a director in the room when you’re building the show—conceiving the show—is a real plus. If you can organize it that you’ve either got a very small group of directors over the course of a season, or in the case of The Knick or True Detective, one director, there’s a unification of elements that’s really unique. So I think that will become more of the norm—because if you can manage to have a good director as a member of the brain trust, you’re going to have a better show.

Directing does seem like the one area where television hasn’t reached its full potential yet. The acting is great, the writing is great. But then you have a bunch of different directors coming on as hired guns.

Part of that is an economic issue. Television schedules tend to be really tight. The traditional way of thinking about it is, “Well, there isn’t much time to interpret this. We’ve got x amount of pages.”  But to stop thinking that way and to see the show through a directorial lens is, I think, a good thing for the piece.

Why are film people flocking to TV?

Just following the material. I don’t think there’s a lot of deep philosophical debate. There are more possibilities in TV, in terms of storytelling, than there are in the movies. I like the idea that these lines don’t exist anymore between films and television—that people can just follow whatever content they want to follow.

You’ve said this before: “Nobody’s talking about movies the way they’re talking about their favorite TV shows.” How important is that sense of cultural centrality to you—the idea of being where the conversation is?

It depends on what level of disposability you’re comfortable with. [Laughs] I’m aware of the fact that everything I make is disposable. But it’s certainly a nicer feeling when it has more than a day as part of the discussion. I mean, to work on a movie for a long time and get a call from the studio on Friday afternoon going, “Sorry, it’s not working”… it’s annoying.

Movies don’t have time to find audiences anymore. With TV, it’s nice to feel like your part of a conversation that’s going on—as opposed to the movie business, which is only judged by one prism these days: economic.

You once said that “if I were going to run a studio I’d just be gathering the best filmmakers I could find and sort of let them do their thing within certain economic parameters.” Isn’t that basically what the leading cable networks are doing these days?

I know that’s the stated intent of the people I’m working with, which is, “We want this to be the place where talented people want to work.” That’s the way they look at it. I haven’t encountered any television executives who felt that they were the creative people.

Which is different than the movies.

Yeah. Lately. The other day, as I was sitting in my car, I was thinking: the movie business, what can they do? The only growth area right now is in one-hour programming. That’s blowing up. Everything else is shrinking, except for sports. So I wonder if it’s possible for the studios to emulate the subscription model. If you’re Warner Bros., there’s some version of being a subscriber to Warner Bros. Once again Warner Bros. would clearly define itself as “We make a certain kind of movie” or “We make good movies.” Bringing back the idea of the studio as a brand. Would that work? You would subscribe to a studio. Their theaters would be known as “the good theaters.” And studios would be competing to give viewers the best experience.

So what would the content be in that system? Would a movie studio make one-hour installments of some story and then subscribers would go see those “episodes” at the studio’s theaters?

Here’s what I would do. If had a hit show like Breaking Bad, I would have done the end of the show as a two-hour movie that opened the week after the penultimate episode. Absolutely. Maybe we’ll do this on The Knick. Since we air on Fridays, let’s say next year Episode 9 and 10 open for a week in 2,500 theaters on a Friday. You advertise it all year. You’re already advertising anyway. Everybody’s going to know it’s coming. I think that would be really interesting—to see if there’d be any crossover.

The counterargument would be “Why does it have to be in theaters. Isn’t television good enough?”

I have to say, we had a screening of Episode 1 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art the other week, and it was really fun to see it with 400 other people. You know?

***

You’ve always enjoyed toying around with genre. Is The Knick that kind of project for you? I mean, medical dramas are the biggest cliché on television.

I was attracted because The Knick was a genre piece. But at the same time, it felt like a new take on that genre. It was the best of both worlds. You’ve got the foundation of this indestructible genre, and yet the trappings, the dressings, are new. There’s humor in it, but it’s not jokey. There’s drama in it, but I feel that it’s earned. And it’s extremely graphic. [Laughs]

It certainly is.

Yeah. If it’s not the most graphic medical drama that’s been on television, it’s certainly got to be tied for first.

Why so graphic? Was it about realism—giving viewers a sense of how things actually looked and felt in an American hospital at the start of the 20th century?

Yeah. I feel like it’s OK, in television, to have aspects of a show that are polarizing, as long as they’re organic to what the show is. It’s fair for people to debate whether The Knick is too graphic—or whether or not the music is weird. The medium, the long form, rewards… if not ambiguity, then elements that create multiple reactions in the viewer.

The music is fascinating. It feels so un-period.

Often you end up figuring out what something should be based on what you don’t want it to be, I had a very clear idea of what I did not want the music to sound like.

Which was?

Acoustic. I hired Cliff Martinez, then I didn’t tell him anything for a long time. Then, just before shooting the show, I said, “We’re going to go all electronic.” And he said, “Great.” It really was just born out of the sensation of “I can’t bear the idea of strings on this. I just can’t.”

What about the look of The Knick? There’s a very pronounced tone—a kind of warm, dark glow.

We were very anxious that the lighting all be practically-based. Whether it was truly shooting with available light, or building sets with practical fixtures in them and only using those—that was our approach. It should look like you just walked into this place and turned the camera on. It was dark back then!

Is there a distinction between The Knick and cinema, other than just a) length and b) where people are seeing it?

Only in strict definitions of form. In terms of my approach and how I was directing the show, I made choices using the same criteria I use when I make anything. I very much viewed it as a 10-hour film.

Watching The Knick I noticed a more pronounced directorial sensibility than I usually see on TV. To take one example: There’s a conversation the doctors have after a patient dies. They’re washing up, and three people are talking, but the camera just stays on Dr. Gallinger’s face the entire time instead of cutting back and forth.

At that point in time, in that situation, watching Gallinger navigate that conversation is important for us. Directing is really about determining the balance of elements so the emphasis is always appropriately placed. That was a situation in which I felt it was important to emphasize what it was like to be him. And I like doing that. Going back generations, whether it’s Persona or Carnal Knowledge, there’s a long history of holding close-ups while things happen around the character.

Because you’re upsetting the usual syntax of cinema. We expect to see each character as they speak.

Yeah. And the reason I can do that is that I don’t have someone calling me the next day going, “Where’s the coverage?” You need to have the freedom to solve the problem the way you want to solve it—and not have somebody second-guessing you.

Will we see more of that as more directors move into TV?

I hope so.

Clive Owen is fantastic on The Knick. How did you get him to agree to it?

It happened very quickly. I knew Clive casually, and I knew a lot of people who worked with him. I just saw him immediately as being the guy.

The right combination. The Thackery part needed somebody who could hold the screen: a movie star.

Why?

If you have a character who in some ways takes over whatever room he enters, you better have somebody who can sell that. Clive just had the perfect combination of intelligence and intensity for us to believe the character as a force that is almost singlehandedly keeping this hospital alive. I knew there were a lot of reasons for him to read this and say no. But we got on the phone and described what we had in mind and how we were going to do it, and he said, “I’m in.”

Right away.

Yep.

Was Clive like you—someone who wasn’t having much fun in film?

No. I’ve never heard him complain about anything, actually. [Laughs] It’s a nice quality.

***

You’ve gotten a lot of career-best performances out of actors: Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich, Matt Damon in The Informant, George Clooney in Out of Sight. How?

I think you’d be surprised by how little I talk to the actors. My goal is for them to feel like they landed in exactly the right place through some process of their own. I don’t feel the need to own what they’re doing. So my discussions with them tend to be very, very practical. Very technical.

What’s an example of that?

I’m very interested in physicality. What they’re doing with their bodies. Are they sitting, standing, coat on, hat off? If you can get the actors sorted out physically, it means they’re going to be in the right spot mentally—everything comes from the physical.

I don’t want them thinking. I want them behaving, instinctually. So I keep it very, very simple, and I try to avoid setting anything up shot-wise until I’ve seen what is going to happen with the actors. I try to never have a situation where I’ve already built a frame and I’m telling them where to stand. The first thing I do is, “Let’s just make sure we have a scene that plays. Figuring out how to shoot it is the easy part. Let’s make sure we have something worth shooting.” I can’t remember the last time I said, “I think what you’re feeling here is…”

How did The Knick’s compressed shooting schedule—having to shoot so many pages so quickly—affect your approach to the actors?

For once I didn’t have to justify how fast we were going. [Laughs] Everybody knew. We move pretty quickly on movies, too, and sometimes people can interpret that as not caring enough. It’s not. Having done this for a long time, it’s just me having no desire to make things harder than they need to be.

Still, if I hit a wall… Look, there was a day on this show. A scene that I was having real difficulty figuring out how to do.

Later in the season?

It’s in Episode 7. It’s one of the most important scenes on the show. And I was stuck. I spent two and a half hours setting up a shot. One shot. I rehearsed it once, didn’t even shoot, stopped, and sent everybody home. I pulled my assistant director aside and said, “I don’t have it. I know what I don’t want it to be, but I don’t know what I want it to be.” It was the last thing we were doing that day. I said, “I hate what I’ve set up. We’re not even going to shoot it. I need to figure this out.”

So I went home, cut everything else we’d shot that day up to that point, figured out what the solve was, called Greg, and said, “I got it.” The next morning, we went in and it was done in an hour. The whole thing.

That’s an example of, yeah, I like to move really, really fast, unless there’s a problem and we’re not getting it. Then I’m the slowest person in the world. I will literally stop everything and send everybody home. You need to know when you don’t have it.

What did you learn about your creative process on The Knick?

It was a sharpening of a lot of experiences that I’d had on disparate projects. It needed everything that I had. Ultimately, though, the bottom line is: You just can’t force it. The goal is always to somehow get into the mental space that allows the door to open. That’s a real Jedi mind trick that you’ve got to do on yourself, because being on a set with a lot of people standing around and the clock running isn’t particularly conducive to calm consideration. But there is a way to trick yourself into forgetting all that. To just think, “What if I did have all the time and resources in the world? What would I do?” And then, “Is there any element of that that can be conjured here?”

For example…

I remember on Full Frontal, we had this one scene. We were running it and running it and it just wasn’t working. I couldn’t figure it out. And again, I said, “Let’s stop. Something’s not right. I don’t know what, but this just isn’t working.” And we all [laughs]… Me and the two actors ended up, by circumstance, all in the bathroom at the same time, talking about the scene. And I realized, “Oh. The problem is that the scene is happening in the wrong place. The scene should be in here.” We did the whole scene in the bathroom and didn’t change a word. When it was in the office and it was one guy across the desk from another, it was dead. But in the bathroom, it worked.

***

How have you been able to sustain your fear of complacency? Every creative person knows they should avoid it, but almost no one manages to.

More often than not, people get frozen in the moment of their first success. They’re scared of losing it. But of course, that’s the surest way to lose it. If there’s no idea of yourself that you’re trying to protect other than the idea of yourself as someone who doesn’t protect anything, I think you’re going to have a much more satisfying career. I’ve never worried about how I’m perceived.

Now, I’ve worried about my employability. One of the reasons that I wanted to doOut of Sight, and one of the reasons that was probably the most important assignment I’ve ever had, was that, at that point, half the movie business was off-limits to me. I didn’t just want to be art-house boy.

But other than that, which was coming from a place of “I want maximum opportunities and mobility,” I’ve never made a decision based on anything other than engagement with the material. Period. You don’t go make Schizopolis if you’re trying to protect some idea of yourself as a filmmaker.

That takes a certain kind of confidence. You have to realize that what you did is not the important thing, but rather who you are as an artist—and you have to follow that wherever it takes you.

I always use the example of Interiors, which Woody Allen made in between Annie Hall and Manhattan. You can’t just go from Annie Hall to Manhattan. You have to have Interiors in between. People have issues with that movie. But I look at it and go, “It’s a necessary step for him. He has to go do that.” That’s getting lost now in the movie business: the necessity of, for lack of a better term, mistakes. Failures. Choices that didn’t pan out. Those are crucial for the development of an artist.

The films that I made that nobody saw were very, very important for me. I madeSex, Lies, and Videotape, then I made five movies in a row that nobody saw. Then I made Out of Sight. You don’t get that many “mistakes” now. I’d be in movie jail.

What’s changed?

I don’t know. I guess the economic stakes are too steep. Studios are risk averse, and they’re like, “Why would I hire this guy who just made five weird movies in a row that nobody wants to see?”

I think it’s partially television’s fault, too. The audience that was going to the movies before—and going for smarter stuff—is no longer leaving home because the smart stuff is on TV. So Hollywood says, “Well, we have to make money somewhere, and there are these emerging markets overseas, so we’re going to gear our movies to international viewers.” It’s like some sort of horrible Rube Goldberg machine.

That’s why after Che—like Stalin—I had a five-year plan to segue out of the movies and into something else. I could feel the trajectory moving in a certain direction. I could tell: “That’s not going to be a good place for me much longer. I need to make a change so that I’m somewhere where whatever it is I do is viewed as positive and not a negative.”

You’ve said you retired from cinema because you weren’t having fun. Who was to blame for that: you, or Hollywood, or both?

I think the work environment has changed. Any filmmaker you talk to will tell you that. It’s different than it was 10 years ago. But it is what it is. The degree to which an economic model that I consider pretty close to unsustainable is going to continue, I don’t know.

It does seem like a death spiral, doesn’t it?

It does to me. But I guess most of these companies are so vertically integrated that they can absorb losses that the studios couldn’t in the 1960s. Back then, when you made a movie that lost money, you lost every nickel. It was done. There were no TV sales, no DVD, no foreign. Now you can spread it around.

And that insulates the studios.

It insulates them from the real consequences of bad choices. There’s no turnover of ideas.

***

August 18 is the 25th anniversary of Sex, Lies, and Videotape.
So soon.

Have you watched it recently?

I haven’t seen it since it was remastered for Blu-ray. That was a long time ago.

What would happen if you were a 25-year-old filmmaker and you made that movie today?

I don’t think anything would happen. In the 1980s, the studios took over the movies. And we showed up at a moment when, on a mass level, audiences were ready again to see movies that felt like they’re were made by hand. That weren’t committee-driven. It was just timing. It was zeitgeist.

Doesn’t that suggest that there’s a cycle at play, and that maybe we’ll see a similar shift again?

Absolutely. I think you have to pay attention to that. Not to be a slave to it, but to pay attention. Traffic very, very nearly didn’t get made. We kept pushing and financing the prep ourselves because we had a very strong sense that it was the right time for that movie. Like, “There’s just something in the air right now.”

In terms of topicality?

It just felt like a conversation that people were ready to have. Now, we were very aware that nothing was going to come of it. [Laughs]

It seems like people today are frustrated by the lack of individual, handmade films. Could a movie—the equivalent of Sex, Lies, and Videotape—come along now and effect the same sort of change?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s happening right now with Boyhood. People are so intrigued by this idea of the same boy actually growing up on screen—which is a classic Rick [Linklater] idea. Only Rick would think of doing that. [Laughs] It’s been awesome to watch the success of that film. That’s an idea that doesn’t costanything. The cost of it is in the ability to sustain your interest in the project—and convince everybody else to remain interested in the project, too.

Patience.

Yeah. And that’s an act of will. That’s not a line item. I love the fact that people are really lit up at the concept of the film, because it’s so human-scale.

You’ve said, “American movie audiences now just don't seem to be very interested in any kind of ambiguity or any kind of real complexity of character or narrative.” So I want to bring up the counterargument. Isn’t that just Golden Ageism? Fogeyism? The false assumption that everything sucks now, and that everything was better way back when?

I don’t think so.

But doesn’t Boyhood disprove the idea that audiences aren’t interested in complexity?

It’s the exception that proves the rule. No, I don’t think my dissatisfaction is nostalgia. The bottom line is that at a certain period in time, from 1966 to 1976, the most successful movies were also the best movies, and that’s just not true anymore.

But we have these arguments about journalism, too. In the 1960s, people were doing serious longform journalism: Gay Talese and Tom Wolfe and Joan Didion. The biggest magazines—Time and Newsweek—were full of deep reporting and elegant writing.  But the vast history of journalism has been about bias and yellow journalism and selling out to the lowest common denominator. So has everything gone to shit—or was it always shit and then there was a brief period in which it wasn’t?

I think the honest answer is some things have gone to shit. We all go through life making judgments about things. What we think is good, bad, indifferent. And that’s totally appropriate. A world in which you don’t differentiate between what you’re exposed to is kind of pointless. All I can do is stand on the shoulders of people I’ve identified as heroes and try to emulate them in some way—and not contribute to the noise and the sludge.

What would you say to people who’d argue that there are still great auteurs at work in Hollywood: Paul Thomas Anderson, the Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Woody Allen, Terrence Malick, and so on? They’re all making movies.

I would argue that in terms of movies, and the movie business, we’re all still on the margins. Let’s put it this way. Are there people out there still making cinema? Of course there are. But when I say cinema is shrinking as a concept… why isn’tUnder the Skin a bigger hit than it is? That’s a really good movie. That’s a piece of cinema.

Absolutely.

So I’m looking at it going, “Why isn’t this a bigger hit? Why isn’t it a hit at all?”

Would it have ever been a hit, though?

I think so. I think in the 1970s it would have been a hit.

I could see that.

You know? Or at least it would have been a conversation. That movie came out and it wasn’t even a conversation. And I’m looking at it, like, “This is really extraordinary.” I couldn’t even get my friends to go. There’s no reason Under the Skin shouldn’t do well, and there’s no reason everybody shouldn’t be talking about it. That to me is an example of what’s happened. That’s what’s gone.

Do you see The Knick—and your “retirement from film” in general—as something akin to Schizopolis: a creative reset that allows you to break through to the next level?

I don’t know if The Knick was a reset, but there was definitely a moment when we’d found the rhythm of the show, and I remember realizing, “Oh, you know, this is what I’m supposed to be doing.” Like, “This is the job that I’m built for.” [Laughs] “Nobody’s waiting for my paintings.” I really assumed I wasn’t going to be on a set for a long time.

You lasted about a year.

I know, I know.

When you retired from film, you said something that I thought was really interesting, and even inspiring in a way: “I’m better than I was five years ago... but at stuff that’s superficial—craft. But in terms of making something that’s just off the chart, I’m not. That’s not a shift or change that’s going to take place incrementally. It requires some form of amputation. So I just need to stop for a while.”

What I realized on The Knick is that while I think about whatever that new thing might be—and I still don’t know what it is—I can still go and work. While that’s processing in the background. While I’m trying to deconstruct my relationship with cinema, I can still go to work.

And it’s fun.

Yeah.

Whereas it wasn’t before.

Right.

I’m curious to know what you mean by “off the chart.”

[Long pause] The problem is, if I could describe it, I would have made it. I don’t know what it is, other than to say it’s something new. And something ambitious. I just feel like the ambition is gone, you know?

I do.

Where is the filmmaker—the filmmaker with the juice to do it—who’s makingApocalypse Now? Where’s our Apocalypse Now? That’s what I want to know.

For you, that’s an example of “off the chart.”

It’s almost too upsetting to watch now, that movie. For me.

Because it’s not happening in Hollywood today?

Yeah. It makes me so sad I can’t watch it. To look at that and go, “Man, at the apex of Francis Ford Coppola’s power, this is what he went out and did.” Nobody’s doing that anymore. I mean, there are people going out and making big movies, but they’re not that. That is not only a physically complicated movie, but a thematically complicated movie. It’s an audacious movie. It’s a polarizing movie. That is something I look at as a totem of what movies used to be. What they used to mean.

Do you still come up with movie ideas?

Yeah. Sure. I always have a notebook going with stuff in it. I don’t know if that’s a game I play with myself—me thinking “This might actually get made”—or whether it’s just reflex: You have an idea, you write it down.

Is the Steven Soderbergh version of Apocalypse Now the only thing that can bring you back to film?

Who knows? It’s like The Knick. I didn’t know that two guys were sitting in a room, pounding that out. So somebody may be sitting in a room, pounding something out, that I’ll read and go, “That’s it. That’s what I’ve been looking for.” I’m totally open to that. And I don’t care if people are like, “This is what he came back for? Why didn’t he stay retired?” I don’t give a shit. If I find something and I feel like, “I want to do this,” then I’ll do it. But I can’t imagine what that would be right now.

On the flip side of it, I don’t get the sense that you feel like you need to make another film as, like, a statement. As a capstone to your career.

Nope. If Behind the Candelabra were the last movie I made, I would be very happy. It was a great experience, and in many ways it was the perfect chapter close because it felt, to me, like a direct descendent of Sex, Lies. Both those movies were about two people in rooms. One of them just happened to have a Jacuzzi in it.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on August 03, 2014, 03:48:15 PM
Thanks Wilder. Great interview. Watched Apocalypse Now again, last month (after seeing that DGA Coppola, PTA thing) and was astonished and then very sad with the thought, that we will never see the likes of this again.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: ©brad on August 06, 2014, 07:22:26 PM
Soderbergh is always a great interview. Excited to watch this.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: squints on August 06, 2014, 08:01:06 PM
Grantland article. (http://grantland.com/features/the-knick-steven-soderbergh-clive-owen-review-cinemax/)

I'm so ready for this show.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on August 10, 2014, 05:06:33 PM
Waiting for second episode.

Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: bigperm on August 15, 2014, 12:17:58 PM
I'm one episode in and I was floored. Episode 1 did not release it's stranglehold on me until hours after I had finished it. As a father I struggled with some of the scenes and subject matter and was thankful I live with today's modern medicine. CO is right on point, love the music haven't read all the interviews yet but really wanna know where they are shooting this. Exteriors are top notch for 1900s NY. I saw it on HBO but looks like I need Cmax to keep going, worth it for sure. I'm still reeling from it, but I'm sticking with damn good, at least what I've seen.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on August 16, 2014, 04:17:28 AM
Episode 1x01 - possible spoilers

I needed some time to process the first episode, since I was surprised by few things. I was expecting a more lead oriented series, where "The Knick" is full of quirky characters and seems that it is all about ensemble. There are so many themes: religion, corruption, race/gender issues etc. I guess they will be explored as series goes.

I liked the music and the sound design a lot. Music created nice counterbalance to period set and gave sense of a rapid process. Ambient/natural sound was nicely utilized: clocks, pumps, sirens.

There are some comparisons to House M.D. On one hand it is to be expected, but then "The Knick" gave me impressions of more ensemble, thematic series. I'm also familiar with William Halsted - surgeon at Hopkins that Thackery is loosely based on. He was addicted to morphine/cocaine - maybe I'll bring this person later on.

And those shots with trolleys or nurse running through the city - a lot to enjoy.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on August 17, 2014, 05:20:45 AM
Episodes 1&2 - possible spoilers

Just from viewing the first 2 episodes, I feel that this is the best thing Soderbergh has done in a long long time. The characters are great, and it's definitely more of a ensemble piece. Boogie Nights is coming to mind (as well as Altman) as the second episode gives us a little more insight into the character's individual lives outside of the Knick, and all the secrets and hardships that come with it. The way race was dealt with in Episode 2, was pretty incredible. From the overt/subvert racism, assimilation and the dynamic/friction between working class blacks and middle class blacks, and the way Dr. Edwards circumvents the system and makes his own lane in a creepy cellar. It'll be great to see how that particular storyline plays out.

The intercutting of race and class in the first sequence of episode two is great writing and great editing.

Also loved how Gender is being dealt with, just the look that Cornelia's mum gives her at the breakfast table at the end of the scene, laced with jealousy, as if to say: you should know your place. I think that's whats coming through for me, how characters are wrestling with their new stations in life or the place others think they should inhabit and not leave. Whether it's Cornelia, Edwards or Thackery, who deals with the weight of his new position/job by numbing himself out.

The actors are pretty great. I'm loving the mix of new faces and some old faces who don't get enough shine, READ: CARA SEYMOUR!!! The sound design and music are also very strong. Loved how the score was slightly more downtempo in EP2. The music and camera work give you this real strong, You Are Here Now, immediacy. The lighting is lovely. From the wards, washed out in white to the dark, cavern like lighting of offices and cellars to the red/pink/florescent opium den. And I agree, Mel, I think the ambient/natural sounds are really well used (the lights flickering on and off in EP2, the electricity being powered up and then the little fire) and gives you a real sense of the time and place which is distorted by the contemporary feel of the characters, themes and score. I can't talk much about the operating scenes, mainly because I have to turn away sometimes. But they are full on and gory, without being at all gratuitous. The roaming camera and the lenses are creating this super immersive look and feeling.

The strange tone of this thing is enchanting and I can't quite put my finger on why but that's one of the reasons, I'm watching episodes more than once, to pick up on the mood and vibe of it and the cinema of it. Some shots and beats, I can't shake. Like the doctor soaking his beard in water in the first episode, actually all the hand washing rituals. The way how everyone enters work in the second episode. Edwards waking up in the second episode. Thackery's horse and carriage sequence at the start of episode one.

Really enjoying this show.....and Soderbergh: directing, shooting and editing is knocking it out the park....
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on August 17, 2014, 01:14:11 PM
Discussion about episode one with Michael Begler - writer of "The Knick":



Some highlights: origins of characters - Halsted, practical special effects used in operation scenes, why they decided to write about private and not public hospital, difference between USA and Europe at the time, when it comes to racial issues, usage of modern language in the show.

Spoilers 1x02

Just some minor thought about characters.

Dr. Edwards helping the women - at first I perceived it as a much more altruistic gesture. He used cocaine on her, just after seeing similar procedure few days ago.

Barrow - what a weasel. I kinda enjoyed seeing him struggle, yet I like character so far.

Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on August 17, 2014, 02:21:57 PM
Thanks for that Mel, that was a real cool discussion. I especially like all the historical background info.

And yeah, it was fun seeing Barrow get roughed up.

The Knick Tumblr - with lots of cool historical photos, making of bits, and gifs

http://htl.li/AnU3v
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: bigperm on August 18, 2014, 09:10:53 AM
Thanks for the tumblr link - great to see the transformation of the exteriors
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on August 20, 2014, 09:55:44 AM
Cliff Martinez On Scoring the Most Hypnotic Show on TV

http://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen/the-knick-the-most-hypnotic-show-on-television-the-score?utm_term=3as95bh#hlzqu6 (http://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen/the-knick-the-most-hypnotic-show-on-television-the-score?utm_term=3as95bh#hlzqu6)

Especially loving the track "Son of placenta previa." Dope.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on August 29, 2014, 11:36:29 AM
Spoilers for Ep3...

Ok, after this episode, I fear things are moving a bit too fast.

I loved the total tone shift of the first couple of scenes. It felt a bit like another show, seeing another side of Thackery. But then later in the episode: Thackery acknowledging the nurse's optimism/idealism and making a decision to operate on the child, I don't know if I bought it...I did love the shot of Clive Owen considering the phrase the nurse coined. That shot and his performance were great. I just don't know if I bought the character beat.

Also, sure, we knew Edward's new enterprise was gonna slip up, but did it have to happen so fast? Him taking it out on the guy at the bar and trying to elevate himself, great stuff...(class/superiority/taking shit out on the guy beneath you, etc)

But the way the fight scene was shot, I'm not so sure. Took me out the episode.

Score wise, it felt mellower and less experimental than previous episodes. I'm gonna watch it again, but it felt slightly rushed and lacked some of the attention to mood, vibe and deathly aromas that I'd previously enjoyed. I guess we'll know more with the next episode. Still a very dope show, but maybe this was the weakest episode thus far?

Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: diggler on September 01, 2014, 09:35:24 PM
The missing nose was pretty astonishing effects work, however they did it. I'm getting wrapped up in the Edwards story the most. Thackery is still a bit on the nose with the "antihero with demons" tropes, so I enjoyed seeing him get a positive character moment. The first episode set a very bleak tone, it's nice to know the show won't be all doom and gloom. The fight scene worked for me, I love how playful he's being with the cinematography.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on September 06, 2014, 07:42:41 AM
Discussion about episode three with Jack Amiel - writer of "The Knick":



Highlights: it is hard to describe it, since discussion drifts from background and details for characters to historical tidbits. Not really focused on episode three, maybe beside the nose.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on September 22, 2014, 01:49:13 PM
Discussion about episode four with Chris Sullivan - Tom Cleary the ambulance driver



Discussion about episode five with Steve Katz - writer of "The Knick"



I liked episode five a lot, but I just love episode six - I seen some scenes few times over. I heckled some board members for calling other shows the next "Breaking Bad", then I think of "The Knick" as new "Deadwood". It is very thematic, to the point of obscuring medical drama and even arcs of characters. Almost every character is intoxicated with something. Joy comes from small happy moments, that are constantly contrasted with something bleak or awful. Quotes from Shakespeare here and there and why drug dealer is called Wu?
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on September 22, 2014, 02:47:43 PM
Warning. The following is slightly spoilerish...

Mel, I also loved episode 6. I felt the show hit it's stride. Thackery's obsession with making the future, how that impacts the child birth operations (mirrored by the death of the doctor's child) and how it impacts Edwards. The scenes I re-watched and may watch again, were Thackery's discovery (with the whores and Bertie - i loved the staging of the scene, how the characters watched each other, Bertie lingering over the cab as it left) Thackery and Bertie's successful operation and Thackery's discovery of Edward's enterprise (and progress) and there deal and that final, brutal scene with Cornelia.

The title of the epsiode 'Start Calling Me Dad" kind of applies to a lot of the relationships explored in this episode, in a surrogate father/mentor/older man relationship with a younger woman, kinda way - Thackery and Bertie, Thackery and Edwards, Thackery and Lucy, Dr Gallinger and the baby girl he may adopt to save his wife's sanity and lastly, the final encounter between Cornelia and her soon to be father in law.

Which brings me to your Deadwood comparison. Firstly, I agree, in regards to themes and character obsessions. But also, didn't this scene remind you a bit of the scene where Hearst threatens/nearly rapes Alma Garrett in her room, in the last season of the show? The looming threat of male domination/violence/subjugation and in relation to a transaction be it gold or marriage/money being lent between families. This time it was Cornelia with her back against the wall. I definitely felt the echoes/parallels and I felt for Cornelia big-time. Lastly, the score at the end of that scene/this episode and over the credits was the best music that I've heard on the show thus far. Overall, a stellar episode.

 
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on September 23, 2014, 01:16:33 AM
Spoilers 1x06

Mel, I also loved episode 6. I felt the show hit it's stride. Thackery's obsession with making the future, how that impacts the child birth operations (mirrored by the death of the doctor's child) and how it impacts Edwards. The scenes I re-watched and may watch again, were Thackery's discovery (with the whores and Bertie - i loved the staging of the scene, how the characters watched each other, Bertie lingering over the cab as it left) Thackery and Bertie's successful operation and Thackery's discovery of Edward's enterprise (and progress) and there deal and that final, brutal scene with Cornelia.

Pacing and rhythm of episode was great. Even more impressive, since there is so much editing, to the point of montage (everything is cut mid-way) e.g. doctor in clinic picking up phone, cuts to Bertie storming the doors, Thackery picking two phials of dope cuts to scrubbing, in theater steps of operations are shown, it cuts to napping Bertie. Energy of the scene is often enlarged by documentary-like camera work: hand-held following the characters - good example of that is opening with Thackery and Bertie.

Which brings me to your Deadwood comparison. Firstly, I agree, in regards to themes and character obsessions. But also, didn't this scene remind you a bit of the scene where Hearst threatens/nearly rapes Alma Garrett in her room, in the last season of the show? The looming threat of male domination/violence/subjugation and in relation to a transaction be it gold or marriage/money being lent between families. This time it was Cornelia with her back against the wall. I definitely felt the echoes/parallels and I felt for Cornelia big-time.

I didn't think of that - there was so much of that in Deadwood. The most powerful scenes that comes to my mind is where Al pinched little girl and Jane just falls apart. What surprised me was downbeat ending of the episode. This episode of "The Knick" could just end up with Thackery and Edwards shaking hands. Instead Cornelia's tackle on Typhoid Mary is overshadowed by very dark moment.

Lastly, the score at the end of that scene/this episode and over the credits was the best music that I've heard on the show thus far. Overall, a stellar episode.

Part of the reason why I enjoyed music much more is that score in no longer a novelty. I became used to it and instead of being constantly surprised, my focus is elsewhere.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on September 27, 2014, 04:21:16 PM
Oh jolly! Pace of the episode is just crazy.

I've seen episode twice and took some notes:

Spoilers 1x07

End of spoilers

Discussion about episode six with Michael Angarano - Bertie from "The Knick"

Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on September 27, 2014, 05:59:30 PM
Ok, here are some of my thoughts from a second viewing of EP 7. Which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Spoilers follow:


The pacing was furious: A lot of scenes open with (low angle) long-take shots, covering a lot of action and giving this episode the dynamic pulse it requires.

The shot of Edwards in his room, dogs barking in the background. Brought to mind those signs: 'No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs'.

Going in and out of rooms with the lovers. First with Nurse Elkins and Thackery when the policeman dies, the camera goes out with her as she scrambles to find equipment, (Thack can be seen through the window) and then back with her into the room  with the patient. This is kind-of mirrored when Cornelia and Edwards return to his underground hospital to see what damage has been done: the camera follows Edwards, then goes back onto Cornelia as she goes through a door and into another room which Edwards meets her in, using another entrance.

THE RIOTS...

Under the raps with Edwards HOLD HOLD HOLD - ups the stakes, great way to play the scene with all the dialogue off-screen.

The arm being severed off.

HOLDING ON Thack as the lack of cocaine is brought up and he sacrifices his personal stash, Elkins out of focus the whole time. Nifty foreshadowing...

HOLDING ON Nurse Elkins as Thack closes the front door, comes out of the shadows, looks like a painting. The lighting. Staging. Timing. Her directing him and then her question and HIS answer. Where will this lead?

Cornelia wanting to go back with Edwards and then HOLDING ON Nurse Elkins for a long long time as Thack speaks off-screen (maybe the second longest hold after the shot of Edwards under wraps) and she makes the decision to not get her bicycle.

The last sex scene, ripping off Nic Roeg's sex scene from 'Don't Look Now'. Soderbergh ripped this off in 'Out of Sight' but surpasses that here, due to the complexity of Nurse Elkin's experience.

Gallinger power-playing Bertie in the operating room, Bertie then striking back and supporting Edwards new invention, when Gallinger expects him to rally together against Edwards. Bertie steps up (also doing the operation alone from notes)

Sister Harriet helping the patients inside and out.

Cleary pulling the ambulance truck through the streets.

The comedy in this episode. A lot of one liner's:
Thack to the lady in the opium den: "Fill my pipe"
Cornelia to Sears mum: "That's the spirit"
Cornelia to Barrow when he snarks about not knowing about the underground facility: "Maybe they're looking harder"
Harriet to a rioter who wants to hurt a black man under her protection:
"You didn't even know the man"

Barrow going back to make sure his 'woman' is ok and finding her in a compromising position.

Questions: Underground hospital will come of use? The episode was The Avengers styled episode of The Knick, everyone had to work together, secrets were revealed, will this be expanded on or will the characters be isolated again? Or will they split: Thack and the Nurse. Edwards and Cornelia...are Edwards and Cornelia going to get HURT?
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on September 29, 2014, 04:15:18 PM
I'm in full agreement with the following, this is some of the best work Soderbergh has done...

http://www.vulture.com/2014/09/steven-soderbergh-the-knick-directing-race-riot.html (http://www.vulture.com/2014/09/steven-soderbergh-the-knick-directing-race-riot.html)

Steven Soderbergh Is Doing Some Next-Level Work on The Knick (Vulture)
By Matt Zoller Seitz

Let’s take a moment to appreciate what we’re watching when we watch The Knick: the greatest sustained display of directorial virtuosity in the history of American TV, courtesy of the show’s primary and thus far only director, Steven Soderbergh.

The seventh episode of this Cinemax drama, which aired on Friday, is one of the most exciting, horrifying, beautiful, and clever hours of filmmaking I’ve seen this year—and that’s saying a lot, considering how great the year has been. The show is created and written by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, and set in and around the titular hospital circa 1900. This episode, “Get a Rope,” shows what happens when an incident of racial violence touches off a wave of vigilantism, pitting African-Americans against Irish-Americans and plunging the neighborhood into chaos. 

“Get a Rope” contains many harrowing setpieces, starting with the inciting incident (an off-duty Irish cop mistakes a black woman for a prostitute, scuffles with her boyfriend, then gets stabbed and taken to Knickerbocker Hospital) and continuing through the inevitable escalation. When I watched “Get a Rope” the first time, it seemed almost unbearably brutal, but on second viewing, I was struck by how Soderbergh had pulled a Hitchcock or Spielberg, never showing us as much as we think he’s showing us. The initial stabbing and a subsequent scene of a white mob dragging a black man off a bicycle are filmed from a distance (which makes them more horrifying even though, or perhaps because, the direction isn’t rubbing your face in gore).

When we see shots of African-Americans being battered by a white mob, the camera tracks the action laterally through a chain-link fence in the foreground. The fence creates a kind of “scrim” effect: You see the gist of the horror, but not every detail. The fence bit consists of three acts of violence that last about 12 seconds total, but they’re so ugly that 12 seconds is all Soderbergh needs to get the point across. Even the most prolonged moments of savagery, such as a fight in a hospital hallway and a scene of a prone man being kicked, are shot so as to obscure the bloody details. I wouldn’t call this approach “tasteful,” exactly. There’s a touch of the documentary to it; it’s journalistic, perhaps cold. It’s unflinching, but not exploitive. It feels right.

But there’s more to this episode’s great direction than adroit handling of brutality. About 21 minutes into the episode, there’s a marvelous example of how to lay out geography, ratchet up tension, and advance the plot, all at the same time: A group of doctors and nurses in the main operating theater barricade a door against the mob, which then shatters the door glass and pushes through. This frightening moment is conveyed with one shot that pans from the hospital staff, screen right, to the mob, screen left, and back again.

It’s worth noting here that a good deal of The Knick’s coiled power — conveyed not just in this episode, but in all of them — derives from Soderbergh’s economy. He directs the way Joan Didion writes. He often seems to be challenging himself to see how little he can get away with and still give the audience the information it needs to make sense of a moment. He never covers the action in a scene with ten or 15 angles when just one or two will suffice. If you rewatch pretty much any episode, you might be struck by how many moments play out in just one take — and I’m not talking about showily choreographed long takes, where the entire point is to wow the audience into realizing how much is going on in the scene, how many moving parts it has, and how daring it is to convey it all without cuts. That “wow” factor is what made the six-minute tracking shot at the end of the fourth episode of True Detective, and the warehouse shootout in episode six of Fargo, so pleasurable (I mentioned both here). But for the most part, Soderbergh is doing what film geeks call a “stealth oner” — a one-take scene that’s so subtly executed that you may not notice the lack of cuts until you watch it a second time.

An example of a stealth oner can be found in the second episode, “Mr. Paris Shoes”: the scene in which Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) and other hospital staffers argue in a ward while newly installed electric lights flicker. The camera follows the staffers from bed to bed, weaving among them with a dancerlike grace, the tension building until Thackery blows his stack and attacks a fuse box. In his recap, my colleague Keith Uhlich called it “sublime.” It is, but there’s more sublime direction where that came from. Episode seven contains several more instances. One is the moment where Dr. Algernon (André Holland) hides under a gurney surrounded by a sheet while traveling through an unfamiliar neighborhood, and we hear Nurse Lucy Elkins (Eve Hewson) talk her way past a cop: We hear the exchange but don’t see it, and the camera remains on Algernon for the length of the scene (about a minute). The episode ends with two elegant but rather spare love scenes. One consists of a very long shot illuminated by a single lightbulb (Algernon cozying up to his boss and childhood friend, Julet Rylance’s Corneila Robinson); it moves from a wide shot to a couple of close-ups along different axes, the camera getting closer to the characters as the characters get closer to each other. The second love scene starts with Thackery and Elkins entering Elkins’s apartment building, builds with a faintly McCabe and Mrs. Miller–like shot of Thackery and Elkins in front of Elkins’s makeup mirror lit only by an oil lamp, then, ahem, climaxes with a modified version of the “before and after” montage from Soderbergh’s 1998 classic Out of Sight (itself an homage to the love scene in Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now). The first love scene is dominated by a shot that goes on for about three minutes without a cut. The second love scene is busier, by Knick standards, but there aren’t a lot of different angles: The episode keeps returning to the same ones, intertwining them via judicious editing, building it into a memory anchored to Hewson’s expressions.

I don’t mean to diminish other great directors’ work on TV. In fact, as I’ve written many times for New York and Vulture, TV has always been hospitable to smart and/or inventive filmmakers, perhaps more so recently than in the past. There have been many examples of excellent direction in recent years — I highlighted just a few of them in a 2013 magazine piece — as well as examples of filmmakers directing several consecutive episodes of a TV series. The most acclaimed recent run happened on HBO’s True Detective, all eight episodes of which were helmed by Cary Fukanaga.

But what Soderbergh is doing here goes above and beyond because it’s a feat of multitasking and physical endurance as well as artistry. He did not just direct all ten episodes of the show’s first season, which would be impressive in itself. According to Cinemax, it takes about seven work days to shoot an episode of The Knick (fewer than most dramas), which means Soderbergh is directing and editing for 70 days without any significant break. He also serves, under the pseudonym Peter Andrews, as its cinematographer (overseeing lighting, composition, and camera movement) and its main camera operator. A great percentage of the time, when you see the camera moving with the actors, it’s usually Soderbergh holding it; there is sometimes a second camera getting another angle, but Soderbergh is always the primary. When the production wraps each day, he assembles a rough edit of everything the crew shot, and eventually does the fine cut himself; the show’s editing credit, Mary Ann Bernard, is another Soderbergh pseudonym. This is not how things are usually done, at least not at the level of a lavishly detailed pay-cable period piece. There are other people doing all of these jobs, under the supervision of the showrunners, who tend to identify themselves as writers rather than as directors.

Soderbergh told me recently that a lot of the show’s simplicity is driven by time and budget constraints. They’re working on a tight schedule and have to shoot a lot of script pages every day, so they don’t have the luxury of shooting things five different ways and deciding later which one they like the best. The use of compact, high-definition, light-sensitive digital cameras allows Soderbergh to shoot with one or two visible light sources, often of fairly low wattage, and achieve naturalistic lighting effects that Stanley Kubrick spent a fortune on when shooting the visually similar Barry Lyndon (the first movie with interiors shot entirely by candlelight) on 35mm film 40 years ago. I’m almost reluctant to convey all that information here, though, because it might make it sound as if what Soderbergh is doing is easy. It’s really not. That fusebox scene I mentioned earlier is so complex, in terms of choreography, that a lot of period shows and films would set aside a day to block it, rehearse it, and shoot it. Soderbergh did it in two hours, from start to finish. You can’t work that fast and get such great results unless you’re absorbed in your craft so fully that it has become instinctive, in the way that a painter’s brushstrokes are instinctive, or a great basketball player’s moves are instinctive. At some point, intelligence becomes physical. The eyes and hands are just taking dictation from the subconscious. That, I suspect, is the level at which Soderbergh is operating now, 25 years after the premiere of his first feature, sex, lies, and videotape.

All of which means that when you watch The Knick, you are seeing the closest thing to an undiluted filmmaking vision as top-shelf TV drama has ever given us. Not even Louis C.K. is as hands-on as Soderbergh; he writes and edits Louie himself, but somebody else is lighting and shooting the series. The Knick is not just directed: It’s direct, in the sense that it visual sensibility is going from the filmmaker’s eyes to yours, without layers of other people as intermediaries. The camera and editing software are expressive tools as intimately connected to the artist’s mind and body as a paintbrush or a pen.

This would all be meaningless if the show’s direction were terrible or merely okay. But it’s consistently so extraordinary that after finishing episode five and seeing Soderbergh’s name flash onscreen yet again, I was reminded of a story a relative told me years ago about going to the West Side piers to watch Jackson Pollock do one of his drip canvases. Soderbergh is making art in collaboration with Amiel and Begler and their outstanding ensemble cast, but he’s also putting on a show. He’s performing, turning creative expression into a real-time display of physical assurance that’s as much an athletic event as it is an artistic one.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on September 29, 2014, 05:11:34 PM
I agree, there is so much to enjoy. I'll skip the part with long shots or out-of-frame action. Some pictures to tell the story:

How do you cut from:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FGr4vxoPl.png&hash=babe438e2629ee8d0c89171ffe0e676410d20c4b) (http://imgur.com/Gr4vxoP)

To (guess that is how Barrow was feeling at the moment):

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FQndh7eal.png&hash=b7cd776d5442cd49682515402c137c8a10e134c3) (http://imgur.com/Qndh7ea)

Great, painting-like framing:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FMS7dpB3l.png&hash=c5e6f03787c68dc7820ef8767c8892616d1b6d35) (http://imgur.com/MS7dpB3)

Whole scene, from far-background:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FskIpDu0l.png&hash=7558392614269acc3b16f8bf46dbb6b76e730168) (http://imgur.com/skIpDu0)

Still wide shot:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2F282VxqZl.png&hash=ada99fdbacef34ed08928840bceec5a39e6b0e86) (http://imgur.com/282VxqZ)

Till almost close-up with very little camera movement:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FxOPcbzwl.png&hash=c5599cff807d324a53d1595c6f9c78a7f6fd47d1) (http://imgur.com/xOPcbzw)

Every episode/scene is filled with those gems: if not cinematography, then editing. Not to speak about sound design and music.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on September 29, 2014, 05:29:32 PM
Mel thanks for those - those last three frames from that one scene is the perfect illustration of economy in storytelling, whilst pushing forward various narrative strands to end on a near close up and major character beat. This is really good writing and directing.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Fernando on September 29, 2014, 10:04:02 PM
so far, this show is perfect and you guys are doing some good analysis.

what I love about it besides the obvious stuff like direction, music, acting, photography, etc. is that you (me) start hating a character like Cleary and he slowly shows all his sides, guy is a prick but not that much. OTOH, a guy like Barrow who I felt sorry for, I see he deserves everything that has come his way.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on September 30, 2014, 02:32:50 AM
Spoilers

what I love about it besides the obvious stuff like direction, music, acting, photography, etc. is that you (me) start hating a character like Cleary and he slowly shows all his sides, guy is a prick but not that much. OTOH, a guy like Barrow who I felt sorry for, I see he deserves everything that has come his way.

Even more important, those characters often carry emotional weight and not supposedly leading Thackery. Example: in episode six, most joy came out of Bertie and his advancement. Both what you have said and this reminds me of "Deadwood", yet "The Knick" is own thing, especially considering involvement of Soderbergh.

Questions: Underground hospital will come of use? The episode was The Avengers styled episode of The Knick, everyone had to work together, secrets were revealed, will this be expanded on or will the characters be isolated again? Or will they split: Thack and the Nurse. Edwards and Cornelia...are Edwards and Cornelia going to get HURT?

This is old television trick: think of special, disaster episodes of E.R. Most interrelations between characters probably will go back to previous status. As for Edwards and Cornelia I concur that something dark could be looming.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on October 11, 2014, 01:13:40 PM
Spoilers 1x09

Writing is on and off. Previous episode was good, with some nice moments, like obvious (compared to invisible) cutting used to communicate how impatient Thackery gets while listening to presentation after injecting cocaine few minutes earlier.

I'm not totally sure, but this could be best episode yet - so many moving parts... I did see some complains about supposedly liberal portrayal of the period in series, especially related to Cornelia and Edwards. After this episode I think this relationship is done. Good things don't last long in "The Knick", sooner than later reality kicks in.

This was very female centric episode - men are just useless. I'm so intrigued by Lucy - what is she up to? Maybe it is just my imagination, otherwise she has some psychopathic inclinations - little or no remorse about what she is doing, self interest (did she get what she wanted from John or it was the other way?) etc.

Daughter of Bono? I don't care, love the character.

Eleanor... this was bound to happen. They endorsed her disillusions, with very sad results.

I don't know what physical symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are, but they captured mental state of Thackery: paranoia, insecurity, vulnerability, desperation. Dope is his full time job, not surgery.

As kinda offtopic that is on topic. David Milch idea of the show about early days of Johns Hopkins, including William Halsted (starts at about 13:20, ends at 24:00):



Was Cinemax a mistake? On HBO "The Knick" would get much bigger audience, which series deserves.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on October 11, 2014, 02:39:16 PM
Spoilers 1x09

Maybe not the best one.

Candy store:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FcK7ycrKl.png&hash=c7ce7337e2cfcd76d1e57f08f0bc382f640680cf) (http://imgur.com/cK7ycrK)

"True Detective" or just similar face?

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FFXSWsiCl.png&hash=554db79d2bb2fd4ba4f14a658c14da0c818d4972) (http://imgur.com/FXSWsiC)

Dramatic under-exposition:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FOQlseH4l.png&hash=dc95c31fb1f46b838eed928f83f92dac4066143d) (http://imgur.com/OQlseH4)

Ocean of cocaine:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FoyEKgBhl.png&hash=714e3d0d3dbffc00382df4289b8cc2d09f68f965) (http://imgur.com/oyEKgBh)

Every child born or unborn:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FIa19iNsl.png&hash=470d200a5a702d3ead5bc662e3684a27855b634b) (http://imgur.com/Ia19iNs)

Coca-cola fiend:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FonOFMAol.png&hash=376859fb33dc2e3e4120e52ded5fad2bf56547df) (http://imgur.com/onOFMAo)

All exposed and alone:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FIai3yPZl.png&hash=7d552f7580cda7e65865caa4a13db04a7983039c) (http://imgur.com/Iai3yPZ)

Silent scene with humming:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FL2jItBNl.png&hash=09661d3c1ad7802fc75892f7e2376d43d0aed411) (http://imgur.com/L2jItBN)

Much telling smile:

(https://xixax.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FsHd4DL2l.png&hash=577bb7705e931aea31d1baa473cf45db6616c9c4) (http://imgur.com/sHd4DL2)

btw. While going fast through episode, I noticed that close-ups seem to be used more frequently than in previous episodes.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on October 11, 2014, 04:13:49 PM
Quote from: max from fearless
the editing is incredible but it feels really worked out in concert with the way it's shot, i'm also still loving the musical cues

One thing is driving another, it is hard to look at cinematography, editing and music apart in case of "The Knick". Everything seems to be in sync.

Spoilers 1x09

Some notes
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on October 18, 2014, 05:39:52 AM
Ok, finally my notes on EP. 9.

Spoilers ahead...

Gothic Horror. Thack as dracula. Elenor as a ghost. All those dead babies. The way Eleanor appears in the hallway, she almost glides into the BG of the frame. The musical cue when she appears kills me.

Definitely a female-led episode. They all make choices, whereas the men, either languish in the background or can't see things for what they are.

Is Barrow like a greek chorus? Seeing everything, dealing with everyone (not necessarily liking everyone) but almost like a administrator/guide over the hospital and the narrative? He kind of connected this episode for me and then I thought, shit, he kind of connected the riot episode as well, so that's how I got to that thought.

No illusions for Edwards re: Thack. But he can't fully grasp the reality of his situation with Cornelia and the reality race/class relations. Illusions for Bertie who can't see the truth of Thack.

Nurse Elkins, is just as possessed as Thack. She is obviously capable of anything. There both willing to sell themselves out, but she plays Barrow and Thack, and at first I thought, wow, all this for Thack, until that shot when she's in a total state of euphoria. This shot reminds me of the shot in Traffic when Michael Douglas finds his daughter high, and she is somewhere else, beside her father but not with him and that's what I got from this episode. So many of the characters who we knew would get together, have gotten together on the surface of things, but they are truly miles away from each other. Miles that cover: sex, race, class and gender but also different levels of attaining highs/brief moments of release where they feel a short-lived freedom from themselves or from what society says they should be. (through drugs or in the case of Edwards and Cornelia: sex, and interracial sex at that, and all the myths, cliches and historical baggage that contains)

I'm wondering if the cold heart of this show (a show that I was fooled by, especially during the riot episode) is concerned with the distance between us, as human beings and the efforts (sometimes futile efforts) that we make to connect, to associate, to love, to empathise, to trust each other or know each other.

Is Nurse Elkins the most aware character in the piece? I think so. She sees things for what they are. She is very detached and will go as far as she needs to, to get what she wants. She seems to have no scruples whatsoever.

The show built up this archetype of the drug addicted genius (in this case a surgeon) and is now stripping away at all it. These last two episodes reveal a very sick soul, who can't confront himself, his own ghosts (his mentor) and the true nature and repercussions of his work/calling, the weight of life/death in the operating theatre.

The lighting. So much Chiaroscuro in this episode. Gordon Willis was here! So much is left to darkness. Darkness seems to loom everywhere. Again, this fed my feeling of this being a tragic gothic tale. Especially the wide shot of Thack's place as Nurse Elkins knocks on his door. So ominous, so much threat through light/darkness. Pretty incredible.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on October 18, 2014, 05:48:51 AM
Soderbergh's previous (blue-tinged-light) high, where a seemingly innocent female character reveals herself to be resourceful (and if I remember correctly running rings around Topher Grace who introduces her to the high) and full of agency and willpower to achieve that high:
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Fernando on October 19, 2014, 01:42:41 AM
Few shows have good endings, True Detective was disappointing and while Fargo wasn't bad it didn't have the punch it deserved, well, The Knick had a perfect season and a perfect ending as far as I'm concerned, the very last frame brought me so much joy.

the best part of this great series is that apparently Soderbergh is returning to film season two, so next year we will have whole seasons directed by Lynch and by Soderbergh, we truly are living TV's golden age.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Mel on October 19, 2014, 07:16:45 AM
Spoilers 1x10

Cleary: "Dreaming is for folks not smart enough to get what they want."

This pretty much sums up finale, if not whole season. Almost every character had some disillusions and they crashed when faced with reality: Bertie learning truth about Thackery, Everett being stripped out of everything, relationship between Cornelia and Algernon, Barrow and his debts.

Only Cleary seems to be happy - he can use money for buying a car (did he get that cash for keeping silence or he made some other deal with Cornelia?). Situation of Lucy is more ambiguous - was she names as next of kin by John (guess that would make her happy)?

Wu talking about feeding a dead person to the pigs - direct nod to "Deadwood"?

Few shows have good endings, True Detective was disappointing and while Fargo wasn't bad it didn't have the punch it deserved, well, The Knick had a perfect season and a perfect ending as far as I'm concerned, the very last frame brought me so much joy.

I wouldn't call "The Knick" perfect, although I enjoyed it a lot even with some imperfections - writing could use some improvements (there were parts that were either out of rhythm or contained some soapy elements). On the other hand I couldn't imagine better ending to first season that last frame showing the vial. And how open ended it was? They left a lot hanging in just barely.

I'll try to watch whole season again, since in case of ensemble, I expect there are some snacks left, that I didn't pick the first time thanks to not knowing too much about characters.

Need to figure out way to share the clips for the series...
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Fernando on July 31, 2015, 11:47:43 AM
Season 2 Promo



The Knick returns to Cinemax on October 16.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Fernando on December 17, 2015, 12:10:56 PM
too bad nobody talks about this, it's the best show on tv.

Tomorrow is the finale, right now I don't know if there will be a next season, I hope it will and that Soderbergh does everything again.

SPOILERS S02E09

great episode, so not only Thack cures and saves ppl from almost any decease, he frees them too. I love that he got the job on the Knick by saving from captivity its owner. which btw probably met his death. about the fire, it's almost clear that his son Henry did it right? although Barrow has a financial motive too, but Henry was conveniently late for the meeting which makes him the prime suspect, wonder if Cornelia will connect the dots to his brother or if Barrow will be blamed for the fire.

After what happened to Thack's love interest I thought the operation of the twins would fail miserable, glad that didn't happen.

There are other interesting stories in this (Sister Harriet and Clearly, Dr Gallinger AND his sister, etc.), let's see if someone else chimes in.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Fuzzy Dunlop on December 17, 2015, 06:59:07 PM

SPOILERS S02E09
about the fire, it's almost clear that his son Henry did it right? although Barrow has a financial motive too, but Henry was conveniently late for the meeting which makes him the prime suspect, wonder if Cornelia will connect the dots to his brother or if Barrow will be blamed for the fire.

SPOILERS S02E09

Now I feel dumb b/c I just assumed it was Barrow. But that actually makes a lot of sense. Does that mean Henry was responsible for the passengers being moved/smallpox outbreak? His father seemed genuinely shocked at the accusation, and his sister was the only other person who was aware of the situation.

This show is the fucking greatest. I'm absolutely in love with the way it's shot. Soderbergh's retirement was one of the smartest career moves ever. Check out this amazing article about how he shoots and edits it. http://www.vulture.com/2015/10/on-set-steven-soderbergh-the-knick.html (http://www.vulture.com/2015/10/on-set-steven-soderbergh-the-knick.html)
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: squints on January 28, 2016, 06:51:17 PM
Spoils


So....Season 2 was incredible.

Her brother totally lit the fire. After he threatens to throw her down the stairs? Of course he lit the fire.  Is thackery dead? I can't believe cleary sold out sister harriett. I absolutely have to see more of these characters. But if that's all there is I'm completely ok with it.

I didn't see anything else this last year that struck me like this show.

 
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: max from fearless on January 29, 2016, 04:27:35 AM
Spoilers

Easily the best film/TV I saw last year. Easily Soderbergh's best work. The way he married the cinematography (off compositions - Cleary's confession for instance), editing (the way how scenes reflect each other, the lack of conventional coverage), mise en scène/blocking (the long takes....I mean, look, fanboys gush about oners these day, but they are getting so boring and so conventional, I'm sorry but there are played the fuck out, but here in the big party scene, Soderbergh weaves through characters and soars up into the air and back down again, reflecting social standing, character relationships - again blew my mind like the tracking shot following Freddie onto the boat in "The Master" INCREDIBLE) the lighting, the score and those performances!!!! Of course there were several shortcomings especially the way they short-cutted certain characters, there would be emotional leaps, for instance, Bertie's grief is literally gone before the episode is over. But the revelation of true character was incredible. When we get to the end of the season and see the characters for what they are, or see how they dealt with the adversity/oppression that tried to crush them, it becomes apparent that the way this was constructed was pretty breathtaking and that it is about NOW in ways most contemporary set films/TV can't even imagine. Also the boat shots/scenes seemed to really resonate with me and Thackery's demise....WHOA!!! This show pulled no punches and by the end pulled the rug out from under you.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Fuzzy Dunlop on September 24, 2020, 04:27:37 PM
This is the best news I've heard in weeks.

https://www.indiewire.com/2020/09/steven-soderbergh-knick-season-3-andre-holland-barry-jenkins-1234588751/ (https://www.indiewire.com/2020/09/steven-soderbergh-knick-season-3-andre-holland-barry-jenkins-1234588751/)

Steven Soderbergh: New ‘The Knick’ Season Is on the Way from Barry Jenkins and André Holland

Soderbergh confirmed to The Playlist that a pilot for Season 3 has been written by the show's creators, with help from Jenkins and star Holland.

Rumors have long swirled around a revival of the Steven Soderbergh-directed Cinemax series “The Knick” that ended after two seasons in 2015; the cabler then canceled it for good in 2017.

Now Soderbergh says that a new season of the medical drama starring Clive Owen as a renowned surgeon in 1900s New York is in its early stages. According to a new interview with The Playlist, Soderbergh said a pilot has been written by the series’ creators Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, with “The Knick” star André Holland as well as filmmaker Barry Jenkins working in collaboration.

“[André and Barry] came up with a really great approach with Jack and Michael,” Soderbergh said. “And that seems to be advancing rapidly. I just read the pilot, which is terrific.”

Soderbergh remained coy about whether or not Jenkins would direct the series. “I’m very passive on that,” Soderbergh said. “That’s all Barry’s baby.” But he also added, with regard to Jenkins and Holland, “I told them, ’Look, I had, I had my shot. Godspeed, take it in whatever direction you want.’”

During a Reddit AMA back in 2017, Soderbergh offered fans a possible reason for why “The Knick” Season 3 died. “Season 3 of ‘The Knick’ was set in 1947 and was going — at my absolute insistence — to be shot in anamorphic black-and-white. It’s POSSIBLE that may have contributed to its demise.”(!) That would’ve been quite a time jump from the original (color) series’ turn-of-the-century setting.

And speaking of sequels, Soderbergh also said a followup is on the way to his 2019 Netflix sports drama “High Flying Bird,” written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, author of the unpublished play that formed Jenkins’ “Moonlight” and creator of the OWN series “David Makes Man.”

“I also just read the new draft of what André [Holland] and I consider the follow-up to ‘High Flying Bird,'” Soderbergh said, with Holland being the star of the original film. “That’s really strong and incredibly timely, but it’s slightly different. It’s still sports, but it, but in a different context and I read it thinking, ‘Well, this all should happen soon. We need to like hit the gas pedal right now.'”

Soderbergh added: “[A sequel] was something that we were already interested in, but because of COVID and Black Lives Matter, suddenly, the power that the players have became really obvious. It was exciting to see them use it for change and to create awareness. They weren’t using it to line their pockets. I was riveted. I wanted to know more about all these conversations that led up to them going on strike.”

Soderbergh’s last film was “The Laundromat,” which bowed on Netflix at the end of 2019. His next film, “Let Them All Talk,” reunites him with his “Laundromat” star Meryl Streep. The movie is completed, and will premiere soon on HBO Max. Soderbergh most recently served as executive producer on the Quibi series “Wireless.”
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: pynchonikon on September 24, 2020, 04:45:37 PM
YES. One of the '10s best tv shows!
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: strandedwriter on September 24, 2020, 06:44:23 PM
Yes!!!!! Barry is perfect for this! Sodey better shoot it though!
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: jenkins on September 24, 2020, 06:48:09 PM
not bc of you guys but bc of principle it’s a waste of barry’s time and fingers crossed he helped the concept and will move on. there’s just so much he can do under his own name and for his own sake
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Drenk on September 29, 2020, 12:10:33 PM
not bc of you guys but bc of principle it’s a waste of barry’s time and fingers crossed he helped the concept and will move on. there’s just so much he can do under his own name and for his own sake

Still way better than this.

?s=21


Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: WorldForgot on September 29, 2020, 12:14:18 PM
Sincere question - do you feel the same about Lowery's involvement with Disney?
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: jenkins on September 29, 2020, 12:16:22 PM
it’s funny because literally everything else is a better idea than The Knick, sorry guys

Quote
This is Jenkins’ second film project at Disney, as he is also planning to direct a biopic of famed choreographer Alvin Ailey for Searchlight. Jenkins has completed for Amazon a limited series adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award- and Pulitzer-winning The Underground Railroad, directing all the episodes and writing several of them. Jenkins has separately scripted a drama based on the first American female Olympic boxing champ, Clarissa “T-Rex” Shields, and an adaptation of Netflix documentary Virunga, about the battle to save the Congo’s mountain gorilla population.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: Drenk on September 29, 2020, 12:20:45 PM
To WF:

Not at all. I love Pete’s Dragon which managed to be a Lowery film, and Peter Pan has always had interesting versions which is why I believe that he can repeat his own little deal.

I probably would be a little bit curious about Jenkins doing a Disney if it weren’t a CGI sequel of one of the ugliest movies of the century, one that made a billion dollars.
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: jenkins on September 29, 2020, 12:26:30 PM
um i just thought the first one was the least interesting of the live action remakes and since this is a fresh angle i’m curious

definitely everything is okay and it’s quite obviously more beneficial to his career to take on the king
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: eward on September 29, 2020, 06:55:26 PM
I mean I for one am goddamn excited about this Knick news but whatevs...this is it, this is all that we are
Title: Re: The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)
Post by: jenkins on September 29, 2020, 07:02:04 PM
you’re for four excited about The Knick and the current underdog is the lion

it’s cool for you guys to be excited it’s exciting to be excited about shows i just get excited about other things