Here is the full transcript of director Steven Soderbergh‘s keynote at the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival delivered Saturday. At first he requested the festival ensure no still photographs, audio, or video of his talk at the Kabuki Theater. But instead it was tweeted, blogged, recorded, and put online. Soderbergh promised in advance to “drop some grenades” and he opined about studio executives, indie filmmaking, and cinema vs movies. He did not detail his own retirement:
A few months ago I was on this Jet Blue flight from New York to Burbank. And I like Jet Blue, not just because of the prices. They have this terminal at JFK that I think is really nice. I think it might be the nicest terminal in the country although if you want to see some good airports you’ve got to go to a major city in another part of the world like Europe or Asia. They’re amazing airports. They’re incredible and quiet. You’re not being assaulted by all this music. I don’t know when it was decided we all need a soundtrack everywhere we go. I was just in the bathroom upstairs and there was a soundtrack accompanying me at the urinal, I don’t understand. So I’m getting comfortable in my seat. I spent the extra $60 to get the extra leg room so I’m trying to get comfortable and we make altitude. And there’s a guy on the other side of the aisle in front of me and he pulls out his iPad to start watching stuff. I’m curious to see what he’s going to watch – he’s a white guy in his mid-30s. And I begin to realize what he’s done is he’s loaded in half a dozen action sort of extravaganzas and he’s watching each of the action sequences – he’s skipping over all the dialogue and the narrative. This guy’s flight is going to be five and a half hours of just mayhem porn.
I get this wave of – not panic, it’s not like my heart started fluttering – but I had this sense of, am I going insane? Or is the world going insane – or both? Now I start with the circular thinking again. Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s generational and I’m getting old, I’m in the back nine professionally. And maybe my 22-year-old daughter doesn’t feel this way at all. I should ask her. But then I think, no: Something is going on – something that can be measured is happening, and there has to be. When people are more outraged by the ambiguous ending of The Sopranos than some young girl being stoned to death, then there’s something wrong. We have people walking around who think the government stages these terrorist attacks. And anybody with a brain bigger than a walnut knows that our government is not nearly competent enough to stage a terrorist attack and then keep it a secret because, as we know, in this day and age you cannot keep a secret.
So I think that life is sort of like a drumbeat. It has a rhythm and sometimes it’s fast and sometimes it’s slower, and maybe what’s happening is this drumbeat is just accelerating and it’s gotten to the point where I can’t hear between the beats anymore and it’s just a hum. Again, I thought maybe that’s my generation, every generation feels that way, maybe I should ask my daughter. But then I remember somebody did this experiment where if you’re in a car and you’re going more than 20 miles an hour it becomes impossible to distinguish individual features on a human being’s face. I thought that’s another good analogy for this sensation. It’s a very weird experiment for someone to come up with. READ MORE »
Steven Soderbergh‘s Side Effects opened last Friday in the States courtesy of Open Road and starts its international rollout with tonight’s Berlin competition screening. The director, Rooney Mara, Jude Law and scripter Scott Z. Burns are all in town for support. Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones also star in the film about a successful New York couple (Mara and Tatum) whose world unravels when she begins taking a new drug prescribed by her psychiatrist (Law). It’s a thriller in the Hitchcockian sense that employs plot-twists and surprises set against the background of intersecting themes of psychology, psychopharmacology and the law.
This is Soderbergh’s fifth appearance in Berlin, “More than any other festival I’ve ever been to,” he said at a press conference this afternoon. It will also be his last for a while. The director is famously headed for an early retirement – or as he called it today, “a break” – after this film. (Although he still has his Liberace biopic Behind The Candelabra to air on HBO.) Asked why he chose to go the potboiler route before bowing out he said, “I just liked the idea of making a thriller as I near the twilight of my career.” He added that he’d been inspired by making Ché back in 2008. “However long this break ends up being, I wanted the last few things I was doing to be fun to make and to watch. Coming out the other end of Ché really made me want to have more fun.” Read More »
A year into a 20-year filmmaking ban in his native Iran, Jafar Panahi still managed to direct the 2011 documentary This Is Not A Film (which was smuggled to the Cannes Film Festival on a flash drive). The director, who is under house arrest in Iran, has evidently been behind the camera again as his Closed Curtain has just been added to the lineup for the 63rd Berlin Film Festival. Berlin provided few details about the film other than it’s co-directed by Border Café helmer Kambozia Partovi – who co-wrote Panahi’s 2000 Venice winner The Circle – and that both directors play roles in the movie, along with other castmembers. Joining that world premiere in competition will be the next film from No Man’s Land director Danis Tanovic along with Steven Soderbergh‘s Side Effects with Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum and Fredrik Bond’s feature debut The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman starring Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger and Rupert Grint. Berlin runs from February 7-17 this year. Click over for the full list of new additions: Read More »
Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones star in Steven Soderbergh‘s Side Effects, which reteams the director with his Contagion writer Scott Z. Burns. The two co-wrote this thriller about a successful New York couple (Mara and Tatum) whose world unravels when she begins taking a … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Tom Papa has joined the cast of Behind The Candelabra. The former Marriage Ref host will play Liberace’s long time pal Ray Arnett in the Steven Soderbergh-directed film. Michael Douglas plays the flamboyant piano man, who died in … Read More »
Rob Lowe is in talks to play Liberace’s plastic surgeon in Behind The Candelabra, the Steven Soderbergh-directed film for HBO that stars Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his young limo driver and live-in lover Scott Thorson in … Read More »
Lionsgate, which is distributing the movie in the UK, has put up its version of a trailer for Magic Mike, which Warner Bros has in the U.S. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the picture starring Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey looks like it may deliver more than we expected. … Read More »
Here’s the first official trailer for Steven Soderbergh‘s Magic Mike, with Channing Tatum as the title character. Reid Carolin’s screenplay is said to have been inspired by Tatum’s own experiences, pre-stardom. Matthew McConaughy, Alex Pettyfer and Olivia Munn also star. The Warner Bros release opens June 29.
EXCLUSIVE: Open Road is setting a February 8, 2013 release date for Bitter Pill, the film that Steven Soderbergh began shooting in New York. The film stars Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vinessa Shaw. Lorenzo di … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Vinessa Shaw will join Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum and Jude Law in Bitter Pill, the Steven Soderbergh-directed potboiler that Open Road will distribute in the U.S. Shaw (3:10 To Yuma), repped by ICM … Read More »
James Stern’s Endgame Entertainment will co-finance with Private Defense Contractors the Steven Soderbergh-directed ‘Bitter Pill.’ The film stars Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures had originally been expected to finance, but that became shaky in the past few weeks. That gives the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In her first lead role since her Oscar-nominated turn in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara has just committed to starring in Side Effects, the Steven Soderbergh-directed thriller. Mara will replace Blake Lively in a film that … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Catherine Zeta-Jones has been set to star in Side Effects, the thriller that Steven Soderbergh will direct. She joins Blake Lively, Jude Law and Channing Tatum, who are also negotiating. The Scott Z. Burns scripted film is being financed … Read More »
The Berlin International Film Festival is coming on fast and furious with seven more titles added to the Competition program including the Robert Pattinson starrer Bel Ami, Tsui Hark’s hit 3D actioner Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate and James Marsh’s … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment is in final negotiations to make a green light commitment on The Bitter Pill, the Scott Z. Burns script that Steven Soderbergh will direct as his next film. Production will start in April on a thriller … Read More »