Latest news & site updates Information Articles & interviews Photo gallery Video clips Interact Site info & links

 

CALENDAR
8th February: Side Effects released (US)
15th March: Side Effects released (UK)


THE FANLISTING
There are 436 fans listed in the Steven Soderbergh fanlisting. If you're a Soderbergh fan, add your name to the list!


UPCOMING PROJECTS

SIDE EFFECTS
Information | Photos | Official website Released: 8th February (US)


BEHIND THE CANDELABRA
Information | Photos | Official website Released: 2013


ADVERTS


NEW & UPCOMING DVDS
Now available from Amazon.com:
Haywire
Contagion

Now available from Amazon.co.uk:
Contagion

DVDs that include an audio commentary track from Steven:
Clean, Shaven - Criterion Collection
Point Blank
The Graduate (40th Anniversary Collector's Edition)
The Third Man - Criterion Collection
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


ADVERTS

     

Full Frontal A Mere Sketch
Director Soderbergh Has No Lofty Hopes For Star-Laden Movie
By RON DICKER
(Hartford Courant, July 28, 2002)

"It's good for me as a filmmaker to be the observer," Steven Soderbergh says in explaining his recent move to Manhattan from Los Angeles. "I don't want to be observed."

But no matter where Soderbergh is on the planet, few directors are being watched with greater interest. He has three hits in a row, "Erin Brockovich," "Traffic" and "Ocean's 11," winning a best-director Academy Award for "Traffic." That is why his "Full Frontal," opening Friday, will get more attention than most $2 million pet projects.

"Ocean's 11" solidified his standing as a populist filmmaker. He tamed a circus full of Hollywood's biggest names - including George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt - and crafted a glossy remake that grossed $183 million.

It was pure popcorn, but it caused caviar-priced angst. Soderbergh says he knew the film would be a lot more fun to watch than make.

"There were moments of sheer terror," recalls Soderbergh, who wears thick blue jeans and high-top Doc Martens in a SoHo office despite the 98-degree sauna outside. "All the time I was thinking what I would give to be dealing with nothing but actors and performance all day," he said.

So he rustled up the cash for "Full Frontal," cleared 18 days for theshoot and invited some of the Soderbergh Players, including Roberts and Pitt. No entourages, no limos, no craft service. It said so right on the list of no-nos that Soderbergh gave to his actors.

"Full Frontal" chronicles 24 hours in the lives of mostly show-biz typesin L.A. Soderbergh says the movie is what "sex, lies and videotape," his 1989 independent hit, would look like today if someone put a gun to his head and told him to re-create it.

Soderbergh occupies the rarefied air of Directors Who Matter Who Make Money. In 2001, he became the first director in nearly 60 years to earn two Academy Award nominations for best director in the same year. Both those films, "Erin Brockovich" and "Traffic," were also nominated for best picture.

He has no such lofty aspirations for "Full Frontal." "I was thinking of my own creative self-preservation," he says. "Certainly I'm an enemy of preciousness. I'm an enemy of the idea that anything I do is important. I do like the idea of being able to sketch and have it acknowledged as such. This is a sketch. It doesn't have to be a towering achievement."

"Full Frontal" centers on the romantic tension between a celebrity journalist (Roberts) and an action star (Blair Underwood) who is relegated to being Brad Pitt's sidekick. Everyone else, including David Hyde Pierce's frustrated screenwriter and Catherine Keener's corporate henchwoman, scrambles for sanity.

Everyone will eventually meet at the 40th birthday party of David Duchovny's character, the producer Gus, who shares a buzzed-about erection scene with a masseuse played by Mary McCormack.

The digital scenes have the same voyeuristic quality as "sex, lies and videotape." But Soderbergh's inspiration was "Cops." Soderbergh's girlfriend, E! hostess Jules Asner, turned him on to the reality show, which shows segment after segment of the police in pursuit of suspects via jittery hand-held camera shots. "That's how I wanted the movie to feel, like I'm chasing the characters," he says.

Unlikely Romance?

The match between Soderbergh, the auteur turned green-light giant, and Asner, the former model who now chirps for one of Hollywood's house organs, seems an unlikely one on the surface. Soderbergh was divorced from actress Betsy Brantley in 1994, and they have an 11-year-old daughter, Sarah, who on this day has moved to Virginia with her mother after two years in London.

Asked about his relationship with Asner, Soderbergh says they have a pact not to discuss it. Then he offers, "It's just so embarrassing; um, I don't know. It's just been a good thing. I don't know what else to say. It's just been a good thing for me."

Soderbergh says he has been told his movies have a Southern sensibility, but he never bothers to ask why. He was born in Atlanta and grew up in Baton Rouge, La., where his father was a professor at Louisiana State University. Soderbergh took university film classes while still in high school.

He then moved to Los Angeles and toiled in go-fer jobs before returning to Baton Rouge. He eventually landed an editing gig at Showtime and made a 1986 Grammy-nominated film about the rock band Yes before working on a short that he expanded into "sex, lies and videotape," which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

He followed with a handful of obscure movies before bringing Elmore Leonard's novel "Out of Sight" (1998) to a commercially viable life while turbocharging the careers of its stars, Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.

Now Soderbergh is trying science-fiction. He pitched "Solaris" to Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox as a mix of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "The Last Tango in Paris."

Stanislaw Lem's novel, adapted for the screen in 1971 by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, is about a planet that torments astronauts with their painful memories.

As usual, Soderbergh is on time and on budget for the $46 million project, which will premiere at Christmastime. While he promotes "Full Frontal," he is putting in 11- to 12-hour days to edit "Solaris."

Bringing a larger work to fruition has ratcheted up the pressure again. He plans to take a year off after that project.

"I have a stronger sense than normal of 'don't blow this,'" he says. "I was more uncompromising on the movie than I've ever been. I pushed people more than I usually push them."

 


Latest news & updates  -  Information  -  Articles & interviews  -  Photo gallery  -  Video clips  -  Interact  -  Site info & links

Steven Soderbergh Online is an unofficial fan site and is not in any way affiliated with or endorsed by Mr. Soderbergh or any other person, company or studio connected to Mr. Soderbergh. All copyrighted material is the property of it's respective owners. The use of any of this material is intended for non-profit, entertainment-only purposes. No copyright infringement is intended. Original content and layout is Steven Soderbergh Online 2001 - date and should not be used without permission. Please read the full disclaimer and email me with any questions.