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

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Information | Photos | Official website Released: 2020

Information | Photos | Official website Released: 2020


Now available from

Now available from

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?



Soderbergh's message is mixed
Full Frontal represents yet another new path for popular, experimental director
By Carla Meyer
(San Francisco Chronicle, July 28, 2002)

Steven Soderbergh, 39, is the hottest director in Hollywood. Every movie star wants to work with him, and many of them do, given his penchant for big casts ("Traffic," "Ocean's Eleven"). Soderbergh's latest ensemble piece, "Full Frontal," opens Friday in the Bay Area and stars Julia Roberts, Blair Underwood, Catherine Keener, David Duchovny and David Hyde Pierce, with cameos by nearly everyone else.

Nobody actually goes full frontal, but the picture lifts the curtain on the movie business, mixing pungent satire with relationship drama in a daringly multilayered movie-within-a-movie structure. Soderbergh shot the film in two weeks and for just $2 million. His digital camera work lends the movie an intimate look reminiscent of his 1989 breakthrough film, "sex, lies & videotape." There's just a lot more going on in this one.

Speaking by phone from Los Angeles, Soderbergh is genial and forthright. He's also unfazed by what he says has been a violently mixed reaction to the new movie in previews. It's all part of the experiment.

Q: Is "Full Frontal" a follow-up to "sex, lies & videotape"?

A: Well, the way I sort of pitched it to Miramax was, look, if I were starting out and was making a character-oriented movie (like "sex, lies & videotape") today for a very limited budget, this is the movie I would make.

I pitched it as the karmic sequel, in that it's only interested in character and there's a lot of discussion about sex. It was also the karmic sequel to (Soderbergh's idiosyncratic 1996 film) "Schizopolis." But I wasn't about to tell them that.

Q: The movie is very inside-Hollywood. Do you think the audience will get all the references?

A: I don't think it matters. I wasn't really thinking about it. It's kind of like, the world of the movie interests you or it doesn't. If it does, you'll be willing to ride out things that seem odd or things that you don't understand.

Q: You shot the film very quickly and required the actors to drive themselves to the set and do their own hair and makeup. Why did you do it that way?

A: All this was set up before "Ocean's Eleven," and I guess I was anticipating that I would very much want and need to have this kind of experience after that one. I was really thinking of it being a two-pack with "Ocean's Eleven," and I wanted that balance. I wanted to make this one to punish the people who liked "Ocean's Eleven." (Laughs)

Q: Did the actors stick to your rules? Did anybody show up not quite camera- ready?

A: No. Vanity is a very powerful motivator, and I had told them they might be photographed getting out of their cars.

Q: Catherine Keener and Terence Stamp, who are in "Full Frontal," said they had no idea what the film was about when they shot their parts. Did you keep the actors in the dark?

A: (Laughs) Yeah, purposely. It was part of the whole idea of giving the actors total responsibility for their characters. . . . If someone was drifting off course from the movie I wanted to make, I would say something.

But I didn't sit there and have discussions about (their roles). That was part of the experience.

Q: A running theme in the movie is characters' "porn-star" names, which supposedly are derived by combining one's middle name with the street one grew up on. What's yours?

A: Andrew Highland, which is David Hyde Pierce's in the movie.

Q: Is his character, a magazine writer and screenwriter, your alter ego?

A: I don't know. I feel like none of them and I feel like all of them, and I'm not being flip. Some of the characters are like the nightmare version of yourself. I worry about that, like, "Oh my God, do I come off like him?" I've had the experience of being like these people or interacting with people like this.

Q: "Full Frontal" has references to the agonies of turning 40, and it's built around the event of a 40th birthday party. Does that have anything to do with the fact that you're 39?

A: Coleman Hough, the (movie's) writer, was turning 40 at the time when we were looking very intensely at the script, and (George) Clooney (who starred in "Ocean's Eleven") had turned 40, so it was something in the air, and it worked really well as a reason (in the script) to get everybody together. I'll be 40 in January, and to date, I don't feel anything in particular
about it.

Q: You seem to want to mix it up every time out. Why is each of your projects so different?

A: Not out of any motive beyond not wanting to get bored. Everybody is different. Some people are content to make a certain kind of film repeatedly. Either because of restlessness or dilettantism, the idea of having a similar experience to the one I just had makes me anxious.

Q: Your next film, "Solaris," is a science fiction movie starring Clooney. Did you already shoot it?

A: I'm in the process of cutting it now. It comes out in December.

Q: What are you doing after that?

A: I'm taking a year off.

Q: How many movies did you make in a row?

A: Seven. I need a rest.


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