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Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh

Aaron Baker
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 152
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  • Book Info
    Steven Soderbergh
    Book Description:

    Steven Soderbergh's feature films present a diverse range of subject matter and formal styles: from the self-absorption of his breakthrough hit Sex, Lies, and Videotape to populist social problem films such as Erin Brockovich, and from the modernist discontinuity of Full Frontal and filmed performance art of Gray's Anatomy to a glossy, star-studded action blockbuster such as Ocean's Eleven. Using a combination of realism and expressive stylization of character subjectivity, Soderbergh's films diverge from the contemporary Hollywood mainstream through the statements they offer on issues including political repression, illegal drugs, violence, environmental degradation, the empowering and controlling potential of digital technology, and economic inequality._x000B__x000B_Arguing that Soderbergh practices an eclectic type of moviemaking indebted both to the European art cinema and the Hollywood genre film, Aaron Baker charts the common thematic and formal patterns present across Soderbergh's oeuvre. Almost every movie centers on an alienated main character, and Soderbergh has repeatedly emphasized place as a major factor in his narratives. Formally, he represents the unconventional thinking of his outsider protagonists through a discontinuous editing style. Including detailed analyses of major films as well as two interviews with the director, this volume illustrates Soderbergh's hybrid flexibility in bringing an independent aesthetic to wide audiences.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09301-2
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. The Films of Steven Soderbergh
    (pp. 1-96)

    Steven Soderbergh’s twenty feature films present a diverse range of subject matter and formal styles. They range from his 1989 breakthrough hitSex, Lies, and Videotape, about the sex lives of four twentysomethings, to social-problem films such asKing of the Hill(1993),Erin Brockovich(2000),Traffic(2000),Che(2008), andThe Informant!(2009). Carefully stylized noir inKafka(1991),The Underneath(1995), andThe Good German(2006) contrasts with the digital-video improvisation ofFull Frontal(2002),Bubble(2006), andThe Girlfriend Experience(2009). InGray’s Anatomy(1996), Spalding Gray does performance art, whileOut of Sight(1998),The Limey...

  5. Interviews with Steven Soderbergh
    (pp. 97-114)
    Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney, Geoff Andrew and David Sterritt

    The two interviews selected for this volume offer insights into several of the most prominent aspects of Steven Soderbergh’s career as a filmmaker. The first interview, Geoff Andrew talking with Soderbergh and George Clooney before a live audience in London in 2003, touches on remakes, allusion, and their collaboration with the aim, in the actor’s words, “to push the things we’ve learned from foreign and independent films . . . back into the studio system.”

    The second interview, conducted by David Sterritt, focuses onChe, probably Soderbergh’s most ambitious film to date. After acknowledging Soderbergh’s tendency to experiment and defy...

  6. Filmography
    (pp. 115-122)
  7. Bibliography
    (pp. 123-128)
  8. Index
    (pp. 129-132)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 133-138)