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Steven Soderbergh

 

Steven Andrew Soderbergh is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is considered one of the founding pioneers of the independent cinema movement and among the most acclaimed and prolific filmmakers of his generation.
Soderbergh's directorial breakthrough+indie drama Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)+lifted him into the public spotlight as a notable presence in the film industry. At 26, Soderbergh became the youngest solo director to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival which garnered the film worldwide commercial success, among numerous accolades. His breakthrough saw him to Hollywood where he directed crime comedy Out of Sight (1998); biopic Erin Brockovich (2000) and crime drama film Traffic (2000), the latter winning him the Academy Award for Best Director. He found further popular and critical success with the Ocean's trilogy and film franchise (200118); Contagion (2011); Magic Mike (2012); Side Effects (2013); Logan Lucky (2017); and Unsane (2018). Despite his film career spanning a multitude of genres, his cinematic niche centers on psychological, crime, and heist thrillers. His films have grossed over US$2.2 billion worldwide and garnered nine Oscar nominations, winning seven.
Soderbergh directed Schizopolis in 1996, a comedy which he starred in, wrote, composed, and shot as well as directed. The 96-minute film was submitted to the Cannes Film Festival to such a "chilly response" that he reworked the entire introduction and conclusion before releasing it commercially. In the movie's introduction, he placed a title page that read: In the event that you find certain sequences or events confusing, please bear in mind this is your fault, not ours. You will need to see the picture again and again until you understand everything". He starred in Schizopolis as Fletcher Munson, a spokesman for a Scientology-esque lifestyle cult, and again as Dr. Jeffrey Korchek, a dentist having an affair with Munson's wife. The film switched languages multiple times mid-scene without subtitles, leaving large parts of it incomprehensible.It was viewed by critics as a "directorial palate cleanse" for Soderbergh. During the months following his debut of Schizopolis, he released a small, edited version of the Spalding Gray monologue film Gray's Anatomy. Soderbergh would later refer to Schizopolis as his "artistic wake-up call". Soderbergh co-wrote the script for 1997 horror-thriller Nightwatch with Danish filmmaker Ole Bornedal, an American remake of his own film of the same name produced in his native country.
Soderbergh next directed Ocean's Thirteen, which was released in June 2007 to further commercial success and increased critical acclaim. Grossing $311.3 million on an $85 million budget, it is the second highest-grossing film of his career after the first Ocean's. The film concluded what would later be known as the Ocean's trilogy, a collection of heist movies that would go on to be described as defining a new era of heist films. Soderbergh directed Che, which was released in theatres in two parts titled The Argentine and Guerrilla, and was presented in the main competition of the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, on May 22. Benicio del Toro played Argentine guerrilla Ernesto "Che" Guevara in an epic four-hour double bill which looks first at his role in the Cuban Revolution before moving to his campaign and eventual death in Bolivia. Soderbergh shot his feature film The Girlfriend Experience in New York in 2008. Soderbergh cast adult film star Sasha Grey as the film's lead actress to great reception and controversy.
After his work with The Knick, Soderbergh began working on a variety of personal projects starting with directing an Off-Broadway play titled The Library, starring Chloe Grace Moretz in January 2014. On April 21, 2014, Soderbergh released an alternate cut of Michael Cimino's controversial 1980 Western Heaven's Gate on his website. Credited to his pseudonym Mary Ann Bernard and dubbed "The Butcher's Cut", Soderbergh's version runs 108 minutes. On September 22, 2014, he uploaded a black-and-white silent version of Raiders of the Lost Ark, with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's score of The Social Network. The purpose of it is to study the aspects of staging in filmmaking. It was announced in June 2014 that Soderbergh would be executive producing a series based on his earlier film The Girlfriend Experience for the Starz network, to premiere sometime in 2016. In September 2015, Soderbergh was announced to be directing Mosaic, a series for HBO. Starring Sharon Stone, it is a dual-media project; it is released as both an interactive movie app in November 2017 and as a six-part miniseries airing in January 2018.
On a technical level, Soderbergh prefers sustained close-ups, tracking shots, jump cuts, experimental sequencing, and frequently skips establishing shots in favor of audio and alternative visuals. Many of his films are noted for a milieu of suspense through the usage of third-person vantage points and a variety of over-the-shoulder shots. In his film Contagion (2011), he used a multi-narrative "hyperlink cinema" style, first established within the Ocean's trilogy. He is known for tracking aesthetic transitions with a variety of colored washes, most notably yellow to symbolize open, socially acceptable situations while blue washes typically symbolize illegal or socially illicit endeavors. In line with these washes, Soderbergh is liberal in his usage of montages as he believes that they are equally important story-telling as dialogue is.
Soderbergh claims to not be a fan of possessory credits, and prefers not to have his name front and center at the start of a film. "The fact that I'm not an identifiable brand is very freeing," says Soderbergh, "because people get tired of brands and they switch brands. I've never had a desire to be out in front of anything, which is why I don't take a possessory credit.