Dixon, W.W. “Review of The Cinema of Steven Soderbergh: indie sex, corporate lies, and digital videotape.” Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. Sept 2013, Vol. 51 Issue 1, p83.
Steven Soderbergh is one of contemporary Hollywood’s most innovative and prolific filmmakers, and books on his work are coming fast and furious just as fans and followers speculate about his retirement from the cinema. Mark Gallagher’s recent Another Steven Soderbergh Experience: Authorship and Contemporary Hollywood was one such volume. Now readers have another excellent book on this maverick, shape-shifting filmmaker who, moving with ease between big budget spectacle and indie introspection, tackles social justice in a corporate world with films embodying dozens of cinematic trends and forms advanced in the past 25 years. A welcome addition to the long-running “Directors’ Cut” series, this book extends the dialogue on Soderbergh in a number of new directions, concentrating on issues of auteurship and identity in the director’s oeuvre, and offering compelling readings of The Limey, Solaris, and The Good German, among other films. Immaculately researched and illustrated with frame blowups throughout the text, the volume is an important contribution to the field and demonstrates just how complex and how important Soderbergh is to late-20th- and early-21st-century filmmaking.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above.
–W. W. Dixon, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
This week, Columbia University Press has been featuring The Cinema of Steven Soderbergh: Indie Sex, Corporate Lies and Digital Videotape on their website.
Click here to read a feature interview with co-authors Andrew deWaard and R. Colin Tait and here to read a new essay from the authors entitled, “‘Dirtied Star Images and Acting Against Type in Behind the Candelabra.”
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Description: The industry’s only director-cinematographer-screenwriter-producer-actor-editor, Steven Soderbergh is contemporary Hollywood’s most innovative and prolific filmmaker. A Palme d’or and Academy Award-winner, Soderbergh has directed nearly thirty films, including political provocations, digital experiments, esoteric documentaries, global blockbusters, and a series of atypical genre films. This volume considers its slippery subject from several perspectives, analyzing Soderbergh as an expressive auteur of art cinema and genre fare, as a politically-motivated guerrilla filmmaker, and as a Hollywood insider. Combining a detective’s approach to investigating the truth with a criminal’s alternative value system, Soderbergh’s films tackle social justice in a corporate world, embodying dozens of cinematic trends and forms advanced in the past twenty-five years. His career demonstrates the richness of contemporary American cinema, and this study gives his complex oeuvre the in-depth analysis it deserves.
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