Steven Soderbergh has been in the film news headlines regularly over the last couple of years, not only because of his prolific output of great films (Contagion, Side Effects, Magic Mike, Haywire, Behind the Candelabra), but also because it was precisely in this time of heightened productivity that Soderbergh made several retirement threats. Thankfully he is still working (for now) and still putting out gems of originality with workhorse like efficiency.
However it is his recent address at the San Francisco International Film Festival which has again thrust him into the public eye, and with good reason. This 30 minute speech is fantastic in capturing what it is that should make film making so special, but is being stamped out ever more by ignorant studio execs who lack the film knowledge that should be inherent in a film industry role. He also astutely explains the process of making/releasing/marketing any movie in the modern world, along with the costs and subsequent increased difficulties in getting smaller films recognised or even made at all.
Importantly Soderbergh comes across as an impassioned true artist, who loves having the opportunity to make the movies he wants, but sees that having this ability is a rare thing, which inevitably leads to more generic studio movies and less interesting, experimental cinema.
I implore you to listen to this great speech. 30 minutes may sound like time you do not have, but I assure you if you are serious about film and cinema it is time well spent.
Let’s hope that this is heard by all those execs of which Mr Soderbergh speaks, and that they take heed of his great words, with which I could not agree more.
“the only way to pay back this karmic debt is to make something good”.
Well said Mr Soderbergh!
(Thanks to Badass Digest for the heads up on this)