The Cinema of Steven Soderbergh: Indie Sex, Corporate Lies, and Digital Videotape

The Cinema of Steven Soderbergh: Indie Sex, Corporate Lies, and Digital Videotape


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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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231165518
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 05/07/2013
Series: Directors' Cuts
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Andrew deWaard is a PhD student at UCLA, whose recent work regards media industries, digital humanities and screen synergy. His latest work can be viewed at

R. Colin Tait is a PhD Candidate at UT Austin, whose recent publications include work on genre cycles, television, authorship and Robert De Niro. His latest work can be viewed at

Thomas Schatz, is Professor in the Radio-Television-Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin. He has written four books on American film (and edited many others), including The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era and Boom and Bust: American Cinema in the 1940s. His recent scholarly works include lead essays in The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry (2008), Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies (2009), and Volume IV: 1976 to the Present, in Blackwell's History of American Film (2010).

Table of Contents

Preface by Thomas Schatz
Part One: Author, Brand, Guerrilla
1. The Dialectical Signature: Soderbergh as Classical Auteur
2. Impresario of Indiewood: Soderbergh as Sellebrity Auteur
3. Corporate Revolutionary: Soderbergh as Guerrilla Auteur
Part Two: History, Memory, Text
4. Searching Low and High: The Limey and the Schizophrenic Detective
5. Returning to the Scene of the Crime: Solaris and the Psychoanalytic Detective
6. The (Bl)end of History: The Good German and the Intertextual Detective
Part Three: Crime, Capital, Globalisation
7. Genre and Capital: New Crime Wave in the 1990s
8. The Ethical Heist: Competing Modes of Capital in the Ocean's Trilogy
9. Trafficking Social Change: The Global Social Problem Film in the 2000s

What People are Saying About This

Alisa Perren

A complex reading of an iconoclastic auteur that is both sophisticated and accessible. This compelling portrait is also a fascinating take on the history of American cinema from the late 1980s to the present.

Geoff King

An excellent analysis of the diverse range of work of one of the most fascinating contemporary filmmakers and the broader industrial and social contexts in which this is situated. Highly recommended.

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