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The Cinematic Styles Of Steven Soderbergh

978 words - 4 pages

When you speak of a particular filmmaker, especially a director, discussion almost always tends to drift to that artist's "style." Typically, even your favorite filmmaker has a particular style, and looks for material that fits that style. Spike Lee has his cultural study flicks, Guy Ritchie has his twisty-turny tie-yourself-in-a-knot action flicks, and Christopher Guest has his hilarious mockumentaries. What then, is the style of Steven Soderbergh? Soderbergh's films claim so many different genres, it's hard to say that he has a style at all. From the Noir-ish "Limey," to the studio-friendly "Erin Brokovich," to the docu-drama "Traffic," he has strayed so far from pigeonholing that one hardly knows what to expect next. Will he have a smash-hit action thriller like "Out of Sight" or the upcoming "Ocean's Eleven," or will you be treated to a more personal, independent "Schizopolis?" The key, in this case, seems to lie in instinct. When Soderbergh received the script to "Out of Sight," he had just finished both "Schizopolis" and "Gray's Anatomy." He had never even come close to turning an Elmore Leonard story into a film in the past. What made him so sure he could even pull it off, or even wanted to? Simply, Soderbergh's experiences made him realize that there was a place for films like this, and a place for his Schizopolis's. "When you're sent a script like 'Out of Sight' or 'Ocean's 11,' and you have that confluence of a good piece of material that you think you know how to do well, that you can put actors in that you know will do a great job and that might get seen, you've got to jump at that." say Soderbergh. "Those opportunities don't come along that often. It's a harder group of planets to line up than a 'Schizopolis' or a 'Limey,' which I can do any time, anywhere, and which I'll continue to do. But you can't just let things like that slip by or you'll have a whole career of making 'Schizopolis.' Then you're screwed." So Soderbergh manages to do almost a one for one between studio pictures and indepedent pieces.He has effectively become the chameleon of the film industry, jumping from picture to picture, genre to genre, style to style. However, he still manages to maintain a certain cohesiveness among all of his films that still scream "Soderbergh!" His color-shifting in "Traffic," which represents a change in locale, namely from Mexico to Cincinatti to San Diego, is just as apparent in "Out of Sight," where we are treated to the dusty, cold blues of Detroit and the warm and sunny oranges of Florida. His documentary-style, handheld camera-work first utilized in "The Limey" can be found in a healthy chunk of "Erin Brokovich." And his use of available light in both...

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