The Cinematic Styles Of Steven Soderbergh

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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...