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PAUL ROWLANDS: Will the real Steven Soderbergh please stand up?

Whenever friends ask for my opinion on Steven Soderbergh, I reply, "Which Soderbergh?'" Are they referring to the man who directs super-stylish, cool, intelligent entertainments such as the "Ocean's" trilogy (2001 - 2007) and "Out of Sight" (1998), "Traffic" (2000) and "Erin Brockovich" (2000), or the man who directed such idiosyncratic experimental features as "Schizopolis" (1996), "Full Frontal" (2002) and "Bubble" (2005)? On the surface, his career choices seem among the most perverse and erratic of any modern filmmaker. There aren't any other contemporary directors who are able or willing to switch from one genre and style of filmmaking to another and exhibit such different sensibilities. It is entirely possible to love one side of the man's professional identity, the entertainer -- a side currently represented by his bruising action picture "Haywire" (2012) - whilst remaining ambivalent about his other, equally important and equally characteristic side, the experimenter.
  • By Paul Rowlands
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  • January 27, 2012 7:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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