Steve Soderbergh says goodbye
The Academy Award-winning director, who has walked the line between making arthouse and blockbuster films for the last 20 years, is ready for retirement.
This story was originally covered by PRI's Studio 360. For more, listen to the audio above.
Steven Soderbergh is one of the only directors to have been nominated for best director by the Academy for two different films in one year -- "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich." He has made six films with Matt Damon and six with George Clooney, including the Oceans 11 series. Looking back over his career, Soderbergh says he'd like to retire from the industry at the peak of his game. He told PRI's Studio 360:
You know, when you see one of those athletes like hang on like two seasons too long? You know, it's kinda sad. You know, because then your last image of them isn't when they were great.
Part of what has made the director's work great is that he doesn't sacrifice his own vision for what he imagines the moviegoer may want. "I'm not willing to do anything to get a rise out of an audience. You know?" Soderbergh explains, "I'd rather have something that feels human scale and not... that doesn't make you... the next day make you feel manipulated."
With two more movies still to come -- one with Damon and the other with Clooney -- Soderbergh says he feels like he's accomplished everything he can in film:
It's a sense of just having been there before. The making of any art is just problem solving and as you work at it, you're able to eliminate the versions that aren't any good faster. But at a certain point, the "solves" sort of become the same. And when I started feeling like I've done this shot before, I've done a scene that's about this before, that's when I started thinking seriously about you know, a shift.
The director explains that aspects of filmmaking no longer excite him, and with so many people desperate to participate in the industry, he is looking to hand over the opportunities to someone else.
When you reach the point when you're like, 'If I have to get into another van to do another scout, I'm just gonna shoot myself,' it's time to let someone else who's still excited about getting in the van, get in the van. And so, it's just time.
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