Steven Soderbergh retires


Jun 7, 2006
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Personally I think he should stick it out like all the other directors but it does suck that Hollywood likes to use piece of garbage focus groups to tear apart your film.

The old saying "quit while you're ahead" seems to be an adage that director Steven Soderbergh has taken to heart.

In a Q & A with Vulture on Sunday, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind such films as "Erin Brockovich," "Traffic," "Ocean's Eleven," and "Magic Mike" confirmed his intentions to retire from moviemaking this year. The 50-year-old Soderbergh believes that the upcoming psychological thriller "Side Effects" will be his last theatrical film.
The film stars Rooney Mara ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") as Emily Taylor, a depressed young woman whose experimental medication gets her into serious trouble withe the law. Frequent Soderbergh collaborators Jude Law ("Contagion") and Channing Tatum ("Haywire," "Magic Mike") co-star as Emily's psychiatrist and husband, respectively.

However, it wasn't the production of "Side Effects" that precipitated Soderbergh's early retirement (or any of the other five movies he's made since 2011). Rather, the director said, it was "a combination of things" over a very long period of time that convinced him to throw in the towel. In the Vulture interview, Soderbergh cited his struggles getting the two-part Che Guevara biopic "Che" made, Tinsel Town's obsession with focus groups, and the way that studios and producers treat directors as the primary reasons for his very public exit.

"The worst development in filmmaking—particularly in the last five years—is how badly directors are treated," said Soderbergh. "It’s become absolutely horrible the way the people with the money decide they can fart in the kitchen, to put it bluntly. It’s not just studios—it’s anyone who is *financing a film."

See also: Steven Soderbergh's Liberace biopic 'too gay' for Hollywood
Whether Soderbergh was speaking from personal experience (despite being an award-winning filmmaker and critical darling, Soderbergh was reportedly fired by the producers of "Moneyball" when they didn't like the direction he was taking the film) or talking more generally about the lot of most filmmakers in Hollywood doesn't really matter. Either way, it's a pretty damning parting shot from a high profile director.

Soderbergh isn't the only big filmmaker who has recently been talking up the idea of retirement. Writer/filmmaker Kevin Smith announced his retirement from feature filmmaking last year, pointing to the studio distribution system as the main reason, and the always outspoken "Django Unchained" director Quentin Tarantino recently said he's toying with the idea of retiring after his tenth film, before he becomes a "old-man filmmaker."

"Directors don’t get better as they get older," Tarantino told Playboy. "Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. I am all about my filmography, and one bad film f---s up three good ones … When directors get out-of-date, it’s not pretty."
Tarantino's reasoning for retirement definitely seems a little more selfish than Soderbergh',s though. When asked about his own legacy, Soderbergh told Vulture's Mary Kaye Schilling that he had no idea what it would be. "As Orson Welles said, I’m the bird, you’re the ornithologist."

See also: Steven Soderbergh's Top 5 best films
Technically, the director still has a little more time to secure said legacy. February is a big month for Soderbergh: Not only will his final theatrical film hit theatres, but his TV biopic about the life of musician Liberace, "Behind the Candelabra" (starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon), will air on HBO. Although he claims to be finished with movies, the director said he might turn up on the small screen under the right circumstances.
"Just to be clear, I won’t be directing 'cinema,'" said Soderbergh. "But I still plan to direct — theater stuff, and I’d do a TV series if something great were to come along."
"Side Effects" arrives in theatres on Feb. 8.
That's a damn shame. He's made some fantastic films that I've enjoyed immensely. But he must also be tired from the amount of films he's done in the past 2-3 years alone.
Why would her? Some film makers don't get into the business just so they can maybe make a superhero movie someday. I don't think his style would lend itself to a comic movie anyway.
Gosh... Such a bummer... Today sucks.:csad:
He had been waffling on his declaration of retirement but I guess this is confirmation.
I can understand if he just didn't feel like making movies anymore, but this sucks it was because of how controlling the studios can be. That and the focus group BS they do. It's ridiculous to have a director change his film over the opinions of a relatively small group of people the studio uses.
Wow, heh! I love Tarantino, but damn, what an ego!! Btw, Quentin, Clint Eastwood still makes very good films at his age. Just sayin'.
I really wonder why Francis Ford Coppola has not done something big since Bram Stoker's Dracula. Did he suddenly lose his 'genius' after the Godfather films, Apocalypse Now, The Conversation and Dracula?

About time he got some big backing from a major studio to finally at least try to conceive Godfather Part IV! And what has Andy Garcia done since G3? The next installment is due.
Ah the crazy world of micro-managing!
The tv spots for Side Effects have had me intrigued. It being his last film gives me more reason to check it out. Good luck to him in whatever he pursues after he leaves cinema.
Wow, heh! I love Tarantino, but damn, what an ego!! Btw, Quentin, Clint Eastwood still makes very good films at his age. Just sayin'.

And yet Tarantino believes that he himself won't be able to work at that level.

Plus he's probably just terrified that he'll make his own Hereafter :o.
Yeah , this will probably be his first retirement.
He can't stay away.
Never liked his style anyway, the focus group stuff is a dreadful creation though.

Also Quentin, it's too late chinny.
"Steven Soderbergh's Liberace biopic 'too gay' for Hollywood"

That's some mad ******** and you know it Hollywood.
"Steven Soderbergh's Liberace biopic 'too gay' for Hollywood"

That's some mad ******** and you know it Hollywood.

I know, right? We should ban the usual romance movies while we're at it, they're too straight. :hehe:
He can't stay away.

Yeah. Give it a year or so, a script will land in Soderbergh's lap (or several) and he'll reconsider his retirement decision.

I think Soderbergh doesn't get the fact that he's constantly working within the Hollywood studio system, and not the international market. You have workhorses like Woody Allen (who still manage to put a movie every year) who can work within and outside Hollywood and still maintain creative control.

And I really don't like Soderbergh's overly filtered visual style. Ever since he switched to digital, his style doesn't really change with each film. It's just... bland after a while.

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