So, with little to grab at this weekend for list themes, I decided to grab onto the fact that I still see murmurs online of people discussing Magic Mike
, a film I'm dying to see now, so here I am giving you the films I most adore from a filmmaker I most adore. Please enjoy.
10. The Good German (2007)
I believe this was one of the first films of Sodergh
that I was exposed to that wasn't in any sense of the word "traditional". I was taken in by not only the throw back story that he tried to tell, but also the older techniques of filmmaking that he employed to help make that story become even more grounded than ever before. Sometimes we're willing to forgive a lot in the view of hindsight and age I discovered thanks to this film.
9. Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Here's a fun film that I never seem to get bored of popping into the DVD player. While I take umbrage with the original -- and somehow I feel that's a case of who got there first more than anything else -- this film manages to do everything I ever wanted in a quick play comedy ensemble. Every scene is filled with moments where everyone is doing what they need to do but being hilariously funny, on purpose, while doing it and it feels almost like every actor is just trying to one up the other minute after minute, line after line and it's beautiful.
8. The Girlfriend Experience (2009)
Probably the moment I truly fell in love with Soderbergh
is with this film. I won't be so brazen as to call it his best, but I do consider it a very showing piece of his canon. He's known for going off and doing these smaller "experimental" pieces where he takes non actors and gives them room to almost find themselves as actors and it's so lovely to watch. This movie doesn't do much, but what it looks for it accomplishes so well.
7. Contagion (2011)
It's as if one night up too late Soderbergh
on TV and then immediately was inspired to fix it. The dread that this movie creates with the most realised apocalypse that we could all face at any moment is so terrifying that I almost never wanted to leave my home after seeing this. Every character in this ensemble is given their own time to shine and accomplish their own parts and proves that even with a bloated base of characters a film can still manage to resolve all these threads without feeling stretched at all.
6. Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989)
His first film and without a doubt one of his most interesting. With the idea of sex being explored, by a character unable to perform sex in the traditional sense, we end up talking about a lot of other great things and how it relates to life.
5. Out of Sight (1998)
Here's another one of those unabashadly fun films that Soderbergh decided to make -- with George Clooney
doing his charasmatic quick witted thing we love so much -- and it's hard for anyone to truly hate it. Problems this movie has, but if you're willing to look past a lot of those (mostly small and unaware problems) you will find a much filled satisfying set of characters and enjoyable movie. Even Jennifer Lopez
comes off great in this one and that is difficult to accomplish.
4. Che: Part One (2008)
While I probably should lump part two along with this one it is glaringly obvious how much more well put together this film is (structurally) than it's follow-up (Part Two), even though they are meant to be consumed together. The film takes us through the Cuban revolution as Che Guevara takes his militia through the country of Cuba in order to eventually put his partner, Fidel Castro, in power. For those of us who only watch CNN who put communism and Castro in as poor a light as possible this film shows how warranted and right the positioning of Castro at the top of the Cuban political world was.
3. The Limey (1999)
I started out this list with The Good German
, the reason why I like that movie so much is for it's noir tendencies. This film on the other hand is 100% neo-noir filmmaking. We get a true revenge tale with the likes of Terrence Stamp
in the leading role which can never be a bad thing. Just remember to tell them I'm coming.
2. Kafka (1991)
One of the few genres that I've yet to discuss, as Soderbergh
tends to dabble in them all, is science-fiction. Here he takes a try at creating the equivalent of a 50's science-fiction film with Jeremy Irons
playing the role of Kafka as he discovers some underworld dealings in his town as he works as an insurance agent during the day. The film is ripe with imagery and subtext that will litter the pages of Graduate students' papers for decades to come, all I can pray for is a proper Blu Ray release to make me happy.
1. Traffic (2000)
I guess this is as obvious as obvious can be. Here's the film that won him the Oscar for Best Directing and also won Best Picture itself. It's interesting to see how he's able to so simply segment these interconnecting stories and handle the eventual amalgamation, when applicable. It's easy to see where his well put together large ensemble execution that I praised in Contagion
came from when watching this film, but there's no beating this one to be perfectly honest. Extra-points for introducing me to Luis Guzman
, Don Cheadle, Topher Grace
and Benecio Del Toro
What's your favourite Soderbergh film?