Watch Steven Soderbergh's State of Cinema Address, Plus Info on His Latest Twitter Novella
Though it was requested that Steven Soderbergh’s recent “last appearance ever talking film” at the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival was not to be recorded, a clip has made its way to the surface. The prolific filmmaker discusses the state of things and the difference between ‘movies’ and ‘cinema’ with the anecdotal prowess you would expect from the veteran. Hit the jump for the full video, and read on for the latest on his Twitter endeavors.
First of all, is there a difference between cinema and movies? Yeah. If I were on Team America, I’d say Fuck yeah! The simplest way that I can describe it is that a movie is something you see, and cinema is something that’s made. It has nothing to do with the captured medium, it doesn’t have anything to do with where the screen is, if it’s in your bedroom, your iPad, it doesn’t even really have to be a movie. It could be a commercial, it could be something on YouTube. Cinema is a specificity of vision. It’s an approach in which everything matters. It’s the polar opposite of generic or arbitrary and the result is as unique as a signature or a fingerprint. It isn’t made by a committee, and it isn’t made by a company, and it isn’t made by the audience. It means that if this filmmaker didn’t do it, it either wouldn’t exist at all, or it wouldn’t exist in anything like this form.
Thanks to Deadline for these transcriptions:
Now, I’m going to attempt to show how a certain kind of rodent might be smarter than a studio when it comes to picking projects. If you give a certain kind of rodent the option of hitting two buttons, and one of the buttons, when you touch it, dispenses food 40% of the time, and one of the buttons when you touch it dispenses food 60% percent of the time, this certain kind of rodent very quickly figures out never to touch the 40% button ever again. So when a studio is attempting to determine on a project-by-project basis what will work, instead of backing a talented filmmaker over the long haul, they’re actually increasing their chances of choosing wrong. Because in my view, in this business which is totally talent-driven, it’s about horses, not races.
I think that life is sort of like a drumbeat. It has a rhythm and sometimes it’s fast and sometimes it’s slower, and maybe what’s happening is this drumbeat is just accelerating and it’s gotten to the point where I can’t hear between the beats anymore and it’s just a hum. Again, I thought maybe that’s my generation, every generation feels that way, maybe I should ask my daughter. But then I remember somebody did this experiment where if you’re in a car and you’re going more than 20 miles an hour it becomes impossible to distinguish individual features on a human being’s face. I thought that’s another good analogy for this sensation.
Though Soderbergh is apparently done with filmmaking, he is turning to new media to continue his output, and is currently writing a novella via his ‘secret’ Twitter, entitled Glue. Published up to chapter seven, it’s a second-person account of a journey through Amsterdam and Paris, seeking a mysterious drug aptly named “#&%#.” He’s not quite done with the visual storytelling medium, however, as his latest novella includes obscured and impressionistic photos alongside some of the tweets. Check out some of them embedded below (starting from the beginning of his novella):
You can also listen to the address at SoundCloud using the link below.
What do you think of the ‘retired’ Soderbergh’s recent activity? Comment below!
- Steven Soderbergh SFIFF56 State of Cinema Address — SoundCloud
- Steven Soderbergh’s State of Cinema Talk — Deadline
- San Francisco International Film Festival
- Bitchuation on Twitter