Steven Soderbergh, who has "retired from directing," has produced a number of films inside and outside the studio system, but regardless of the way any of them are funded, he is usually trying to challenge himself in some way with each movie he makes -- except when he didn't early on in his career. In a new interview with Criterion about the release of his film King of the Hill, Soderbergh disses one of his earlier films, The Underneath, and takes full responsibility for being mentally absent during the making of that movie. Check out the clip below (NSFW language):
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4H2rbxgbQo
And here he is talking about King of the Hill, which Criterion has released on Blu-Ray/DVD:
We don't get to hear this perspective very often (mostly because it doesn't bode well for future employment), but I'm sure it happens a lot more than we'd think. Filmmaking can become a job just like any other, and the most difficult thing about being above-the-line on a movie is that you're with it for years, so what you first liked about a project may be well in your rearview mirror by the time you actually shoot it.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have someone else foot the bill while we figure out what kind of projects we really want to make, but I think it's fascinating to hear a director be so candid about one of their films -- especially when they aren't happy with the result.