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Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema. 
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Post Re: Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema.
Depends on who you mean by "studios". On paper, even with the most ridiculously successful movies, studios have almost always somehow taken a loss on their investment. Keeps them from having to pay people/companies who have an arrangement based strictly on the profits of the movie.

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Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:46 pm
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Post Re: Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema.
I'm still amazed by The Lone Ranger and Pacific Rim in particular. Who decided that spending 200 mil on these two movies was a good idea? Who still had enough confidence in Shyamalan to give him that much money for After Earth? Producers in Hollywood have quite a strong sense of entitlement, but I think it's clear that they often have absolutely no idea what they're doing. I think money has driven some of them crazy.

In addition to that, producers seem to have lost track of the fact that any movie you make has to have an edge over other movies or people just won't see it. There's only room for one or two big budget spectacles to be popular at any given time. It gets to the point where you need to start targeting audiences more specifically. Most movies are not for everyone, despite what some romantics may believe. Given the current line-up for 2015, I think Disney has another thing coming if they believe Star Wars will be an automatic billion just because it's Star Wars.


Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:59 pm
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Post Re: Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema.
Regardless of quality, kind of agree with you about Pacific Rim and The Lone Ranger, in which the former is a new property and the latter is an adaptation of a very old radioshow/TV series (although the very strong manga influence in the former indicates that they also have a specific angle for the Asian market, which now proves to work very well in my country; the opening for Pacific Rim in Thailand pretty much equals Man of Steel's opening).

I don't think so about Star Wars. A decade-long fanbase will still guarantee at least profits for all. Add to it that Star Trek was a much, much harder feat (in term of bringing in old and new viewers) to pull off and J.J. Abrams managed it, so I think Star Wars will be okay.


Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:39 pm
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Post Re: Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema.
http://www.slashfilm.com/what-do-edgar-wright-alfanso-cuaron-and-marc-webb-think-of-the-upcoming-hollywood-apocalypse/

Three current filmmakers on the upcoming fall.

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Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:37 am
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Post Re: Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema.


Interesting stuff. Personally, I'm excited for VOD to become a big thing...if it actually happens, that is. I had great experiences watching Byzantium and Pawn Shop Chronicles on it, also looking forward to Passion. I have to say, I'm distraught at JB's apparent decision not to review Byzantium. Don't want to jump to conclusions, but I can't shake the feeling that he maybe doesn't want to recognize VOD as a legitimate avenue. I really really hope it's not a question of ad revenue. Because if that's the case, then Edgar Wright is dead wrong :(

But another thing is that it's not a question of original content so much as uncensored, unbridled content. Sometimes I just want to feel that I'm watching the movie that the director set out to make, warts and all. Censorship used to be moral, now it's financial. Same difference.


Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:32 am
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Post Re: Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema.
If it's nagging you enough to form a (semi-conspiracy) theory, you should send him an email to ask.


Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:33 am
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Post Re: Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema.
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I have to say, I'm distraught at JB's apparent decision not to review Byzantium. Don't want to jump to conclusions, but I can't shake the feeling that he maybe doesn't want to recognize VOD as a legitimate avenue.


He also dropped 2 other VODs from the upcoming reviews(Only God Forgives, Redemption)
I guess he'll drop 'The Canyons' as well.


Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:51 pm
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Post Re: Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema.
calvero wrote:
Quote:
I have to say, I'm distraught at JB's apparent decision not to review Byzantium. Don't want to jump to conclusions, but I can't shake the feeling that he maybe doesn't want to recognize VOD as a legitimate avenue.


He also dropped 2 other VODs from the upcoming reviews(Only God Forgives, Redemption)
I guess he'll drop 'The Canyons' as well.

I hope he dosen't drop it, i'm really interested to hear his thoughts on that film.


Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:18 pm
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Post Re: Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema.
calvero wrote:
Quote:
I have to say, I'm distraught at JB's apparent decision not to review Byzantium. Don't want to jump to conclusions, but I can't shake the feeling that he maybe doesn't want to recognize VOD as a legitimate avenue.


He also dropped 2 other VODs from the upcoming reviews(Only God Forgives, Redemption)
I guess he'll drop 'The Canyons' as well.


While I don't know if Berardinelli has an open grudge against simultaneous releases, him dropping so many VOD films from his Upcoming Reviews list is an unfortunate trend for sure. These are the kinds of films that could use more exposure, especially the fairly accessible Byzantium. There was a time when Berardinelli would make the effort to see a new Almodovar or a new Studio Ghibli film or a similar smaller release, and if he passed something over, it was because he didn't want to travel the extra distance to the theater where it was playing, a slightly disappointing but understandable excuse. With VOD offering so many of these films at the click of a button, that excuse is no longer an option, and yet he's still only reviewing the highest-profile releases, whatever films offer the best chances for increased website clicks. That type of selective criticism makes it harder for me to mine significant value from his writings.

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Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:23 pm
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Post Re: Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema.
Brett Easton Ellis talks The Canyons plus his current opinion of cinema.

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Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:05 pm
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Post Re: Steven Soderbergh on the state of Cinema.
I think there's really two different things going on right now which some people are taking to be the same thing.

1. Dominance of over-amped, over-hyped, hollow blockbusters.

2. Increasing emphasis on adrenaline fueled filmmaking, specifically on action.

Two trends of the last 7 or so years, but very separate from each other. The former is a plague which will pass eventually, but I find the latter to be a potentially good thing. I think it's inevitable that more and more movies are starting to drift in that direction. I think the moniker "pure cinema" certainly applies to action, when it's done right. It has a kind of visceral purity, and can be extremely expressionistic. Just look at the number of directors who have moved over to action in recent years who had never dabbled in it before. This trend goes back a long way, too. You could probably write an interesting book about how many directors move closer and closer to straight action filmmaking as their careers progress. Or closer to spectacle perhaps, rather than action.

Cinema as art may be becoming as much an action medium or a spectacle medium as it is a storytelling medium. If you think about it, all this really does is bring movies away from literature and closer to painting and music, which is where people like Kubrick and Godard and John Ford said they ought to be a long time ago.


Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:20 am
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