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8 Times Steven Soderbergh Broke the Rules of Filmmaking and Invented New Ones

8 Times Steven Soderbergh Broke the Rules of Filmmaking and Invented New Ones
When Steven Soderbergh is asked about the state of filmmaking, he often points to the American films of the ’60s and ’70s as a counterpoint to the broken state of today’s industry. “The bottom line is that at a certain period in time, from 1966 to 1976, the most successful movies were also the best movies, and that’s just not true anymore,” the director said in a 2014 interview.

Read More:Steven Soderbergh Movies Ranked from Worst to Best

Soderbergh may complain a lot, but he’s never been passive about it. Throughout his career, he has constantly experimented with different ways to make and distribute his films by thinking outside the box and pioneering new technology. With “Logan Lucky,” Soderbergh’s finally fulfilling his plans to launch a self-distribution company capable of releasing a studio-size film, but it’s not the first ambitious effort in a career defined by risky maneuvers.
See full article at Indiewire »

Steven Soderbergh Movies Ranked from Worst to Best

  • Indiewire
Steven Soderbergh Movies Ranked from Worst to Best
Steven Soderbergh’s directing career started with “Sex, Lies and Videotape,” a massive breakout that not only launched his career — it changed the industry of independent filmmaking in America. While struggling to find his footing after becoming a household name at age 26, Soderbergh never let himself become frozen by his early success or some preconceived notion of what his career would be. Instead, he dogmatically followed any story that piqued his interest, regardless if it was building the slick “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise or an experimental film he shot in his hometown with friends (“Schizopolis”).

He has been careful to build a career that was commercially viable so as to maximize his ability to be constantly creating and experimenting with films that were sometimes aggressively uncommercial. Along the way, he has fought to be as efficient a filmmaker as possible – constantly trying different approaches and new technology to make and
See full article at Indiewire »

Arrow Season 5 Episode 20 Review: Underneath

Who knew being trapped in a life or death situation would prove to be a therapeutic affair for Oliver and Felicity?

That's exactly what happened on Arrow Season 5 Episode 20, and it resulted in a decent hour of this CW hit. 

Having Oliver and Felicity trapped in the bunker provided some insight into how they felt about one another. Now, I don't see them getting back together anytime soon, but it brought them closer together. 

I felt horrible for Felicity being rendered immobile by the Emp, but she was still thinking of ways out of the situation. Felicity has always been one of the smarter characters on the show. 

I'm one of those viewers who felt like there was no way the characters would get back together again, but the flashbacks proved there were still strong feelings between the pair. I still don't see them reuniting until the end of the series.
See full article at TVfanatic »

120 Essential Horror Scenes Part 7: Meltdowns

If the transformation is a character’s external change then the meltdown is the internal equivalent. Sometimes the most terrifying part of a horror film isn’t when the monster pops out, but when a character loses his or her grip on reality. The psychosis can begin gradually, exacerbated by stress, sickness, or an outside tormentor. Often the character begins a film in complete control of his or her mental faculties. But control is a relative term, and in a horror film, the illusion of control can be just as powerful as actual agency. The options: denial or embracement. The psychological break will come soon enough. The only question is, how broken will the person be once it does?

****

Alien (1979) – Ash malfunctions

The crew of the cargo ship Nostromo has just about had it. Awakened from a cozy hypersleep to answer the worst wrong number in interstellar history, they then
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘The Knick’s’ Production Designer Explains How He Re-created 1900s New York

‘The Knick’s’ Production Designer Explains How He Re-created 1900s New York
Howard Cummings’ creative partnership with director Steven Soderbergh stretches back over two decades, but Cummings never expected it would take him to 1900 New York.

“(Steven) called me the day before I was going to start another job,” Cummings says of the offer to work on period drama “The Knick,” which would result in his second Emmy nom. “I was about to fly to Argentina. He sent me a text saying, ‘Dude, you’re gonna pass up 1900 New York?’”

Besides already being committed elsewhere, Cummings couldn’t think of a reason to turn his friend down.

“How often do you get to do that?” he says of the project’s unique time and place. Besides, he notes that “other than ‘Behind the Candelabra,’ which we did together, no one would hire me for a period project,” and this would be a calling card like no other.

Soderbergh directed, shot and edited
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Tcmff 2015: ‘Nightmare Alley’ is an under-appreciated Carny-Noir

Nightmare Alley

Written by Jules Furthman

Directed by Edmund Goulding

U.S.A., 1947

A carny cons his way up to high society through cold-reading and (un)timely circumstance. Based on that one-liner, who would you cast? If you say Tyrone Power, I’d say that my friend Stan Carlisle is on his way (The name Stan Carlisle being a con-industry handshake of sorts, informing one con-artist that he’s stepping in on another man’s con, or at least according to Eddie “The Czar of Noir” Muller’s introduction of this film at Tcmff). In Nightmare Alley, Tyrone Power, the 20th Century Fox matinee idol, plays a lowlife con man, who lies and cheats his way from a podunk carnival to becoming a spiritualist amongst the more gullible of Chicago’s upper crust. His character is also the namesake of the above con slang.

And any which way, yes, Tyrone Power
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Steven Soderbergh Throws Himself Under The Bus For ‘The Underneath’; Talks Criterion ‘King of The Hill’

Steven Soderbergh is nothing if not candid. And self-critical. But unless you're a longtime fan you may not have heard the always-frank filmmaker essentially throw himself underneath the bus for Universal/Gramercy Picture’s 1995 crime film, "The Underneath” starring Peter Gallagher, William Fichtner, Elisabeth Shue and Alison Elliott. A remake of 1949's noir "Criss Cross," the film came at a critical time in the filmmaker's development and a tumultuous one in his life. He had started his career with the Palme d'Or breakthrough "Sex Lies & Videotape," a film that essentially jumpstarted the American indie film scene ("it's all downhill from here,” he quipped during his acceptance speech), but his subsequent efforts didn't connect with audiences. And moreover Soderbergh seemed dissatisfied with each to some degree or another. By the time his fourth feature "The Underneath" was ready to roll before cameras, the filmmaker, who was also suffering through a crumbling marriage,
See full article at The Playlist »

New DVD Blu-ray: 'Gravity,' 'Nebraska,' 'Thor: The Dark World'

Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week

"Gravity"

What's It About? A routine space walk goes horribly awry when space debris smashes into the shuttle, leaving a medical engineer (Sandra Bullock) and an astronaut (George Clooney) a mere 90 minutes to make it to the International Space Station.

Why We're In: Even though you won't be getting the whole IMAX 3D experience of being alone in space with Sandy Bullock, you'll still feel crazy anxious about the fate of her character. Plus, Alfonso Cuarón and his crew have snagged tons of awards and Oscar nominations for this sci-fi chiller.

Exclusive: Go behind-the-scenes on "Gravity" (Video)

Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week

"Tess" (Criterion)

What's It About? Roman Polanski's take on Thomas Hardy's classic novel "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" is a Victorian drama about a lower class peasant (Nastassja Kinski) who runs into all sorts of trouble when her father discovers
See full article at Moviefone »

Criterion Collection: King of the Hill | Blu-ray Review

  • ioncinema
After a pair of edgy indies and a Palme d’Or to boot, Steven Soderbergh was given his first opportunity to bed down with the studio system and take advantage of the much deeper pockets that such an opportunity affords, but no one expected that under the watch of Universal the young auteur would make the polished and saccharine King of the Hill his first project. Adapted from A. E. Hotchner’s depression era memoir of the same title in which a preadolescent boy named Aaron is faced with the harsh realities of true poverty, Soderbergh’s first studio effort remains a wholesome oddity within a filmography that seems increasingly chameleonic, but rarely sentimental. After the subversion of Sex, Lies, and Videotape and the experimentalism of the bio-pic Kafka, the chances that his next film would boast the fluffiness of a made for TV afternoon special about how hard it
See full article at ioncinema »

‘Schizopolis’ – Soderbergh’s schizoanalysis of everything and nothing

Steven Soderbergh followed The Underneath, a superb neo-noir that expertly uses widescreen framing and color photography to its full potential, with Schizopolis, a film motivated by his feelings of artistic impotence. This concept is somewhat surprising, as The Underneath is one of his best films, one of the best neo-noirs from the nineties, and one of Soderbergh’s more underrated works. Schizopolis is more well-known and seen (thanks to Criterion) but unfortunately, it is a stale work that only exists for the director’s edification. After Schizopolis, Soderbergh reportedly felt rejuvenated and made Out of Sight, which ended his commercial slump so we can all thank this experimental film for Soderbergh’s commercial and artistic turning point. However, this exercise is far more interesting to think and write than it is to watch. Schizopolis is ultimately more interesting in the abstract than it is in reality

The main problems with
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Steven Soderbergh Month: The Underneath foretells Soderbergh’s future success

Following the release of Sex, Lies, and Videotape in 1989, Steven Soderbergh was poised for stardom as the darling of the indie scene. He sat at the head table in a push to change the face of cinema. Unlike contemporaries like Tarantino, his predicted rise didn’t happen right away. He followed the popular debut with Kafka and King of the Hill, and neither came close to earning a significant return. The talent was there, but Soderbergh needed more than critical praise to keep his career intact. His next step was 1995’s The Underneath, a low-key noir film that didn’t change his perception as a director with limited appeal. Despite a convincing lead performance from Peter Gallagher, it earned just over $500,000 on a more than $6 million budget. Was Soderbergh doomed to slip completely off the map? Despite the lack of financial rewards, this movie contains the elements that served him well several years later.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: King of the Hill

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 25, 2014

Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95

Studio: Criterion

Jesse Bradford is King of the Hill.

The 1993 drama King of the Hill represented the first Hollywood studio production for Steven Soderbergh (Contagion), whose independent debut, sex, lies, and videotape, had won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival a few years earlier.

Set in St. Louis during the Depression, King of the Hill follows the daily struggles of a resourceful and imaginative adolescent (Bring It On’s Jesse Bradford) who, after his tubercular mother is sent to a sanatorium, must survive on his own in a run-down hotel during his salesman father’s long business trips.

An evocative period piece about growing up, the film is faithfully adapted from the memoir by the novelist A. E. Hotchner. Among the ever versatile Soderbergh’s most touching and surprising films, it features a strong supporting cast that includes
See full article at Disc Dish »

‘Ocean’s Twelve’ a deliciously self-aware sequel musing on the challenges of stardom

Read our appreciation of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven here.

* * *

“How old do you think I am?”

Ocean’s Twelve has a reputation that will always precede it; some have called it an anti-sequel, and publications like Entertainment Weekly have dubbed it one of the worst sequels of all time. Though both reactions are, perhaps, understandable, neither is remotely accurate. Ocean’s Twelve is an inherently self-aware sequel, possibly the most self-aware follow-up in modern history. What Steven Soderbergh, screenwriter George Nolfi (whose original script, Honor Among Thieves, was completely unrelated to Ocean’s Eleven and was sold initially before that remake had been released), and the slightly larger-than-before ensemble cast did was make a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film that was wholly cognizant of the fact that it was a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film. Ocean’s Twelve toys with audience expectations,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘The Good German’ is Soderbergh’s paean to old war films

The Good German

Written by Paul Attanasio

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

USA, 2006

During the mid-2000s, between his exercise in low-budget filmmaking and new modes of exhibition with Bubble, and his big-budget ensemble Ocean’s Thirteen, Steven Soderbergh made a mid-budget return to 1940s style with The Good German.

Announcing the unambiguous Casablanca reference with a mimicking poster, Soderbergh’s black-and-white film is full of classic Hollywood soft-lighting and sinister wartime figures.

The Good German fits squarely alongside two previous Soderbergh efforts in its near-revisionist status: Underneath and Solaris, which are both bold takes on classic source material. Underneath reworks Robert Siodmak’s Criss Cross into a color-gelled suburban world. Solaris is a re-adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 novel, moving the film closer to a relationship drama than Andrei Tarkovsky’s famous 1972 adaptation was.

These two films point toward Soderbergh’s willingness to take on and reimagine classic tropes. Though
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Blu-ray Review: Steven Soderbergh’s Brilliant Thriller ‘Side Effects’

Chicago – Over a hundred films in and Steven Soderbergh’s “Side Effects” is still one of my favorite flicks of 2013. In fact, I’d say it’s the first great movie of the year released on Blu-ray and DVD. It underperformed at the box office but the star power on its cover is likely to make it a hit on the home market. Renters or buyers will be pleasantly surprised by a rewarding thriller from one our best working filmmakers.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Well, maybe we can’t call him that any more. Steven Soderbergh has said that “Side Effects” will be his last theatrical film (and HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra” his last film, period). While I find it hard to believe that someone this talented is simply going to put his camera away (and stories about Soderbergh producing and directing an upcoming TV series make the “retirement” feel even less
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

CSI Exclusive: David Berman Teases a Deadly High School Reunion

  • TVfanatic
CSI doesn’t shake things up too often, which could be why it’s currently in its 13th successful season.

But diehard fans will notice a difference right from the start of tonight’s episode, “Dead of the Class.”

For a change, Assistant Coroner Dr. David Phillips (played by David Berman) steps out of the lab and is front and center when a murder takes place at the high school reunion he reluctantly attends.

There are also other unexpected moments, as Berman teases in the following Q&A, including meeting his character's significant other for the first time. Read on for key excerpts...

TV Fanatic: There are some fun moments right from the start of this episode but how did the story come about? It’s definitely something a lot of us can relate to.

David Berman: I actually went to my high school reunion last spring and I really didn't want to go,
See full article at TVfanatic »

Staff List: Steven Soderbergh’s Best Films

Steven Soderbergh became the poster child for new American independent cinema in the 90′s, after winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his debut feature Sex, Lies, & Videotape. Soderbergh spent the better part of the ensuing decade, directing small idiosyncratic films, and often wearing many hats including producer, screenwriter, cinematographer and editor. Eventually the director entered into a period that saw him make commercially satisfying films; most notably Ocean’s Eleven, Erin Brockovich and Traffic, the latter of which earned him an Oscar for Best Director. Despite his box office success, Steven Sodberergh continued to experiment with such films as the ensemble piece Full Frontal, the smart and ambiguous Solaris, the low-budget Bubble and the four hour long epic, Che. There are very few filmmakers who are able to keep their feet firmly planted in the commercial world, while conserving their independent spirit. With his last
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Film Review: Rooney Mara, Jude Law Star in Steven Soderbergh’s Thrilling, Stellar ‘Side Effects’

Chicago – Steven Soderbergh has given interviews in which he claims that his latest film, the fantastic “Side Effects,” will be his last. As much as I have my doubts that this is true, it makes more sense after viewing the thriller starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Channing Tatum. It plays like a proof of the auteur theory; like a “Greatest Hits” of Soderbergh’s career.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

With elements that remind one of “Contagion,” “”Sex, Lies, & Videotape,” “The Girlfriend Experience,” “The Underneath,” and much more, it is a testament to the man’s incredible ability that he can blend all of these different styles and creative visions into one highly-entertaining piece of work. “Side Effects” not only draws on Soderbergh’s career but has conscious echoes of Roman Polanski, Brian De Palma, and Alfred Hitchcock as well. I hope it’s not one of the modern era’s
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

How I Met Your Mother Hot Shots: Joe Manganiello Is Back and He's (Gulp!) Chunky

How I Met Your Mother Hot Shots: Joe Manganiello Is Back and He's (Gulp!) Chunky
How I Met Your Mother welcomes back an old friend when True Blood star Joe Manganiello returns as Brad in the Nov. 19 episode (CBS, 8/7c). But the following sneak peek suggests that Marshall’s law-school pal, who’s packed on some pounds and gone scraggly, has not been doing so well.

(Don’t worry, folks; Manganiello’s only sporting a fake gut. Underneath, those washboard abs are still laundry-ready.)

Related | How I Met Your Mother Gets Schooled by Covert AffairsPeter Gallagher

To help him out, Marshall sets him up with an interview for a gig at his firm, but the meeting goes awry.
See full article at TVLine.com »

Review: 'Oslo, August 31st' A Tender, Bleak Search For Hope

This is a reprint of of our review from the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

It hasn't been a good one for the disaffected on the Croisette today. Lars Von Trier kicked things off with his Earth-destroying examination of the depths of depression in "Melancholia," and this afternoon, Joachim Trier unveiled his sophomore feature film "Oslo, August 31st." Delivered with more nuance than Von Trier, containing the sensitivity missed in that provocateur's film and powered by a strong lead performance by Anders Danielsen Lie, who is nearly every frame, "Oslo, August 31st" still succumbs to a romantically tragic conclusion that can't help but feel a little cliche.

Based very loosely on Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s “Le feu follet” (which Louis Malle sourced for his 1963 film of the same name) the film opens with a gorgeous, elegiac montage of scenes from Oslo, with a voice over poetically describing the memories and moments
See full article at The Playlist »
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