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High Flying Bird (2019)

TV-MA | | Drama, Sport | 8 February 2019 (USA)
Trailer
2:04 | Trailer
A sports agent pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business opportunity during a lockout.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh
Reviews
Popularity
130 ( 653)

Steven Soderbergh Scores With 'High Flying Bird'

Find out why people are talking about High Flying Bird, the Oscar-winning director's new Netflix film about race and power in the NBA, shot entirely on an iPhone.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
André Holland ... Ray Burke
Melvin Gregg ... Erick Scott
Eddie Tavares ... Waiter
Farah Bala ... Manager Sal
Skip Bayless ... Himself
Shannon Sharpe Shannon Sharpe ... Himself
Joy Taylor Joy Taylor ... Herself
Zazie Beetz ... Sam
Bill Duke ... Spence
Zachary Quinto ... David Starr
Caleb McLaughlin ... Darius
Bobbi A Bordley ... Freddy (as Bobbi Bordley)
Sonja Sohn ... Myra
Kyle MacLachlan ... David Seton
Jeryl Prescott ... Emera Umber
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Storyline

A sports agent pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business opportunity during a lockout.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Play the Game on top of the Game

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Flying Bird See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Soderbergh finished the rough cut of the film three hours after principal photography wrapped. See more »

Quotes

Sam: I know you're old school. I sent you a fax.
See more »

Soundtracks

I Wish
Written by Anne Dudley (as Anne Jennifer Dudley), Malcolm McLaren (as Malcolm Robert Andrew McLaren), Alvin Wink Flythe, Jr., Trevor Horn (as Trevor Charles Horn) and Skee-Lo (as Antoine Roundtree)
Performed by Skee-Lo
Courtesy of RCA Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's a B-Movie - But In Great Way
8 February 2019 | by BodyDoubleFilmsSee all my reviews

As Steven Soderbergh made his way back to feature film directing, bringing us the rough round the edges psychological horror Unsane - shot on iPhone 7+ smartphones. By contrast High Flying Bird was not shot on iPhone 7+ phones... actually iPhone 8+...

Soderbergh spoke about a new age of B-Movies. Not in the sense of second rate - but going back to the golden age of cinema, when b-movies were cinema fillers for huge audiences.

They were shot on low budgets. Often with limited lighting and not too many stars or spectacular sequences, with crowds of extras.

Instead, the director had to work around his limited means creatively, often filling a lot of the film with dialogue - as it's much cheaper to shoot: if you can't film all those scenes, you can always have one character tell another character what happened.

Be in no doubt, although a lot of those old B-movies were fillers, some were remarkable pieces of cinema. All the better for being forced into creative use of limited resources.

Indeed, this was how film noir was born. And that is very much what High Flying Bird reminded me of. Those old b-movie sports pictures which couldn't afford the big action scenes so left the sport part in the background while the action focused on the backroom talk.

I loved the cinematography. And it was absolutely refreshing to see old school camera angles instead of the tedium we get now - when every kid with a few hundred dollars to spend sports a DSLR and Bokeh inducing lenses.

Boken is no excuse for cinematography. And this is why the use of smartphones is a breath of fresh air. Without those boring ricks to fall back on (do we really need to see another extreme shallow depth of field close up?), every shot in this movie was thought about. Every shot had a purpose. And how great to have the wide depth of field of smartphones bring the surrounded architecture into play. Not a shot or a building was wasted.

And that's what this is all about. Instead of cinema fillers we have Netflix fillers. Who knows, just like the last time some of them may just turn out to be little gems. Soderbergh knows he'll never win any Oscars for these new b-movies. As did those movie directors of old. But he knows he'll have the freedom to make the films he wants to make and have fun doing it.


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