The Unique “Unsane!” Steven Soderbergh’s Latest Film Is Here!
As a huge Soderbergh fan, I’m really excited for his latest thriller, “Unsane!” The creative Director filmed it on three iPhone 7’s – not for budgetary reasons but to capture the voyreuristic intensity of a woman who may, or may not, be a dangerous stalker!
Claire Foy stars as a woman who may or may not be insane – as I said, this entire film was shot using iPhones, and it is getting terrific reviews! Here is the trailer:
Steven Soderbergh is an Oscar-winning filmmaker who embodies the best of the art form: he can make mass entertainment movies for everyone, and he can look at the world in a unique, independent way that pushes the art form and challenges the more discerning movie goer.
His latest film, the unique iPhone film “Unsane”, opens today. To celebrate, we are going to look at some of his best cinematic moments.
“Sex, Lies & Videotape” – 1989.
Where it all began. Soderbergh burst onto the scene with his first movie, a cultural watershed in independent film making. A sexually repressed woman’s husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.
James Spader, Andie MacDowell and Laura San Giocomo star along with Peter Gallagher in the movie that put independent films back into the mainstream.
Andie MacDowell is Ann, the wife who is betrayed. James Spader is Graham, a new face with a unique perspective…
Ann: Nothing’s what I thought it was. John’s a bastard. Let’s make a videotape.
Graham: No, I… ahem… I don’t think that’s a good idea.
Ann: Why not?
Graham: Because I don’t think it’s a choice that you’d make in a normal frame of mind.
Ann: And what would you know about a normal frame of mind?
Beautifully written, acted and directed, this is the “Godfather of Independent Film.” Soderbergh also tackled the issue of drug trafficking on our border in the great thriller “Traffic”.
“Traffic” – Soderbergh’s 2000 Oscar!
Steven Soderbergh directed this hard-hitting look at America’s problem with drugs…and he made it the same year as “Erin Brockovich” – and was nominated as Best Director for both films in the same year. A towering achievement.
“Traffic” is a multi-layered look at America’s war on drugs – told through four separate but ultimately inter-connected stories. A conservative politician who’s just been appointed as the US drug czar learns that his daughter is a drug addict. A trophy wife struggles to save her husband’s drug business, while two DEA agents protect a witness with inside knowledge of the spouse’s business. In Mexico, a corrupt, yet dedicated cop struggles with his conscience when he learns that his new boss may not be the anti-drug official he made himself out to be.
Michael Douglas, Benecio Del Toro and Catherine Zeta-Jones lead a multi-national cast that delves deep into the sordid world of drug-running – and its relationship with governments…
Soderbergh also makes small, experimental films like this next one…
Going Underground: “The Girlfriend Experience” – 2009
Adult film star Sasha Grey gives a compelling and intense performance as a high-end Manhattan call girl meeting the challenges of her boyfriend, her clients, and her work. Here’s how she explains her job:
Chelsea: Sometimes clients think they want the real you, but at the end of the day, they say they don’t. They want what… they want what you want to be. They want you to be something else. They don’t want you to be yourself.
Interviewer: Suppose I’m that rare client that really wants to…
Chelsea: If they wanted you to be yourself, they wouldn’t be paying you.
Next up, another intimate look at one man’s revenge-filled quest to find his missing daughter:
Terrence Stamp gives a career-best performance as a man consumed with revenge – a “film noir” that is one of Soderbergh’s best films – see the trailer here:
Of course, there have been so many great films, but probably his most popular was this one:
“Ocean’s Eleven” – And Then Came The Blockbuster.
In 2001, Soderbergh remade the iconic Frank Sinatra / Dean Martin Vegas heist movie, putting George Clooney and Brad Pitt in those roles. Nobody thought the original was particularly good – legend has it that Sinatra refused to do a scene more than once, and the “Rat Pack” spent all of their time enjoying Las Vegas more than they did making the movie.
The plot remains the same: Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.
Julia Robert, Bernie Mac and Matt Damon are just a few of the celebrities who show up in the film, a funny, intense and intricate heist movie.
Here is Elliott Gould, the guy putting up the money to fund the robbery, reacting to Danny Ocean’s plan:
“You guys are pros. The best. I’m sure you can make it out of the casino. Of course, lest we forget, once you’re out the front door, you’re still in the middle of the fucking desert! “
Even with so many big hits like this one, Soderbergh was tiring of the studio system, so he financed a film with his movie’s star – and it turned out to be a massive hit:
Here is a look at this fictional, yet autobiographical look at Channing Tatum’s early life as a stripper:
There are many more to mention of course, like “Out Of Sight” and “Logan Lucky”, but this is a primer to get you started:
These movies reiterate what a great film maker Soderbergh is…can’t wait to see “Unsane!”
Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Great Films, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Movies, Movies About Movies, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Sasha Grey, Steven Soderbergh, Talent/Celebrities, Technology
A very interesting title for this movie, John. I think it will be a another hit.
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My wife and I plan to see it – hope it will be a fun movie date!
What a unique was to film a movie! I love a good psychological thriller!!
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I spent time with Soderbergh socially so I always try to support all of his movies, which I enjoy anyway! Thanks for the comment – Claire Foy is great as well, loved her in “The Crown”
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I really liked ‘Traffic’, and ‘The Limey’ is one of my all-time favourite thrillers. But using i-phones must be worrying for the industry. So many trained technicians out of work! 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.