Listen to Steven Soderbergh on the Future of Cinema

Slate's Culture Blog
April 29 2013 5:12 PM

Steven Soderbergh on the Future of Cinema

Steven Soderbergh.


Steven Soderbergh may have “retired” from directing movies, but he’s remained very busy doing movie-director things. He’s helping Channing Tatum work on a Magic Mike sequel, apparently, and his HBO movie about Liberace is coming out soon. He’s working on a 12-hour miniseries adaptation of John Barth’s The Sot-Weed Factor. In a more literary vein, he tweeted a novella.

He also just gave a much talked about State of Cinema address at the San Francisco International Film Festival. It’s a bit of a barn-burner, full of anger at the clueless studios. “Cinema is under assault by the studios,” Soderbergh says, and “with the full support of the audience.” And yet he hasn’t lost hope entirely, seeing promise, for instance, in the more affordable movie-making allowed by digital technology. (“Whenever people start to get weepy about celluloid,” Soderbergh thinks of a quote he attributes to Orson Welles: “I don't want to wait on the tool. I want the tool to wait on me.”)

He gets into some detail about financial figures, saying that studios insist that it costs $30m to market a film domestically and another $30m internationally. (He also says the electric bill for the Ocean’s 13 casino set was $60,000 a week.) The whole thing is worth a listen.


David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

U.S. Begins Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059


Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

How in the World Did Turkey Just Get 46 Hostages Back From ISIS?

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.