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Monday, August 11, 2014

On Steven Soderbergh and The Knick

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 12:29 PM

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Steven Soderbergh's new TV series, The Knick, premiered over the weekend, and watching it is basically like: Shit—oh, right. That's how great Soderbergh can be.


So far, The Knick—which follows cocaine-fueled Dr. John W. Thackery (Clive Owen) as he practices/figures out medicine at New York's Knickerbocker Hospital in 1900—is fantastic, brutal, and gorgeous in an exceedingly disconcerting way. I can't wait to see how this series unfolds, even if I'll be watching roughly half of it from behind my fingers. The complete first episode is online for free, which means you have no excuse not to be watching it right this second, other than if you plan on eating anytime soon.

Once you're done with that, Sean Fennessey and Chris Ryan have a piece up on Grantland—"‘I’m Not a Visionary’: The Staggering Career Arc of Steven Soderbergh"—that's well worth a read.

Steven Soderbergh has never told a straight story. Not one of his 26 feature-length films or two television series has played out in a linear fashion. Jump cuts, flashbacks, hallucinations, videotaped segments, dream sequences, unreliable narrators, gaps in logic, cross-cutting plotting, direct address, unresolved threads: They’re all there in all of his movies. He doesn’t do traditional three-act structure, and he never goes from point A to point B. Instead, Soderbergh, 51, has bent the arc of a director’s career to meet his own expectations. He has threatened a quasi-retirement from directing since 2008. He has said he will paint. “I’m always looking for something that will destroy the thing I just did,” he told Esquire back then. “You should be willing to throw it away or annihilate it. I’ll destroy my career if it’s the last thing I do.” (Via.)

This concludes my daily adoration of Steven Soderbergh. Carry on.

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