Steven Soderbergh talks about the state of cinema


You may have heard that Steven Soderbergh made the keynote address at the San Francisco International Film Festival in which he talked about the movie business and the state of cinema. Video, audio, and a transcript of the speech were all released online last week.

Now, I’ve been a little bit swamped finishing up Tribeca stuff, so I only had a chance to watch this over the weekend, but it’s a pretty keen speech and worth sharing for the points Soderbergh brings up. It’s actually pretty inspiring at times in a roundabout way (in particular, there’s an anecdote at the end about a festival favorite that couldn’t get distribution) even though some of numbers have an almost Steve Albini-like gloom to them.

The gist seems obvious: studios are stifling creativity and making expensive yet middling movies for the international audience; the money people don’t even watch films for pleasure or know what they’re doing; films cost way too much to promote and release; and artistic expression is stifled for it.

Give it a watch and say what you think in the comments.

[Via San Francisco Film Society on Vimeo]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.