Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Memo to Steven Soderbergh: Stop Making Stuff!

Posted By on Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Im soooo tired
  • "I'm soooo tired"
Steven Soderbergh directed 13 features this decade, as well as a short film and 10 episodes of K Street. He served as his own cinematographer on most of those, edited about half and wrote one or two. He also served as executive producer for two television shows, 22 other features (that he did not direct!), and served as plain old producer on another two. And we used to be impressed when Woody Allen directed a movie a year!

But honestly, the strain is showing in his work; this year, both The Informant! and The Girlfriend Experience, whatever their other virtues, felt hastily conceived and executed. He already has another film in the can (a Spalding Gray documentary), according to IMDb, while in production on another (for which he's serving as cinematographer, of course) and pre-production on yet another. And he's a producer or executive producer on four other movies in production or pre-production.

What else? He's in Australia, directing a play that he wrote.

"Tot Mom," the Times reported yesterday, is "a mixed-media work with 10 actors in multiple roles."

A mirrored backdrop forces the audience to watch itself watching the media frenzy whipped up around the case of Caylee Anthony, the Florida toddler who went missing in June 2008 and was later found dead. The piece includes a portrayal of the CNN legal affairs commentator and host Nancy Grace, played on video by the Australian actress Essie Davis, with blond wig and flawless mannerisms and accent.

OK, it sounds awesome, and it's been stirring debate, and tickets—even just to previews!—have been a hot commodity in Sydney. But, please, Mr. Soderbergh: just stop! For, like, a month. Pull yourself together. And devote more time to particular projects so they're not only "of interest" but, like, actually good—before you burn out! It might not be a great idea to make one movie every 12 years. But that doesn't mean you have to make 12 movies every one year.

Though it doesn't look like Ol' Steve'll be slowing down any time soon. "Mr. Soderbergh," Celia McGee reported, "has already signaled his interest in returning to the [Australian theater] company to direct again." Grooooan.

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