Quote of the day: SODERBERGH

February 7, 2013


I’m always curious to hear how something was made—though I have no interest in why an artist did something, or what his work means. Like with Jackson Pollock: I’m always interested in what kind of paint and canvas he used, I just don’t want to know what he meant. You’re supposed to expand your mind to fit the art, you’re not supposed to chop the art down to fit your mind…

One thing I do know from making art is that ideology is the enemy of problem-solving. Nobody sits on a film set and says, “No, you can’t use green-screen VFX to solve that because I’m Catholic.” There’s no place for that, and that’s why I’ve stopped being embarrassed about being in the entertainment industry, because I’m surrounded by intelligent people who solve problems quickly and efficiently, primarily because issues of ideology don’t enter into the conversation.

After making a lot more films, I realized that the movie and TV business is, for all its inefficiencies, one of the best-run big businesses we have. It’s very transparent, financially, and the only business I know of that successfully employs trickle-down economics: When movies and shows make money, the profits go right back into making more movies and shows, because the stock price is all about market share. And these people excel at problem-solving—that’s 99 percent of the job. I look at Hurricane Katrina, and I think if four days before landfall you gave a movie studio autonomy and a 100th of the billions the government spent on that disaster, and told them, “Lock this place down and get everyone taken care of,” we wouldn’t be using that disaster as an example of what not to do. A big movie involves clothing, feeding, and moving thousands of people around the world on a tight schedule. Problems are solved creatively and efficiently within a budget, or your ass is out of work. So when I look at what’s going on in the government, the gridlock, I think, Wow, that’s a really inefficient way to run a railroad. The government can’t solve problems because the two parties are so wedded to their opposing ideas that they can’t move. The very idea that someone from Congress can’t take something from the other side because they’ll be punished by their own party? That’s stupid. If I were running for office, I would be poaching ideas from everywhere. That’s how art works. You steal from everything….

There are lots of things that America does really well.

Like what?
Comedy. We have the best comedy in the world, hands down. I’m very proud, for example, that we have Chris Rock.

Are you a Louis C.K. fan?
I love his show. He seems like someone who would be fun to know. Seems like. And we do sports entertainment better than anyone. It’s phenomenal—the production values, the computer graphics, the commentators …

What teams do you follow?
I followed the Jets, simply because they were such a train wreck this season. But I follow stories more than teams—stories like Robert Griffin III or Colin Kaepernick.

Do you watch basketball?
I was going to say that the only thing I don’t really watch is basketball. It has to do with my personality, how I’m wired. You can’t make a play in the first quarter of a basketball game that will determine the ultimate outcome the way you can in baseball or football—like if a touchdown is scored in the first quarter, that could conceivably be the only big play of the game. So I can never figure out why I’m supposed to watch the first half of a basketball game.

— Steven Soderbergh, interviewed in New York magazine


One Response to “Quote of the day: SODERBERGH”

  1. Thanks a lot for applying free time to publish “Quote of the day:
    SODERBERGH another eye opens”. Thanks once more -Gilda

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