Astonishing addition to the already rich collection of author analyzes offered by Playlist Society, Fluid Anatomy is one of the most original: by offering a reflection on the work of a director as changeable and elusive as Steven Soderbergh, Pauline Guedj is doing very well!
Among the contemporary filmmakers, there is a more than notable director, having to his credit as many ambitious, resolutely independent films, as popular blockbusters having met commercial success … and that hardly any cinephile will quote among his favorite authors: Steven soderbergh, awarded the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 1989 for his first fiction film, Sex, Lies & Videotape, when he is only 26 years old, has been omnipresent since, having already a rich filmography of 35 films and two TV series, but seems not to really… count! Which obviously questions the interest of the latest work from Playlist Society, an essay on Soderbergh : write about Cronenberg Or on Nolan, it’s obvious to everyone, but what is there to say about a chameleon with such an elusive identity as the unlikely resident of Baton Rouge?
The title of the essay Pauline Guedj, Fluid Anatomy, is a little surprising at first glance, but the excellent prologue (of 20 pages out of 140, all the same), by returning on the beginnings of the polymorphic career of Soderbergh and by offering an original reading of his approach, will both explain this title and the point of view of Guedj. And arouse our interest … ” A versatile, pragmatic artist, whose career is not dictated by a predefined aesthetic direction, but rather by a methodology of cinema that makes each film a unique experience, determined both by the content of the story and by the filming adventure »: What a splendid program, finally, against the usual assertion of artists, claiming that they have something important to say through their Art!
Because we realize that we have, without necessarily paying attention to it and especially without having “wanted” it (in the way in which we will systematically want to go see the new Tarantino or the last Eastwood), seen a large part of the films including Guedj speaks, often brilliantly, here we quickly find ourselves caught up in this original work of reflection: unlike most authors, the singularity – and the “added value” – of Soderbergh lies not in its themes – it is not one of those authors who always make the same film, quite the contrary – but in its global approach to cinema (or TV series), since it often combines the roles of screenwriter , director, but also cinematographer and editor. And that, as a result, all of his work – not just the finished product, the film itself, but the process to get there – is a form of reflection on cinema, and more broadly on the world: ” At the time of cultural globalization, Steven soderbergh wishes to grasp the challenges of the contemporary era by tracking its circulations, networks and flows that are difficult to understand. »: He is an essentially political filmmaker, in the noble sense of the term, even if he does not openly make militant cinema (while admitting that one of his greatest successes, Erin Brockovich is a film which clearly celebrates the struggle of the individual against the “system” …)
The great attraction ofFluid Anatomy The profound originality of the angles of analysis of Pauline Guedj, far from the well-trodden paths of classic film criticism, and the very stimulating result of this reflection. The only flaw in the book, but it makes sense given the nature of the exercise, is that it has something of an unfinished work in progress: it ultimately fails to convincingly consolidate the different unwound threads, and to arrive at a coherent portrait of Soderbergh and of his work, to a synthesis of all the reflections conducted. We almost feel a brutality in the conclusion of a reflection that could have been further extended, for our greatest pleasure: somewhere, Soderbergh remains an unsolved enigma, which does not lack charm either. In any case, as his work is still in full development, a second volume will clearly be necessary to continue this work. We meet in ten years (minimum…), for the future?
Steven Soderbergh, Anatomy of Fluids
French essay by Pauline Guedj
Publisher: Playlist Society
160 pages – 14 Euros
Publication: November 16, 2021
We would love to give thanks to the author of this short article for this remarkable material
[essai] Steven Soderbergh, the anatomy of fluids: circulations, networks and flows … – Benzine Magazine