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By Adams W. S., Joy A. H.

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And not just the creative ones. In an effort to move beyond the Romantic notion of authorial genius, we might reverse the importance given to raw talent versus ‘mere’ skill. No doubt Soderbergh did appear a considerable talent when his debut film – sex, lies, and videotape – seemingly came out of nowhere to win the Audience Award at Sundance, the Palme D’Or at Cannes, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Director, and the Academy Award for Best Screenplay. More impressive than this precocious feat, however, is what he did next.

An alternative use of colouring, quite literally, is in Kafka, which is presented mostly as a black-and-white, film noir-inspired world, but colourises on occasion, in order to represent a heightened perception of reality. Another fitting example of this precise cinematography is The Good German, which takes on the technical challenge of producing a film under the technological constraints of Classical Hollywood. ’ On the other end of his cinematographic spectrum, in opposition to this orderly, painterly impulse, Soderbergh exhibits a flawed, chaotic method that is characterised by speed and movement.

Other Soderbergh films to engage in historical biography include Julia Roberts’ Academy Award-winning turn as Erin Brockovich, a clever, melodramatic usage of her star image in the role of a scrappy heroine, and Matt Damon’s portrayal of Mark Whitacre, whose weight gain and absurd appearance emphasise the character’s bipolar instability, and stands in contrast to the massive institutional corruption at hand. ’38 Using a modernist approach to the theatre, Brecht’s techniques assured that his audience was fully aware they were watching a play and his actors were instructed to play their characters reflexively.

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