Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1996. .406 Production, Universal Pictures. Screenplay by Steven Soderbergh. Cinematography by Steven Soderbergh. Produced by John Hardy. Music by Cliff Martinez, Jeff Rona, Steven Soderbergh. Film Editing by Sarah Flack. Toronto International Film Festival 1996.
Enjoyable if challenging experimental film by prolific filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, who here takes an odd turn by playing the lead role(s) himself. He’s both a corporate employee assigned to write speeches for a megastar motivational speaker and a dentist who, oddly enough, is having an affair with his double’s wife. Through strange fits of coincidence, surreal news broadcasts and hilariously bent exchanges of dialogue (including one where Soderbergh and his wife refer to each other with bland third-person statements instead of personal exchanges), Soderbergh forces us to examine our ideas of happiness and reality. It’s not particularly weighty or entertaining, but as purposely challenging and fractured experimental films go, it’s not nearly as annoying as the more self-indulgent ones tend to be.
The Criterion Collection: #199