SEX, LIES & VIDEOTAPE (1989)

sexlies

Written, Edited & Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Cinematography: Walt Lloyd
Music By: Cliff Martinez 


Cast: James Spader, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo, Andie McDowell

Ann is married to John, who is having an affair with her sister Cynthia. Ann’s a quiet type and unwilling to let herself go. When John’s old friend, Graham, shows up, all their lives change. Graham likes to videotape interviews with women.

When it comes to films by Steven Soderbergh, it always feels to me like even though his films on the surface are simple. That his themes and issues subjects he is tackling are subversive but presented subtly. That I feel like, I don’t understand his films fully. One tends to be left confused wondering if you just don’t get it or missed something.

He is a filmmaker who intimidates me. He is a man who has tons of ideas and a supreme artistic talent to go with his intellect and a love of more experimental, challenging filmmaking.

Not only a challenge to the audience but himself though he makes it seem simple. He make me believe that when Watching one of his films I am missing so much.

I Know some may think I was disappointed due to the title making this sound like an erotic sex fest and instead it is a study in the Emotional lives of a group of friends. Who try to understand and distract from the fact that underneath it all, They feel empty.

Which I’m sure half the audience who saw it when it first came out felt, but I did enough research on it beforehand to know not to expect it. Though it does bring to mind that scene in THE SIMPSONS episode where Bart is waiting for his father to pick him up after a game. Then is offered a ride by his teammates who are going to see an R-Rated movie with the parents of one of them and are all excited about what they will see the film… BARTON FINK. Which is Rated R and good but bite most children as it is more artistic, chatty, no nudity , sex or any real action This is definitely dated. The film tells it’s story more laid back then the title would suggest. It’s non-exploitive and stylish with a deep emotional pull, that is barely enough to the surface though it seems new and shocking.

When it premiered like a rather frank breath of fresh air. Something new to audiences. Watching it now it shows talent and poise, Yet streetwise. It is rather tame and quite simple.

I have seen it rather late than sooner since it has come out. I remember when it did come out and all the news articles and controversy. So I had the knowledge of all that for years. Before I finally saw the film. I think the fact that in the past I was never s huge fan of Andie McDowell has always kept me away from watching. When I finally did I thought it was ok

It shows a skilled hand behind the scenes and the actors were all good especially James Spader, but it made no lasting impression and felt dated though that had nothing to do with my overall enjoyment of the film.

The film is celebrated as a groundbreaking moment in independent cinema. Paving the way for a brief rising moment. That even had the film winning a Palml D’Or the highest award at the Cannes Film Festival and making Director Steven Soderbergh the youngest winner of it. Though even now he says looking back at the film that it seems like a film made by someone trying to seem deep but isn’t, saying that, that shows how little there was for audiences to latch onto at the time. As he is surprised so many people identified with the film. Even as the film is personal to him.

The film seems monotonous yet focused. That plays smaller more like a thriller. Even though in the end it is a bunch of young yuppies confessing their sexual lives to the camera while revolving round one another sexually and lustfully

Grade: B-

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