Where on the Shelf Is...The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg?
Welcome to "Where on the Shelf Is..." In this column, I look at great TV shows and movies that have never been on DVD and/or Blu-ray. For your pleasure and out of all of our frustrations, this column examines the Where, When and, of course, WHY?! of these non-releases.
Up this week is...THE LAST TIME I SAW MICHAEL GREGG
What Is It?:
Steven Soderbergh has made a career out of playing to both the studios and the indie crowds with his "one for them, one for me" philosophy. There are the big-budget blockbusters with marquee stars, like the OCEAN'S TRILOGY and MAGIC MIKE. Then there are the passion projects in foreign languages and headlined by porn stars, like CHE and THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE.
And then there is the one made for exactly no one: THE LAST TIME I SAW MICHAEL GREGG.
In 2009, Soderbergh headed to Australia and directed a play called TOT MOM at Cate Blanchett's Sydney Theater Company. Unlike most who visit the land of Oz, Soderbergh didn't spend his spare time boxing kangaroos or visiting the boyhood home of Nicole Kidman. Instead, he shot a movie with his cast about a theater company staging a production of Anton Chekhov's THREE SISTERS.
Where Is It?:
Soderbergh isn't even giving his diehard fans the chance to help it make less than $1 million like a quarter of his entire filmography. He has assured the press that MICHAEL GREGG will never see the light of day. According to the director, "My whole thing was that it has to be unavailable."
This stubborn move comes off as some sort of absurd middle finger to all of the people who bought tickets for the heist movies and that one with Julia Roberts in a bra, but couldn't be bothered with Spalding Gray's rambling monologues.
Unlike the majority of other films and TV shows covered in this column, we can't even begin to determine the quality of MICHAEL GREGG, as there are no official reviews to be found. We can only assume that it would be far more comfortable than watching Michael Douglas and Matt Damon make out.
When Will We See It?:
Perhaps a better title for this mystery movie might be THE TIMES I NEVER SAW MICHAEL GREGG, because followers of Soderbergh's works will never, ever get to see it.
Not only does this tick off completists, but not releasing MICHAEL GREGG would mean never definitively wrapping up the unofficial CHEKHOV PLAYS TRILOGY, which also includes Louis Malle's VANYA ON 42ND STREET and Pauly Shore's A TRAGEDIAN IN SPITE OF HIMSELF.
Where Can We See It?:
That comes from Soderbergh's own stipulations to his cast (which includes Blanchett, Wayne Blair and Damon Herriman), who are the only ones with physical copies of the film. So unless we're fortunate enough to get an invite to a MICHAEL GREGG screening party at Cate's green crib, we're out of luck.
Is one of your favorite movies or TV shows not available on DVD or Blu-ray? Leave your suggestions below or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.