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Will director Steven Soderbergh make the swtich from film to television?

07.02.2012

The stories of Steven Soderbergh's so-called retirement from filmmaking are nothing new as the director first hinted at the possibility back in 2009 in an interview with Esquire. Since then, Soderbergh chum Matt Damon has confirmed that the director is pretty much done with movies, essentially saying that he's reached a wall with what he can (or wants to) do with the art form.

Predictably, the man would be transferring over his talents to other things (Damon mentioned painting). But today, the news is that it's something potentially more substantial than that: television. Here's Soderbergh's quote to the Associated Press:

"American movie audiences now just donít seem to be very interested in any kind of ambiguity or any kind of real complexity of character or narrative ó Iím talking in large numbers, there are always some, but enough to make hits out of movies that have those qualities. I think those qualities are now being seen on television and that people who want to see stories that have those kinds of qualities are watching television."

Soderbergh isn't wrong, what with stand-outs like MAD MEN and BREAKING BAD to name but a couple of the shows that are giving movies a run for their money. Television as a medium offers better opportunity to explore character and narrative by simple virtue of its long-form structure. But is it true that audiences for that really are turning to TV for their fix of intellectually and emotionally-challenging material? The numbers - and just the general cultural saturation - behind stuff like MAD MEN say yes. What say you?

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