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Steven Soderbergh says he’s retiring from filmmaking

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Auteur director Steven Soderbergh says he's done with filmmaking, telling Studio 360's Kurt Andersen that

"When you reach the point where you're, like, 'if I have to get into a van to do anther scout I'm just going to shoot myself,' it's time to let somebody else who's still excited about getting in the van, get in the van." 

The prolific Soderbergh has made twenty-two films since his 1989 debut, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, helped kickstart the American indie '90s. And he currently has four more in various stages of completion. So he may have said his piece creatively. His career has taken an interesting and meandering path, spanning from crowdpleasing blockbusters like Erin Brockovich and Ocean's Eleven to formalist experiments like Bubble and Schizopolis to colossal epics like Traffic and Che. (Not to mention one-off larks like The Informant!, etc., etc.) For the most part, he's followed the classic model for cerebral/ambitious mainstream artists, alternating his projects "one for me, one for them." (I remember reading an interview in which he expressed bafflement that anyone would want to see a movie like Ocean's Eleven; this was right around when Ocean's Twelve was coming out.)

In contrast to the Sundance types he came up with, Soderbergh has never had the unhinged flair of Quentin Tarantino or the unpredictability of David O. Russell, but his work has been consistently smart even when it hasn't worked very well, and when it has, he's made some really good stuff (Out of Sight, for one). If he actually makes good on this promise to retire, film will be the poorer for it.