Dark Licht

USA 2002 (101′)- Dir.: Steven Soderbergh. With Julia Roberts, Blair Underwood. | My rating:1 stars | Official site | dvd

Steven Soderbergh is without a doubt one of Hollywood’s most talented directors. Out of Sight and Traffic were his best, but Full Frontal is definitely his worst (although I haven’t seen Schizopolis). In the marketing campaign the main focus was on the fact that the film had a budget of only 2 million dollar, was shot on DV (which is only partly true, at least a third is filmed on 35mm), and that the actors had to bring their own clothes and make-up. Contrary to many other low-budget films, this is not a selling point. Full Frontal looks like a cheap shitty film. You wonder where the hell they spent these 2 million dollars on. Not on a DP, and not on a decent screenplay, that’s for sure.
It is so bad that I actually can’t even tell you what’s it about. It’s a kind of reality video about a film in film that is a documentary about an actor. Do you get it? In one of the scenes there is a man who suffocates in a plastic bag while masturbating. I was not the only one to notice that this scene was a metaphore for the whole film…

There is a an upside on this film however, at least for me. I seem to have more in common with Steven Soderbergh than just my first name. A big part of the film was shot in Red, a fancy place on Beverly Blvd in LA, where I used to have my breakfast until it closed down last April (by the way: where art thou now, charming waitress Katherine?). The video-to-film transfer was done by FotoKem, the place where my first 35mm short Cold Turkey was developed. Soderbergh then edited the film entirely on Final Cut Pro, just like me. Oh! And I once formed part of the Very Happy Few To Have Julia Roberts’ private cell phone number (although I cannot disclose how I got that number in the first place). I am almost just like Steven (may I call you Steven, Steven?).

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