Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

One thing that unifies Steven Soderbergh’s filmography: A mastery of color

The recently unretired Steven Soderbergh is something of a workaholic. This is a guy who walked away from filmmaking in 2013, done with the entire business, and ended up directing all 20 hours of The Knick before his “official” return with the upcoming Logan Lucky.

He’s also got an incredible eye for detail. The above video from Fandor picks out his characteristically heightened color palettes, from Erin Brockovich to Logan Lucky.

Granted, this is literally surface-level stuff—and it doesn’t break down what colors in the frame are the product of art direction and lighting versus digital grading and, in the case of Traffic, film stock and processing.


It’s still a good reminder that Soderbergh, who, as the video notes, frequently serves as his own cinematographer (and editor!), is a quietly virtuosic stylist with a really good blog. He’s willing to take on oddball projects and push himself no matter who’s watching. Haywire, Contagion, Behind The Candelabra—he’s all over the place in the best way possible.

If nothing else, the video serves as a reminder that his work on The Knick consistently wrought pitch-black shadow and amber pools of light into lucid beauty. That’s a heck of a way to spend a retirement.

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