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Steven Soderbergh on Superhero Movies’ Stunning Lack of Sex and What ‘Contagion’ Got Wrong


Steven Soderbergh on Superhero Movies’ Stunning Lack of Sex and What ‘Contagion’ Got Wrong

Steven Soderbergh isn’t just one of the world’s most accomplished directors; he’s also one of its most eclectic, segueing between genres—and cinematic techniques and formats—with bold and inventive flair. On the heels of last year’s stellar 1950s crime drama No Sudden Move, the restless director once again shifts gears with Kimi, a lean Hitchcockian thriller about a single woman named Angela (Zoë Kravitz) who, while analyzing data streams collected by an Alexa-style personal assistant, stumbles upon what she believes to be a recording of a violent crime. Getting to the bottom of that mystery, however, proves more difficult than initially appeared, not only because her Big Tech superiors have ulterior motives for keeping things quiet, but because she’s an agoraphobic with a powerful urge to stay holed up inside her Seattle apartment—an impulse further stoked by the ongoing pandemic.

Interacting with society through both her high-rise residence’s windows and her various digital screens and devices, Angela finds herself ensnared in a predicament that Soderbergh fashions as a 21st-century variation on Rear Window-via-Panic Room-via-The Parallax View. Debuting exclusively on HBO Max on Feb. 10, it’s a suspenseful effort rooted in fears about surveillance and privacy, led by a formidably anxious performance by Kravitz. It also reconfirms the peerless genre skill and dexterity of Soderbergh, who has numerous additional projects on his plate, including the six-episode limited series Full Circle and a return to the Magic Mike franchise that he first launched 10 years ago with Channing Tatum. Add to that a sizable list of producing endeavors, and it’s clear that Soderbergh is as astoundingly prolific as ever.

The 59-year-old filmmaker is also one of the most contemplative and insightful voices in the industry. Consequently, it was our immense pleasure to once again sit down with him to talk about his latest film, the threats posed by technology, the state of the theatrical and streaming businesses, and the main reason he doesn’t see himself spearheading a superhero blockbuster any time…

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