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Thursday 18 September 2014

Soderbergh talks 'career symmetry'

Published 21/05/2013 | 23:22

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Michael Douglas and Matt Damon at the Behind the Candelabra party in Cannes (Todd Williamson/Invision/AP)

Steven Soderbergh is working on a new currency.

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In his Chelsea studio, among various film posters and piles of moviemaking mementos, he has a few paintings in progress, including a new, livelier, "more Hendrix" version of a US dollar bill. It's only one of the many artistic endeavours he bounces between now that he's begun his long-predicted hiatus from filmmaking.

He is bringing his Liberace film, Behind the Candelabra, to the Cannes Film Festival, where it will compete for the same Palme d'Or he won 24 years ago for his first film, Sex, Lies and Videotape.

Soderbergh has said this - a 23 million dollar HBO movie starring Michael Douglas as the flamboyant pianist and Matt Damon as his lover, Scott Thorson - will be his last film, at least for now.

The 50 year-old's career in film - 26 features including Out of Sight, Traffic and the Ocean's franchise - will effectively conclude in Cannes, the same place it was internationally launched.

"It's not often you get the opportunity to arrange that kind of symmetry," Soderbergh says. "It's funny to think about how long ago that was."

Shortly after Soderbergh began tweeting a sparse novella and gave a remarkable speech at the San Francisco Film Festival in which he vented his frustration at Hollywood studios, he sat for a lengthy interview as he steps away from movies. "In theory," he says, "I'm finished."

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