In a new interview, Steven Soderbergh shares some of his thoughts about the film business and his impending retirement.
[…] So that’s when I started thinking, All right, when I turn 50, I’d like to be done. I knew that in order to stop, I couldn’t keep it a secret — so many things are coming at you when you’re making films that you need to have a reason to be saying no all the time.
And what was that reason?
It’s a combination of wanting a change personally and of feeling like I’ve hit a wall in my development that I don’t know how to break through. The tyranny of narrative is beginning to frustrate me, or at least narrative as we’re currently defining it. I’m convinced there’s a new grammar out there somewhere. But that could just be my form of theism.
Is it similar to how you were feeling in 1997 when you made the satire Schizopolis — an attempt to “blow up the house,” as you put it?
Yeah. If I’m going to solve this issue, it means annihilating everything that came before and starting from scratch. That means I have to go away, and I don’t know how long it’s going to take. And I also know you can’t force it. I love and respect filmmaking too much to continue to do it while feeling I’m running in place. That’s not a good feeling. And if it turns out I don’t make another one, I’m really happy with this last group of movies. I don’t want to be one of those people about whom people say, “Wow, he kind of fell off there at the end.” That would be depressing.