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Feature
Sex, Lies, And Videotape (1989)
Steven Soderbergh wrote this in eight days, and filmed it in five weeks on a budget of $1.2 million. The words "jammy git" should leap to mind, but subsequent films have proved him to be consistent in the freakishly talented stakes. This, his debut feature, won him the Palm D'Or and an Oscar nomination, courtesy of the brilliant screenplay and some unexpectedly deep performances from all four lead actors - nearly-was teen idol Spader, first time lead MacDowell, and then unknowns Laura San Giacomo & Peter Gallagher. Soderbergh understood his subject (voyeurism and secrecy) perfectly. It's one of those films where ostensibly not much actually happens, but the director's use of first-person camera within the story rang the

voyeuristic bell of a pre-internet audience. It was the template for a pattern of shaking up financially economic cinematography to be employed by Soderbergh time and again (The Underneath, The Limey, Traffic. Et al.) S,L&V generated enough of a buzz to revive the ailing Sundance Festival, and provide Miramax with their first big success (Pete Biskind's "Down And Dirty Pictures" makes for some terrific further reading on that particular subject). And two years prior to Tarantino's arrival, it awakened a new generation to the possibilities of low-budget filmmaking.

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