Here’s Everything That Steven Soderbergh Watched and Read in 2016
There are few major filmmakers working today that champion the medium as consistently and vocally as Steven Soderbergh. He’s a staggeringly prolific worker, whether as director, writer, or producer, and in the crumbs of spare time he has left, he immerses himself in the art form he’s made his life’s passion. He makes his devotion clear every January, when the master publishes a comprehensive diary of all the movies, TV, and books he took in over the past year, serving both as an insight into this talent’s personal viewing habits as well as a fine guide for anyone in search of a recommendation. Grill most directors about their favorite films of the current year, and they offer a mealy-mouthed excuse about having been really busy with production meetings lately before mentioning the one movie they’ve seen in the past couple of months. From the looks of it, Soderbergh only gets off the couch when it’s time to helm another incredible feature or series.
The list, which Soderbergh has made available in full on his personal website, tells the story of a man with an almost monk-like commitment to the moving image. The sheer volume of hours logged watching is staggering on its own, but the wide breadth of Soderbergh’s programming is even more impressive. Consider May 13, when Soderbergh started the day by catching up on Inside Amy Schumer, moved onto New Age mumbo-jumbo pseudo-doc The Secret, and wrapped up the day by double-featuring Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast and film noir classic Touch of Evil. Or March 12, when Soderbergh saw The Brothers Grimsby and then presumably spent the rest of the day shaking his head in sorrow and utter defeat. Take a look at August, where Soderbergh apparently broke his unending Olympic binge-watch to check out Triumph the Comic Insult Dog making mincemeat out of the political conventions.
As professional couch-potato omnivore, he’s an inspiration to all. We should aspire to spend as much time with our eyeballs glued to screens as Soderbergh does; perhaps that’s the secret to attaining whatever plane of higher enlightenment the man was on when he wrote Magic Mike XXL.