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The Cinema of Steven SoderberghIndie Sex, Corporate Lies, and Digital Videotape$
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Andrew deWaard and R. Colin Tait

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165518

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165518.001.0001

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Searching Low and High

Searching Low and High

The Limey and the Schizophrenic Detective

Chapter:
(p.75) Chapter Four Searching Low and High
Source:
The Cinema of Steven Soderbergh
Author(s):

Andrew deWaard

R. Colin Tait

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231165518.003.0005

This chapter investigates the ‘schizophrenic detective’ in The Limey (1999), and its accompanying themes of nostalgia, memory, and influence. In The Limey, both Wilson and the spectator are wed in their twin desires to solve the mystery of who killed Wilson's daughter Jenny and also to negotiate the film's postmodern, splintered narrative. What begins as a straightforward revenge story slowly emerges as a tale of self-reflection, reconciliation, and friendship. Ultimately, the ending of The Limey suggests the possibility of being able to navigate out of our present-day historical crisis. By employing the postmodern detective story, Soderbergh offers several uniquely rendered solutions to the problems of the narrative. The film not only embraces the qualities of schizophrenia and nostalgia in order to interrogate their function, it also subverts one of the great guilty pleasures of Hollywood, and its audience: revenge.

Keywords:   The Limey, schizophrenia, nostalgia, revenge, postmodern detective story, schizophrenic detective

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