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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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The Ethical Heist

The Ethical Heist

Competing Modes of Capital in the Ocean’s Trilogy

Chapter:
(p.131) Chapter Eight The Ethical Heist
Source:
The Cinema of Steven Soderbergh
Author(s):

Andrew deWaard

R. Colin Tait

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231165518.003.0009

This chapter examines the evolving stylistic, thematic, and narrative concerns that pepper the Ocean's trilogy as Soderbergh revisits it throughout the decade, with each subsequent effort seeking to complicate, rather than solve, the on-going issues of capital. As caper films, the Ocean's trilogy presents a utopian allegory of America at the turn of the new century, in which American values need to be renegotiated in the face of globalised and multinational business practices. Despite their emphasis on criminal activity, the heists, in these cases, are only excuses to develop and deepen bonds of friendship and to depict how people can work together, speaking, paradoxically, to the trilogy's utopian impulse. Soderbergh's anti-crime impulse and ethical imperative have accomplished a feeling of utopian pleasure, all the while developing a sophisticated treatise against the abstracting indifference of global capitalism.

Keywords:   Ocean's trilogy, caper films, heists, utopian allegory, global capitalism, capital, American values

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