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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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Genre and Capital

Genre and Capital

New Crime Wave in the 1990s

(p.115) Chapter Seven Genre and Capital
The Cinema of Steven Soderbergh

Andrew deWaard

R. Colin Tait

Columbia University Press

This chapter identifies the broad resurgence of Hollywood crime films during the 1990s as the ‘New Crime Wave’, as well as Soderbergh's unique ‘anticrime’ iteration within it. A close reading of Out of Sight (1998) illustrates the alternative values system that Soderbergh proffers with his criminal characters. The film employs the presence of both the narratives of a charming criminal and the detective chasing after him, coupled with uniquely Soderberghian aesthetic signature stylistics, the characters' ethical impulse, and Soderbergh's slickly edited narrative — the latter of which is used as a method of restricting and revealing the range and depth of character information so as to complicate the viewer's understanding of the central relationship. It is more than just ‘likable criminals’ that distinguishes Soderbergh's films from others in the 1990s crime wave, however; it is that his criminal protagonists are set against larger, more nefarious institutions.

Keywords:   New Crime Wave, 1990s, anticrime, Out of Sight, criminal characters, edited narrative

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