Steven Soderbergh wrote an unusual little book, Getting Away With It, for the British Publishing Company Faber and Faber. It 's probably not for everyone, but if you’re a film fanatic with an appreciation for Soderbergh it should probably be right up your alley. It is a mix of a journal that Soderbergh was writing as he was looking for distribution for his experimental film, Shizopolis, and Spalding Gray’s entertaining monologue film, Gray’s Anatomy. It gives us insight into his producing, writing as a script doctor, as well as writing his own screenplays, as well as his ventures into getting other scripts and films into production. At this time he was a producer for Pleasantville, a script doctor for Mimic (a pretty entertaining horror film) and Nightwatch (an Ewan McGregor film that I liked), writing a screenplay for a film, Toots, that never made it into production, trying to get a young Charlie Kaufman’s Human Nature made (it turns out that he was interested in doing the brilliant Being John Malkovic as well), trying to secure the rights to A Confederacy of Dunces. By the end of the book he has been offered the Out of Sight film adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel, which was the start of a winning streak (The Limey, Erin Brockovic, Traffic, etc….) for the versatile director.
These journal entries are interspersed with some interviews he did with deceased filmmaker Richard Lester, of whom I knew very little. But no doubt you have seen many of his film as well. Soderbergh evaluates the director as having made:
Three Masterpieces: A Hard Day’s Night, The Knack, Petulia
Four Classics: The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers, Juggernaut, Robin and Marian
Six Worthwhile Divertissements: It’s Trad, Dad, Help!, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Royal Flash, The Ritz, Superman 2 and 3
Three Really Fascinating Films That Get Better With Age: How I Won The War, The Sitting Room, Cuba.