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 Post subject: The Knick
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 3:35 pm 
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Soderbergh to direct series for Cinemax, starring Clive Owen


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 Post subject: Re: Steven Soderbergh
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:45 am 
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Soderbergh has been posting some nice photos from production on his new television show The Knick on his Twitter account, in case anyone is interested. Looking good!


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:37 pm 
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Teaser


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:09 pm 
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Trailer


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:47 pm 
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Professor Wagstaff wrote:

Longest and most compelling glimpse yet. Can't wait for this.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:00 pm 
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Looks very Soderberghy! Agree, I can't wait to see what he does with this material/format


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:34 pm 
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Cinemax picks up second season a month before the premiere, Soderbergh will return to direct full season.

I saw the first episode at LACMA last night and it's a super compelling start--its energy is unlike anything else on TV and it's got an immersive, aggressively contemporary visual style and score that really worked for me. The surgery scenes are long and detailed and don't shy away from a single gory, blood-gushing detail--fun to watch with an audience in the way that communal groaning and eye-averting can amount to a sort of bonding experience, but I imagine many will find it tough to stomach in the comfort of their homes. Clive Owen's lead might have the potential to slip into rote cable antihero territory but I think Soderbergh & co. are being smart and latching onto the right angle with him--he's compelling because of his proficiency and his ambition, and certain of his vices stem from period-appropriate conservatism that even a show like Mad Men hasn't handled this frankly. They also debuted a lengthy first-season trailer that showcased a lot more to look forward to in the coming episodes. In the post-screening Q&A Soderbergh (who, as with his feature work, shot and edited every episode) seemed hugely energized by the entire process so I'm glad to hear he'll be sticking this out; I could do well with a weekly dose of his filmmaking over the next few years.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:34 pm 
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Here's a taste of Cliff Martinez's "aggressively contemporary score" I was trying to describe above.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:38 pm 
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Rave review from Matt Zoller Seitz


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:41 pm 

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A complete dismissal from Emily Nussbaum


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:47 pm 
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Nussbaum wrote a pretty absurd piece dismissing True Detective with "Cool story, bro," so I'm going to go ahead and ignore that one.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 5:53 pm 
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The Daily Beast's lengthy and really fantastic interview with Soderbergh from last week


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:15 am 
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This was the most exhilarating pilot I've ever seen - ever. Perhaps because it's hardly a pilot in the traditional sense - it spends absolutely zero time "introducing" us to anything, we're thrust into the world of these characters from the very first shot, and into the operating room the moment we enter the hospital. And oh man, what a terrifying scene. Shot with the sort of enthusiasm that one might have filming their child's first steps, Soderbergh elbows in between his actors and provides a genuinely ebullient angle on the utter terror of his operating table. I had to cover my eyes, and peek through my fingers - I don't think I've ever literally felt the compulsion to do this in my life, let alone during something I knew was a piece of fiction. For the episode to start there and never slow down is something I still can't quite wrap my head around. Incredible filmmaking, incredible television.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:22 pm 
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Location: Back in Milan (Ind.)
Isambard wrote:

mfunk9786 wrote:
Nussbaum wrote a pretty absurd piece dismissing True Detective with "Cool story, bro," so I'm going to go ahead and ignore that one.

It's kind of apparent that Nussbaum's default position is that if a show is centered around any variation of a confident white (likely alpha) male then she'll dismiss it as "been-there-done-that", no matter the quality of the actual product.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:49 pm 
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And manages to ignore subversions and/or self-criticisms of that formula built into these two shows in the process. Both shows look at their characters with a very critical eye, and it's being blatantly contrarian to just ignore that. It'd be one thing to find fault in the storytelling or filmmaking, but it's another entirely to dismiss something based on its premise alone, which is what those two pieces ultimately do.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:41 pm 
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Why is no one discussing this great show? Episode 7 might have been the best episode yet, including a nice variation on Out of Sight's love scene.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:11 pm 
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I'm finally caught up and agree, it's a wonderful, wholly Soderberghian show. It is a true horror story of anti-nosalgia and I'm loving the complicated and interesting characters (I especially love the blossoming friendship between Cleary the Ambulance Driver and Sister Harriet). And holy smokes, this week's episode ("Get the Rope" for those reading this in the future) was unbelievably tense and wonderful
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The scene of the doctors and nurses wheeling hooded gurneys through a race riot with black patients hidden underneath, led by a man-pulled ambulance cart has to be one of the most vivid images of Soderbergh's entire career. Just wow

Apparently the series is alienating a lot of people, which is beyond me-- Just watching for all the camera tricks and set-ups Soderbergh goes out of his way to entertain himself with would be reason enough to love it. That's well-written and filled with compelling characters and some increasingly pivotal dramatic stakes makes it all the easier to love. It really is shaping up as one helluva ten hour movie, and I'm so glad Cinemax greenlit a second season already.

Also, maybe everyone already knows this, but the actress who plays Nurse Lucy is Bono's daughter in real life (if you can call that real life)


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:55 pm 
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The alienation critique is a routine criticism that is thrown at anything that Soderbergh does because some viewers feel he's always showing off too much technique. All of Soderbergh's creative choices seem to make sense for the series, including the decision to apply the anachronistic musical score from Cliff Martinez.

domino harvey wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The scene of the doctors and nurses wheeling hooded gurneys through a race riot with black patients hidden underneath, led by a man-pulled ambulance cart has to be one of the most vivid images of Soderbergh's entire career. Just wow

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The best part of that sequence was how Soderbergh held on the image of Edwards even when all the action and escape was happening above him.


domino harvey wrote:
Also, maybe everyone already knows this, but the actress who plays Nurse Lucy is Bono's daughter in real life (if you can call that real life)

She has actually been one of the biggest surprises - in terms of performances delivered - on the show. Some part of me thinks it's because Soderbergh has always seemed deft when handling (relatively) inexperienced talent, but I also think she's probably learned a great deal about performance from her life-experience and formal education.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:39 pm 
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I for one didn't know Lucy is Bono's daughter, so thanks for that. Her development on the show is quite something; those last few shots of her on this week's episode are star-making.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:43 pm 
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I was definitely impressed with her character's quick-thinking answer to the hooligan who stopped the carts


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:06 am 
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I kept meaning to post on this show because it's fantastic but never got around to it. Glad other people are showing up now.

I find the reviews I've read of this show interesting in how they illustrate how much trouble most TV critics have with talking about style and cinematic techniques. Soderbergh has been pushing a lot of boundaries in television style and taking aesthetic risks that are pretty much unheard of in this medium. Cinematic has been thrown at TV episodes like True Detective and Game of Thrones' big action episodes, but they've got nothing on this. It's breaking with TV's "showrunner" model of recent years (where a head writer/producer establishes a clear set of themes and tone in a series) and going full auteur. This is a show that the best of is clearly being made in the camera, not on the page.

Which explains why so many of even the positive reviews have been strangely withholding praise (i.e. the AV Club finally gave the last episode a flat A after a run of B+'s). Without Soderbergh, the writing and conception of the show isn't bad, but there really wouldn't be much to distinguish it from the glut of prestige dramas about flawed white men that Nussbaum accuses it of being (just a little more surgical gore). It also hurts that Clive Owen's Thackery is perhaps the show's most boring character even though he's ostensibly the center (the only other contender is Barrow--who is far more Walter White 1900 than Thackery is House 1900--but at least he's often funny). That's not due to Owen, who gives a typically fun, charismatic performance. It's just an overdone role, and the various flashbacks to young Thack with Matt Frewer are by far the most forgettable bits in each episode (and it doesn't help that Frewer's diction sounds distractingly like Tobias Funke to me). Fortunately, the series has quickly established the Knick itself as its true center, and I think both Owen and Soderbergh are content to let him be the big marquee name in a well-balanced ensemble.

Ultimately, the Knick's much more a 10-hour movie than a TV series even if its individual parts hold up pretty well on their own. It doesn't have much of a "plot" to move forward, and has so far been content to loudly telegraph what twists it does have. That's an odd fit for a TV landscape that often prizes the big prestige dramas for that "Anything Can Happen" feeling as much as their other merits. I fear The Knick won't ever find that big an audience, but I'm glad Cinemax is keeping it around.

(One niggling issue I have with the series is the accents. Cornelia, Barrow, and Gallinger's wife talk and sound like they're in an Americanized Dickens adaptation while Cornelia's father sound like he's out of Mad Men. I can't decide whether that stuff is some intentional anachronism, my own weird sensitivity, or just Soderbergh not giving a fuck.)


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:49 pm 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
The alienation critique is a routine criticism that is thrown at anything that Soderbergh does because some viewers feel he's always showing off too much technique. All of Soderbergh's creative choices seem to make sense for the series, including the decision to apply the anachronistic musical score from Cliff Martinez.
It is unfathomable that Soderbergh's exhilarating camerawork here in The Knick has alienated people, because it draws me so much more into the characters than I am used to being in the confines of a TV show. There are numerous examples but I'm thinking especially of those final moments of "The Busy Flea" where we're caught somewhere in the back of Algernon's head watching the fight take place, the whole scene canted, indistinct and pulsating with a primal outrage ripping from its depths of repression. That was one of the most immersive fight scenes I've ever experienced.

Especially after seeing "Get the Rope" I don't have a doubt that this is the best show currently on the air*.

*Or...at least it's tied with Mad Men


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:06 pm 
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I think Soderbergh is completely justified in wanting to highlight the contemporary relevance here. Owen's presence is perhaps one of the reasons for the mixed response: this is unquestionably an ensemble, as pointed out above, and if some of the individual threads are a bit wanting, they're in service of a powerful portrayal of the politics of human medical/social advancement then as much as now. Thack, who seems less and less like an antihero each week, is simply driven by hard, often self-involved pragmatism: the search for innovative, effective treatment methods (and the glory which comes with those innovations, no doubt) trumps any larger consideration for his patients/fellow doctors, even his own wellbeing (see his gradually warming up towards Edwards in light of the latter's repeatedly demonstrated prowess contrasted with his utter rejection of Tom Papa's snake-oil salesman in a recent episode). I think Soderbergh is doing something bravely lacking in cynicism here, despite the abundant cynicism on display within any given episode, looking to the past for what he hopes is still possible in the present: as he mentions in that Daily Beast interview, we seem perched at a point where a massive shift in consciousness is required, a great leap forward equal to if not greater than the one we see portrayed here. The scandalously lacking response to the present Ebola crisis does not inspire confidence, not to mention all the other horrors going on at the moment, but I very much admire the impulse which seems to be driving Soderbergh here, to render a vision of progress which maintains a diligent regard towards all the awkward fumblings necessarily involved in large-scale human achievements of any lasting importance.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:36 pm 
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As good as "Get the Rope" was, this newest episode is the best one yet. At first, I marked the writing as a demerit to the Soderberghy goodness, but it's caught up in a big way since.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Gallinger's baby after its "ice bath" may very well be the most disturbing image of Soderbergh's career, besting previous champion Contagion.


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 Post subject: Re: The Knick
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Given that it's no longer a guarantee anymore with Cinemax series (Hunted went to DVD-R in R1 despite getting the Blu treatment in the UK), it's a relief to see that there's a Blu-ray release up for pre-order on Amazon


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