High Flying Birds

Higher and higher

Film. Steven Soderbergh, is back with High Flying Birds, a movie about professional basketball that’s part of a long-time partnership with the platform. Explanations.

By Quentin Moyon

In 2011 this strike organized by basketball players mad about the league’s benefit sharing delayed the championship’s beginning of five weeks. High Flying Bird takes place during this Lock-Out moment and describes the complex world of NBA’s backstage. A movie that deals with money and power: “the game beyond the game“. It unveils the sport business’ complexity with intelligence and lucidity. The moviemaker’s eye is not a judge but a witness. A work made with realism, especially as several NBA players are acting, mixing fiction with the dimension of a documentary. Because this new Netflix full-length movie is directed by Steven Soderbergh, a paradoxical moviemaker, able to offer art films like Sex, Lies  and Videotape (1989) that turned him into the youngest director, who obtained the Palme d’Or during the Cannes Film Festival (Sorry Xavier Dolan). But also able to make brilliant blockbusters like the Ocean‘s trilogy.

This new Netflix full-length movie is directed by Steven Soderbergh

An insatiable moviemaker

In 2013, he retired when he was 50 after 25 films… The last one was the thriller Effets Secondaires with Rooney Mara and Judd Law. Short retirement because right from the next year he directed all the episode of the two seasons of the gory medical series The Knick (Cinemax/OCS). And he came back to full-length films in 2017 with Logan Lucky. He needed less time than most moviemakers between two projects. A big robbery film is totally unlike his next project, true to the alternation he has always made.

Paranoïa immerses us at the heart of a psychatric centre in which a woman is constantly facing her stalker, at least that’s what she thinks. A movie shot with smartphones just like in High Flying Birds, but this one came out in theatres. His new philosphy can consist of « Get a script and an iphone and start shooting. Seriously. »

He also directed  Mosaic, a mini-ses made by HBO. A gripping thriller in which we’re looking for the murderer of Olivia Lake (played by the iconic Sharon Stone) broadcast on a mobile app on which it was possible for the audience to select the order of the scenes he wants to watch.

A moviemaker made for Netflix

Certainly Jean-Luc Godard keeps innovating and discovering the creative potential of cinema but his work remains pretty abstruse to the audience. With Steven Soderbergh, we deal with a moviemaker who never stops offering new ways to film but also to watch a film, while showing efficient general use products. High Flying Birds entirely wants to do that. With a smartphone in his hand, Steven Soderbergh knows how to make sport business’ sprawling world accessible.

His execution speed and desire to innovate fit perfectly with a platform such as Netflix which radically changes the process of production and of reception. In 2017, he directed for Netflix the western mini-series Godless, and his next new project The Laudromat, will deal with Panama Papers’ scandal is expected this year, still on Netflix.