An Exclusive Interview with the director of the movay THE INFORMANT!
How cool is this! Stuart Soderburger agreed to come to my apartment for an interview! How coolio is that?!
I was surprised too! I recorded our conversation from the second he walked in the door!
Here's the transcript:
Me: Hi! Come on up!
Soderburger: Is this an apartment? I thought I was coming to your office....
Me: This is my office apartment slash office, Dr. Soderburger.
Soderburger: It's Soderbergh. Mister. Soderbergh.
Me: Not Soderburger?
(I flip through my notepad)
Me: It says here in my notes... Soder-burger.
Soderburger: Well you should talk the person who researches your notes.
Me: That would be me! Hey me! Do better research, Me!
(I stick my finger in my mouth and make a cork pop noise. Soderburger stares at me.)
Soderburger: Can we get this over with?
Me: Should I call you Stuart-- or Dr. Soderburger?
Soderburger: I'd prefer my actual name. Also I'm not a doctor.
(I show him my notes and point to where it says "Dr. Stuart Soderburger")
Soderburger: Right. I get it. That's not right.
Me: If you say so.
(We head up to my apartment. He walks in and looks around.)
Me: Come on in! You want something to drink?
Soderburger: Wow. I haven't been in a place like this in a long, long time...
Me: Place like what?
Soderburger: A place with a ceiling that... I can touch by reaching up.
(He reaches up and touches my ceiling.)
Soderburger: You don't get claustrophobic with this situation?
Me: What situation?
Soderburger: The ceiling being so low. It's like living in a coal mine or something...
(He sits in my big chair. I sit on the couch. He looks at his watch again.)
Soderburger: I have fifteen minutes.
Me: What's the rush?
Soderburger: I need to fire my publicist.
Me: Oh. Ok. first question...
Me: Do any restaurants in LA serve a hamburger named after you called a Soder-burger?
Soderburger: I don't know. I don't think so.
Me: If there was a Soderburger burger-- what would you want served on it? Eyeglasses?
(I show him a picture I drew of a hamburger wearing eyeglasses.)
Me: Think about it.
Soderburger: I'd prefer not to...
Me: Next question! I heard recently some studio was going to make a movie with you and Brad Pitt and it was all good to go and then the studio pulled the plug and threw the whole project in the garbage can and they lost alot of money and if you drive around to the back alley of the studio you can see it sticking out of a dumpster with its legs sticking out all upside down and stuff... True or false?
Soderburger: Basically true.
Me: Why'd they throw your movie in the garbage?
Soderburger: We didn't see eye to eye.
Me: Like your eye being all let's make a movie that bombs big and their eye being let's make a movie that doesn't bomb big?
(He looked confused or something so I flipped through my notes and pointed to a picture of a round bomb with eyeglasses on it.)
Soderburger: Next question.
Me: You recently made a movie called Cheebah.
Me: How'd that do?
Soderburger: Not great.
Me: It was like twenty-six hours long ten-part series with twenty intermissions but no bathroom breaks, right?
Soderburger: Running time was 4:25.
Me: And why would you think anyone would want to sit through something so super boring? Was it like some sort of movie endurance test?
Soderburger: Che Guevara is a historic figure with a great story and...
Me: ...annnnd I still don't really know who he is. He like runs a fast food chain in Guatemala or something, right? Cheebahs?
Me: I know he sells alot of t-shirts and posters. I have that in my notes.
Soderburger: Umm... Yes. They sell alot of merchandise with his image.
Me: Did you try to sell t-shirts and posters for your Cheeby movie? Maybe you can make some money back? Sell Cheeby thongs or whatever...
Soderburger: Can we talk about the new movie? The Informant...
Me: Yeah! I saw it the other day-- I thought it was a weird turn for an Oceans movie.
Soderburger: Maybe because wasn't an Oceans movie.
(I flip through my notes)
Me: Says here 'New movie by Dr. Stuart Soderburger. Sequel to Oceans Fourteen. Oceans Nine.)
Soderburger: All of that is wrong.
(I show him my notes and point to where it says Oceans Nine)
Soderburger: That says 'Oceans Five'...
Me: Ok fine. Oceans Five. Anyway, The Informist struck me as one of those movies that's supposed to be smart and all respectable-- but in reality it's boring and a waste of time. Did you see it?
Soderburger: Yes. I saw it!! And it's The Informant! Not Informist...
Me: Ist. Ant. Either. Or.
Soderburger: Ant. Actually only ant.
Me: Why would you make a movie about Fat Damon scamming a chemical company?
Soderburger: It was a compelling story.
Me: In what way?
Soderburger: You saw it.
(Soderburger just stares at me. I point to my notes to where I wrote 'Borrrr-ing'.)
Soderburger: Are we done here?
Me: Next question! Did you know you can't just throw jazzy music inbetween scenes and slap a moustache on Fat Damon and call it important?
Soderburger: I think we're done here.
Me: Wait! One more question! What's next for Dr. Stuart Soderburger...?
(I hold my pencil out toward him like a microphone)
Soderburger: I'm gonna take some time off for a while. Get away from movies.
Me: Good idea!
Soderburger: Maybe do some painting or something...
Me: See that wall over there?
(I point at my wall)
Me: It needs painting. Maybe you can start there?
Soderburger: We're done.
Me: And see that wall over there?
(I point at the other wall)
Me: Watching that wall is more exciting than watching Cheebah...
(Stuart gets up to leave. He spits on my floor.)
Soderburger: That's for you to keep.
Me: Ooh! I can't wait to show my friends! The Dr. Stuart Soderburger spitted on my floor!
Soderburger: Spat! If you keep it up I can turn it into 'shat'!
Me: Did you know Stuart Soderburger is like a tongue twister? Say it three times fast...
Soderburger: Stuart Soderburger. Stuart Soderburger. Stuart Soderburger.
Me: Hmm.. Not bad. I guess you've had alot of practice though.
Soderburger: No I haven't!
Me: Did you fart? It smells like Soderfart.
Soderburger: Thanks for your hospitality in this terrible thrift shop bat cave.
Me: Wait! Your fly is down, Stuart!
(I point at his crotch. He checks. His fly isn't down.)
(Stuart heads out and slams the door behind him. I yell out the window after him as he walks down the street.)
Me: Hey! Fried Green Tomatoes was your best movie, Stanley!
Three Good Things About the Informant
- In truth, it wasn't a bad story but the story telling didn't get good until
the last 15 minutes.
- Fat Damon carried this snoozer a long way on his back.
- Every 3rd to 4th scene worked pretty well.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- If you strip it down-- its way boring.
- I was unnecessarily confusing.
- I almost walked out on the opening credits (seriously. just because... I knew what was coming.)
All in all, this movie is a waste of time unless you're a fan of Fat Damon fan (does he actually have fans?). It's just one of those frustrating flicks where you know there are better stories to be told. And told in better ways. But not sure why I'd expect more from Soderburger. He's been coasting on his 'good looks' for over decade now-- near blinded by ego and art and celebrity. But I still think there's a great movie in this guy... which in reality would probably be his first.