In a report from Toronto on Steven Soderbergh's Bubble, my girl Manohla Dargis compares the 42-year-old Friend of Clooney's latest, with its "artful artlessness" and let-the-milleu-dictate-the-content ethics, to the early work of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. "It is an influence," writes Ms. Dargis,  that "Mr. Soderbergh readily concedes."

"Just the bluntness of his movies or most of them, I really like," Soderbegh says. "I was watching a lot of them and had some of them with me when I was in Ohio [shooting Bubble], not to ape anything in specific, just for the feeling...I'm just like Fassbinder, but without the drugs and the whores."

Exactly. We're in a pretty sad state of affairs if Steven Soderbergh is the new Bad Boy of cinema. Let's do a little compare and contrast, shall we?

Fassbinder: Born in 1945, he was notoriously debauched, and eventualy died of a drug overdose in 1982 at 37.
Soderbergh: Born in 1963, he's had little personal experience with drugs, but he made a movie called Traffic in which a clean-cut teen girl devolves into a crack ho.

Fassbinder: Directed Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, a subversive remake of Douglas Sirk's All That Heaven Allows.
Soderbergh: Produced Far From Heaven, which tried really hard to be a subversive remake of Douglas Sirk's All That Heaven Allows.

Fassbinder: The most prolific filmmaker, like, ever, at one point he was making one film every 100 days.
Soderbergh: Has directed about 17 films since 1989. That's one film every 343.529412 days. About.

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categories Movies, Cinematical