First Listen: 'Che' Soundtrack Songs; Soderbergh Now Wishes He Would Have Made Films As 10-Hour HBO Mini-Series

Yes, we’re on a “Che” kick, sue us. The unconventional, process-oriented and uncompromisingly dense and unsentimental Steven Soderbergh films, Part One: “The Argentine” and Part Two: “Guerilla” are some of our favorite films of 2008; there’s just nothing like them out there and there probably won’t be anytime soon. They’re a cinematic rebellion against tradition to put it bluntly.

But some of you are sick of hearing about this film so we’ll try and condense three planned posts into one. First off, we have a first listen at the two songs that close out both films. The first is Cuban singer Silvio Rodriguez’s “Fusir Contra Fusil” which closes out the Cuban revolution of “The Argentine.” It is the version on the soundtrack (which came out today via the soundtrack label Varese Saraband), which is a live version, but we swear the one in the movie wasn’t this raw of quality. Either way, it’s a rousing song full of typical Latin passion and a pretty fantastically stirring way to sign out with the credits of the first film (god, we felt so incredibly galvanized on our first screening, the song is so moving).

The second track is from 1960s/’70s Argentinian singer Mercedes Sosa’s mournful, “Balderrama,” which plays at the end of “Guerilla,” and is fittingly melancholy yet still passionate and spirited. Whatever music supe picked these songs gets a major hat tip.

Meanwhile, Soderbergh’s talked at lengths many times how the “Che” script written by Peter Buchman first started out as one picture, but then became so condensed, it started to feel like a truncated version of his two major guerrilla campaigns, so he decided to lengthen them and separate them into two films. What Soderbergh has now realized is that there are so many Che Guevara stories to tell (rebel campaigns in the Congo and Venezuela for example), he now wishes he would have gone to HBO to great a massive mini-series.

“My attitude was like, “Look, in nature, when a cell gets too big, it divides in order to survive. That’s what we’ve got here. That’s what we have to do.” And I think, in retrospect, [diving the the project into two films] was the right thing to do,” he told Salon. “Now I look at it and wish we’d just gone to HBO and done 10 hours. I really do, because there’s still so much stuff that was interesting to me that we just couldn’t do. I mean, there’s a whole other movie, at least, to deal with: His time in Cuba [after the revolution], and especially his time in the Congo, which is fascinating.”

God, just thinking about that gives us an erection. We could keep watching these movies on and on. Earlier this year, Soderbergh said if “Che” made $100 million dollars, he could do a third film, preferably set in the Congo, but we know that will never happen. PS, read this entire Salon interview, it’s incredibly revealing and fantastic. We totally get how Soderbergh’s intellectual synapses are fired up by this subject and how he’d continue to want to explore.

Lastly, video of Soderbergh, at Friday night’s IFC Roadshow screening of “Che” in New York is online via Indiewire. “Che” is kind of apolitical in nature. Or rather, it doesn’t editorialize or bother underlining the Argentinian rebel’s actions at all and some have called this a chicken shit move, Soderbergh not willing to take sides, but we love that his “detachment” (as some call it), basically lets the man’s actions (good and bad) speak for themselves. But not everyone was having that and during the director’s post-show Q&A in NY, things got heated and almost ugly. We would say have a little respect for the man who created the film (why else would you be there? If you don’t give a rat’s ass would you really pay money to sit through 4 1/2 hours of film? Are you a masochist?), but people are jackasses. However, debate is what Soderbergh was aiming for, and debate was what he got, so we support that, but don’t freak on the man, it’s just a movie that he directed. It’s not like dude shot anyone.