Steven Soderbergh isn’t your typical filmmaker. Honestly, we have to wonder if he’s even human. His productivity is off the charts, as he spent 2020 not only finishing up one feature film (“Let Them All Talk”) but filming an entirely new feature (“No Sudden Move”), while re-editing multiple films in his spare time and also watching tons of TV shows and films. It’s impressive…and somewhat scary just how much Soderbergh was able to accomplish in a year that was subject to an industry shutdown. But it appears that the hard work is paying off, as we’re going to see the release of some of those passion projects soon enough.
According to the email sent from Ext765 (the filmmaker’s unofficial, official website), it appears the recently-revealed boxed set, featuring the aforementioned re-edits, that Soderbergh has been working on over the quarantine is definitely happening. And not only that, rather surprisingly, it appears that the Ext765 website itself will be the place you can go to purchase it:
“Now, I hate to jinx this, but while I was perusing Mr/Dr Soderbergh’s private email exchanges I saw evidence of its existence and we all need something to look forward to, so I’m putting it out there: I’m PRETTY SURE that in the fourth quarter of this year Mr/Dr Soderbergh will be making available — through this site — a limited-edition boxed set of seven films that he now controls the rights to and has remastered in 4K HDR (KAFKA, SCHIZOPOLIS, GRAY’S ANATOMY, FULL FRONTAL, BUBBLE, THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE, AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE). It appears the KAFKA re-edit will be called MR. KNEFF (both versions will be part of the set), and SCHIZOPOLIS and FULL FRONTAL have been ‘tightened.’ Again, he doesn’t know I know this, so keep this on the DL, yes? Just pretend you never heard about it when he brings it up. Act EXCITED.”
The big takeaways include the fact that the boxed set will be limited edition (meaning you better hop on that quick) and will include the previously-announced films, including a new re-edit of “Kafka,” which will be titled “Mr. Kneff.” However, both versions of the oft-forgotten film will be available as part of the set. And yes, there will also be new edits of “Schizopolis” and “Full Frontal,” which has also been revealed. That said, unlike “Mr. Kneff,” these two re-edits are being called “tightened” versions of the films.
In addition to the news about the limited edition set, the email also announced a new, “upgraded” version of “Heaven’s Gate” that Soderbergh had previously released on the website. “Heaven’s Gate” is often referred to as one of the worst films of all time and the 1979 feature has been the subject of re-edits from Soderbergh, giving his “Butcher’s Cut” version. For this latest edit, the email says, “No one asked for this, and it remains as morally and legally suspect as it ever was, BUT IT LOOKS A WHOLE LOT BETTER.” So, go ahead and enjoy a better-looking version of Soderbergh’s cut of “Heaven’s Gate.”
All told, it appears that 2021 is starting off with some exciting news for fans of Steven Soderbergh. Not only do we get his “Seen, Read 2020” list, but we also got news about a boxed set and a new “upgraded” version of “Heaven’s Gate.” Does this mean 2021 is already better than all of last year? Let’s hope.