Favorite Scene Theatre: Schizopolis (1996)

This unusual film was pivotal in helping Steven Soderbergh break free out of his self-proclaimed rut. Using only a three or four person crew, shot on the run like a Richard Lester film, with an improvised script whose alternate characters talk in at first glance non-sensical but apropos metaphors (“Generic greeting returned.”) and starring Soderbergh himself in two roles, the film was released to some puzzlement and some acclaim, but I love SCHIZOPOLIS and it’s for me one of the best comedies of the 90’s. I don’t know how anybody couldn’t appreciate what the film is about, the complexities of communication, and get a few laughs. It might be the best satiric riff on Scientology since REPO MAN (1984).

There’s a great cast of his regulars, Eddie Jemison and David Jensen, and to heighten the internal themes, Soderbergh also cast his ex-wife Betsy Brantley as his movie wife. The film should be inspirational to anyone thinking about doing it on the fly. Really though, the movie is jes’ plain funny, and Steven Soderbergh’s brave scene here might be the weirdest but most telling moment of SCHIZOPOLIS. Or not. Generic post sign-off.

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3 Responses to “Favorite Scene Theatre: Schizopolis (1996)”

  1. I think Schizopolis is one of Soderbergh’s best movies. I would LOVE to see him make another movie this free-wheelin’ inventive again.

  2. christian Says:

    When I interviewed him he told me he was still thinking about SON OF SCHIZOPOLIS…perfect title!

  3. Ah, Christian, now you’ve made me look at this film again tonight.

    Schizopolis is my third favorite Soderbergh just behind The Limey and sex, lies and videotape.

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