Fb logo Twitter logo Email
1989 sex lies and videotape
Sex, Lies, and Videotape
★★★★★
First run Seen 20plus times Theater cinema Screening room Tv laptop

Steven Soderbergh transformed independent cinema with this sharp, lean, remarkably self-assured début. Andie MacDowell stars as Ann, the beautiful but repressed wife of John (Peter Gallagher), a self-centered yuppie lawyer carrying on an affair with Ann’s uninhibited sister Cynthia (Laura San Giacomo). The lives of this dysfunctional trio are upended when Graham (James Spader), an old college friend of John's, moves back to town. While Graham seems open and intriguing, he has built a wall around himself and is every bit as self-delusional as the others. 

The four leads are each perfectly suited to their roles, and Soderbergh's dialogue is authentic, perceptive, and quite funny. His unobtrusive camera and subtle editorial hand guide the viewer through the story with the skill of a master filmmaker. This exquisitely crafted picture captured the zeitgeist of its day and came out at a point when independently financed movies could finally score big with mainstream audiences. That trifecta of talent, timing, and tapping into the specific mood and preoccupations of the culture made this tiny little movie one of the most important films in a generation. Even though the technology it centers on—the portable home video camcorder—has become a relic of the past, nothing about this film has dated in even the slightest way. In fact, sex, lies, and videotape was way ahead of all other films in predicting how much technology would infect the sex lives of human beings. 

NOTE: sex, lies, and videotape is one of my 100 favorite films, sharing a spot on the list with another groundbreaking ‘80s movie, She’s Gotta Have It. For a more in-depth appreciation click here: http://www.film5000.com/my-100-favorite-films/she's-gotta-have-it/131

Twitter Capsule:
Soderbergh's remarkably self-assured début about the lives and preoccupations of four people in Baton Rouge, Louisiana changed cinema forever and is even more perceptive, funny, and relevant as it was thirty years ago.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Produced by John Hardy and Robert F. Newmyer

Written by Steven Soderbergh

With: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo, Ron Vawter, Steven Brill, Alexandra Root, and Earl T. Taylor

Cinematography: Walt Lloyd
Editing: Steven Soderbergh
Music: Cliff Martinez

Runtime: 100 min
Release Date: 01 August 1989
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Color