A Voyeurism Double Bill : Auto Focus + Sex, Lies, And Videotape – In the Gallery on January 8th 18/12/11

From the director of American Gigolo and writer of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, Auto Focus charts the life of actor Bob Crane whose weakness for the temptations of 1960s Hollywood turns to addiction when he loses his role on hit TV sitcom Hogan’s Heroes. When a friend introduces him to the emerging video technology, Crane is entranced by the sexual possibilities, but with few diversions, his part-time hobby soon turns all-consuming. Overlooked on release, Auto Focus’s study of fame, obsession, male identity and technology is more comic than anything Schrader has directed before, without departing from the ‘existential cinema’ of his best work.

“Exemplary… painfully funny and misanthropic… the antidote to Boogie Nights”
Sight & Sound
“A funny, dark portrait of 60s and 70s America, the flip side of popular entertainment. A smart, classy film about sex, lies and videotape”
Film 4
“A shrewd expose of Hollywood’s slimy underside…”
Variety
“Absolutely brilliant. If you want to have a very frank conversation about sexual kinks and perverted desires, see this movie”
Ain’t It Cool

Sex, Lies, And Videotape
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: James Spader, Andie Macdowell, Laura San Giacomo, Peter Gallagher

Beating Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing to win the 1989 Palme d’Or, Steven Soderbergh’s drama follows a loner with an unusual fetish who after moving in nearby, disturbs the balance of relationships between an old college friend, his wife and her sister, forcing them to reconsider their feelings and sexual identities. A darkly sensual story with roots in Soderbergh’s personal life (though he would later play this down), sex, lies, and videotape was the first big hit of Sundance, and in paving the way for the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Todd Solondz and Kevin Smith, shifted the goalposts for American independents.

“Superb… funny, perceptive, immaculately wrought dialogue… stimulates both intellectually and emotionally”
Time Out
“A fascinating jigsaw of neuroses which leap from the screen… adultery, masturbation, voyeurism, given a kinky twist via the intrusion of 80s technology”
Empire
“A landmark reworking of La Ronde for the video age”
Mark Cousins
“Mature, beautifully acted and deeply sexy”
Film 4
“Seminal”
Kevin Smith

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