One of the Greats: Steven Soderbergh's OUT OF SIGHT

Every now and then I like to write a small review on my “Great Films” list.

OUT OF SIGHT (1998) | Dir: Steven Soderbergh | Writer: Scott Frank (based on a novel by Elmore Leonard) | Editor: Anne V. Coates

Writing a smart, tightly-paced crime/thriller/comedy is tough. Finding or developing chemistry between the lead actors is even tougher. Steven Soderbergh deftly accomplishes an incredible feat by forming a world in which lines are not firmly drawn in the sand, and the characters are so vibrant and alive.

One can visit IMDB.COM for the plot, so I won’t rehash it here. Rather, I applaud Soderbergh’s and editor Anne V. Coates’ approach to the non-linear editing, overlapping dialogue and use of freeze-frames (see video below). Somehow, every time I view the film it seems fresh and daring. Most American filmmakers would shy away from the use of freeze-frames in the middle of a scene, but this dares you to understand the need for its incorporation. After all, it’s such a story that two contrasting leads Jack Foley (George Clooney) and Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) and their, seemingly opposite beliefs, that calls for this sense of rhythm. This film definitely influenced my editing style and inclinations.

This was the movie that put Clooney on the map as a legitimate star. Not well received at the box-office (and pre J-Lo days), reexamining this now invites you to understand human complexities, long for the unattainable love and appreciate those who are in your life.

Magic Moment: From the elevator, Jack Foley waves to Karen Sisco even though she -- and a whole team -- are on the hunt for him.