Image by Nicolas Genin
Our vast media landscape feels grossly oversaturated with advertising, propaganda, and all manner of redundant noise. But the discerning eye, and ear, perceives just as much quality out there as crap. “Retired” auteur Steven Soderbergh, as fans of his will know, is just such a discerning customer — and an exacting, highly organized one at that. Soderbergh has sworn off directing film, turning his attention to television by directing the Cinemax series The Knick as well as—reports Indiewire—“producing, editing, and lensing Magic Mike XXL,” the second installment of the Channing Tatum-starring male stripper saga.
One might think all this work would keep Soderbergh busy from dawn to dusk, but he’s a man who “gets more done in a day than most do in a week.” A consummate consumer of culture high and low, Soderbergh assiduously documented his watching, reading, and listening experiences for the entire year previous. His list includes TV shows like Veep and Louie, and heavier fare like True Detective and House of Cards. He read Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Karl Ove Gnausgaard’s laborious Proustian novel My Struggle (books one through three—in two months). In addition to recent films like Gone Girl, Soderbergh watched Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey three times and Jaws twice. He even found the time for Die Hard With a Vengeance.
The above represents but the tiniest sampling of Soderbergh’s voracious diet. You can see the full list, including his album purchases here. As Indiewire rightly observes, the list is “a lot to wade through.” Even more so the incredible range and diversity of creative works contained within. Soderbergh maintained a similar log for 2013, which you can see here. Scanning these may inspire you to step up your input, or maybe just to pull a manageable number of selections for future reading/viewing/listening of your own.