Soderbergh puts his stamp of approval on ‘Visitors’

Even though Steven Soderbergh insists that, after last year’s “Side Effects,” he’s hung up his director’s hat as far as feature films, his move toward television producing is taking shape with the “coming soon” Cinemax miniseries “The Knick,” about life in a New York City hospital circa 1900. But for now, his name is again appearing on the big screen, during the credits of “Visitors,” where letters spell out “Steven Soderbergh presents.”

It’s Soderbergh’s second project with “Visitors” director Godfrey Reggio. Soderbergh served as executive producer on the third leg of the qatsi trilogy “Naqoyqatsi.” He still remembers being knocked out by Reggio’s first film “Koyaanisqatsi” when he was a student at Louisiana State University.

“It was at the Varsity Theatre, which was a repertory house that was just outside the gates of LSU, and I was there a lot,” he said. “It was a film I’d heard about, a film I’d read about. Francis [Coppola] had his name on it” – the credit reads “Francis Ford Coppola presents” — “which meant something to me. It was one of those moments where suddenly possibilities open up. Your idea of what a movie is suddenly expands. For a young filmmaker — I was 20 — that’s a big moment.”


Asked what the term “Steven Soderbergh presents” means, he said, “I’ve made the analogy that I was sort of the greeter at the Gap. It’s a way in for people. And it’s the right title. I didn’t have anything to do with the making of the movie, so it’s not appropriate for me to have a title that would indicate that I did. It’s merely, ‘Hey, look. I like this. I think it’s cool.’ It’s just me saying it has my blessing.”