Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Steven Soderberg’s first feature, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes ’89, is a polished and sophisticated examination of the intricate network of relationships and deceits that gather around a young couple. Filmed on a modest budget of $1.2 million and described as ’emotionally autobiographical’, it achieves an honesty and psychological complexity that is all too rare in American cinema. Defining its characters by their sexual impulses, and their ability to handle the consequences of their actions, Soderberg’s film has an element of intrigue that one expects in a thriller and the very carefully plotted structure of a contemporary La Ronde.

U.S.A., 1989.
With: James Spader, Andie McDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo.
Dolby stereo SR.
101 mins.

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