Brian De Palma Disses Steven Soderbergh’s Directing Style: ‘A Visual Director? Are You Kidding?’

De Palma also said he watched one episode of "The Knick" and wasn't impressed.
Brian De Palma Says Steven Soderbergh Is Not a Visual Director
Brian De Palma and Steven Soderbergh

When IndieWire ranked the best directed drama series of the 21st century, Steven Soderbergh’s “The Knick” finished strong in third place behind “The Girlfriend Experience” and “Mad Men.” The director’s Cinemax medical drama series is often cited as a directorial achievement for the indie filmmaker, but now we know at least one iconic director who disagrees with such an opinion: Brian De Palma.

Speaking to the French publication Le Point (via The Playlist), De Palma went off on Soderbergh and dissed the indie filmmaker for not being a visual filmmaker. De Palma remembered trying out an episode of “The Knick” and thinking there was nothing memorable about the director’s visual style. De Palma was reacting to a reporter’s question referring to Soderbergh and David Fincher as “highly visual directors.”

“Steven Soderbergh, a visual director? Are you kidding?” De Palma said. “Give me an example of a great, visually memorable scene [from] Soderbergh or a silent sequence based on the staging…I saw an episode of ‘The Knick’ and there is nothing that [impressed me visually].”

De Palma has been making the press rounds in France ahead of a retrospective of his work at La Cinémathèque and the release of a political novel titled “Are Snakes Necessary?” which he co-wrote with journalist Susan Lehman. The director’s French press tour made headlines earlier this month over the reveal De Palma is developing a Hollywood sexual predator film based on Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse.

IndieWire has reached out to Soderbergh’s representatives for further comment.

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