Criterion Critics

sex, lies, and videotape (1989)

Episode #39

Miramax Films released sex, lies, and videotape on September 22, 1989. Steven Soderbergh directed the film starring James Spader, Andie MacDowell, and Peter Gallagher.

‘sex, lies, and videotape’ Criterion Synopsis

With his provocative feature debut, twenty-six-year-old Steven Soderbergh trained his focus on the complexities of human intimacy and deception in the modern age. Housewife Ann feels distant from her lawyer husband, John, who is sleeping with her sister, Cynthia. When John’s old friend Graham comes to town, Ann is drawn to the soft-spoken outsider, eventually uncovering his startling private obsession: videotaping women as they confess their deepest desires. A piercingly intelligent and flawlessly performed chamber piece, in which the video camera becomes a charged metaphor for the characters’ isolation, the Palme d’Or–winning sex, lies, and videotape changed the landscape of American film, helping pave the way for the thriving independent scene of the 1990s.

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Miramax Films released sex, lies, and videotape on September 22, 1989. Steven Soderbergh directed the film starring James Spader, Andie MacDowell, and Peter Gallagher.

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