Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Book Your Flights Now: Soderbergh to Make History in West Virginia

As you may or may not have heard last week, Steven Soderbergh’s new film Bubble is set to premiere next month in Parkersburg, W.V. That is not a misprint: Bubble, a class-conflict murder mystery featuring non-professional actors from the Parkersburg vicinity, will roll out the red carpet January 12 in front of the world-famous Smoot Theater.
This is not exactly Cameron Crowe coming back to Elizabethtown, Ky., to show off his latest preening, overlong ass-terpiece. Here we have an Oscar-winner kicking off his new partnership with 2929 Entertainment (the film will premiere on HDNet and DVD the same day), Magnolia Pictures boss Eamonn Bowles promising a “blast” and New York uber-publicist Donna Daniels actually sending out this e-mail yesterday:

Steven Soderbergh, HDNet Films, Magnolia Pictures, West Virginia Film Office, WTAP-TV Parkersburg, Graffiti Magazine & The Parkersburg News-Sentinel

Present The Premiere Of Steven Soderbergh’s


What: The premiere of Steven Soderbergh¹s new film BUBBLE in Parkersburg, WV

When: Thursday January 12, 2006 at 7:30pm, Arrivals begin at 7:00pm

WHO: Bubble stars Debbie Doebereiner, Dustin James Ashley, Misty Dawn Wilkins, Kyle Smith and Decker Moody, Director Steven Soderbergh, Screenwriter Coleman Hough, and additional guests TBA.

WHERE: SMOOT Theater, 213 5th Street, Parkersburg


I swear I do not mean this condescendingly, but I cannot decide if the best part of the story is this straight-faced press release soliciting coverage in West Virginia or if it is that the Smoot Theater is finally getting its red-carpet comeuppance. Was this the plan all along, or did theater chains in New York and Los Angeles tell 2929 to take its shuttered theatrical release windows and go fuck itself?
I guess we can never really know, but it does not matter: I think I have a trip down the Appalachian Trail in my future. Consider me RSVP’d.

3 Responses to “Book Your Flights Now: Soderbergh to Make History in West Virginia”

  1. Dennis says:

    As a West Virginian, I realize that West Virginia is an unlikely place for such a premier. However, do you need to put it in such condescending terms? Are we really unworthy of such an event? Sounds a bit elitist. I am sure you are not wanting to be smattered with that “unfair” stereotype. Is it so unusual to have premiers of location-specific movies within the location itself? It seems reasonable to note the unusualness of the event, but please refrain from implying that visiting West Virgina will be a hardship on anything other than ego.

  2. Patrick says:

    I’m also a West Virginian, and I know that our Film office was damn proud to land any of the Parkersburg shoots for Bubble.
    Have you guys ever been to the Smoot? It’s gorgeous. One of the best old school venues I’ve ever been to. The premiere will be a blast.

  3. Mule says:

    Puh-leez! Visiting this area in West Virginia really isn’t unlike visiting small-to-mid-sized towns in any other state. It’s about bloody time folks outside our area have noticed our beautiful scenery, interesting people, and low business overhead. The film was shot here, so why should the premiere be in L.A.? It’s ok, though, whatever anyone wants to think–just don’t imagine the locals are all tripping over themselves as if this is a huge deal. The theater employees, all volunteers, are making appropriate preparations, but not more attentively than for any of their (terrific) regular events, business as usual. And, yes, the Smoot is gorgeous! Also adored by musicians for fabulous acoustics. I’ll bet there are even–omigosh!–photos online someplace.

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima