In the mid- to late 90s, word on the street was that Soderbergh had completely stuffed his filmmaking career.
In 1997, Paula Bernstein wrote in the Village Voice: “Does he fear success? Is he purposely trying to piss off Hollywood? Does he subconsciously WANT to be punished?”
He was seriously burned out halfway through The Underneath… upon reflection he says, “Even though The Underneath is my least favourite, in retrospect it may have been my most important film because the dissatisfaction drove me into a new area.”
Which led to Schizopolis, a truly independent film which – even though it was funded with $250k from Universal – it was done as a favour to Soderbergh and without any real expectation that it would be picked up for distribution. This is the film that freed him up to be experimental and playful with story and form, and thus fall in love with his craft again.