Soderbergh's 'Bubble' Changes the Rules The new low-budget film from director Steven Soderbergh promises to shake things up in the movie industry. Bubble opens in theaters on Friday, Jan. 27, the same day it is broadcast in HDTV. Four days later, it comes out on DVD.

Soderbergh's 'Bubble' Changes the Rules

Soderbergh's 'Bubble' Changes the Rules

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Director Steven Soderbergh, on location for Bubble. Magnolia Pictures hide caption

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Magnolia Pictures

Baby on Board: The "nursery" of the actual Lee Middleton Co., left; and a doll in Bubble. Magnolia Pictures hide caption

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Magnolia Pictures

Rose (Misty Dawn Wilkins), left, talks it over on a break with Martha (Debbie Doebereiner) and Kyle (Dustin James Ashley). Magnolia Pictures hide caption

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Magnolia Pictures

Scenes from 'Bubble'

The new low-budget film from director Steven Soderbergh promises to shake things up in the movie industry. Bubble opens in theaters on Friday, Jan. 27, the same day it is broadcast in HDTV. Four days later, it comes out on DVD.

Music for 'Bubble'

Robert Pollard contributed several songs to the film. Listen to two of them:

'All Men Are Freezing'

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'I'm No Child'

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Bubble is a murder mystery set in a doll factory in the Midwest, featuring mostly non-professional actors. It was filmed along the border of West Virginia and Ohio, and in the Lee Middleton Original Dolls factory in Belpre, Ohio.

The story centers around Rose, a young woman who disturbs the balance of an unlikely relationship at her new job, between two longtime employees who are years apart in age. When one of the three is found dead, the identities and assumptions associated with small-town life begin to unravel.

Analysis

Soderbergh's other films include Traffic, Ocean's Eleven, Erin Brockovich, The Limey, Out of Sight, and Kafka. He also co-produced the recent films Syriana and Good Night, and Good Luck. Soderbergh's directing career took off in 1989, with his low-budget hit sex, lies and videotape.

Bubble is being shown at Landmark Theaters, a chain owned by Internet maverick Mark Cuban; it is also being broadcast on the HDNet cable service on the same day. Many of the country's largest theater chains have refused to screen the film.

With a network of partners that relies on Cuban's media businesses, Soderbergh says he plans to make six low-budget movies that will be distributed by the "day-and-date" model, in which films are released on multiple formats within a matter of days.

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A 'Bubble' of Synergy

Director Steven Soderbergh's new movie is being shown at Cuban's Landmark chain of theaters, even as it is broadcast on the HDNet cable service. Many of the country's largest theater chains have refused to screen the film. A look at the companies involved in the film -- and its experimental release:

In Theaters

  • Produced by 2929 Entertainment (owned by Mark Cuban and longtime ally Todd Wagner)
  • Distributed by Magnolia Pictures (founded in 2001 by film and radio veterans Bill Banowsky and Eamonn Bowles; owned by 2929 Entertainment)
  • Opens Jan. 27 in Landmark Theaters (began in 1974; bought by 2929 Entertainment in 2003)

On Cable TV

  • Jan. 27 - Airs on HDNet (founded in 2001 by Cuban and TV executive Philip Garvin)
  • HDNet is available from cable companies including Adelphia, Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, DIRECTV and the DISH Network.

DVDs for Sale

  • Jan. 31 - Available at major retail outlets
  • Also sold in Landmark Theaters