michael winterbottom

LONDON – Film director and Steven Soderbergh‘s arch-enemy, Michael Winterbottom has retired from the world of feature film directing, claiming that his decision has nothing to do with the similar retirement of Steven Soderbergh.

‘Steven who?’ he said, pulling a face and shrugging. ‘Never heard of him.’

Winterbottom – whose films include Cock and Bull Story, The Killer Inside Me and 24 Hour Party People – issued a statement announcing his retirement earlier today.

The state of the film industry and some other stuff about studios has made me realise that I can no longer work in the feature film industry. The Look of Love, The Trip to Italy and The Face of an Angel will be my last three films, possibly I’ll manage another Thomas Hardy adaptation in the middle or a documentary. From now on I plan to work for HBO or write a novel on Twitter or something. This has nothing to do with what Steven Soderbergh did. I’ve been planning to retire for years; before he was even born I was planning to retire. 

Michael Winterbottom’s feud with Steven Soderbergh has roots and causes more complicated and ancient than the most problematic Middle Eastern conflict. Some say it was only exacerbated by the Film Off organised earlier this year by the Studio Exec (CLICK HERE for more) and which led to Soderbergh spraining his directing finger.  

The Look of Love, The Trip to Italy, A Pair of Blue Eyes, Bari, The Trip to France and The Face of an Angel will be Michael Winterbottom’s last films.

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