Movies: In the Heat of the Noir

The Good German is long on style, short on thought

For director Steven Soderbergh, The Good German is an exercise in style--retro style. Although his film is set in postwar Berlin, he made it, as the studios once did, on back lots and locations around Los Angeles. He used old-fashioned process photography instead of CGI for his special effects, and though he shot in color, he printed the movie on high-contrast black-and-white stock. He even dug up antique lenses, of the kind directors were obliged to use a half-century ago. By golly, if he shoots into the sun, he gets lens flare. He induced Thomas Newman to write a lush symphonic...

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