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Soderbergh and IBM's Sense of Scale

Two small-scale projects put film and fiction in perspective
Monica Riese, 12:35pm, Thu. May. 2, 2013
"A Boy and His Atom"

There are plenty of curious pairings we've forced by juxtaposition on this blog.

Punk rock and Pixar, Michael Bay and Magic Mike, etc. all got along well enough. So Steven Soderbergh and science doesn't seem too far off the deep-end, right?

This diptych even makes a little sense if you look at it this way: These are two of the smallest projects in production this week.

First: Soderbergh. The 50-year-old director announced his retirement from Hollywood after directing 26 films in the past 24 years. Since starting that so-called retirement after releasing Side Effects in February, the guy has somehow managed to do anything but be idle. First it was announced that his feature Behind the Candelabra would make its premiere this summer at the Cannes Film Festival. And now, he's writing a novella.

Never one to be accused of being traditional, Soderbergh is composing said novella, called "Glue," 140 characters at a time from his ghost Twitter account, @Bitchuation. With seven chapters up so far, it's a decidedly mysterious project; some pieces are punctuated by pictures, while chapter six is only two tweets long:

"well, if she confesses and he kills her, great. the question is will she kill him first? BEAT"

"no, but i can--i can--yes, we can--BEAT (off, left) sherrill, can you--get gary maloney"

Read what's up so far over on the Hollywood Reporter site, where they've done you the favor of putting the tweets in order from top to bottom instead of the usual backwards presentation. And then follow @Bitchuation to keep up with the rest as it unfolds – if, indeed, there's any more to come.

Then: IBM. We've featured plenty of small-scale film projects over the years, but not this small-scale or paradoxically so big-budget. Some scientists have made the world's smallest movie by pushing atoms around, creating a movie about a kid and his pet atom. They dance, they play – all in all, it's super cute, which isn't diminutive when you're talking about something so small you can't see it. Check it out below.

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