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The whole first season of Steven Soderbergh‘s acclaimed period drama The Knick will screen at the Rome Film Festival on Oct. 17 and 18. The Oscar-winning director returned from his “retirement” to direct the vehicle for Cinemax. The show has become the centerpiece for the network’s rebranding strategy, to focus on high-quality original series.
The Knick, short for Knickerbocker Hospital, stars Owen as Doctor John Thackery, a well-respected surgeon who is constantly evolving the field of medicine in early 20th century New York at the expense of many a life. The series tackles tough issues like drug addiction, classism, racism and sexism and doesn’t shy away from blood and guts. The multi-episode payoff makes the film festival a fine venue to air the drama.
The Hollywood Reporter hailed the series as “a bold, stylishly directed period medical drama powered by the winning duo of director Steven Soderbergh and star Clive Owen.” The drama premiered in the U.S. on Aug. 8 this past summer.
Rome Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller commends TV as a medium for filmmakers to explore longer narratives. “And while films at the movies continue to be novellas, or serially-produced comic books, quality television is now capable of both fostering and producing a sort of film narrative that breaks conventional formats, and can sometimes be as long and eloquent as a novel,” he says. “There can no longer be any doubt therefore that the great contemporary film-novel is now brought to us on television. And that the most important contemporary film-novel of the year is called The Knick.”
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