The complete first season of Steven Soderbergh’s period drama “The Knick” to be screened in Rome. Clive Owen to meet the audience at the Auditorium

The first season of new drama series “The Knick” by Steven Soderbergh will be screened on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 October during the 9th Rome Film Festival directed by Marco Müller (16-25 October, Auditorium Parco della Musica). The new work by the great American filmmaker – Oscar®-winner for Traffic, Cannes Palme d’Or  recipient for Sex, Lies, and Videotape, and director of some of the biggest box-office hits in recent years (the “Ocean” trilogy, Erin Brockovich, Magic Mike, Side Effects) – features Clive Owen as the brilliant, temperamental surgeon John Thackery. The British actor (Golden Globe for Closer, star of films such as Inside Man,King Arthur, Sin City, and Croupier) will meet the Festival audience in the course of an evening event that will present the screening of the entire series. “The Knick” is written by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler (Raising Helen, Big Miracle), who also serve as executive producers, along with Gregory Jacobs (Behind the Candelabra), Stephen Soderbergh, Michael Sugar (Rendition), and Clive Owen. Michael Polaire (Behind the Candelabra) produces, with Steven Katz (Shadow of the Vampire) serving as supervising producer and writer of episodes 5 and 9.

“The Knick”, currently being broadcast on the US cable channel Cinemax, is set in downtown New York in the early twentieth century, and centred on the Knickerbocker Hospital. Academy Award and Emmy nominee Clive Owen stars as Doctor John Thackery, a brilliant surgeon pioneering new methods in the field, despite his secret addiction to cocaine. He leads a team of  groundbreaking surgeons, nurses, and staff in a time of high mortality rates and medical limitations.

In addition to Clive Owen, the cast also features, among others, André Holland (film, theatre and television actor who starred in the series “Friends with Benefits” and the films Bride Wars and 42), Jeremy Bobb (star of television series such as “Boardwalk Empire”, “House of Cards”, “Hostages”), Eve Hewson (star of This Must Be the Place alongside Sean Penn) and Juliet Rylance (the star with Ethan Hawke of the successful thriller Sinister).

Artistic Director Marco Müller explained: “How many times has the migration of forms and contents in cinema (and other platforms) come full circle? Very few, and always very recently (as in the splendid Mildred Pierce directed by Todd Haynes for HBO).

In the Second Golden Age of the small screen, television series borrowed both character development and new methods of editing and photography from cinema. This helped them renew their serial narrative models, and present “serialized series” with vertical storylines that ended within each individual episode, and horizontal storylines that lasted through the entire season (and sometimes continued in later series).

Today we are witnessing yet another transformation: filmmakers and producers are experimenting with television series. Television is going through a new evolution, borrowing from cinema to produce anthology mini-series directed by a single director. The filmmakers are often famous names, and instead of just signing the pilot (and fostering the concept for the series) they are finally given the opportunity to tell their story over an adequately long period of time – though not long enough for the narrative to lose its intensity. This is the new audio-visual mode for adapting a novel to the screen.

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.

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, directed by Steven Soderbergh for HBO’s Cinemax.”



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