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Soderbergh's 'Bubble' Changes the Rules

The new low-budget film from director Steven Soderbergh promises to shake things up in the movie industry. Bubble opens in theaters on Friday, Jan. 27, the same day it is broadcast in HDTV. Four days later, it comes out on DVD.

Bubble is a murder mystery set in a doll factory in the Midwest, featuring mostly non-professional actors. It was filmed along the border of West Virginia and Ohio, and in the Lee Middleton Original Dolls factory in Belpre, Ohio.

The story centers around Rose, a young woman who disturbs the balance of an unlikely relationship at her new job, between two longtime employees who are years apart in age. When one of the three is found dead, the identities and assumptions associated with small-town life begin to unravel.

Soderbergh's other films include Traffic, Ocean's Eleven, Erin Brockovich, The Limey, Out of Sight, and Kafka. He also co-produced the recent films Syriana and Good Night, and Good Luck. Soderbergh's directing career took off in 1989, with his low-budget hit sex, lies and videotape.

Bubble is being shown at Landmark Theaters, a chain owned by Internet maverick Mark Cuban; it is also being broadcast on the HDNet cable service on the same day. Many of the country's largest theater chains have refused to screen the film.

With a network of partners that relies on Cuban's media businesses, Soderbergh says he plans to make six low-budget movies that will be distributed by the "day-and-date" model, in which films are released on multiple formats within a matter of days.

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