New Films: Schizopolis (18)

Director: Steven Soderbergh Starring: Steven Soderbergh
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Between Steven Soderbergh's The Underneath (a box-office bomb) and last year's Out of Sight (a hit) came Schizopolis: a stop-gap experiment, a beaten retreat into art-house abstraction and evidence, perhaps, of a director in crisis. Pieced together on a thrift-shop budget, Schizopolis is a bit of cinematic crazy-paving. Suburban manners, corporate paranoia, dental hygiene and the rituals of adultery are all deconstructed in energetic, scattergun fashion, though it's finally a shade too film-school wacky to warm to. While Schizopolis is undeniably the strangest film in the "American Independence" season it's headlining, some of the other offerings (Clockwatchers, or Spike Lee's Four Little Girls) are far more rounded and satisfying.