09 September 2011


Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Written by: Scott Z. Burns
Full credits at IMDb

The alarmist Contagion is the apotheosis of our germophobic age of hand sanitizer. From its repulsed series of shots of people making contact with each other or manhandling water glasses, I learned that no one should never touch anyone or anything, especially their own faces. That's how disease spreads, and diseases are like nature's weapons of mass destruction. (You saw The Happening, right?) This pathological aphephobia fits in well with a global culture in which relationships and socialization are increasingly moving on-line; the one relationship in the movie that blossoms does so through text messages. Physical contact can be fatal—our fingers may as well be made of knives—but nobody ever caught chiropteran swine flu from Facebook. (You'll excuse all the scientific terminology as half of this movie's all-star cast plays doctors and speaks in jargon-heavy dialogue.) "Our best defense," Laurence Fishburn's character says, "is social distancing." And yet Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns don't put much faith in virtual realities, as the film's "blogger"—the modern iteration of your archetypal shoe-leather newshound—comes off almost as bad as the contagious disease itself...

Keep reading my conversation with Benjamin Sutton at The L Magazine

Watch the trailer:

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