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With "Contagion," Soderbergh Revives the '70s Paranoid Thriller?

by Anthony Kaufman
July 14, 2011 4:26 AM
1 Comment
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"The truth is being kept from the world."

This line of dialogue is buried in the tense new trailer from Steven Soderbergh's forthcoming "Contagion," but it gives you a good sense of the conspiratorial undercurrent (is the virus from Big Pharma?) that lurks in the background of his latest more mainstream project.

Soderbergh has always been highly politically informed, from his TV series "K-Street" and "The Good German" to "Che" and his new "Man from U.N.K.L.E." project. In Soderbergh's recently published media diet, he includes such '70s conspiratorial classics as "All the Presidents Men" and a book called "Panicology." I think we can say where his current thinking lies.

Throughout his career, Soderbergh has continued to go back to 1970s Hollywood as inspiration, bringing up in interviews such films as "The Conversation" or "the energy of an early William Friedkin movie," as he suggested in an interview about "Out of Sight."

Anyway, judging from the trailer, I can't wait to see what he does with the material. We've seen epidemic movies before, of course, but in Soderbergh's hands, I think we're in store for a film that recalls the classics of 70s Hollywood, in both a strong visual and paranoid style.

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1 Comment

  • daveR. | July 19, 2011 3:50 AMReply

    tricky to make a critique of fear mongering with a paranoid thriller; like trying to make an anti-war film with exciting battle sequences; i see this as a bad direction for soderbergh; the thriller genre is inherently non-political because it depends on thrills at the expense of reason; imho

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