A Simultaneously Serious and Silly Memo to Film Director Steven Soderbergh: Why I’ve Waited Until Now to Watch “Contagion.”
To: Steven Soderbergh
From: Steve Gorelick
Re: Your Film Contagion
Date: November 27, 2011
I am about to watch Contagion.
For many years, any film having to do with large-scale epidemics or catastrophes would have automatically attracted my interest. And knowing that you are the director of Contagion would normally have had me in the theater weeks ago. Ever since Sex, Lies, and Videotape, I’ve come to admire your raw and honest take on the character flaws that are at the very core of the human condition.
But you’ve also made some wonderfully frenetic, high-energy blockbusters, and I hope you won’t be insulted when I tell you that I am least a little jittery at the thought of seeing a film about a global pandemic done by the creator of Ocean’s 11. I love a good caper film, and I really loved yours. But I have a special interest in the stories and narratives of large-scale epidemics and other catastrophes, and I’m just a little on edge at the thought of what you might do with the very real threat of a pandemic. But you were the guy who made one of my favorites — Erin Brockovich — so you’ve more than earned my attention. I’m going to watch.