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  • Contagion, the movie

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sYSyuuLk5g
    To be released in September Contagion

  • #2
    Contagion, the movie

    There's a new movie out about a fictional pandemic which the trailer implies is bird flu.


    http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/wb/contagion/

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How Dangerous is Bird Flu (H5N1) to Global Public Health?

      Originally posted by crayonfish View Post
      There's a new movie out about a fictional pandemic which the trailer implies is bird flu.


      http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/wb/contagion/
      I believe, but am not sure, that while they suspect bird flu at first, the actual agent in the movie "Contagion" is a completely novel virus that is not influenza at all, but is in the family of Nipah and Hendra.

      http://www.virology.ws/2010/03/16/contagion-the-movie/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How Dangerous is Bird Flu (H5N1) to Global Public Health?

        Oh okay, I didn't know anything about it besides what I saw in the trailer. There seems to be an implication, now that I watch it again, that the pathogen might be manmade. Towards the end of the trailer there's a phone conversation at a lab instructing the technician to destroy their samples. Didn't catch that before.

        Edit:
        Found an article on it here...
        http://www.virology.ws/2010/03/16/contagion-the-movie/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Contagion, the movie

          I moved our posts into their own thread, as this movie might be interesting in its own right, but has little to do with H5N1.

          I do like the line from the trailer where one character asks if someone could weaponize the bird flu, and gets the response, "No, the birds are doing a pretty good job of that already."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Contagion, the movie

            Thank you for making a thread for it. I wast sure where to post it.

            The bird flu comment was a good line. I have hope for this movie because Stephan Soderbergh produces pretty intelligent films for the most part. Also, according the article on the virology site, they consulted an actual virologist for the movie.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Contagion, the movie

              http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/mo...gion.html?_r=1

              A Virus Movie Determined to Get Real

              Claudette Barius/Warner Brothers Pictures
              Matt Damon, in a scene from the new thriller “Contagion,” opening on Sept. 9.

              By DENNIS LIM
              Published: August 26, 2011
              The new thriller “Contagion” revisits a conundrum that has bedeviled many filmmakers over the years: how do you make a movie about a virus, a villain that isn’t even visible? Epidemic movies have sidestepped the problem by focusing on the aftermath of a deadly plague, as with “The Omega Man” (1971) and “12 Monkeys” (1995), both set in postapocalyptic wastelands. Another option is to invent a disease with outlandish symptoms, as in “The Crazies” (1973), in which the infected turn homicidally insane, or “28 Days Later” (2002), in which they become zombies.

              But unlike many of its predecessors, “Contagion,” which tracks the global spread of a lethal flulike virus, resists the sheen of science fiction or fantasy and instead stresses the chilling plausibility of its nightmare situation.

              “It’s an ultrarealistic film about a pandemic, and that’s the key phrase,” the film’s director, Steven Soderbergh, said. “We were looking for something that was unsettling because of the banality of the transmission. In a weird way, the less you trump it up, the more unsettling it becomes.”

              With a large all-star cast (Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law) and a sky-high body count, “Contagion” — which Warner Brothers will release on Sept. 9 — belongs to the fitfully popular Hollywood genre of the disaster movie. “It’s an Irwin Allen movie, at the end of the day,” Mr. Soderbergh said, referring to the so-called master of disaster behind “The Poseidon Adventure” and “The Towering Inferno.” “We’re doing exactly what he did, using a lot of movie stars and trying to scare a lot of people.”

              Mr. Soderbergh was speaking last month in his office space-cum-painting studio in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, where, having announced his imminent retirement from directing, he will soon be spending a lot more time. Propped against the walls are some of his recent pieces: a pair of striped canvases in red and gray hues and a portrait of the abstract painter Agnes Martin. Mr. Soderbergh, 48, sounded matter-of-fact about the career change. “I’m interested in exploring another art form while I have the time and ability to do so,” he said. “I’ll be the first person to say if I can’t be any good at it and run out of money I’ll be back making another ‘Ocean’s’ movie.”

              Besides “Contagion” he has completed the action film “Haywire,” set for a January release, and will shoot only three more movies, all in the coming months: “Magic Mike,” inspired by the actor Channing Tatum’s experiences as a stripper; a big-screen version of the 1960s TV hit “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”; and a long-planned Liberace biopic. It’s a suitably eclectic finish to a more than two-decade career that has zigzagged between low-budget experiments and Hollywood entertainments that are, in their way, no less sneaky. “Contagion” is yet another example of the restless intelligence that Mr. Soderbergh has applied to familiar templates, rethinking the particular challenges of each genre he takes on.

              Virus films, as Mr. Soderbergh recognizes, are a curious subset of disaster movies, which traditionally bring together a cross section of society — the tenants of a skyscraper, the passengers on an ocean liner — to demonstrate their survival skills and the brotherhood of man. But when the disaster in question is an infectious disease, the genre’s inherent sense of community breaks down because of fears of transmission and the prevention measure that public health professionals call “social distancing,” a concept that comes up often in “Contagion.”

              “It’s an interesting dynamic,” said the film’s screenwriter, Scott Z. Burns, a regular collaborator of Mr. Soderbergh’s who also wrote “The Informant!” “We need to band together to fight these things, and yet it’s our closeness and the fact that we are messy animals and rub up against each other that causes the problem.”

              Microbes are notoriously hardy travelers — long before the age of aviation, plague-riddled rats aboard trading ships brought the Black Death to Europe — and “Contagion” reflects the dizzying potential speed and reach of outbreaks in an increasingly globalized world. Shot on three continents, the film plots the vectors of transmission from Macau to Tokyo and Chicago and beyond, while also depicting the containment and investigative efforts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and the World Health Organization in Geneva.

              In “The Andromeda Strain” (1971), the virus entry in the ’70s disaster cycle, the culprit is an alien bug that remains largely confined to a New Mexico town. “The idea of it being out in the world is an abstraction,” Mr. Soderbergh said. “Outbreak” (1995), about the arrival of an Ebola-like virus from central Africa in small-town California, capitalized on topical fears — Ebola was then viewed as a global threat — but the movie abandons any pretense of scientific veracity for conspiratorial intrigue about biological weapons.

              The first high-profile virus film in more than a decade, “Contagion” inevitably brings to mind the more recent scares of SARS, avian flu and the H1N1 swine flu, which erupted when Mr. Burns and Mr. Soderbergh started their research.

              “Scott and I were fascinated by the science,” Mr. Soderbergh said. “I don’t know how you could make a film about a subject like this without wanting it to be accurate.”

              Drawing on the advice of consultants and experts who have studied recent outbreaks, “Contagion” shows that the science of viruses — the process of identifying them and of developing vaccines — continues to evolve, and that both pandemics and the responses to them take on new dimensions in a new information age. A central theme of the movie is that information acts much like a virus. Wary of mass panic, officials wrestle with the appropriate responses, and one of the characters is a scaremongering blogger, played by Mr. Law.

              In matters of scientific accuracy, the closest collaborator was Dr. Ian Lipkin, who directs the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. (Elliott Gould has a small role in “Contagion” as a star epidemiologist gist named Ian.) In an interview at his office, Dr. Lipkin described how he devised the virus in the film as a corollary of the rare Nipah virus, which spread from pigs to farmers in Malaysia in the late 1990s.

              “There isn’t anything in the laboratory part of the film that hasn’t either been done with a bona fide surrogate or assembled from something that was real,” Dr. Lipkin said. He spent weeks on set ensuring that the filmmakers didn’t lapse into the errors and omissions that often ensue when Hollywood gets scientific. He taught Mr. Gould how to don medical gloves properly, coached Ms. Paltrow through a seizure and asked that a scene in which Jennifer Ehle’s virologist character injects herself be reshot because she was wearing tights.

              “Every time there was a question Steven would ask, ‘What’s real?’ ” Dr. Lipkin said. “His argument was that truth is stranger than fiction, and it resonates more.” The filmmakers came to depend on Dr. Lipkin as a fact checker. Scrolling through his e-mail, he turned up an exchange with Mr. Burns about an added line of dialogue involving Mr. Damon’s character, who has an immunity to the virus and raises the possibility of using his antibodies as a cure. Mr. Burns’s suggestion read, “Blood serums are very expensive and they don’t always work.” Dr. Lipkin said: “It’s not that they’re expensive, but that there aren’t enough antibodies in this man. So I had them change it to, ‘You don’t have enough blood to save the world.’ ”

              Dr. Lipkin and his staff also developed a two-day curriculum for Ms. Ehle and Ms. Winslet, whose characters are often seen doing lab work. The actors learned how to use a microscope, grow bacterial cultures and extract genetic material from samples. (They were presented with mock diplomas upon completion.)

              While the laboratory scenes were shot in a converted tool-and-die factory in Chicago, Mr. Soderbergh dispatched sound engineers to the Columbia labs to record the hum of centrifuges and incubators, freezer doors opening and dry ice evaporating, animal cages rattling and squeaking as they are moved.

              For Mr. Soderbergh the believability of the film depended partly on its overall pace. “To be in any way meditative would have been a mistake,” he said. “The virus moves very quickly, and the movie had to mirror that.” An hour’s worth of edited material was ultimately left out. The film now runs a brisk 100 minutes.

              Cinematic visions of apocalypse, as Susan Sontag wrote in her 1965 essay “The Imagination of Disaster,” allow the viewer to “participate in the fantasy of one’s own death” and “the destruction of humanity itself.” But “Contagion,” despite disconcerting glimpses of body bags piling up, avoids the familiar fiery spectacles of disaster movies. Nor is there, to invoke another Sontag title, any inclination to treat this illness as a metaphor. In keeping with the film’s concrete realism, the virus stands for nothing but itself.

              “Contagion” does, however, advance the longstanding view — as old as the Bible, and in this case, scientifically sound — of plagues as essentially punitive. Numerous studies have linked the origin of viruses to ecological transgressions like climate change and the loss of natural habitats. “This is more frightening to me than if it has to do with a conspiracy or something from outer space,” Mr. Burns said. “This is about the process of us being alive and sharing the planet.”

              With a wealth of real-world issues — and even some hard science — to mine, Participant Media, the advocacy-minded company that is one of the film’s backers, has started a social action campaign around “Contagion.” “It’s not that Warner Brothers is in the habit of making $60 million P.S.A.’s,” Mr. Soderbergh said, “but I do want people to come out of this film with an understanding, were this to happen again, of what’s going on.”

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Contagion, the movie

                Source: http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceno...re.html?ref=hp

                Live Chat: Contagion and the Threat of a Viral Pandemic
                by Jon Cohen on 6 September 2011, 6:33 PM |

                ...Join us Thursday, 8 September, at a special time—2 p.m. EDT, for a chat with journalist and author Laurie Garrett, who has covered infectious diseases for more than 30 years, and W. Ian Lipkin, a neurologist at Columbia University who has helped identify several new infectious agents. Both Garrett and Lipkin consulted with the makers of the new Steven Soderbergh film Contagion, which opens nationwide this week and attempts to accurately portray the scientific and public health response to an outbreak of a new virus. You can leave your questions...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Contagion, the movie

                  Originally posted by alert View Post
                  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/mo...gion.html?_r=1

                  A Virus Movie Determined to Get Real

                  -snip-

                  With a wealth of real-world issues — and even some hard science — to mine, Participant Media, the advocacy-minded company that is one of the film’s backers, has started a social action campaign around “Contagion.” “It’s not that Warner Brothers is in the habit of making $60 million P.S.A.’s,” Mr. Soderbergh said, “but I do want people to come out of this film with an understanding, were this to happen again, of what’s going on.”
                  Here's the site they have set up to educate the public:
                  http://www.takepart.com/contagion

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Contagion, the movie

                    The Science of Contagion: Why You Should Be Scared of Hollywood's Latest Pandemic Thriller


                    By Bryan Walsh Thursday, Sept. 08, 2011



                    Excerpt:



                    But what really sets Contagion apart as a disease film isn't just the high-tech labs and the CDC-speak; it's also the depiction of swift, brutal societal breakdown after a killer suddenly appears in our midst. Unlike a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, infectious disease doesn't bring us together — it could well tear us apart, because coming together is exactly what would spread the disease. Would nurses and doctors stay on the job, knowing their patients could make them sick? If the number of ill people became overwhelming, would some simply be left to die as limited medical resources were husbanded? How would the government decide who gets treatments and vaccines first — and who would be last in line? ...


                    ...Forget economic depression, nuclear war or an errant asteroid — nothing poses a bigger threat to human civilization over the long term than the right virus in the wrong place. We need investments in better vaccine technology — amazingly, we still laboriously grow flu vaccine in hundreds of millions of chicken eggs, which takes months. We also need a tougher public health sector capable of weathering a pandemic that would sicken millions of Americans at the same time. Otherwise, what you see on the screen in Contagion could be coming to a neighborhood near you.


                    Full text:

                    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                    -Nelson Mandela

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Contagion, the movie

                      "Contagion had its world premiere at the 68th Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2011.<sup id="cite_ref-7" class="reference">[8]</sup> The film is scheduled to be commercially released on September 9, 2011. It was originally scheduled for October 21, 2011.<sup id="cite_ref-8" class="reference">[9]</sup> Though the film had a production budget of $60 million, The New York Times reported, "[Box office] success means getting the audience to worry a little more at an already worrisome time." While the film is not being explicitly marketed as a horror film, it attracted the attention of horror fans. While Warner Bros. is including a "scare factor" in its marketing with taglines such as "Don't touch anyone", one of its backers Participant Media launched a social action campaign with instructions on how to deal with a pandemic, such as stockpiling bottled water. It will also advertise "virus hunters" to viewers.<sup id="cite_ref-achoos_2-1" class="reference">[3]"</sup>

                      <sup id="cite_ref-achoos_2-1" class="reference"></sup>
                      <sup id="cite_ref-achoos_2-1" class="reference">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contagion_%28film%29
                      </sup>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Contagion, the movie

                        Yet a virus is these times a bloody subject for building a blockbuster.

                        I am figuring a screenwriter to manage with a much more disturbing - for the industry - subject: dangerous nuclear power plants.

                        Nobody imagined that three of four reactor melted after a superquake in Japan.

                        And nobody intends to speculate on what kind of future will have hundrends of thousands if not millions of japanese inhabitants after a decade-long fall-out.

                        It would be too scary, for the industry, I mean.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Contagion, the movie

                          I agree with Giuseppe. The horrors of real life disasters will always dwarf the imagination of Hollywood screen writers. A review of some major catastrophes over the past seven years shows how devastating the forces of nature can be on human populations.

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line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_In...ke_and_tsunami

                          2005 Hurricane Katrina: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina

                          2008 Cyclone Nargis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Nargis

                          2008 Sichuan earthquake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_China_earthquake

                          2010 Haiti Earthquake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Haiti_earthquake

                          2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiati...clear_disaster

                          The reality is that we can not begin to envision the societal disruptions and the effects to world civilizations of a high CFR influenza pandemic. Bird flu now has a CFR in excess of 58%--bird flu could be the next worldwide disaster entry in Wikipedia and the outcome reported Wikipedia may not be anything like that portrayed in Contagion -- it may be worse.
                          http://novel-infectious-diseases.blogspot.com/

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                          • #14
                            Re: Contagion, the movie

                            3 Lessons About Outbreak Preparedness From 'Contagion'


                            I'm glad the new Hollywood blockbuster Contagion will be scaring moviegoers around the world this fall. The truth is, we probably should be scared. Pandemic emergencies are a very real threat in our ever more globalized society. Unfortunately, both the Obama administration and Congress are set to cut funding to investigate and track new infectious diseases. They seem to think that sudden pandemics are works of fiction.


                            The government's top security experts know otherwise. The National Security Council (NSC) recently released a low-profile but extraordinarily important report: Promoting Global Health Security: Guidance and Principles for U.S. Government Departments and Agencies to Strengthen International Health Regulation Core Capacities Internationally. While lacking a decent title, this paper is the first NSC document to acknowledge that the U.S. apparatus responsible for handling international public health emergencies is split among many agencies and lacking key capacities. If you want to view the paper, you'll have to wait: The interagency group that created the document is still deciding where it will be posted.


                            ...


                            http://www.theatlantic.com/life/arch...tagion/244786/

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                            • #15
                              Re: Contagion, the movie

                              Originally posted by Laidback Al View Post
                              The reality is that we can not begin to envision the societal disruptions and the effects to world civilizations of a high CFR influenza pandemic. Bird flu now has a CFR in excess of 58%--bird flu could be the next worldwide disaster entry in Wikipedia and the outcome reported Wikipedia may not be anything like that portrayed in Contagion -- it may be worse.
                              I also agree. The movie is just a movie and by its very nature designed to make money and entertain; definitely NOT designed to inform, train or educate let alone "prepare" folks for a serious pandemic. Whether folk or government, prepared we sure are not and the movie will probably not contribute to improving this situation in any significant way.

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