One of the most likable things about the prolific Steven Soderbergh is just how eager he is to embrace (and subvert) the traditions of genre cinema. While other Cannes-favourite "auteur" directors may claim flatulently that their work is too personal for conventional labels (ha!), Soderbergh flits nimbly from big-budget crime caper to hand-held docudrama (the Oceans franchise, Full Frontal), from head-cracking action to arty angst (sex, lies, and videotape), from conspiracy thriller to political biopic (Michael Clayton, Che) and from sci-fi to sexposé (Solaris, The Girlfriend Experience) with ease.
His current cinema release, Haywire, casts mixed martial arts star Gina Carano as a high-kicking secret agent, lending a big-screen sheen to the straight-to-video genre of which Cynthia Rothrock was once queen bee. Meanwhile his viral outbreak movie Contagion (2011, Warner, 12) hits the DVD shelves, taking its lead from such time-honoured disaster epics as Earthquake, The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno,