Crash

1996

Drama /

0
IMDb Rating 6.4

Synopsis


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1.90G
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English
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90 min
P/S 1 / 2
1.21G
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English
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90 min
P/S 1 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Glaurung (academic dragon) 7

Crash is a very sexually explicit film, but if you buy or rent this movie expecting it to be an evening&#39;s erotic entertainment, you are going to be disappointed, because it is also an anti-erotic film.<br/><br/>Even in the midst of frenzied lovemaking, the characters remain distant, their voices quiet and abstracted, their gazes directed inward. These are people who have been told all their lives by their culture, by TV and movies, that sex is, on the one hand, the most perfect form of communion and connection with another human being; and, on the other hand, that it is the ultimate in transcendent and transformative experiences. Instead, they discover to their horror that even during sex they still feel nothing. They crave connection, they are starved for a glimpse of transcendence, but no matter what they do, no matter who they do it with or how often, while their bodies may feel passion, their minds and hearts remain cold and empty.<br/><br/>In the more recent movie Pleasantville, the Jennifer/Mary Sue character is unable to feel anything either, and remains stubbornly black and white no matter how much sex she has, until her brother suggests that &quot;maybe it isn&#39;t the sex&quot; that is the key to moving from black and white to color, from passionlessness to feeling. Unfortunately, in Crash, there is no one to suggest to David and Catherine Ballard that maybe it isn&#39;t through sex that they will find the transformation and connection they are craving. So they instead seek more and more extreme forms of sexual stimulation, only to be disappointed again and again.<br/><br/>James is hurt in a car crash, and during his stay in the hospital he meets Helen (who was in the other car) and later Vaughan, a man who like James and Catherine is in desperate search of feeling, only he looks for it in the violence of car crashes. With Helen, at first James, then Catherine too is drawn into Vaughan&#39;s world, where sex and death (eros and thanatos for you Freudians) meet in the twisted metal of wrecked cars and the mutilated bodies of the victims of fatal car crashes and the survivors of near-fatal ones.<br/><br/>They attend staged recreations of famous car crashes, like the one that killed James Dean. They have sex in crashed cars, and start touring crash sites on the freeway as a form of foreplay. They begin to watch films of crash tests and fatal race accidents like other people would watch erotic films, and to have sex with people whose bodies have been mutilated by car crashes.<br/><br/>But not even the horror of mutilation or the adrenaline rush of near-death experience can lend James and Catherine&#39;s desperate coupling the depth of feeling that they so desperately crave.<br/><br/>Like all the people who buy expensive automobiles to give them a feeling of power and independence, only to discover that no matter how snazzy their car is, they still feel powerless and unhappy, James and Catherine have bought into one of our culture&#39;s Big Lies, that sex is the answer. This film shows us that it is not.

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Reviewed by Skeptic459 8

Crash caused a huge stir in the United Kingdom. Many conservatives were outraged by the combination of sex, already an issue of danger because of aids, and traffic accidents. Dangerous driving is like smoking, a subject that you just can&#39;t touch without many moral watchdogs chasing you through a hellish puritan junkyard.<br/><br/>I remember seeing this and a middle aged to elderly man in the theater began to quite obviously...ahem...trouser cough. This was one hell of a way to clear the cinema! That moment is pretty much like this film. Crash has weird sex and masterbation, stuff that you do not really want to see. But David Cronenberg with the help of James Ballard drags us into a world that just takes the whole &#39;I love cars&#39; boy racer thing way too far! It is just not healthy...<br/><br/>Ballard writes in a bleak monotone. A monotone that Chuck Palahniuk seeks to imitate unsuccessfully. All of his characters are alien because of their lack of emotion. Cronenberg takes this aspect and runs with it. This makes the film good not because of the familiarity and sympathy that the viewer can build with the characters. It is actually quite the opposite, the film strikes the viewer because of the sheer UNREALITY of what is happening. The complete and utter icy way that everything is presented just leaves the viewer going &#39;what?&#39; Am I watching a bunch of jellyfish here? The characters are so jaded. Trying desperately to experience emotion in an industrialized emotionless world. A world that has become nothing more than a production line. Good Ford! Sorry, Huxley joke. Nerdy but necessary.<br/><br/>Also, Cronenberg is presenting a discourse that the famous intellectual Donna Haraway puts forward. That basically the human race has become cyborgs. The the human form is constantly changing. That machines are changing our humanity and crash seems to say that our own sexuality can mingle with the mundane machines that we hold so dear. Oh no! I am getting flashbacks of the crazed artist Stellarc...no...no...no! Besides I bet in the future, terminators would make much more money as sexual partners, rather than as assassins. Imagine that, a beautiful spouse who always thinks your right and never argues with you. I LOVE THE FUTURE!<br/><br/>Sex is considered to be the ultimate joining of two people. The most intimate way that human beings can connect to one another. Wrong! This film suggests that sex means...well, nothing really. Procreation and a simple physical reaction. This is shown by James Spader and his wife&#39;s, Deborah Unger, relationship. These two are so jaded they tell each other their sexual adventures for attempted excitement but feel absolutely nothing. Certainly not some sought of emotional closeness to one another.<br/><br/>This film is just so incredibly empty. But it is also a comment on the human condition. How we make almost suicidal attempts to attain pleasure. If this was a film about heroin for instance, about junkies, this film would be much more understandable. Ballard has taken this addictive, self destructive behaviour and replaced it with an everyday object. The motor car. It is a brilliantly simple idea! But look at how many people it has horrified and offended! C&#39;mon people, are we really this stupid? Sex and drugs, sex and violence. Sex, drugs and violence. These things are all o.k. Portrayed constantly in Hollywood movies. Van Diesel anybody? But sex and car accidents, how dare you? What kind of a sick freak are you??!! Consider how hypocritical this is when you watch something like Fast and the Furious.<br/><br/>This is also a film that features the psychological nature of fetish heavily. Instead of having the common fetish for breasts or bottoms, which again people might find more understandable. The fetish is actually for wounds and crash test dummy videos! That scene with Rosanna Arquette, ewww! Would that work? This is definitely something that no one should try at home.<br/><br/>David Cronenberg really deserves credit for making this film. He really has some big balls and respects the intelligence of the audience, which I however do not. All of the actors deserve much credit for taking on some truly difficult material. They must really trust the director. I&#39;m surprised no one said &#39;no David, you are out to lunch on this one!&#39; This film could have become a parody so easily. Never have I seen a film where everyone in the audience seemed so uncomfortable with the material. In fact, when I saw this film without the trouser coughing, people still walked out. It hasn&#39;t been since Salo that I have see a movie upset so many people. I give this 8 out of 10 for sheer weirdness. A great moment in a major auteur&#39;s career who is not afraid to take risks. Hollywood take note!

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Reviewed by tomq5p 7

&quot;Crash&quot; had a lot of potential. I feel like I can criticize it harshly because I am a Cronenberg fan and this was nowhere close to his best work. The themes (sexual &quot;deviance,&quot; violence, obsession) that Cronenberg was exploring are very relevant to today&#39;s post-modern society. However, this film didn&#39;t get the message across. Supposedly the book by James Ballard deals more with our obsession with fame and celebrities; that was not dealt with in the film and it should have been. It would have resulted in a more coherent piece of art. As you watch the movie, you feel like a kid watching late-night TV and stumbling upon something &quot;dirty&quot; that you know you aren&#39;t supposed to see. That&#39;s about it. As an adult, you know that there is supposed to be symbolism, an underlying metaphor or allegory, but the viewer is never really let in on the secret. Instead, we see a lot of strange sex scenes, car crashes and empty dialogue. I wanted to like this film, but it was boring, a little pretentious, and left me wanting more substance. <br/><br/>4 out of 10

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