Sunday, June 28, 2015


Movie Name: Crash
Year of Release: 1997
Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Spader, Deborah Kara Unger, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Rosanna Arquette, Peter MacNeill
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Fantastic director David Cronenberg was coming off from the wonderful "M. Butterfly" when "Crash" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996. The film was unexpected as usual from the director, and definitely created a sensation in the festival. "Crash" is an adaptation of the J. G. Ballard book of the same name and follows the story of Ballard, a TV director, who after experiencing a serious road accident, which leaves him scarred and with some body impairments, discovers this underground sub-culture of people who have gone through a similar situation. This group of people somehow use the energy of those collisions, and stage new ones, to somehow catalyze their sex lives. Both Ballard and his wife Catherine get immersed deeper with this group of people with some tragic results. 
David Cronenberg has long been a director who thrives to expand the concept of how the human body and people in general relate and equate with each other (and themselves). His films have progressed between analysis of what means to be human, from a physical and visceral standpoint, but also from a more cerebral point of view. "Crash" is a continuation of this exploration, and another staple to his body of work, where the characters face the machinery and the mechanics of automobiles as an extension of the human body, and therefore as a part of an erotic exploration of themselves. It's a film that, in parallel with "Dead Ringers" analyzes the effect, simultaneously constructive and destructive, that comes from reaching out to the unknown, and how that alters who you are as an individual, and the impact that it produces in your relationships. The director manages to capture the diversity of characters within this group, people who aim to understand how their bodies are evolving, and where that will lead them. The cast is uniformly fantastic, particularly the always great James Spader, Holly Hunter and the revelatory Deborah Kara Unger. The score from Howard Shore is clinical and seductive, as is the cinematography from Peter Suschitzky. A very good film from a great director.