Friday Editor’s Pick: “Crash” (1996)

by on April 1, 2011Posted in: Editor's Pick

 

Gavin Smith for Film Comment:

Ballard’s feverish book is nothing if not lurid, but for all its tableaux of dispassionate, automated sex and mangled car bodies, Cronenberg’s film exemplifies cool, hieratic austerity. His setups and cutting have never been more inhumanely deliberate and exact. This exquisitely somber film’s metallic designs, stark electric guitar score, insinuating camera movement, and dazed, somnambulist acting maintain a tone of dreamlike repetition and attenuation. In its subdued, subtractive minimalism and almost oppressive formal control, Crash toys with the possibilities of enervation and entropy.

Simultaneously parodic and mournful, freakish and familiar, Crash’s narrative is elliptical, trancelike, interiorized. Characteristically, there is no final narrative release – only dissolution. If this is a film about cars, fucking, and death, then it’s about cars, fucking, and death as a state of mind, desecrating the automotive fetishist’s fantasies of freedom, enclosure, and invulnerability. Never moralistic despite satirical tendencies, Cronenberg’s films fuse the calm rigor of scientific research with the visceral shock of transgression.

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The Benevolent Psychopathology of Cronenberg’s “Crash”

by on March 31, 2011Posted in: Essay

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