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Any thoughts on CRASH (Cronenberg)?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 of 18 OFFLINE   Justin_S

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Posted April 19 2002 - 03:36 PM

I am a HUGE Cronenberg fan! He is my second favorite director, and I love ALL of his films, and CRASH is no exception. Bizarre films are expected from Cronenberg, but CRASH goes even beyond bizarre, and I loved every minute of it.

I've never been a big James Spader fan, but he is quite good in CRASH, as is the rest of the cast, and Rosanna Arquette looks extremely desirable. Posted Image I'm admittedly surprised quite a bit that these for-the-most-part mainstream actors took such risky roles in this controversial film.

The film's score by Howard Shore is just superb, and fits the film's tone very well. Very moody and effective.

Some people may find the graphic sex scenes offending, but I have no problem with them, and love Cronenberg's use of them in his warped plot. Cronenberg truly is a master filmmaker, and CRASH is a controversial, but excellent film. I really would like to hear some opinions from any other Cronenberg fans on the board, or anyone else who has seen the movie.

#2 of 18 OFFLINE   Kevin Leonard

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Posted April 20 2002 - 03:30 PM

Well Justin, I also consider myself a big Cronenberg fan. While there are a couple films of his I haven't seen yet (Fast Company and Rabid), the works I have seen of his have impressed me and sometimes knocked me for a loop. I mean, how many filmmakers could take a horror tale like The Fly and turn it into:

a) A meditation on disease and decay
b) A moving (and tragic) love story?

Crash is certainly--as you said--one of his more controversial efforts. It's definitely one of those love-it-or-hate-it movies; there is no in-between. The fact that Cronenberg even attempted to adapt a difficult book like J.G. Ballard's novel stands as a testament to his talent. But then again, he's been noted for taking hard-to-adapt material and make it work: witness Naked Lunch, Dead Ringers and M. Butterfly (and possibly his original script for Total Recall).

Quote:
The film's score by Howard Shore is just superb, and fits the film's tone very well. Very moody and effective.
Agree with you there. The theme played over the opening credits (done with just an electric guitar) is one of those musical cues that sticks in your head forever. It did for me, anyways. Posted Image

Quote:
Some people may find the graphic sex scenes offending, but I have no problem with them, and love Cronenberg's use of them in his warped plot.
I could never understand the controversy over the sex scenes. The NC-17 rating assigned to Crash was utterly ridiculous. I think the reason why it was given such a rating was because the sex scenes weren't played for laughs and they weren't exaggerated, with gallons of sweat coming down from people's bodies and soft music playing in the background. They were portrayed as deadly serious, and often look they operated on raw emotion (the first coupling between Spader and Holly Hunter particularly) alone. Which is actually a neat trick, considering everybody gave a subdued, chilly performance. Posted Image

I think those that dismiss the film as nothing more than depraved pornography are missing the film's point entirely. Like it or not, the many sex scenes are there for a reason, not to give you a cheap thrill.

And you're right, Spader was perfect for the role. Like "Entertainment Weekly" once said, Spader may only play creeps, but he does it so well. Posted Image
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#3 of 18 OFFLINE   Justin_S

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Posted June 20 2002 - 08:17 PM

Kevin gave me a great reply, and I was hoping to see others, but never did. I rewatched this film for like the 50th time, and I thought of this post. Surely there are others here who have seen this and can add their thoughts to this thread, right? Posted Image

#4 of 18 OFFLINE   Justin_S

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Posted February 18 2003 - 12:32 PM

I'm guessing this is a lost cause, as their don't seem to be much fellow Cronenberg fans here, but I was wondering if someone here could tell me what the book CRASH is based on is called, and who wrote it. I used to know, but I have since forgotten. I love the film so very much, and I need to check out the book.

#5 of 18 OFFLINE   Richard Smith

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Posted February 18 2003 - 12:54 PM

The book, shockingly enough, is called Crash and its by J G Ballard.

Quote:
The theme played over the opening credits (done with just an electric guitar) is one of those musical cues that sticks in your head forever.


Is it just me or does it sound nearly exactly like Dali's Car by Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band?

#6 of 18 OFFLINE   Ryan_C

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Posted February 18 2003 - 03:15 PM

I watched this with a friend of mine, who might chime in here, but I didn't really like it much. I kept wondering what I was watching. I found it somewhat disturbing.

But I do admit it was when I first started watching "films" instead of just "popcorn" movies, so I probably didn't really know how to take it or what to look for. Since then I have really gotten into more serious films, so I should probably watch it again, which I might do since I will be at the aforementioned friends' house in a few weeks.Posted Image
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#7 of 18 OFFLINE   Grant B

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Posted February 18 2003 - 04:55 PM

It's very hard to watch if you almost died in a car crash. I turned it off very quickly....almost made me ill.
Too bad I never made it to the sex scenes
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#8 of 18 OFFLINE   Randall Dorr

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Posted February 18 2003 - 05:43 PM

The first Cronenberg film I ever saw was eXistenZ during it's theatrical release. I went three times. I was utterly hypnotized by these living game systems that interact with a player's nervous system through a port in their spine. After that I saw Dead Ringers. The Criterion DVD is certainly worth tracking down to hear Cronenberg talk about the "High Priests of Gynecology". I've seen all his works now. (Except for his short films, Rabid and Fast Company. I know an independent video store that has Rabid, but I've heard Fast Company is almost impossible to find.)

Howard Shore is my favorite composer, primarily because of his work with Cronenberg. I've always loved a good opening credit sequence. Listening to his eerie music with the simple credits sequences puts you in exactly the right mood for the film. I found the credits for Crash particularly impressive when they all line up and then pass by the camera as though you're driving by them.

Videodrome: Most Disturbing Film EVER. I had a dream several weeks ago that had certain stylistic similarities to it.

THe best piece of criticism I've read about Crash is Roger Ebert's review. The first paragraph sums it up perfectly.
Quote:
If you can imagine the state of mind I'm about to describe, you will understand David Cronenberg's ``Crash.'' It is that trancelike state when you are drawn to do something you should not do, and have passed through the stages of common sense and inhibition and arrived at critical velocity. You are going to do it.


Here's a Croeneberg fan site. The owner no longer updates, but there's still some good stuff.

Did anyone catch Cronenberg and Ralph Fiennes on Charlie Rose last night(2/17)? It was the last twenty minutes of the show (after Alan Parker, Kevin Spacey, et al.) I'm just dying to see Spider. Four frickin' years is too long to wait between films!
8 Ball gave it a 9:
Yo, Martin and Will are my boys, you know what I'm saying? They make jokes I understand. The car chase is dope! I give it a 9 but I'm still 8 Ball.
-user review of Bad Boys II from Metacritic.com

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#9 of 18 OFFLINE   Justin_S

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Posted February 18 2003 - 06:29 PM

Randall, tell me about it! Cronenberg is a cinematic god to me, and it has been driving me nuts having to wait for his next film since eXistenZ hit in 1999. SPIDER is easily one of my most anticipated films right now, and I need to see it already!

Keep searching for FAST COMPANY. It took me a while, but I did finally get a copy.

Thanks for the link to the fan site. I go to some, but that one isn't one of them.

VIDEODROME is indeed disturbing, and like Cronenberg's other films, is a masterpiece. Its my favorite of all of his films actually.

I didn't see that Rose show last night, but would've loved to!

LONG LIVE CRONENBERG!!!

#10 of 18 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted February 18 2003 - 07:47 PM

Quote:
(Except for his short film, Rabid and Fast Company. I know an independent video store that has Rabid, but I've heard Fast Company is almost impossible to find.)


I've seen most of Cronenberg's shorts, including his two 35mm shorts (Stereo and Crimes of the Future - the latter is available on Criterion's Dead Ringers laserdisc), as well as most of his television work (some of these pieces are available in Japan on DVD). Rabid is rather easy to find on DVD from most online retailers. I suggest you track it down, as it is, I think, a superior retelling of the basic story of Shivers. Fast Company is another question entirely, although I've been lucky enough to see it exhibited theatrically on 35mm film (with French subtitles!) It is a joy to behold. There are VHS copies of the film of questionable origin available at various locations.

Quote:
SPIDER is easily one of my most anticipated films right now, and I need to see it already!

I saw Spider last week and found myself sadly disappointed, although hearing Cronenberg speak about it at the Q&A that followed the screening helped me get a better grasp on his angle. I read the book years ago and loved it, so I went in with certain expectations; if you've not read the book, you may well love the film. I certainly need to see it again during its official theatrical run to reassess it. It's a very low-key film, perhaps moreso than anything else in Cronenberg's filmograhy, so I think a requires a viewing with less anticipation on my part.

DJ

#11 of 18 OFFLINE   sheldon M.

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Posted February 18 2003 - 08:26 PM

I thought Crash was really an incredible movie. It was like entering a different level of consciousness that was inconceivable before viewing it. He made Spader's seduction the audience's and rocked people's worlds in the process. I've always been a fan of Cronenberg's-ever since I saw Scanners way back when it was in theaters. There is no writer or director and there never has been anyone with his unique bio-technic-cyber-organic take on the evolution of modern life. Crash-tho not as Sci Fi as his other efforts-nonetheless continues his human/machine dna recombination so prevalent in some of his other films. Anyway....all I can say is....

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#12 of 18 OFFLINE   Martin Ramanzini Sims

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Posted February 19 2003 - 08:38 AM

I really liked this movie. I read the book before seeing the movie and I thought imposible to be translate to a film, but Cronemberg did it perfect.
Regards,
Mar

#13 of 18 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted May 27 2005 - 02:13 PM

I got to this thread while searching for Crash (2004) and not finding it...yet.
But, while I'm in the neighborhood, let me mention my love of Cronenberg's film. I am a fan of his work, but Spider is not a DVD I'll be adding to my collection.
My favorites are Dead Ringers (I have the Criterion LD) and, of course, Crash.

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#14 of 18 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted June 02 2005 - 04:19 PM

Justin, Crash is definitely an interesting movie. I've seen it 2 or 3 times, including a few months ago and I'm pretty sure I still don't get it, but I don't exactly care. I don't think all movies are there to be "gotten."

As far as your frustration over the lack of responses to this thread, don't be surprised. Even with the unlimited power of the internet and almost 60,000 members, it is almost impossible to get the slightest discussion of anything more than a couple steps off the beaten path or that is more than a couple years old and not a well known title.

I'm disappointed Spider isn't more popular with the people here. I think it is a brilliant character study and a top notch film.

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#15 of 18 OFFLINE   Steve Felix

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Posted June 02 2005 - 07:34 PM

Randall already quoted Ebert's review, but a different paragraph sums it up for me:
Quote:
``Crash'' is about characters entranced by a sexual fetish that, in fact, no one has. Cronenberg has made a movie that is pornographic in form, but not in result. Take out the cars, the scars, the crutches and scabs and wounds, and substitute the usual props of sex films, and you'd have a porno movie. But ``Crash'' is anything but pornographic: It's about the human mind, about the way we grow enslaved by the particular things that turn us on, and forgive ourselves our trespasses.
The gist of the review is that making the film about something no one finds appealing was a smart way to objectively study the (potentially destructive) nature of appeal itself. That concept made sense of the movie for me.
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#16 of 18 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted June 03 2005 - 03:57 AM

It makes a lot of sense.

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#17 of 18 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted June 01 2009 - 04:08 PM

Our boy is going to be on George Stroumboulopoulos' program this coming Friday.
Check you local listings, if any.
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#18 of 18 OFFLINE   TheBat

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Posted June 01 2009 - 05:34 PM

I got to ask a question for cronenberg at the 2005 comic con and also last year before a fly screening.. talking about the fly opera which I also saw.. I liked crash. I remeber seeing it in the theatre.

Jacob


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