International Crash (Cronenberg 1996) German 4K UHD

titch

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Kevin Oppegaard
For those who relish the weird and wonderful world of David Cronenberg, we've been waiting to upgrade the Criterion laserdisc for more than 20 years. Now there is a 4K/blu ray release in Germany. The screen caps look absolutely stunning. Since Arrow are finally dipping their toes into 4K territory, this would be a perfect opportunity for them! And I have to say - I totally love the cover!


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lark144

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CRASH is one strange movie! And beautiful, in a very cold yet almsot spiritual manner, that positis a kind of weird duality--rapture and bereavement, that comes across as a secret ritual revealing the stark-raving naked core of the consumerist dream. Wow, gotta take a breath after that sentence. But it's the kind of movie that generates those kinds of thoughts, a weird assemblage of terror and purience, that places the film more in Vinegar Syndrome territory than the tony, Euro-classic realm of Criterion with its placid bumper crops of Bergman and Fellini. A near masterpiece, which is flawed by the inclusion of Holly Hunter, who is way too actressy and self-conscious for my taste. He should have cast Natasha Richardson or Helen Mirren, but maybe they weren't available.
 
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titch

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Kevin Oppegaard
CRASH is one strange movie! And beautiful, in a very cold yet almsot spiritual manner, that positis a kind of weird duality--rapture and bereavement, that comes across as a secret ritual revealing the stark-raving naked core of the consumerist dream. Wow, gotta take a breath after that sentence. But it's the kind of movie that generates those kinds of thoughts, a weird assemblage of terror and purience, that places the film more in Vinegar Syndrome territory than the tony, Euro-classic realm of Criterion with its placid bumper crops of Bergman and Fellini. A near masterpiece, which is flawed by the inclusion of Holly Hunter, who is way too actressy and self-conscious for my taste. He should have cast Natasha Richardson or Helen Mirren, but maybe they weren't available.
Very well put. I find it to be Cronenberg's most fascinating film - it had the notoriety of actually being banned for general exhibition in Oslo and I was only able to see it at The Norwegian Film Institute, during it's theatrical run. It made such an impression on me all those years ago, I would consider it one of the key films in my life: Oliver!, Robocop, The Big Lebowski, Wild Strawberries, The Elephant Man, Stop Making Sense, Pedro Almodovar's Matador, Dead Ringers and Crash.
 
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titch

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lark144

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The Blu-Ray mediabook is avilable on Amazon.de but they're not shipping to the US yet. Or in the immortal words of Dudley-Do-Right, drat!
 

lark144

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Very well put. I find it to be Cronenberg's most fascinating film - it had the notoriety of actually being banned for general exhibition in Oslo and I was only able to see it at The Norwegian Film Institute, during it's theatrical run. It made such an impression on me all those years ago, I would consider it one of the key films in my life: Oliver!, Robocop, The Big Lebowski, Wild Strawberries, The Elephant Man, Stop Making Sense, Pedro Almodovar's Matador, Dead Ringers and Crash.
The movie didn't change my life, but J. D. Ballard's book did. Have you read it? It's got stuff in it that makes the movie appear really tame by comparison. And it's written in this imagistic, surreal poetic style--"As the pinioned steel smashed into a group of Japanese tourists on the tarmack, the light turned crimson, like a crucifixion of the sun"-- that made me realize I could be a writer, that you're painting with words. You're taking what's out there--advertising slogans, overhead conversations, the insane yet inevitable conjuction of a woman's face, a rainbow struck from the jet of a fountain and the screetch of an airplane and putting it all down through the intercession of your personal voice. It's autobiography turned inside out, a crazy dreamscape we call everyday life. And that voice is something no film seems to be able to attain. The way Henry James moves from one consciousness and state of being to another like a Max Ophuls tracking shot in the opening chapter of "The Wings of the Dove", for instance. It's so utterly cinematic, it's a little shocking no one has been able to adapt it to the cinema. Croneberg's Crash is very different from the book in that the film remains on the outside, cool and slightly sardonic, while the book is inside someone's head, so deep in an insanity marked by an outrageous perversity that it suddenly becomes completely lucid in a way the film never does. Which is not to criticize Croneberg's film, just to point out the differences. It's possibly the greatest literary adaptation of an "unfilmable" book onto film there is. Or any book onto film, for that matter. It's visionary and ecstatic, while remaining outside of things, hands in pockets and tongue in cheek.
 
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titch

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The movie didn't change my life, but J. D. Ballard's book did. Have you read it? It's got stuff in it that makes the movie appear really tame by comparison. And it's written in this imagistic, surreal poetic style--"As the pinioned steel smashed into a group of Japanese tourists on the tarmack, the light turned crimson, like a crucifixion of the sun"-- that made me realize I could be a writer, that you're painting with words. You're taking what's out there--advertising slogans, overhead conversations, the insane yet inevitable conjuction of a woman's face, a rainbow struck from the jet of a fountain and the screetch of an airplane and putting it all down through the intercession of your personal voice. It's autobiography turned inside out, a crazy dreamscape we call everyday life. And that voice is something no film seems to be able to attain. The way Henry James moves from one consciousness and state of being to another like a Max Ophuls tracking shot in the opening chapter of "The Wings of the Dove", for instance. It's so utterly cinematic, it's a little shocking no one has been able to adapt it to the cinema. Croneberg's Crash is very different from the book in that the film remains on the outside, cool and slightly sardonic, while the book is inside someone's head, so deep in an insanity marked by an outrageous perversity that it suddenly becomes completely lucid in a way the film never does. Which is not to criticize Croneberg's film, just to point out the differences. It's possibly the greatest literary adaptation of an "unfilmable" book onto film there is. Or any book onto film, for that matter. It's visionary and ecstatic, while remaining outside of things, hands in pockets and tongue in cheek.
Haven't read the book but it would have been nigh impossible to hit the state you describe. Cronenberg hasn't shied away from trying to film "unfilmable" books before or since - Naked Lunch and Cosmopolis spring to mind. Cronenberg has been poorly served this far in high definition. So many of his films need decent high definition scans: A History Of Violence (terrible DNR), Spider, Existenz, M. Butterfly, The Dead Zone (no HD masters), Dead Ringers, The Fly (poor HD masters). Imagine if Criterion had released a box set with these, in addition to the Cronenberg's they already have!
 

David Wilkins

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Very well put. I find it to be Cronenberg's most fascinating film - it had the notoriety of actually being banned for general exhibition in Oslo and I was only able to see it at The Norwegian Film Institute, during it's theatrical run. It made such an impression on me all those years ago, I would consider it one of the key films in my life: Oliver!, Robocop, The Big Lebowski, Wild Strawberries, The Elephant Man, Stop Making Sense, Pedro Almodovar's Matador, Dead Ringers and Crash.
I enjoyed ‘Crash’ a great deal, and rather than wait for the eternal “if”, I’ll probably order the UHD from Europe when they start shipping again to the U.S. But as much as I like it, Cronenberg’s strange high point for me is ‘Dead Ringers’. I would pay righteous dollars for a UHD of that film.
 

titch

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I enjoyed ‘Crash’ a great deal, and rather than wait for the eternal “if”, I’ll probably order the UHD from Europe when they start shipping again to the U.S. But as much as I like it, Cronenberg’s strange high point for me is ‘Dead Ringers’. I would pay righteous dollars for a UHD of that film.
I'm with you there!
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lark144

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I may as well finish my rant about the inappropriateness of Holly Hunter in CRASH; to dot my i's and cross my t's, so to speak. If you haven't read the book, it's possible to overlook the problem. But the character is so well-fleshed out in Ballard's novel, she's impossible to forget. The contradictions of the plot that tries to mate a fugitive, cataclysmic sexuality with trauma is fully realized in her character; both individual and symbol, archaic in her spirit yet causally modern, whose life spins out of control due to one wrong turn of the wheel. When I was reading the book I imagined Vanessa Redgrave, especially the character she played in A QUIET PLACE IN THE COUNTRY. She's so deep in the vortex of hidden desire she's become transparent; not passive so much as caught in the act the way the embraces of those lovers at Pompeii are preserved in volcanic amber for time immemorial. They are silent, and yet you can still feel the passion of those movements in their expressions and stances. That's what Holly Hunter should have done, but you can see every fiber of her being rebelling. She wants to act, she wants to emote, she wants to use her body like a dancer's, when she needs to do the opposite, to do nothing but in that nothing express that she has drifted beyond life and death, to want yet not want, to burn and at the same time remain as cold as death.
 
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