Monday, April 6, 2009


Crash; Erotic drama, Canada/ France/ UK, 1996; D: David Cronenberg, S: James Spader, Deborah Kara Unger, Elias Koteas, Holly Hunter, Rosanna Arquette

Film director James rather has intercourse on the set than the will to work, yet his marriage with Catherine is becoming monotone. One day he gets involved in a car crash and lands in a hospital. There he meets the woman whose car collided with his, Helen, and bizarre scientist Vaughan who is obsessed with cars which he connects with achieving orgasm. James starts an affair with Helen but at the same time stays with Catherine. Vaughan admits he loves car crashes which bring him to ecstasy. When he dies in a crash, James arranges a crash with Catherine, yet she doesn't get excited.

Despite cult reputation of director David Cronenberg, "Crash" can be described only as a dignified failure. Similar as cult classic by Oshima, "In the Realm of the Senses", "Crash" also portrays human erotic urge as a powerful force that can even kill if it isn't kept in boundaries, yet Cronenberg directs the story in an anemic, cold and bizarre way which is why the film collapses on itself in the end. The sole connection of a car crash with achieving orgasm is rather far fetched and unconvincing, which isn't changed not even by sequences where the protagonists observe crashes on video with "crash dummies" or make photos of the place of the accident. Their fetish may be of a symbolic nature, yet some real inspiration wouldn't have been redundant. The final result is a bizarre, but solid drama with one-dimensional characters, among them even the secretly fascinating Helen (Holly Hunter, who was for some reason billed as the main actress, even though she is just a supporting character).


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