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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:08 pm 
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Lately I've been thinking of this movie alot. And how I felt after first seeing it on IFC last year. The idea of sexual perversity in mainstream cinema has been perverted (no pun intended) into something two-dimensional and acceptible to first the big studio heads, then the public. I don't think of this much as a film about sexual perversity anymore, but that assumption can easily be made. I think it's more about a way of dealing with the pain of life through car crashes, and how a disconnected emotional nature (as evidenced in James & Catherine's relationship) can relate to being physically disconnected through extreme injury, etc, etc. I could be wrong about this, I'm rather young (21) and still naive to elements of human nature.


Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:57 am 
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That seems quite valid, to me.

This is one of the more underappreciated films of the last ten years or so. Cronenberg is always great at taking you someplace you don't want to go, never thought of going but making you see that it's not necessarily all that foreign, after all.

Or maybe that's just me...


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:38 am 

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I think it's fascinating as well. What has stuck with me most is the film's style-- how complete Cronenberg's creation of atmophere is, and how by the end it becomes almost opressive to the viewer. Everything is hard and shiny and dark, it really is almost an alien world (both physically and, I would argue, mentally). I am willing, however, to buy that the emotions in the film are universal; Cronenberg has just barricaded them off in this bizarre land, possibly so we can avoid identification if we want to. Or, alternately, to make our identifcation with elements of the characters that much more awkward and unsettling.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 12:18 pm 
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Quote:
I am willing, however, to buy that the emotions in the film are universal; Cronenberg has just barricaded them off in this bizarre land, possibly so we can avoid identification if we want to. Or, alternately, to make our identifcation with elements of the characters that much more awkward and unsettling.


I agree. It's certainly an interesting way of doing things, rather than just for him and the actors to stand and deliver. It's also a very brave bunch of performances, because I can see how it can be mistaken as something simply pornographic. But obviously it's not, considering the magnitude of talent in the film. Especially Spader, between this, Secretary, and Boston Legal he's got me convinced he's one of the more underappreciated actors working right now (I still hope the guy from House wins the Emmy).


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 4:23 am 
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Spaderman has been turning in watchable, intriguing and just generally wonderful performances, playing some exceptionally unique characters (some that would be prosaic if done by anyone else) for a long, long time now.

He's grossly underappreciated.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:34 am 

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I've probably posted this somewhere here over the years but, as a long, long-time Spader fan, I think one of his most interesting performances was in The Music of Chance. It's a tiny, maybe not-even-that-good film, but he manages to totally divest himself of all of his little Spader-ific tics and is really almost unrecognizable. It's an amazing performance that clearly took a ton of effort and concentration for him to produce.

(I'll break the Spader talk off into a separate thread if people want to keep discussing him in general terms.)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:44 am 
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Somewhat unrelated, but this is from the Comic-Con International article in the A History Of Violence thread.

Quote:
The panel ended with Cronenberg fielding questions from the floor about a number of his previous films. He said that he had changed his mind on the format of DVD and a fully loaded special edition of his remake of "The Fly," starring Jeff Goldblum as the lead character.


At this point, it's almost beating a dead horse, but this gives me hope about a CC edition of Crash. I'd be absolutely over the moon if they did this and Michael Mann's The Insider.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:42 pm 
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flyonthewall2983 wrote:
At this point, it's almost beating a dead horse, but this gives me hope about a CC edition of Crash. I'd be absolutely over the moon if they did this and Michael Mann's The Insider.

The 'mind-changing' the quote refers to is that Cronenberg has (thanks in great part to The Fly DVD producer David Prior) changed his mind about the inclusion of deleted scenes on special edition DVDs, which, while it might make a potential CC Crash more interesting, wouldn't really affect the likelihood of such a thing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:32 pm 
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Ah...I see. I seem to remember on the Crash page on imdb.com reading that there were some scenes that didn't make it between James and his secretary because the chemistry between them took away from the plot.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 9:12 am 
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Martha wrote:
I've probably posted this somewhere here over the years but, as a long, long-time Spader fan, I think one of his most interesting performances was in The Music of Chance. It's a tiny, maybe not-even-that-good film, but he manages to totally divest himself of all of his little Spader-ific tics and is really almost unrecognizable. It's an amazing performance that clearly took a ton of effort and concentration for him to produce.


Agreed! Nice to see someone else who digs this film. Have you read the book? It's a very interesting read to be sure. I remember catching this movie on TV one day and being drawn into its captivating mood. And you're right about Spader in this one... he plays a real greasy sleazebag in this one... not the usual Yuppie scum he essayed in the '80s... it's almost as if he walked off the set of a Mamet film into this one. Good movie.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:48 pm 
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I love the film and have also read the book and this is one of the few instances where I find the movie to be better. Cronenberg captured all the characters and mood and everything great about the book, while at the same time adding a compelling story. The book doesn't really go anywhere with its fascinating set up.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 1:02 am 
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I watched it last night on tv for the first time in well over a year. I was reminded of my initial feeling of the film when I first watched it. This is hard to explain without revealing a deep part of myself. I have been interested in the BDSM lifestyle since I was a pre-teen, and would gladly describe myself at this point in time as a newbie sadomasochist. The film reminded me of what I initially found alluring about said lifestyle. The kind of mystery and anonymity of it all intrigued me especially. And although it's not present in Crash, it's kind of obvious that this group of people (James, Catherine, Helen, Vaughan, and Gabrielle) have a kind of bond that would be hard (to say the least) to explain to those who don't know otherwise.

Having said that, I also feel it's about people with broken lives who see the car crash as some kind of way to release it and become one with the broken parts of their lives. And despite contrary (mostly vanilla) belief, sadomasochists don't really have that dysfunctional element in common. There are alot of other cliche's I could get into, but this post is long enough as it is already lol.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 4:04 am 
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I also love the everydayness of the sexuality, and the stepping up of desire and taunt. (Am I wrong to find Gay SM far more theatrical, slow-paced and boring than straight SM?) As a totally vanilla faggot I was really pleased to be taken into the movie's world and the enveloping enclosing-ness of the mise en scene and scenario move me even more, especially the progressive enveloping of the characters into their "decors".) (I am also pissed at the R4 disc which is either a cropped or open matte 4:3.) Surely the core of the movie is about the characters' choice to will or not to will at any given time. I think Cronenberg's expressive qualities make this an extremely lyrical and beautiful and highly watchable subject.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:29 am 
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Quote:
(Am I wrong to find Gay SM far more theatrical, slow-paced and boring than straight SM?)

I can't really say since I'm straight myself lol.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 3:33 pm 
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one of my favorites from Cronenberg. I never thought I'd say that after watching it the first time, but it really is a visual beauty.

Those searching for meaning in the film should also read the book as others have suggested. It is a bit more blatant about it than the film.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:27 pm 
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Another thing worth noting about this: the stunt driving. There is a move towards the end of the film where if the car swerved a few inches off, it would've been totaled.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:32 pm 
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EPK

Cronenberg's Audio Commentary from the CC laserdisc, of the last 10 minutes of the movie. Spoilers, of course.


Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:20 am 
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Another totally vanilla faggot here. My impression of Gay SM is that gay men seem to erase the line between Leather and SM, creating its own theater complete with costumes and props. It's what I would call - the Gay Guignol.

However about the clan of friends in Crash, they share the obsession, the ultimate need of feeling "normal" via the obessession like all of us here on the forum via the same obsession of cinema. When I come here to discuss films, I feel "normal" - that is okay to get carried away by certain films, that is okay if my life gets consumed by a film :D - without putting up with my loved ones rolling up their eyes or blowing another sigh. Crash is not about SM even though SM serves as an expression of the obsesssion. Obsession is one of the driving forces of just about every Cronenberg film.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:08 pm 
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Thanks for linking to the video of the final section of the Cronenberg commentary flyonthewall, even if it just makes me more desperate to hear the whole thing! I just wanted to post to recommend fans of J.G. Ballard adaptations to see The Atrocity Exhibition if you can (which is probably my pick for my favourite film made this decade - so far! :) ) Since the novel contained many of the ideas that were developed in Crash it makes a good companion piece and the film remains commendably faithful to the non-narrative structure.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:34 pm 

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I agree that THE ATROCITY EXHIBITION is brilliant. Some have criticised it for actually being too faithful to the book, but that's one of the reasons I love it. This is also well worth a look for CRASH fans. It's a 1971 BBC film about Ballard's interest in car crashes made before the novel came out. Interesting that the actress in the film is Gabrielle Drake (sister of folk singer Nick Drake) which might have prompted Ballard to use the name "Gabrielle" for one of the characters in the novel.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:38 pm 
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Michael wrote:
Crash is not about SM even though SM serves as an expression of the obsesssion.

I half-way disagree there. It's not directly about it of course, but the pain/pleasure dynamic is a big part of the development of the primary characters.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:28 am 
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flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Michael wrote:
Crash is not about SM even though SM serves as an expression of the obsesssion.

I half-way disagree there. It's not directly about it of course, but the pain/pleasure dynamic is a big part of the development of the primary characters.

You're both right, of course, but Michael's point is dead-on about Cronenberg's fascination with the search for communality by outsiders caught in the grip of extraordinary circumstances, and his compassion for those isolated in extremity. It's that compassion for the mutant and misshapen, and his conviction that a window into their heightened experience enriches our own, that distinguishes Cronenberg's vision. He's the master of the polymorphous, confident that Giordano Bruno was right: there are no cripples in heaven.

The shadowy community of libertines in Crash, driven in more ways than one, speaks to Cronenberg's insistence on the primacy of sexual experience in exploring and affirming identity. What's the line from Burroughs? When you've found a place where you can score sex and drugs, you know you're home, or words to that effect.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:05 pm 
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Coincidentally I have just started reading the first volume of JG Ballard Collected Short Stories. I particularly liked this passage from the story Track 12 from 1958:

Quote:
Sheringham shook his head. 'You're completely wrong, of course. Remember the cell division series I played first of all? Amplified 100,000 times animal cell division sounds a like a lot of girders and steel sheets being ripped apart - how did you put it - a car crash in slow motion. On the other hand, plant cell division is an electronic poem, all soft chords and bubbling tones. Now there you have a perfect illustration of how microsonics can reveal the distinction between the animal and plant kingdoms.'

Just throwing that out there! It might suggest an internal, hardwired drive that is always present rather than only being a reaction to the sterility of the outside environment that drives people to invent new uses for their cars to achieve new thrills (though of course the outside environment could be said to be manufactured and modified by the human brain into cityscapes and technological inventions such as the car - an expression of that imperative? Just as a celebrity could also be thought of as a sort of manufactured, rather than natural, being?)


Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:11 pm 

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Ballard is also a superb film critic and I reccomend his remarks on La Jette and The Incredible Shrinking Man in the collection A Users Guide to the Millennium


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:18 pm 
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I know, this bit from Defamer sounds gross, but still... it is relevant to the movie, yes. :oops:


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