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Crash (1996)

The most controversial film you will ever see.

After surviving a brutal car wreck, commercial director James Ballard finds himself slowly drawn to a mysterious subculture of people who have transformed automobile accidents into erotic events. Like the J.G. Ballard novel that inspired it, David Cronenberg's study of the sexual dimension of man's relationship to technology was a magnet for controversy, drawing a NC-17 rating and criticism from several sources, including studio owner Ted Turner, who attempted to prevent the film's American release. But though some have leveled charges of pornography, James' descent into this fetishistic underworld is approached with cold, scientific detachment. Characters like Vaughn, the charismatic group leader who stages recreations of celebrity car crashes, seem more like driven researchers than sexual renegades, which is undoubtedly part of the film's point. This impression is reinforced by the pristine cinematography by Peter Suschitzsky, which proves particularly haunting during a crucial accident scene, and Howard Shore's superb score. Far from exploitative, Crash in fact proves less transgressive than the original novel, but is still undoubtedly not for all tastes.

"With Crash, David Cronenberg drives mainstream cinema over the edge"- Rob Nelson, City Pages

"Crash is a mutant work of art -- a bracing splash of ice water"- Rob Gonsalves,

"A stylish, intriguing and typically warped vision that hybridises the imaginations of Ballard and Cronenberg"- Film4

INTERVIEW WITH: Director David Cronenberg (Source: Eyes On Cinema)


watch director David Cronenberg discuss Crash, filming in Toronto, automobiles, J.G. Ballard, and much more!


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Directed by: 
David Cronenberg
Running Time: 
100 minutes
Holly Hunter
James Spader
Elias Koteas
Deborah Kara Unger
Rosanna Arquette
Screenplay by: 
David Cronenberg
Based on the novel by J.G. Ballard

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