David Cronenberg’s Crash

Today I watched David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996)

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James Spader plays James Ballard, a film producer whose marriage has become little more than shared infidelity between him and his wife.  Their only arrousal seems to come from recalling their extramarital daliances to one another, that is until James gets into a rather horrific car accident.  This accident kicks of a chain of events that sees James falling in with a whole group of car crash fetishists, turned on by the violent warping of flesh and metal.

There is little to the plot beyond this really, it’s more a meditation piece than one driven by narrative.  The film, I think, aims to unsettle more than anything else as it presents a murky vision of extreme sex and violence.  There are certainly themes mentioned here, ideas of human bodies being changed by technology, ideas of sexual energy, and a general parody of pornography.  But I wonder if these ideas are really being discussed here or if they are just being featured for their ability to disturb.

With all that said, the film is certainly quite effective at being unsettling.  I just found it difficult to really get invested in this unsettling behavior though and as such I felt the film really dragged nearing the halfway mark.  I readily admit that the more movies I review, the less patience I have though, I also find myself much less unsettled by disturbing behavior, and that needs to be taken into consideration.  While this film’s hooks may not have been strong enough to drag me along the whole way, it may be enough for less over stimulated audiences.  4/5

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