Monday, November 21, 2011

The Movie Club #23: Crash and Crash

0:00 - 2:24 -- Intro/Roll Call
2:25 - 1:04:38 -- Crash (Cronenberg)
1:04:39 - 1:09:10 -- Get to Know You
1:09:11 - 2:21:38 -- Crash (Haggis)
2:21:39 - 2:39:40 -- Next Month/Outro

» Download MP3 (98.6 MB)

Crash (1996)
Directed by: David Cronenberg
Starring: James Spader, Deborah Kara Unger, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Rosanna Arquette

» Warhol's Celebrity Car Crashes » Japanese One-sheet

Crash (2004)
Directed by: Paul Haggis
Starring: Don Cheadle, Terrence Howard, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Michael Peña, Tony Danza

» Rot's review
» Towelhead
» Short Cuts
» Magnolia


antho said...

What a wonderful Thanksgiving gift.

Anonymous said...

Where is Jay and Sean from ?

I will take a pass from the other people on this podcast who provide scholarly rantings based on film school experience.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

boonies said...

Booo to anon. I thought this was an incredibly fun listen, especially hearing descriptions and the analysis of the first Crash. Good work guys.

Kurt Halfyard said...

Have no fear about the film junk guys returning, The film Junk guys were a bit podcasted out with their new special 'paid' episodes, and Sean's wife about to give birth. Jay had no interest in these two films.

Kurt Halfyard said...

Oh, and apologies for all the "HELEN HUNTS" in this episode. My brain needs to be completely rewired. It's all the damn "H's".

The actor I completely blanked at (as being the inspiration for both Andy Warhol and The Simpsons' Troy McLure was Troy Donahue.

Kurt Halfyard said...

Lastly (for now) here is my review on TOWELHEAD (aka nothing is private) -- which makes Haggis-Crash look like the model of emotional subtly and restraint.

Drewbacca said...

Scholary rantings! Lolz. I wish.

LeeH said...

at around 1 hour 34 audio is overlapped

Agree with the gist of the pod

Crashberg interesting but not that engaging

Crashgis up it's own arse

Anonymous said...

wooooah... what happened at the 1:34 mark of this recording?!??

Jay C. said...

Great listen boys! Jim and Ryan did a great job and the opinions were well balanced. I'm looking forward to talking about Southland Tales and Paris, Texas.

Oh, and "shrill" is the new "off the rails".

Jason Weinberg said...

Jim's imitation of the audibly descriptive sex scene in Crash was hysterical. I liked the more laid back approach and even when everyone disagreed, everyone had great retorts. I have to say that I am a fan of Cronenberg's Crash merely for how detached and fucking audacious it is. It's a movie I can't believe got made that I find myself revisiting for some twisted reason.

Haggis' Crash is shit, though. Thought so when I first saw it, and have no desire to revisit it. I am becoming less and less enthralled by movies with "shrill" characters. If it had focused on more individuals like Pena or Cheadle, I might've enjoyed something about it. And I don't know, I thought Phillipe and Bullock were pretty terrible myself.

Great episode guys. Looking forward to hearing you guys trash Southland Tales, which is what better happen.

Drewbacca said...


Hey guys, I re-uploaded the podcast and the new download link should be fine now. Let me know if there are any more problems. Thanks for listening!

Michael Sloan said...

repost some of my comments on the R3 Haggis Crash post to support Andrew in his valiant fight:

I maintain that to criticize a film properly you need to first acknowledge the internal logic of its filmic reality. The L.A. of Crash is not a normal, realistic L.A., everything is heightened, every character interaction is like they took the most charged racial moment of that character’s life and set them side by side, not once do I feel like this is a real L.A., its a staged L.A. that is being staged to tell a specific story. When I watch Maltese Falcon, its not a real place either and I do not look at it begrudgingly because it doesn’t sit well with the real world… the difference for a modern audience is its a different time period and so its easier to digest, but similar realities can be depicted in modern day for the express purpose of telling a story, or how depressing and imprisoned is the creative spirit, that only reality should be depicted.

Crash never really pretends to be anything but a filmic reality, like I said in the post, otherwise L.A. consists of four blocks, so consistent are the coincidences. Its about ideas of racial relationships and playing them out on a dramatic stage. Its the same way that Juno is shat upon for its bubbly hyper reality, well its never tries to be anything but that, it has its own internal logic, and can’t be criticized for it not living up to some external model you have… I mean it can for your own sake but it has no meaning if you are trying to be socially critical of the film. If you are trying to find faults with it that people can agree upon.

I think there is an epidemic of post-Borne realists fetishists out there now, they think everything needs to be compared and contrasted with what happens on their street, nothing can be obvious, nothing can feel written, no style but verite, and thats bullshit. I say that as a person whose stylistic preference is verite, but I can acknowledge that other techniques exist and work within their own spheres to great effect.

I mean once you accept that everything on stage is going to be about race not even as subtext but text, then the frequency of it occurring ceases to bother me, merely the individual cases of execution. The Thandie Newton-Terrence Howard-Matt Dillon story worked for me because that is a genuine issue, both the representation of the black male in society and the profiling (I have a black friend who was stopped and put in jail for driving in the wrong area of town), the Ludacris-Terrence Howard cross worked the best, because I don’t remember ever seeing that kind of internal race issues displayed, same going for Dillon and Phillipe. Cheadle’s storyline is the most subtle and nuanced, whereas Bullock’s is the worst. The film does a lot of good things, but it needed another rewrite to clean out some of the more obvious stuff it threw out there.

James Eric Laczkowski said...

Excellent points, Michael. I'm not saying that any or every fictional film should reflect reality. Maybe it's a personal preference as someone who tends to analyze from a sociological and/or psychological perspective with most films. Granted, that viewpoint isn't always applicable when it comes to deconstructing fiction.

My problem with CRASH is similar to TRAFFIC, although I enjoy Soderbergh's approach more than Haggis. There are instances where heightened reality works for me, in the case of MAGNOLIA, when I feel like the filmmaker creates his own world where the character actions, motivations, and story contrivances mirror the style. Maybe it's because I feel like Haggis is not a competent filmmaker in general, but my main issue is the screenplay makes everything more than soap operatic... but rather, obvious and condescending to the audience.

I agree that in accepting the film as melodramatic entertainment with a reality that isn't realistic, as Andrew does, certainly justifies how someone could enjoy CRASH. I just feel differently when other films out there work for me in a way that doesn't feel like the puppet-strings are constantly being pulled in order to evoke an emotion. With that said, maybe I will feel differently in a few years again, but as it stands, I simply don't like CRASH whether in terms of issue-raising as I perceived it to be, and/or escapist entertainment which I simply didn't find to be "fun."

James Eric Laczkowski said...

Note to Anon #1: sorry to hear that you took a pass on this episode. Personally, My "scholarly rantings" are not based on film school experience, but rather, from just an over-analytical film nerd's perspective :)

Michael Sloan said...

heh, made my comment before the end of the podcast and Jim you pretty much make my point for me. I see both sides. I am not in love with the film, I see its flaws but I can also appreciate it for what it is. Kurt said it also, about old-fashion issue movies, Crash is a callback to that, but situated in the present day. It is jarring. What it seems to do is throw out every cliche about racism, and without discretion for things like good characterization or satisfying story arcs, repeatedly and relentlessly plays them out, and it is up to the audience to get the conversation started about these issues from these triggers. It is overkill, but enough of it works for me.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to another installment of this podcast always worth waiting for. I am sure it will be a great show regardless of the line up. I would like to re-submit my suggestion for the original "Straw Dogs" and "Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia" some nice polarizing discussion should stem from that. And now that that they have re-made DOgs (or more likely they only think they have) it is even more relevant...keep up the good work , you are why the Internets are cool.

MindyWhitt said...

this was a treat. one of my favorite episodes yet. even without jay i was still very entertained by what everyone had to say.

Anonymous said...

Great episode. I'd like to give my sugestion for one show. The double feature of 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: The Year we make Contact.

Thanks for the show guys

Alicia said...

I get so annoyed when I'm talking about Cronenberg's Crash and people think I mean the other one. Sigh. Love the Dave Matthews Band opening. :D

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