Crash

Director: David Cronenberg
Year Released: 1996
Rating: 2.5

A decade has passed and this picture is still cryptic and unsettling: it's safe to say the 'fascination' with car crashes goes deeper than a simple fetish - it's almost a way of life. What's the message? Is it that the characters are a rare faction of society in which nothing is pleasurable except for physical suffering? Is it a caricature of society's warped sexuality? Is it a kind of joke (you know, backseat shenanigans taken to a whole new level)? It certainly isn't about character development, as the principal players don't change as the picture methodically - nay, robotically - lurches on, cold and single-minded and clinical. A psychologically buff in his own right, Cronenberg (using J.G. Ballard's novel) strips the characters of easy analysis, leaving only the perversity to speak for itself. Steve Erickson remarked back in 1997 that in twenty years this will probably be considered a classic, and I don't doubt it - it's so alien that I'm not sure what audiences fifty years down the line will make of it, adding to that delicious discourse.