First of all, where did this movie come from? When a reader recommended it to me last week, I’d never heard of it before…I thought he was talking about the Cronenberg film. But it’s been out for almost six weeks now and has made $40 million at the box office (on a budget of $6.5 million). Looks to me it’s one of those films where Hollywood finally does something right and they don’t want to tell anyone about it.
I seem to be on a roll with movies lately…first Revenge of the Sith, then Primer, and now I really liked Crash. Reminded me a lot of Soderbergh’s Traffic crossed with P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia. At first, Crash seems to be about racism, but I think what Don Cheadle’s character had to say in the opening scene is closer to what it’s actually about:
I think we miss that touch so much that we crash into one another just to feel something.
He’s talking about cars in that scene, but it easily applies to the locks, guns, gated & segregated communities, money, racial epithets, and power structures we see in the rest of the film, all the technology, money, and power that people use to keep themselves safe but really just make things worse. From an interview with director Paul Haggis about the film:
It’s an odd life we live in Los Angeles, a city that uses freeways and wide boulevards to divide people by race and class. We spend most of our time encased in metal and glass; in our homes, our cars, at work. Unlike any real city, we only walk where “it’s safe”-those outdoor malls and ersatz city blocks we’ve created to feel like we’re still part of humanity, if only humanity could afford to shop where we do. We no longer truly feel the touch of strangers as we brush past them on the street.
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