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Author Topic: Crash  (Read 4175 times)

Claire

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Re: Crash
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2006, 02:52:56 pm »

Chance encounters like the fender bender elicit, under anger, casual stereotyping.  Fear elicits other stereotyping.  Is that so unreal?  How much time do you spend in cities?  Strong emotion often causes the intellectual shorthand of stereotyping.

I spend as little time as possible in cities. But racism isn't exclusive to cities. I live in a mixed-race community & I haven't observed women screaming racial epithets at each other over fender benders. Haven't seen a single Asian "victim of racism" who turned out to be a slave-labor importer.

Again, I'm not saying that racism doesn't exist and isn't sometimes overtly expressed. I'm merely saying I found Haggis' treatment of it exaggerated to the point that it lost all validity as a reflection of racism in the real world.
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Mr. Dare

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Re: Crash
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2006, 02:55:36 pm »

Guess I'm going to have to watch this movie and find out what all the hub-bub's about... Interesting points on both sides to me who hasn't seen it yet.
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dgg9

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Re: Crash
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2006, 02:58:09 pm »

I spend as little time as possible in cities. But racism isn't exclusive to cities.

No, but it, like other social pathologies is vastly increased and overheated.  Racial tensions in cities are palpable in many areas.  There's an unmistakable tightening and wariness.  Your "mixed-race community" does not necessarily give you infallible insight into LA.

I think you're letting the degree (which has to be amplified to make a movie about it) be the central point in your review.  I think the movie was more about how we act when when we encounter other people, especially in cities, in unpleasant ways.  It's easier to let the stereotypes go into autopilot.  We see it clearly when we're the victim, not so clearly when we do it to others.  Everyone's reacting too quickly and automatically to slow down and see the actual person they're bumping into.

Putting aside this consideration for the moment, didn't you find the movie well-acted, well-directed and moving at least in parts?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 03:01:42 pm by dgg9 »
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Claire

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Re: Crash
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2006, 03:01:07 pm »

You seriously were not moved during the aforementioned 'wreck' scene? Or the conclusion of the little girl and her impenetrable cloak? I certainly was.

I recognized that Haggis intended viewers to be moved by the scene with the little girl. I feel that in a better movie, that would have been a tremendously powerful moment. It was the only moment in the film where I actually did, for a few seconds, feel something -- quite a bit of something, actually -- for the characters. But by that point I was so numbed by Haggis's overkill that I was mainly feeling wary of being manipulated any further.

And no, the "wreck" scene never seemed anything but -- sorry to use this word again -- cartoonish to me.

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Another positive to the movie is that it dealt with guns in a non-judgmental light, if only briefly. The daughter's objection to her father's purchase was because he was ignorant of gun protocol. The 'right' to own a gun is plainly stated. Even when said gun is used in a wrongheaded, immoral way, it's made clear that the fault lies with the user, not the tool.

It's been about a year since I saw the movie and I honestly don't remember this aspect one way or another. I'm glad if any movie takes that stance, given how many simply treat guns as EEEvil. But it's not something I can get too excited about in the context of this film.

That said, taste in movies is subjective & I don't think anything's going to be gained here by me continuously shouting "cartoon!" So unless some new aspect of discussion comes up, I think I'll just sit back and watch now.
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

George Potter

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Re: Crash
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2006, 03:01:16 pm »

Guess I'm going to have to watch this movie and find out what all the hub-bub's about... Interesting points on both sides to me who hasn't seen it yet.

Even if you end up sharing Claire's opinion, I think it's a worthwhile watch, if only for the cinematography that manages to be realistic and dreamlike in turn without clashing, the excellent editing, overall structure, and fine performances.

Also, keep in mind my point about the film illustrating that we already live in anarchy. :)
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dgg9

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Re: Crash
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2006, 03:03:27 pm »

But by that point I was so numbed by Haggis's overkill that I was mainly feeling wary of being manipulated any further.

All I can say is, in the kinds of cities this movie takes place in, it's not really overkill.  IMO, it's more accurate to say you didn't relate to it -- which is fine -- than that the movie was outlandish.
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Erin

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Re: Crash
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2006, 03:04:58 pm »

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« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 08:09:36 pm by Erin »
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Claire

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Re: Crash
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2006, 03:14:29 pm »

Okay, one more comment since dgg9 asked me a direct question ...  :rolleyes:

We see it clearly when we're the victim, not so clearly when we do it to others.

I think that's very true. We even saw it here recently in a thread where some (apparently) white folks were going on about all the anti-white racism they'd seen from blacks while blissfully denying ever having seen similar racism from whites to blacks.

That said, though -- while we react in various hasty ways when provoked, racism isn't necessarily the only or predominant reaction, as it was in the film.

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Putting aside this consideration for the moment, didn't you find the movie well-acted, well-directed and moving at least in parts?

Sigh. I hate to say it. But no, I did not. I admit I'm a skeptic about the current  fad for movies that tell stories in non-linear fashion. Sometimes that technique can be very, very effective, as with Inarritu's "Amores Perros" (superb movie). But my first response on encountering fragmented storytelling is, "What plot weaknesses are the writer and director trying to hide?" I can't suspend disbelief until I'm sure there's solid storytelling and character development behind all the twists, and with "Crash," I never was able to.

"Crash" featured some of my favorite actors -- in some of their weakest, stiffest, most unbelievable performances.

And the single moving moment was, as per my exchange with George, the climactic scene with the little girl in her "cloak."

It's fair enough to say I didn't relate to it. But if you and Erin are correct that people of all races, sexes, education levels, and social classes really do treat each other that way in cities, then I'll just be glad to stay out of cities and leave the rest of the movie discussion to you folks who share Haggis' ghastly worldview.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 06:40:56 pm by Claire »
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

dgg9

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Re: Crash
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2006, 03:27:47 pm »

It's been my observation that the closer together you cram people, the less they're likely or able they are to shroud their racism in politeness.

And it's not clear if it's really "racism" as we understand the term.  Maybe "tribalism."  Maybe something else/more.  There's the people we hang out with, work with, are comfortable with.  And there's everyone else.  When compressed, there's ...tension.  You can feel it, when in the wrong neighborhood.  I'm not convinced it's strictly "racism."
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dgg9

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Re: Crash
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2006, 03:33:38 pm »

That said, though -- while we react in various hasty ways when provoked, racism isn't necessarily the only or predominant reaction, as it was in the film.

Maybe I'm reading more into the film, but I don't think I am: IMO, the point was not that all those people were "racists."  I think the point, to some degree, is that when irate, angry, rushed, provoked, etc, we can all lapse into the pre-canned insults and rationale that are easy.  In short, a lot of "racism" is not actually felt racial prejudice, just ...saying whatever is hateful and easy to come up with at the moment, via intellectual laziness.  IOW, what comes out as a racist remark isn't 100% "racism."

It's hard to read exactly what the director and screenwrite are getting at, but I think there's more to it than "everyone's a vile racist."  A lot of people -- most people -- in the movie weren't vile.  They just lapse into autopilot when in reactive mode.  And politics and circumstances can box into roles.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 03:37:14 pm by dgg9 »
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