dirac, on Apr 20 2009, 09:28 PM, said:
I had trouble with the crash-sex-death nexus -- it may be prosaic of me, but I just don't see anything sexy about car smashups.
Oh, believe me, I don't find it sexy either. I can't quite put my finger on it, because the movie was definitely creepy, maybe it's that it really was pornographic in a subtle way--not that that sounds like something that would be admirable, but on the other hand, there was a skill about even some of the most disgusting scenes that made them work for me at a distance in a way that they normally wouldn't have. There was more than usual 'loveless sex' sensation, I think. And I guess I must be thinking that this is Cronenberg's glinting, cold technique. Is it the 'unbearable' that Cronenberg is interested in? If so, I found 'Dead Ringers' even more so--I mean I can hardly even bear to remember it, so I know what you're talking about. The same coldness is always in the Ballard novels, but...it's interesting, Cronenberg may be even colder. There is, for example, some fetishy stuff in 'Super-Cannes', but there is also surprising heroism by one of the same female characters involved in the kinky sex (his characterrs are often cartoonish when you look back on them after some years), whereas in Cronenberg's film of 'Crash', I don't remember a single hint of humanity; it was all like some fulfillment of Foucault's futurized 'world of bodies and pleasures'. And in 'Cocaine Nights', a kind of definite moral line is finally drawn when the 'charming, entertaining criminal' gets into snuff films. On the other hand, at the end of 'Crash', the film, there is horrible physical injury, but little sense of any presence of grief, loss, even punishment is absent--it is more like a statistic. So, to me, Cronenberg does seem attracted to a severely amoral universe, if he can take Ballard even one revolution higher. And there's more than enough of that in 'History of Violence' as well, although that's a great film IMO.