Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 270: Sat Sep 30

Crash (Cronenberg, 1996): Regent Street Cinema, 2.30pm


Here is the Regent Street Cinema introduction to this special 35mm screening:
Revisit the shock of symphorophilia with Will Self and Chris Beckett, editor of a new edition of Crash. Their discussion is followed by a rare chance to see the uncut version of David Cronenberg’s 1996 film adaptation on the big screen. David Cronenberg’s film of Crash (1996), which Ballard greatly admired, was awarded a Special Jury Prize at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The film introduced a second generation to Ballard’s unsettling vision, and sparked a censorship controversy that led to the film being banned by Westminster City Council. A new and expanded edition of the novel Crash (2017), edited by Chris Beckett, takes a fresh look at the novel by setting the narrative in its writing context. Drawing on Ballard’s archive at the British Library, it includes generous selections from the novel in draft, re-publishes Ballard’s contemporaneous ‘condensed novels’, and makes available for the first time Ballard’s draft script for the BBC short film Crash! (1971) directed by Harley Cokeliss. The film was made as Ballard drafted Crash, and its stylised visual language informs the novel. Also included in the new edition is Ballard’s introduction to the French publication of Crash (1974) in which he described the novel as a ‘a cautionary tale’. However, in an interview with Will Self in 1994, Ballard said that had been wrong in his introduction: ‘Crash is not a cautionary tale. Crash is what it appears to be. It is a psychopathic hymn. But it is a psychopathic hymn which has a point.’ This event is part of Banned Books Week, an international celebration of the freedom to read.

Chicago Reader review:
David Cronenberg wrote and directed this 1996 film, a masterful minimalist adaptation of J.G. Ballard's 1973 neo-futurist novel about sex and car crashes, and like the book it's audacious and intense—though ultimately somewhat monotonous in spite of its singularity. James Spader meets Holly Hunter via a car collision, and they and Spader's wife (Deborah Kara Unger) become acquainted with a kind of car-crash guru (Elias Koteas) and his own set of friends (including Rosanna Arquette). Sex and driving are all that this movie and its characters are interested in, but the lyrical, poetic, and melancholic undertones are potent, the performances adept and sexy, the sounds and images indelible. If you want something that's both different and accomplished, even if you can't be sure what it is, don't miss this.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer. 

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