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Film: "Crash" Forum

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Welcome! This intense drama takes an unblin king look at contemporary race relations in Los Angeles. CRASH follows multiple story strands as characters from all social and ethnic backgrounds move in and out of each other's lives. This provocative film is sure to arouse lively debate and discussion. Please join in!

Comments are posted in the order in which they are received, with earlier postings appearing first below on this page. To see the latest postings, click on "Go to last comment" below.

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Greetings ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-05-06 15:32:26
Link to this Comment: 15063

The Serendip website is delighted to be hosting this on-line forum for conversation about films being shown at the new Bryn Mawr Film Institute. Serendip's long standing commitment to being "a gathering place for people ... to explore ... life" closely matches the Institute's objective "to provide a place for our comunity to meet, share ideas, have fun, and develop talents", and we're excited about working together.

Like all Serendip on-line forums, this is a place for informal public conversation, for thoughts in progress. Its a place to leave reactions and ideas of your own that others might find useful, and a place to find things that others have said that might be useful to you. Different people find different sorts of things interesting, so don't worry about that. And don't worry about that you might change your mind about something later. That's the idea, to think aloud together and discover how it changes the way each of us thinks (not only visitors to the Bryn Mawr Film Institute but others around the world who might drop in too). You're welcome to stop by, read, and write as often as you like.

Welcome to an exploration of a new way of sharing thoughts and ideas so as to make a richer life for everyone. Join in, and let's see what we can make together.

Name: orah minde
Date: 2005-05-08 08:57:48
Link to this Comment: 15078

was quite moved when i saw the film yesterday. made me think that the binary constructions upon which (some?) human relations are built (race, language, sex, age etc. etc.) creates such a loneliness. and i wonder if that is just the product of the human condition: being secluded from each other in bodies; OR, is it a product of a widespread sense of needing to acheive something permanent in life and submiting to the false sensation of acheivement we get in competing with another ? if it is caused by the bodied quality of life then i'd suggest to myself to stop being so worried about the lonely quality of life. but, if the loneliness is from these constructions and not a product of a widespread nature, then we have a little more ability to change.

what do we mean by loneliness? missing "a sense of touch." it's not, i don't think, about understanding each other, being unable to convey what is inside to the outside, a faulty-commerce between the two, a faulty-communication system; it's a more basic lacking, i think. i don't need my internal life to be understood, to be accurately spoken, but i need to be valued by externals, i do not have a strong enough gravity pull within to hold me together.entropy eventually wins. but, my life is an apx. 85-year-stint against entropy. i don't need to acheive, don't need to beat entropy, but, when i am in life, i need all the help i can get from externals. and the only external that does not pull outward are other people. it's about touch. a sense of holding each other together as individuals and in relation with each other. it's about the feeling of being orphans and needing to pull each other up and out of unquenching water (as opposed to the prayer from a land of wasted human realtions, which so basically, lacks the , the caress : "Lord, thou pluckest me out."

would love to hear some more textually based (film based) comments ...

Name: Josh
Date: 2005-05-13 00:29:15
Link to this Comment: 15146

I thought this movie was excellant. I loved the way is was put togeather and how good of a job the actors did. I would also like to say that Conan O'Brian has talked about the movie on his show and had on 3 actors (Ryan Phillippe, Matt Dillion and Don ) on his show and done interveiws. I can tell u now that this movie will be one i add to my collection. I also enjoyed the sound track.

The Film Mostly Works Wonderfully
Name: Juliet Goo
Date: 2005-05-16 17:45:24
Link to this Comment: 15199

I have finally gotten to see it through 1 and 1/2 times and am very appreciative of the many angles Haggis takes on the subject of bigotry. The film verges on the sentimental and unbelievable in the sudden "conversion" of the DA's wife and the Persian shopkeeper's relief. But the characterization of the "bad cop", Matt Dillon, is marvelous and thorough. His experience with the wife of Terrence in the burning car was powerful. She played her part almost too well. When she berates her husband for allowing the humiliation at the hands of the police (literally), I found it very troubling. It was such an unfair complaint she had, given the circumstances. Yet her "post traumatic shock" responses in the car were all too real. Don Cheadle's torment was elegantly played. And the lack of a "good ending" to his plight speaks volumes about the lack of an easy solution to racism. The film is able to take many narratives and play each one out to its respective climax so that the roller-coaster carries the viewer on, from one moment to the next in a spell-bound process. The moment of the shooting of the child caused many in the theater to shriek. I am left wondering if the daughter of the Persian shop keeper purposely bought blanks for her father's gun. His reaction to not killing the child was perhaps a weak moment in the film. Also too preachy was the assistant to the D.A. Indeed, I think the film was a bit heavy handed in never letting you forget its topic. But there is more to praise than to criticize.

What is the main point of the film? Perhaps the comment of Terrence, "You embarras me and you embarras yourself" seems to be the main message. Interesting, since this is a re-run of Bill Cosby's recent comments and Terrence is accused by his wife, earlier, of being black only insofar as he watched Cosby!

And wasn't the lighting marvelous? And the recurring blinding white light--as if to shine a light on racism, to remind us of the car-heavy life of L.A. and the symbolic use of cars to travel without really making that much progress....racism won't be easy to burn, and neither are cars....

Name: Juliet Goo
Date: 2005-05-17 17:25:50
Link to this Comment: 15212

OOps I left out an "s" in my posting, twice! I am embarrassed.

Main Message(s) of Crash
Name: Rick M.
Date: 2005-05-24 23:46:21
Link to this Comment: 15237

What does Crash have to say to us? Juliet G. thinks the main message of "Crash" was Embarrassment(or should the character have said, "You shame me/us?").

There are so many message in this powerful movie, but the main one that lept out at me was the Sandra Bullock character's telling us that she's angry and feels that way all the time. The movie seems to be saying we are all so afraid and angry with each other and our inability to trust and care for one another across race, class and cultural divides. In LA 2005, one of the greatest cities ever created, we need to crash into one another to feel anything.

Despite playing a bit too much to tired stereotypes, the movies tries to delve deeply into the complexity and insanity of seeing the world and reacting to thsoe in the world according to such myopic vistas. Overall a must see flick (*****)

Rick M.

Is Bad Good and Good Bad - Sometimes?
Name: Phoebe She
Date: 2005-05-25 16:16:11
Link to this Comment: 15240

Terrific movie. I really feel as though I need to see it again just to pick up on all the nuances and things I missed the first time. What especially stood out for me was the shock when you see that a person you had been viewing as "good" all along (the young cop) ended up doing a "bad" act - killing the young black man. Whereas, many of the other characters started out as bad and/or easily deserving moral disapproval, but ended up showing a good side through their conversion process.

Agree with Rick and Phoebe
Name: Juliet Goo
Date: 2005-05-25 17:23:58
Link to this Comment: 15243

Thanks for your comments. Rick you remind me of the other messages of the movie, and I agree with you on all those points. And Phoebe, yes, there are so many surprises in the narrative structure of the plot that you one is reminded of the conflicts within one's own feelings. One can be sure one is not racist until the unexpected moment when one turns out to harbor a few of those dread feelings....

Another perspective
Name: Susan Elli
Date: 2005-06-02 11:27:33
Link to this Comment: 15283

First -- thanks to the Institute for giving us this forum for discussion! I saw "Crash" this past weekend and liked it a great deal for many reasons, including its courage in tackling racial prejudice in a way that few movies have in recent years -- the universality of prejudice, too.

But I wonder whether anyone else feels that the movie purposely evolved from realism into parable/fantasy? By the end, I felt as though I was reading a Latin American "magical realism" novel (which I love, by the way)and the closing snow storm in LA cinched it for me, as did the final "crash" that "got" the public assistance worker on her way home, after showing no mercy to Matt Dillon's father. The movie closed the circle on every character in a satisfying way (not necessarily happily, but meaningful to that character's story). So, for me, the film ended on a note of wish fulfullment: Yes, there is a lot of hate and cruelty in the world, but just think what could be.....

Anyone have any comments about how the last third of the film seemed "too good to be true" unless viewed as something of a parable?

Yes, a bit of magic realism
Name: Juliet Goo
Date: 2005-06-02 18:03:48
Link to this Comment: 15285

I agree that there certainly was a flavor of magic realism or parable in the film, else how could those many coincidences be justified. And the snow, and the lights (that never really illuminate the solution), etc. Thanks for reminding me of that part. Now maybe I will see it a third time....

Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-06-05 12:18:44
Link to this Comment: 15294

I saw Crash Friday night and went back to see it again Saturday night and ... I'm still not quite ready to talk about it as a film (though others here have helped me me begin to get a feel for why it works as well as it does; my thanks). I'm still trying to get my head around the (for me at least) very powerful experience of Crash, and some of the broader implications of that.

Crash is, of course, about the ubiquity of racism and racial sterotyping in American culture. But, at a deeper level, it is an introduction to the reality of the lives of people in the United States who are, on a day to day basis, barely hanging on by their fingernails in the face of social and economic pressures that constantly threaten to pull them under, and to the genuinely multicultural world in which they live. For most people seeing the movie (myself included), it ought to be understood and experienced first as a travelogue, almost a documentary, an introduction to what life in the United States is actually like for a very large number of our fellow citizens. The threads of individual lives don't, of course, intersect so neatly in any given twenty-four hour period in reality as they do in the movie, but anyone who doubts the integrity of the overall portrayal should themselves spend twenty-four hours wandering the less tourist oriented streets of Los Angeles, or New York, or Philadelphia (or of any other city and, for that matter, of many rural regions as well). One will find without difficulty every character, every event, every interaction and emotion and thought, and exactly the common undercurrent of desperation and compromised lives Crash so effectively portrays.

That's hard to look straight at, hard to swallow for many of us who suspect there is something of that sort out there somewhere but would prefer not to be surrounded by it ourselves. Its easier to think of it as someone elses's problems to fix, as problems that could be avoided if people were just "nice" to one another as we are. And that, it seems to me, is exactly where it is critical to recognize and face the deeper level of Crash before thinking of it as a movie about American racism and racial stereotyping. It is easy (and getting easier) to condemn racism (and a range of other kinds of stereotyping). But, Crash implies, the horrors of racism and racial stereotyping are themselves derivitive of the undercurrent of desperation and compromised lives that runs through American culture generally, and won't go away unless and until something is done about that. That's even harder to face, harder to swallow. We can all profess to believe in and teach tolerance, but are we all willing, all doing what we can, to change a socio-cultural context that we may benefit from but that breeds desperation in many others, as well as the explosions of racism (and other things) that result from desperation?

Crash is too good to beat one over the head with that question but I think it was on the film makers' minds (and should be on the minds of anyone having seen the movie). And hence, perhaps, the movement in the direction of "magical realism" toward the end. I'm not persuaded that the final scenes represented "wish fulfillment" but Crash does, it seems to me, not leave the viewer abandoned entirely in the face of social/cultural problems too big to face or imagine changing. The multicultural world portrayed in the movie is itself an indication of cultural change and bodes well for the future, despite its current propensity for crashes. And individual actions can make a difference, both for worse and for better (yes, I'm pretty sure the buying of blanks was purposeful).

And, of course, in the last analysis the existence of Crash itself, with its willingness/ability to speak directly and clearly to significant social phenomena with which we should all be more familiar and more concerned, gives one grounds for optimism. Crash builds on Spike Lee's explorations of racial tensions in "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever", adding in as well Lee's recognition of the importance for understanding crashes of larger socio-political contexts ("The Twenty-Fifth Hour"). In so doing, it is a rich and valuable contribution to the kind of socio-cultural criticism that we all need more of.

Thank you, Prof. Grobstein
Name: Juliet Goo
Date: 2005-06-05 21:44:40
Link to this Comment: 15295

Thank you for your wonderfully insightful and helpful comments. This is real movie-going: seeing and thinking and talking and growing. My husband and I both enjoyed and found harmony in your comments. I now plan to see it a third time!

Another wonderful thing about Crash is that it was opened "widely" in many theaters across the country, hence our ability to get it as a first run. Maybe it will help us convince other distributors of the value of such wide openings (and longer delays before DVDs), since it is doing extremely well precisely because of its wide opening. ( see CNN on this)

Name: Mary
Date: 2005-06-07 00:07:37
Link to this Comment: 15301

I loved the scenes in which the soft comforting bond of humanity filled a being and racist categories slipped away.

How transforming and influencing this human action was,

As all actions are, ..............bringing about somethiing or other... anger, fear, love, or hope, bringing about something or other...anger, fear, love, or hope, bringing about something or other...anger, fear, love, or hope, when will we ever learn, when will we ever learn?

Another thank you to Paul
Name: Susan Elli
Date: 2005-06-07 09:41:02
Link to this Comment: 15302

Paul Grobstein's comments are wonderfully insightful -- and amazingly compact, given the range of his observations!

I totally agree that one of the reasons the film works is that it IS true -- everything any of the characters said or did felt credible and possible. "Lives of quiet desperation" and hanging on by one's fingernails indeed.

I'm delighted that this forum promises to give us all an opportunity to "discuss" quality films. Thanks to everyone.

Only connect. Only be vulnerable.
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: 2005-06-10 23:13:30
Link to this Comment: 15324

I had been hesitant to go see Crash--I don't seek out violence--actually spend a lot of time working to minimize it in the world. And--from the title, from reviews--I had been expecting that this movie would give me very bad dreams....

Despite that fear, I went to see it this afternoon, because so many friends had spoken about it as being an important film--

I think it is a very important film, for two reasons that seem to me even deeper, and more extensive, than the other themes mentioned by other viewers, above: its being about racism and desperation, a travelogue that takes us into the gritty life of a big city. Really, all I noticed in the film was the touching, the reaching out--all the ways in which people, needing to be valued, sought to connect w/ one another: sometimes violently, yes, but always seeking to touch-and-be-touched, on the inside, by someone else.

I've been doing an awful lot of work, this week, on a book project about emergent systems. "Emergence" is a way of looking at and thinking about the world which notices how complex structures arise from the simple interactions of simple agents. Those structures are not entirely predictable from--or easily traced back to--the interactions that lead to them. In fact, the two (most?) important implications of the emergent perspective are that we will never completely understand how things come to be as they are, and that they will never stay the same.

So, given where my head (and heart) have been lately, it's probably no surprise that what struck me most in the film--and what seems to me most important about it--was its very adroit portrayal of the complexity of the system that is the web of our intersecting lives, of the ways in which small thoughtless (or thoughtful) actions can have huge unexpected consequences, of the randomness of our interactions, of the unpredictability of the turns life takes. Those who at first seem "good" turn out to do "bad" things, those we dismiss early as "bad" turn out to do something heroic. Who could predict that a child who believes she's wearing a protective cloak would be shot by blanks? Who could predict that a man would save the life of woman whom he molested? That a policeman would find his brother's body? To me, none of that's a sign of "magical realism"; it's a parable about the real nature of things, a portrayal of the way the world really works.

That's the big thing: to take the risk of looking THAT in the face. And with that risk comes a (potentially) big pay-off: not trying too hard to protect ourselves from the random things that will (inevitably, inevitably) happen, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, we can be opening ourselves to the unpredictably good things (even the appearance of "an angel").

That's not magic: it's just real life.

Date: 2005-06-11 20:59:35
Link to this Comment: 15328

since the movie opened with the quote about touch, i, like Anne, noticed the "seeking to touch-and-be-touched, on the inside" ... this line reminds me of what the ghost, Beloved, says in Morrison's novel: "touch me on the inside part." these are the desperate words from the dead. what do the dead miss most? touch. and what happens when touch is taken away from the living? we don't die ... but something festers ... there is a putrid stench in the sweat of untouchables. (what is it that festers?) ... and i am brought back to the relation in the film between the black woman and the racist cop. his first invasive touch. and then the touch that saves her life. how does the threat of death change the touch in this relation? it makes the touch intimate? why is the first touch NOT intimate? because the body is used as an empty object. his invasive hands do not touch her "on the inside part" and find something... rather, his hands, assuming that the object is empty, try to convince her that there is nothing in "the inside part:" nothing to be touched.

and how does the movement of his hands change in the second touch? he is aware of the precious WHOLE : "inside part" and outside part that must be saved from the fire. the outside part is not valued when seen as empty: handled as a hollow. the desperation of unfreeing her from the imminant death demonstrates that there is something within that is housed in the outside part. the presence of death in this second touch brings the inside and the outside together into a coherence. what is this coherence? what is the act that makes sense when this coherence is recognized? intimacy, i think.

Name: Anneliese
Date: 2005-06-13 11:20:49
Link to this Comment: 15331

As someone who works at the Institute, I have the privilege of hearing some of our audience members' responses as they file out of the theater, with one foot still in the "magical" realm of cinema. Overall, the response to "Crash" has been powerfully positive, with one exception. Two women left the film about an hour into it, clearly dismayed. One in particular was very upset (her friend, who had arranged the movie date, seemed more embarrassed than anything else), because, as she said, she did not need that kind of "negative energy" in her life. She resented the film for disrupting her worldview, her hard-won optimism. "That's not MY reality," she asserted, adding that she and her friend were mothers of young children. I suggested, as diplomatically as I could, that perhaps the filmmaker's intention was to expose us to other people's realities--no use. She wanted her money back.

I mention this episode in response to Anne's expressed reluctance to exposing herself to violence. It would be all too easy for me to get on my high horse and self-righteously condemn the woman for her willful ignorance. In so doing, however, I would simply be perpetuating intolerance, failing to recognize how threatened--and relatively defenseless--this mother must have felt. As Paul says, it is becoming easier to condemn racism these days, one might even say it is the popular thing to do--but racism is more than intolerance or outright hatred of people on the basis of skin color. That manifestation of it is easy to detect. More difficult, and more troubling, is the kind of intolerance (on the basis of race, class, age, gender, language...) manifested in our unwillingness to confront that which makes us uncomfortable, to be vulnerable. I know I am not innocent.

protecting ourselves from crashes
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: 2005-06-13 18:48:51
Link to this Comment: 15338

Just as Anneliese was writing about

our unwillingness to confront that which makes us uncomfortable, to be vulnerable,

I was reading a parable in Karen Armstrong's biography of Siddhatta Gotama, Buddha (for which I thank Sharon Burgmayer). It reminds me of the Grimm Brothers' figure "Sleeping Beauty," whose parents also tried, unsuccessfully, to protect her from harm--and so from growing up:

...when little Siddhattha was give days old, his father Suddhodana invited a hundred brahmins to a feast, so they could... foretell his future....One of the brahmins...was convinced that little Siddhattha would never become a [world ruler, as the others predicted]. Instead, he would...see four things--an old man, a sick person, a corpse and a monk--which would convince him to leave home....Suddhodana, therefore, decided to shield his son from these disturbing sights; guards were posted around the palace to keep all upsetting reality at bay, and the boy became a virtual prisoner....

The gods, however, decided to intervene. They sent into the pleasure-park...a senile old man...a sick man...a corpse...a monk....Siddhatta was horrified....Now that he was aware of the suffering that lay in wait for every single being without exception, everything seemed ugly--even repellent. The veil that had concelad life's pain had been torn aside and the universe seemed a prison of pain and pointlessness. "How oppressive and stifling it is!" Gotama exclaimed. He leapt out of bed and resolved to "Go Forth" that very night.

The rest of the story--how Gotama

found an inner haven of peace that made life seem meaningful and valuable once more

--belongs elsewhere, and--as Annaliese says--we certainly can't decide for others when and where they need to look at the world as it is. But, as was said in a letter among colleagues Writing Descartes last summer, I can be willing to look myself at

what is around me, what is underneath, above, and beyond where I find myself...partly [from] sheer curiosity, and partly a sense that there are things over there that I will have to contend with in the future and I'm better off getting to know them in advance

...because not to know is no protection.

Invisible Cape
Name: Sam G.
Date: 2005-06-23 15:13:53
Link to this Comment: 15362

I just saw Crash yesterday and went home and thought about it. There were two scenes that I though had a parralell. The scene where the Persian shopkeeper is throwing away the trash from the destroyed shop and there is a long shot into the dumpster focusing on the knot on the bag. This made me think of the scene where the locksmith is tying the invisibilty cape around his daughter. There was focus on the knot he was tying. I think the knot was symbolic for both scenes because it was each of the mens most precious things in the world and the only thing they really had.

what about the...
Name: Sharon Bu
Date: 2005-07-04 17:57:31
Link to this Comment: 15370

... snow?

This is a haunting film, one that re-visits you afterwards, for reasons many have already addressed here.

A question that hasn't appeared yet, though, is:
what about that snow?
Snow? In L.A.?
What is its meaning?

Snow in LA: it seems impossible. Like a miracle. That's how Terrance seemed to consider those snowflakes falling on his lapels, with amazement and wonder.

Is snow a metaphor for the miracle of transformation that did occur for some of the bigoted characters? That can occur for all of us, despite how hopelessly complex and mired are the problems as illustrated in "Crash"?

Echoing Professor Grobstein
Name: Kelli Payn
Date: 2005-07-18 01:39:19
Link to this Comment: 15535

Thank you, Prof. Grobstein for noting Spike Lee's exploration of racial/ethnic stereotypical "crashing" in "Do the Right Thing". While I enjoyed Crash, I believe that we must recognize pioneers who have already delved into this genre. In keeping with that, I must also give props to a friend and former BMC student Sarah Jones whose show, "Surface Transit" is an excellent rendition of racial/ethnic intersecting where the characters lives all intersect in one way or another. Crash's style is curiously similar.

Finally, Ms. Grobstein, I fervently disagree that Ms. Newton's character reacted irrationally to her husband's actions. Her words spoke to her husband's/a black man's emasculation, which is a critical matter of discussion for many black women. Also, notions of black women feeling violated, unprotected, disrespected and, historically, fodder for white men, runs deep within the black family. Of course, (as her character noted) the writer/director was calling up slavery, which may seem like a long time ago, but the scars of yesteryear are omnipresent.

My point is simply that the complex social construction/relationship dynamic of the black family should not be ignored or overlooked because of what may be perceived as the husband's I'm-a-black-man-in-L.A-with-some-white-cops-on-a-desolate-street pragmatism. For my part, I was delighted that the writer/director addressed this in the manner that he/they did. The more I think about it, I believe that a sense of violation and a desire to feel protected in tradtional heterosexual relationships is a sentiment (in some instances tacit) that transcends racial groups and is consonant in many male-female relationships.

confusion turns into a kiss
Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2005-07-23 14:57:59
Link to this Comment: 15625

I was struck by the way in which this film showed how it is impossible for humans to truely connect with one another through story-telling and words. This was handled explicitly in many places including the miscommunication between the shopkeeper and the locksmith but what I was most struck by was where it was handled implicitly. We carry complex webs of stories around with us which define how we act and when someone doesn't understand we try and explain through words. When I hear someone, for example say "my mother", the first thing I think of is MY mother, not his/her mother and this is gradually undone as the person continues with the sentence. Through more words, my web of associations and stories with mother can join with theirs. (though yes, i think this can also have the opposite effect b/c more words can also create greater subjectivity...i'm focusing on the positive effect though, right now) This film to me, though, was about the difficulty of sharing stories and communicating when the number of words given is limited by 1)an unwillingness to listen to someone of another life circumstance 2) a real language barrier 3)a gun pointed at your head 4) the age of the person you are talking to 5) a situation where you are under a car that is about to blow up in 30 seconds 6) a situation where something in someone's hand can either be the very object that is going to destroy you or the object that is going to show you connection.

In these situations language gets truncated. You either connect by "crashing" or you don't connect at all. The idea, I think, the path to better communication in a more "we think therefore we are" sense is through films like this. What are the ways that we can draw the subjectivity of stories together into a single space? A "group" can talk by no longer being a group but a collection of individuals with individual stories in any given space. This film to me was not about any one of those stories, any one web, but a community of stories maintaining their distinctness and existing together. The mission of serendip too.

I found this film pulling me to judge someone and then, in the next scene making me think "oh...goodness, no" Then I would think, no, no...that was justified for them to do that but no it wasn't, but yes it was, but no it wasn't, but yes it was. Then I realized that nothing is justified or not justified. As humans we simply act based on the web of stories that we carry within us. And, because this web is often saturated with hurt we sometimes act in hurtful ways (even if unknowingly). So, there are only choices we don't agree with, choices that hurt us, choices which we wish weren't made, things that anger us, things that kill us but this movie made me think that that which is recieved as hurt must always, in some way, come from hurt. We can exist better together if we realize consciously that we're all hurting.

And, when we feel like we truely connect it is often by a look or by touch which may seem like stories connecting through some magic physical, non-linguistic way. But I think what's actually happening is that an understanding of subjectivity and non-connection is piercing it's way to the surface.

Picture a movie moment (or one in your life) where two people are about to kiss. Of course there are many variants of the before kiss moment, but I'm talking about one in particular. It is kind of a look of confusion. The look before a kiss which means "i love you" can also mean i am looking right at you and "i don't know, i will never know but i understand that it is not knowing which makes us human. i do not know you but i am here with you now." The confusion turns into a kiss.

I think the point is to be confused, to see things as profoundly difficult and hard to deal with, to see the point of connection as difficult. To go out and see movies like Crash 3 times. And to think really hard about other ways that we can become "here with each other now."

Name: Jyvonda Ra
Date: 2006-03-20 19:19:22
Link to this Comment: 18616

I thought crash was a great movie, seeing that it was the first time i had seen it. It left me a little confused at first but then I watched it again. The second time I watched it I really understood the concept of the movie and why certain characters behaved the way they did. It really touched me to because I felt like I knew how they were feeling. Overall it was a great movie.

Crash...realistic or not?
Name: Cassidy El
Date: 2006-03-21 13:49:56
Link to this Comment: 18636

Many critics thought Crash was inrealistic. I disagree with them because many issues brought up in the film happen on a daily basis. I am a primary example. I am really bad with Geographical parts of the world and because of this when I see people from other countries I automatically think of them as foreign or just guess where they are from but many times my idea of them is far from correct. I feel that people stereotyping others comes natural.
Another part of the film that was very real to me are the parts when the people at the begining of the film who hated each other ended up being friends at the end and helped each other out. In real life I sometimes meet people in bad situations and the other person and I may not have good thoughts about each other. But then later on we might run into each other and get along well and become friends.
Overal, I think the film was very realistic and brought up some very good issues that are happening today.

The Importance of CRASHing
Name: Sierra Fow
Date: 2006-03-21 23:00:47
Link to this Comment: 18640

Becoming recognized in mainstream entertainment, the independent film Crash has done Americans a favor, slapping them in the face with a stunning portrayal of human relations in this country. While many do realize the intolerance and communication impediments common in society today, this little reminder has the potential to be very beneficial. The film brazenly addresses sensitive issues. Topics such as racism, abuse of power, and the coldness in everyday interactions are all things that most people prefer to overlook. However, putting such matters on the backburner they are never addressed properly, and therefore never worked out. Crash is commendable in that it has successfully broken into pop culture. In doing so, it forces the masses to take a look at the ugly truthÖand maybe do something about it.

Name: Jordan Lan
Date: 2006-03-22 16:55:13
Link to this Comment: 18650

I don't think that anyone can deny that "Crash" was a great film, and it deserved all of the recognition it got. The issues that so many of us sweep under the rug are put in our faces so that we have to deal with them. However, by trying so hard to dispell stereotypes, the film actually created its own stereotypes. All of the characters are in situations that are steroetypical. For example, the Persian man was a shopkeeper, the rich and powerful DA and his wife were white, the black detective had a single mom and left his family to make a living, the Hispanic man was a locksmith, and the one rich black man in the film was an entertainer. These in and of themselves are stereotypes. Is it impossible to think that by accident or not by accident, the producers of "Crash" put a little of their own racism into the film?

Name: Heather Ha
Date: 2006-03-22 18:23:17
Link to this Comment: 18651

Although, truly understanding the movie Crash might take more than one time watching it, i think it was a very informative movie. In the article "Can Holleywood Get Race Right", they commented on the forceful way Matt Dillon spoke to the lady reguarding his fathers illness. They said it would be beter if people spoke this way because then we would at least know how people felt. The new racism today is not being accepting of people or things. If we are not accepting we are called close minded or racist over the matter. Because of this, unlike the movie, people cannot speak as open minded or as freely as they might like.

Name: Sarah Zoel
Date: 2006-03-22 20:34:21
Link to this Comment: 18655

According to Juliet G, the movie was based on embarrassment. I would have to say that I saw the movie as being full of racism and how the world makes people stop and evaluate their wrongs. These characters did need a crash in order to feel anything. If they had not receieved a "wake-up call," these characters probably would have gone on living their lives like they did. Rick M. made a good point with saying that Sandra Bullock's character was always angry. It seemed that she had it all, but in the end she finds that she has no true friends except for her housekeeper. The fact that her friends turned out to not be real friends at all did not upset or make her angry, which suggests that she changed into a different person after her accident.

Name: Lauren Cop
Date: 2006-03-22 22:00:51
Link to this Comment: 18656

Because the meaning and plot summary of Crash have already been overly discussed let me speak on what I observed of its influence. Though most people I talked to agreed that Crash was a magnificent film very few seemed fundamentally changed by it. People who were open to cultures and races other than their own before setting foot in a screening of Crash continued to indiscriminately go about their lives. Other less open- minded individuals resumed their ethnocentric existence of referring to strangers stereotypically and carrying on the foul traditions of their families. Am I saying that Crash doesnít have the power to change people? Of course not because I donít have the power or the knowledge to determine such things. Unfortunately all Iíve seen thus far is stubbornness and unless tolerance is taught to children before racism is unknowingly ingrained in their little minds it will be hard for a movie to change someone.

Name: brittany t
Date: 2006-03-22 22:25:22
Link to this Comment: 18658

I think that this was a great movie. It teaches us a lesson to all be more open minded and try to understand other people, yet we all know that one movie will not change any one person. It takes a real life experience to learn these lessons. If these incidents in the movie happened to a person it would totally life changing. All the movie does it make you think about peoples' situations more.

Name: Mike Jones
Date: 2006-03-23 06:54:40
Link to this Comment: 18666

The movie Crash offers each of its viewers a unique opportunity to internally question themselves and their own motivations in ways which many of us have not had before. Unlike most diatribes on race, Crash both personalizes and externalizes racial interactions. By showing how people on an individual level are effected, and also how particular circumstances have a tendency to interact with others at later time, creating a sometimes bizarre chain of events, the viewer is more able to see how their own personal decisions have the potential to implicate a variety of people in ways that one would not always assume.

The Big Picture
Name: Michael Ga
Date: 2006-03-23 08:50:37
Link to this Comment: 18668

After the first 30 miutes of this movie the first thing I found myself distracted by was the profane language the characters used. But I eventually started to realize and piece together the story. You can't get caught up in the coincidences; you have to see the big picture. This movie is showing us that everyone is a little bit racist, and what happens sometimes when this stigma is put to the test. After watching the movie for the second time I started to see the big picture and could now really enjoy the movie because I understood what was going on.

Date: 2006-03-29 12:27:52
Link to this Comment: 18719

i have the feeling that the "snow" was not snow but ash, look closer ppl, snow isnt grey,and it doesnt stain ur sweater when u swat at it. they were burning wood,think about it

Name: parker l.
Date: 2006-04-17 14:21:59
Link to this Comment: 19055

When I first saw this movie, I was awe struck by its imagery and powerful messages. I thought the editing, misc-en-scene, and cinematogoraphy were superb. Not only was the editing great but so was the acting. As mentioned earlier in previous posts, I also think that Crash was an influential movie that should promote some type of awareness to the dileema of racism, manipulation via abuse of power, etc that we may overlook. This influential movie has changed my sentiments on how I perceive human relations in the context of racism.

left cold
Date: 2006-05-03 23:24:40
Link to this Comment: 19215

Iím not going to write a dissertation on this film, but suffice it to say that I was affected but not moved. The whole storyline was so overtly Hollywood sensationalism that I was almost immediately put off. Yeah, yeah weíre all bogged down with prejudice, so what? Thereís not a person on the Earth that canít say that they donít have a preconceived notion about a race, gender, or ethnicity. I had a very hard time relating to or sympathizing with any one character. In fact, the only person I really worried about was the Hispanic guy and his daughter. I could not have given a shit about the Ludicrous character or his counterpart, whose holier-than-thou attitude about white people really left me cold. I donít feel like the Persian mistaken for Arabian guy had any redeeming qualities, and thank God his daughter had the presence of mind (even if it may have been subconscious) to buy the blank rounds for the pistol. Iím going to watch it again, but first impressions were not good.

Did not like it.
Name: M
Date: 2006-06-26 00:29:08
Link to this Comment: 19585

I did not enjoy Crash a bit. In terms of the narrative, it is a quick and dirty imitation of Krzysztof Kieslowski's three colors, in the sense that it uses coincidences. However, while Kieslowki's films celebrate and explore the mystery of coincidences, Crash simply uses coincidences to move the narrative forward and achieve the superficial qualities of Kieslowski. Thematically, I found it unacceptable for the film to use caricatures to explore stereotypes. In doing so, the film demeans itself. Why do we have to see two stereotypes of African Americans who only exist in Hollywood's imagination - one thuggish and one preppy? Racial tension is explored in a much more profound way in Do the Right Thing, for Lee treats its subjects as everyday people, while Crash simply re-enforces stereotypes by creating tension between these stereotypical characters. In other words, the movie merely explores racial tension within the stereotypes- hence all the same-old stereotypes we have seen so many times on TV and movies. At the end, I felt the movie simply treats stereotypical characters as characters (as opposed to the usual one-line part), which, sadly, is still just another stereotype (Although some see it as a significant achievement). I do not wish to offend anyone here, but think about it, the movie even features the usual Latino-African American couple, which is less a taboo, than say, black and white couple. Even the white people are within stereotypes - rich and powerful. In doing so, it's quite self-defeating if it wants to confront us the fallacy of racism and stereotyping. Sure, the movie offers some comfort at the end when the conflicts are resolved, but the prejudices and stereotypes are still ever-present. In other words, in order to accept what the film is trying to say, we must first accept the stereotypes, which I found unacceptable. Many will argue that Crash has achieved its goal in doing so, but for me, it is a superficial treatment of a profound subject.

Name: kvs
Date: 2006-08-09 13:50:10
Link to this Comment: 20150

Yes, this movie is guilty of sporting a hollywood veneer. However, I'm white and sadly witness/hear bigoted behavior and remarks in all their subtlety all too often among acquaintances, colleagues, and the general public. To my knowledge, no other film has done a better job of "outing" ugly little prejudicial traits, ie. "purse clutching," "political tokenism," and "righteous anger," to name a few. Although a "coincidental contrivance," this film provides a mirror to many folks who may not even be aware of these behaviors. As much as I'd like to think I'm "clean," this movie reminded me we all need to work extra hard to treat the world as we want to be treated. One final note - Sandra Bullock was excellent; it was nice to see her step outside the "sweet roles" she tends to play.

it suciked
Name: Otilia
Date: 2006-08-23 03:21:14
Link to this Comment: 20202

I hated it. I think it stereo-types people of color and class. It doesn't make people think it only reminds us how ignorant some people are and how they should not continue to live in fear or be intolerant of people that they do not understand or relate to in any way because of race or color. For God's sake, I have lived it and witnessed it. It is a dame shame. This movie is over the top and doesn't deserve an oscar for telling a story many of of us live. We don't need a sad film to remind us of the injustices of society, and how we have no control over it. Are we going backwards. Take me back to the 60's when we it was all peace in love and fighting for rights of all human beings and against WAR! We need to go back to fighting for the American dream. Whatever.

I am a women who can be stereo typed as a Latina but I am woman not to be identified by my race, class or even my job title not to mention my height or weight which HOllywood seems to obsesessed with. This movie is all over the place. I was bored. I could of wrote a better screeenplay that made more sense. It didn't need a happy ending but the whole scenario with Ryan Phillipes character who kills a kid he pick up that hitch hicks. What a bunch of shit.

Name: Nick Hawle
Date: 2006-08-25 13:27:04
Link to this Comment: 20217

Everyone can be seen as a stereotype I think thats an easy criticism to make of film making but speaking form my own experience there were themes that i could identify and empathise with - good result in my. In addition to that in my view the film was good at communicating a subject matter which will never be out of date in one form or another - overt or covert. The film for me went past the sterotype and explored a little deeper the issues compared to most films that attempt to touch on it. And yes it make me question my own attitude and still does as it has with many people. Thats got to be a good thing even if it didn't work for you.

Name: JAJA
Date: 2006-09-21 03:57:36
Link to this Comment: 20494


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Name: Webmaster
Date: 2006-10-05 12:00:32
Link to this Comment: 20612

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