David CronenbergCanada / UK100 minutes1996ColourEnglish
ARCHIVAL PRINT! David Cronenberg's masterful, icily fascinating adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel was one of the most lauded and controversial films of the director's career: awarded a Special Jury Prize for "audacity" at the Cannes Film Festival, it was both celebrated and strongly attacked in the press, and ran into trouble with ratings boards in the United States, the UK, and Australia. Toronto-based film producer James Ballard (James Spader) is injured in a car crash that kills the driver of the other car, but leaves the driver's wife Helen (Holly Hunter) hurt but alive. Both traumatized yet strangely aroused by the experience of the crash, Ballard and Helen begin a kinky, vehicular-focused affair, which eventually leads them to a strange cult headed by Vaughn (Elias Koteas), who recreates the traffic-accident deaths of celebrities and celebrates the car crash as a "fertilizing rather than a destructive event." Ranking with Videodrome as Cronenberg's most radical meditation on the interconnections of body, mind, machine and desire, Crash has become recognized as one of the key films of the 1990s.
Print courtesy of the TIFF Film Reference Library.