23 February 2006

Crash

I had intended to blogment on this movie when the topic was still fresh but I guess it's better late than never. I'd just like to say that I'm very pleased to see that Crash has won top prize for original screenplay at the WGA. The jagged narrative of the film weaves together a series of overlapping vignettes that examine the theme of racial stereotypes. Of course this has been done before: what makes this Paul Haggis film so unique is the way it rapidly flips between alternative takes on reality (usually contrasting the "two-dimensional" stereotype with a more realistic "3-D" perception of a character). Cheadle, Bullock, and Dillon were well casted for the film and deliver convincing performances (as does the ever-foxy Thandie Newton). The characters ultimately elicit some sympathy for racist attitudes, while at the same time warning of the dangers they represent. I find this wholly reasonable. Racism, after all, is essentially a cognitive strategy (creating generalizations to cover particulars that we don't know enough about) which has gone awry. Unfortunately, it can culminate in horrific disasters--hence the wonderful metaphor of the crash.

Other blogments on the movie are available at Press On (Japanese) and Rotten Tomatoes.

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