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Thandie Newton, Loretta Devine, Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock, Brendan Frasier, Ryan Phillipe, Ludricrous, Larenz Tate....

SPOILERS........................



Just saw this film, and while I thought it was gave a extremely interesting view of race, class and all things 'shades of gray'; I left the theater feeling as if to many loose ends were dominant. Maybe that was the intention of the producers (Cheadle is one of the producers) and the director Haggis. It takes place in Los Angeles, showing the interdependence and interconnectedness of a diverse group of people. You have the asian couple, the up-scale Black couple, the up scale caucasian couple, and then you have the 'criminals' (Tate, Luda), and a young latin guy; then you have a Persian family, who owns a store in a 'poorer' section of the city. One of the more interesting characters in this film is that one portrayed by Matt Dillon. Not to reveal to much, but his interactions with the folk he was 'crashing' into, gave me pause for thought. Many people in the theatre where I saw it, were openly moved by Dillon's scenes. I on the other hand, while understanding the 'big picture', was moved....but to distraction, annoyed distraction.
For some reason or other, I found the emotional 'zeitgeist' of the scenes 'connecting' Thandie Newtons' and /Dillons' characters to be emotionally disengenuous, and gaggingly socially constructed pc, bull/s. Right, let's show the white, racist cop, two nights earlier, molest the minority woman in front of her husband, boo, hiss, bad cop. Than, let's get him to save her from a burning car, letting her see, that, gee, he's not such a bad guy after all. Please, give me a break. I understand that Haggis and co. were trying to demonstrate how even 'virulent' racists can have layers, but these interdependent scenes between Newton's character and Dillons', were annoying, borderline silly, and manipulative, in terms of 'demonstrating' that racism/prejudice can be overlooked in times of crisis. People have been known to do 'heroic' things in times of great stress, and crisis. So what. So, Dillons' character was not a racist; and was his untoward behavior, simply just him blowing off steam, because of his anger towards 'Sheniquia'(Loretta Devines' character? These connections were wasted on me. Maybe I'm just way to jaded in terms of discussions about race to 'get it' the way the director intended.
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i saw this tonight. hmmm...it was pretty good, better than i expected. i saw all the glowing reviews and thought that they were getting besides themselves, but this time they were right about this one.

for me, it was not so much the pc b.s. regarding matt's character "redeeming" himself that annoyed me but the constant theme that ran through this film:

"SEE? MINORITIES CAN BE RACIST AGAINST THEIR OWN KIND. NA NA NA NA NA!!!"

this theme always seems to come up again and again at the movies as some type of slick strategy to shift attention away from oppressive power and make people believe that black on black crime is the ONLY reason why black folks and other minorities are "stuck".

did you notice that dillon's character thought that christine (thandie newton) was a white woman, which is why he stopped them in the first place?

crash is good and intentionally left more questions unanswered than answered. i just couldn't help but notice through the mini conversations of people who were discussing the film afterwards that they got satisfaction and relief out of knowing that director haggis let a whole bunch of white folks off the hook.

still, see this movie y'all.
quote:
Originally posted by EllaBrown:
did you notice that dillon's character thought that christine (thandie newton) was a white woman, which is why he stopped them in the first place?

crash is good and intentionally left more questions unanswered than answered. i just couldn't help but notice through the mini conversations of people who were discussing the film afterwards that they got satisfaction and relief out of knowing that director haggis let a whole bunch of white folks off the hook


still, see this movie y'all.



I agree that folk should "still see the movie"; but there is an air it being 'overrated'; and yes, I did get it that Newton's character, was originally thought to be a caucasian woman by Dillon, after her character stated it. That's interesting that your position that this film left the oppressive power structure of the (white) people, by the (white) people and for the (white) people off the hook; because other message boards that I visit had white folk who had not seen it, moaning that they were tired of being put on the spot in films about their alleged racist ways. And if you notice, only the Black characters were 'ashamed' of one another, ie. Terrance Howards's character of 'Luda'; and then 'Luda's character of Black folk in general. The only 'pristinely redeeming' character in the entire film appeared to be the young hispanic guy
I saw the movie and thought the attempt to explore or rather show the complexities was refreshing.

I went into the movie with no idea what it was about. I thought it was going to be an action-drama-thriller or something... So, outside of the typical movie silliness (happy endings and overall over-doing it) I could appreciate the attempt to examine race and racism.

Here's a link to a pretty good Blog (the actual contributor, not necessarily the posters there):

http://www.thestateof.com/


quote:
"Crash" is an in-your-face look at America's ever-complex racial dynamic. While many producers tend to use nuance and implication to touch racial issues, "Crash" "crashes" right through wall of silence. Crash is unique in that race relations aren't seen only "black and white," but also Latino, Asian and Arab as well--all reflecting America's growing diversity. And the movie goes even further, highlighting divisions within each race: the rich black vs the poor black; the white racist vs the non-racist, etc. In one particularly good scene, a rich black man, played by Terrence Howard, looks at a poor black thief, played by Ludacris, and says, "You embarass me; you embarass yourself." All in all, I thought Crash was good but not great. For all its directness, it got a little corny at some points.
I'd have to agree with the corny comment and I took issue with the "You embarass me; you embarass yourself," line which, ironically, came after Howard bout got his ass smoked for going off the deep-end from the embarrassing Step-N-Fetch It pressure he yielded to while directing his sit-com.

Don't get me wrong, I understand his predicament but that line, that sentiment seemed very hypocritical, IMO. But, in real-to-life form... that's the complexity that I can't help but appreciate and give an overall Thumbs Up despite the Mood & Flow downfalls within the movie.

I thought the Contradictions and Conflicts within Cheadle's own family was good, too.

For a lack of knowing... (QUESTION):
What was the nationality of the Middle Eastern (looking) family? At one point one of them took issue with being called "Arab" (the mom regarding the graffiti, I think)...
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
For a lack of knowing... (QUESTION):
What was the nationality of the Middle Eastern (looking) family? At one point one of them took issue with being called "Arab" (the mom regarding the graffiti, I think)...


Having not seen it, not sure...but a good guess would be "Persian" they hate being called Arabs and there are a ton of them in California, so if they were trying to be realistic, that would work....but I may be way off. I like guessing at things like this though.

Looking forward to seeing the movie.
My comments from another group when someone asked about the ending -

The ending is just that .... racial tension never ends. It keeps coming, more crashes, ever time we encounter someone of a different race we don't know ... unless we start to see the character first...


SPOILER
I really like the end when Luda has a chance to make $500 for each of the Asians to sell for slaves, but knowing OUR history, he doesn't do it. He sets them free, and even feeds them. Like a Samaritan. Powerful film!
I went to see the film Crash last night. It is a powerhouse of a film - and living in Australia, I found it refreshing to see a slice of American cultural diversity that rarely makes in onto the screen... overseas at least. I felt the producers crammed in a lot of issues without any preaching but by letting the audience become involved in the characters themselves and their POV... so I personally felt it was an honest attempt to explore inter-racial issues.

I thought the editing, directing and casting (especially) was superb.
Don Cheadle is a powerful actor... I find his acting style understated-but-potent and Sandra Bullock has redeemed herself in my eyes after all the moronic Miss Congeliality films of the recent past with excellent portrayal of a spoilt, neurotic, depressed, white yuppie wife.
To answer the question, yes the store owners were Persian. Australia is quite culturally diverse and I know a few Persian people myself, mainly Bahai, who fled to Australia to escape religious persecuation.

One of the most powerful experiences of the film for me was how well it show the shared stupidities and ignorant behaviour of the HUMAN race in general - it's cause and effect. IMHO... this film has lots to say about 'taking responsibility' on an individual level for your actions and attitudes.

I did wonder however why Don C was coupled with a Latino woman rather than a white woman. Was it was purely a dialog-driven choice so Don's character could deliver the line to his mum about sleeping with a white woman? Just not sure on that one.
I didn't think either police officer 'redeemed' themselves - not to me, anyway! Both characters showed the ugliness of their racist personalities - one overt and the other covert.
Hopefully this will be the start of a lot more 'mainstream' American films that focus on contemporary IR issues and promote discussion.

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