This paper will provide a broad analysis of the movie "Crash", and yet a specific
picture of visual narrative techniques and audio techniques. The categories contributing to the nucleus and major movie components are theatrical elements, cinematography, editing, and sound. The Academy Award winning movie Crash is a story about society's controversial subjects projected in an "in your face" depiction of lives that in some way or another, cross.
Depth Analysis of the Movie "Crash"
The over-all theme of the film is racism, which is dealt with honestly, brutally, and without justification. This 2006 release from Emmy award-winning writer/producer
Paul Haggis is focused around two unsettling car accidents, a disturbing carjacking, vicious unprovoked workplace vandalism, and the suspicious killing of one police officer by another. The R rated, post 911 drama and action movie is staged against the backdrop of a racist Los Angeles justice system and Los Angles Police Department (Haggis, 2005).
The storyline begins in medias res with the event of the title, a front to rear crash
on Mulholland Drive. The movie then starts over, backtracking 48 hours explaining how
everyone arrived at that crash site. According to Jean-Luc Goddard, "A story should
have a beginning, middle, and an end...but not necessarily in that order."
Several life stories intertwine in the following 36 hours involving a collection of
seemingly random characters consisting of; a black police detective with a drug rehabbed mother and a thieving younger brother, two car thieves who are constantly theorizing on society and race comparisons, the distracted district attorney and his angry, society wife, a racist veteran cop caring for a sick father at home and his young, idealistic patrol partner, a successful black Hollywood director and his wife who must deal with the racist cop, a Persian-immigrant father who thinks everyone is out to cheat him, and lastly a Hispanic locksmith and his young daughter who is rightfully afraid of bullets.
Action shifts between the various characters, whose lives collide with each other
in unpredictable ways as each faces his or her own moral dilemma, and tries to cope with the consequences of the decisions made or actions taken against them. Each of the dozen main characters undergoes some type of metamorphosis as the various storylines converge toward a striking, common climax, which succeeds at being both cathartic and unsettling.
Theatrical elements play a major role in this film. The film uses a mix of normal imagery to blend and make a remarkable looking appearance. The director uses grain as a visual effect on many pictures in this film. The story begins with a crash, a traffic accident, which turns out to be the final collision in the film. Don Cheadle's character, a police detective, tells his partner that he believes that the narrowness of their lives is what causes fender benders. He states, "I think we miss that touch so much that we crash into each other just so we can feel something." This scene makes the viewer examine the reality of the character, and makes the viewer question whether there truly are victims and attackers and what can be defined. It also questions our own stereotypes and racism.
The film uses scenes that cause instant emotions. For example these emotions of guilt, criminal, bitterness, and heroism are reverent throughout the film. This type of instant emotion is evident in the scene where a white male police officer sexually harasses an African-American woman in front of her husband, and in the next scene he risks his own life to save her from a dangerous car accident. There is a scene with a little girl where she does, but does not, get shot. The girl tells her father, "Its okay, Daddy...I'll protect you". The theatrical element of this scene is very emotional and represents a pivotal point in the film.
The film "Crash" seems to be about race. But...
References: Altman, R. (2006). The Sound of Sound - A Brief History of the Reproduction of Sound in Movie Theaters. Retrieved May 27, 2006 from http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Academy/4394/altman.html
Haggis, P. (Producer) & Haggis, P. (Director). (2005). Crash. USA: Lions Gate Entertainment
IMDB. (2006). Biography for Mark Isham. Retrieved May 26, 2006 from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006142/bio
Lions Gate Entertainment. (2005). The official website crashfilm.com
MovieWeb, Inc. (2006). Crash. Retrieved May 28, 2006 from http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/41/2841/summary.php
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