1059 Crash

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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DarkImbecile
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1059 Crash

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:15 pm

Crash

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For this icily erotic fusion of flesh and machine, David Cronenberg adapted J. G. Ballard’s future-shock novel of the 1970s into one of the most singular and provocative films of the 1990s. A traffic collision involving a disaffected commercial producer, James (James Spader), and an enigmatic doctor, Helen (Holly Hunter), brings them, along with James’s wife, Catherine (Deborah Kara Unger, in a sublimely detached performance), together in a crucible of blood and broken glass—and it’s not long before they are all initiated into a kinky, death-obsessed underworld of sadomasochistic car-crash fetishists for whom twisted metal and scar tissue are the ultimate turn-ons. Controversial from the moment it premiered at Cannes—where it won a Special Jury Prize “for originality, for daring, and for audacity”—Crash has since taken its place as a key text of late-twentieth-century cinema, a disturbingly seductive treatise on the relationships between humanity and technology, sex and violence, that is as unsettling as it is mesmerizing.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
  • New 4K digital restoration supervised by director of photography Peter Suschitzky, and 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, both approved by director David Cronenberg
  • Audio commentary from 1997 featuring Cronenberg
  • Press conference from the 1996 Cannes Film Festival featuring Cronenberg; Suschitzky; author J. G. Ballard; producers Robert Lantos and Jeremy Thomas; and actors Rosanna Arquette, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, James Spader, and Deborah Kara Unger
  • Q&A from 1996 with Cronenberg and Ballard at the National Film Theatre in London
  • Behind-the-scenes footage and press interviews from 1996
  • Trailers
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by film critic Jessica Kiang

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EddieLarkin
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Re: 1059 Crash

#2 Post by EddieLarkin » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:08 pm

Nothing but legacy extras whilst Arrow offer a new video essay, a new commentary (by Adrian Martin no less), and 4 new interviews. And oh yeah, the choice of having it on the better format.

If I was in the US I'd be pretty pissed that Criterion are keeping Arrow's vastly superior looking release out of the US market, since Arrow would have obviously jumped at the chance to release it there.

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dwk
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Re: 1059 Crash

#3 Post by dwk » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:22 pm

WB title, they don't license UHD rights.

black&huge
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Re: 1059 Crash

#4 Post by black&huge » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:24 pm

The only real competiton criterion poses against arrow with this release is cover art but arrow's is also pretty good so....

Calvin
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Re: 1059 Crash

#5 Post by Calvin » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:35 pm

I'm not going to get this over the Arrow UHD, but I'd say the Cronenberg commentary and the Ballard/Cronenberg discussion are selling points and I'd take them over any of the Arrow extras. But horses for courses. It's a shame that they didn't include the Harley Cokeliss adaptation for the BBC, as Criterion are the only label that could feasibly licence it.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 1059 Crash

#6 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:45 pm

It wasn't clear to me that the Ballard/Cronenberg Q&A couldn't be a replica of the archival interviews listed more vaguely on the Arrow, but odds are it's different. Has anyone heard Cronenberg's commentary from the laserdisc to attest to its quality and what his area of focus is?

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dwk
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Re: 1059 Crash

#7 Post by dwk » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:46 pm

EddieLarkin wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:08 pm
Nothing but legacy extras whilst Arrow offer a new video essay, a new commentary (by Adrian Martin no less), and 4 new interviews. And oh yeah, the choice of having it on the better format.

If I was in the US I'd be pretty pissed that Criterion are keeping Arrow's vastly superior looking release out of the US market, since Arrow would have obviously jumped at the chance to release it there.
Those appear to be the same interviews found on the German release (I suspect that the archival interviews are the same too.) I imagine that they were not licensable by Criterion as they wouldn't license out their commentary to Turbine

Calvin
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Re: 1059 Crash

#8 Post by Calvin » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:52 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:45 pm
It wasn't clear to me that the Ballard/Cronenberg Q&A couldn't be a replica of the archival interviews listed more vaguely on the Arrow, but odds are it's different.
The Arrow extras appear to be identical to the Turbine, in which case the archival interviews won't include the 'Q&A from 1996 with Cronenberg and Ballard at the National Film Theatre in London' which should be 103 minutes long judging by the BFI archive entry.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: 1059 Crash

#9 Post by Dr Amicus » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:46 pm

The Ballard / Cronenberg Q&A was excellent - I can't remember much in detail, but I do remember a member of the audience asking if for the film the name of the Spader character should have been changed from James Ballard (as in the book) to David Cronenberg - IIRC, Cronenberg than replied that he wished he'd thought of that. On the whole, I think I'll go for the Arrow - but this is a VERY tempting extra.

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JamesF
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Re: 1059 Crash

#10 Post by JamesF » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:40 am

I’ll just add that, from what I gather (not being familiar with the day-to-day progress of the project), the announced list of extras on the Arrow is not final, and an updated list with some pleasant surprises should be forthcoming. (EDIT: Not the Cronenberg commentary though.)

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Re: 1059 Crash

#11 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:58 am

Dr Amicus wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:46 pm
The Ballard / Cronenberg Q&A was excellent - I can't remember much in detail, but I do remember a member of the audience asking if for the film the name of the Spader character should have been changed from James Ballard (as in the book) to David Cronenberg - IIRC, Cronenberg than replied that he wished he'd thought of that. On the whole, I think I'll go for the Arrow - but this is a VERY tempting extra.
Of course then the issue would have been that the figure of Catherine Ballard is kind of a proxy for Ballard's wife too! The Atrocity Exhibition, which Crash appears in miniature form within before then getting expanded out into its own novel, somewhat came about in the wake of Ballard's wife's sudden and unexpected death and the protagonists in these works are trying to, arguably insanely and in the wake of a mental breakdown, 're-order' the world in the wake of traumatic zeitgeist-defining events (even if the zeitgeist is just their personal one) into something 'more understandable' and graspable, as if to try and make some sort of scientific sense of the irrational, inexplicable and cruelly targeted seeming events that buffet us all around. There has to be a pattern to be discerned!

As with Burroughs' Naked Lunch we cannot discount Cronenberg's influence on interpreting and weighting events more towards his own sensibilities but he's also adapting singular works of literature that have quite distinctive voices as well, so it cannot be entirely based on his own perspective. Wasn't there the interview where Cronenberg talked about "stepping into the Telepod" and merging with the authors into a kind of unholy hybrid entity in these films, because that sounds the perfect way to describe his approach to adaptation in this period.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: 1059 Crash

#12 Post by Dr Amicus » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:43 am

I think this is the only Cronenberg film adapted from an existing source where I have read the original novel - between my two viewings of the film (not having seen it in almost 25 years...) I read the novel and the screenplay and it struck me just how much the resulting film was a remarkable synthesis of the two voices. At the time I was much more familiar with Cronenberg than Ballard, Crash being the first novel of his I had read, and I am looking forward to revisit now that I am more familiar with his work. It must have been about this time that Cronenberg worked on (unmade) adaptations of Theodore Sturgeon's More Than Human (one of my favourite novels) and Brett Easton Ellis's American Psycho - much as I like Harron's adaptation, the thought of a Cronenberg version is tantalising to say the least.

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Re: 1059 Crash

#13 Post by MichaelB » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:28 am

JamesF wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:40 am
I’ll just add that, from what I gather (not being familiar with the day-to-day progress of the project), the announced list of extras on the Arrow is not final, and an updated list with some pleasant surprises should be forthcoming. (EDIT: Not the Cronenberg commentary though.)
Yes, surely the BFI Q&A would be easy enough to license? You'd need to clear permission with Cronenberg, Ballard's estate and any other significant participants, but that should be a mere formality given that such permissions must also have been granted (and presumably very recently) for the Criterion edition.
Last edited by MichaelB on Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1059 Crash

#14 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:28 am

For American Psycho I read he was going to work from a screenplay by Ellis himself, and Brad Pitt was going to star. Some of Cronenberg's unfinished projects are a little fascinating to me. After watching Ford v Ferarri I learned about the Formula 1 project he almost did for Paramount in the 80's, but never got off the ground because of budget concerns. I find it interesting that he was sought out for some very commercial films. I couldn't imagine him completely hacking it out, but I'm sure he thought of such things as perhaps a carrot to get to stories more close and personal to him.

I'm very interested in both this and the Arrow release. Overall I think it is great that this film has finally gotten the treatment it deserves, and is returning to Criterion. This is my favorite Cronenberg by far, for reasons cited in the other thread, but I've not watched it in awhile myself so it'll be fascinating to watch given the time passed and how it may resonate in today's world. Intimacy is of a higher danger now because of Covid-19, and while I don't think this is a cautionary tale about such extreme desires, there certainly could be parallels to things currently in place.

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Re: 1059 Crash

#15 Post by MichaelB » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:31 am

flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:28 am
Some of Cronenberg's unfinished projects are a little fascinating to me. After watching Ford v Ferarri I learned about the Formula 1 project he almost did for Paramount in the 80's, but never got off the ground because of budget concerns. I find it interesting that he was sought out for some very commercial films. I couldn't imagine him completely hacking it out, but I'm sure he thought of such things as perhaps a carrot to get to stories more close and personal to him.
Cronenberg is a major petrolhead, to the point where one of the people who worked on Rabid later said that he was under orders to make sure that Cronenberg didn't go anywhere near a car or bike showroom when filming under a tight schedule - and indeed Cronenberg's own commentary on that film talks so lovingly and in such detail about the bike in the opening scenes that he completely missed the chance to highlight the cameo by Ronald Mlodzik, the star of his earlier experimental mini-features.

In fact, it's arguable that Fast Company, far from an apparent aberration, is in fact Cronenberg's most "close and personal" 1970s film.

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Re: 1059 Crash

#16 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:54 am

In the TIFF Q&A (on the Turbine disc but not elsewhere, but fine with me since it's free to watch for us), he says he actually was disturbed by Ballard's novel and put it down after 20 pages telling Jeremy Thomas he couldn't do it. He called it a anti-hedonistic view of cars, compared to his own love of them.
Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1059 Crash

#17 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:37 am

Along with Fast Company there are also the names of a couple of characters from his films: Max Renn in Videodrome is named after Rennmax and Seth Brundle in The Fly was apparently named after the racing driver Martin Brundle (amusingly in The Fly II they just name Seth's son Martin!)

I am particularly curious about what a mid 1980s Cronenberg version of Total Recall might have been like. Much as I love the Verhoeven film that feels an entirely different kind of film from a Cronenberg one!

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Re: 1059 Crash

#18 Post by beamish14 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:07 am

There are some storyboards from Cronenberg's take on Total Recall in Cronenberg on Cronenberg (ed. Chris Rodley). I imagine it might
have been less bombastic and more philosophical than Verhoeven's, although I'm incredibly happy with the film as-is and think it's pretty much
the best film Schwarzenegger ever appeared in.

One interesting thing about Fast Company that I like is how it prominently features the very short-lived Canadian-produced
sports car the Bricklin Safety Vehicle One (SV-1), the same car that Fritz Weaver zips around with in Donald Cammell's Demon Seed.

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Close The Door, Raymond
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Re: 1059 Crash

#19 Post by Close The Door, Raymond » Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:37 am

I am looking forward to update from my DVD.

The DVD went out-of-print for a while then appeared again from Warner Archive.

The original New Line DVD has an odd option of viewing the rated "R" version version. According to DVD Beaver, the disc is "programmed to stop at a freeze frame when 'inappropriate' material turns up and then to jump forward a few seconds." It does it a lot because it's over 8 minutes shorter. Also, the DVD has a different aspect ratio (1.78:1).

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Re: 1059 Crash

#20 Post by M Sanderson » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:22 am

Great that Crash finally comes to HD.

Being based in the U.K., and having upgraded to 4k, obviously I won’t need to buy this Blu ray.

Curious if there will be any changes to colour grading and brightness levels.

All I can say is, such a shame neither Arrow nor Criterion brought Jonathan Weiss’ extraordinary Atrocity Exhibition as a special feature. Beautifully cinematic and experimental film. Would perhaps look stunning in HD. And how about Harley Cockliss’ BBC Crash also. Both labels respect and showcase experimental cinema. Perhaps because these are not relevant to Cronenberg the auteur Director, but rather Ballard the writer, they weren’t given full consideration?

Certainly if Criterion had included this, I would have bough both Arrow and Criterion versions.

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Re: 1059 Crash

#21 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:00 pm

AFAIK the Beeb has never licensed anything to Criterion, and the talk about it here I've seen suggests that the film is either lost or that the cost to license anything BBC is way too high for them.

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dwk
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Re: 1059 Crash

#22 Post by dwk » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:29 pm

That isn't true. Both Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Mishima have docs licensed from the BBC, and I think that Women in Love has a film licensed from the BBC, but I cant think of anything more recent than Women in Love.

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Re: 1059 Crash

#23 Post by MichaelB » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:20 pm

The BBC’s always been happy to license stuff to boutique labels; the problem is the eye-watering fees that they charge, so most can’t afford to.

Criterion, on the other hand, clearly can.

Incidentally, the same principle holds true for Criterion-produced extras: notionally available for licensing, but there’s a very good reason why few take them up on the offer.

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Re: 1059 Crash

#24 Post by cdnchris » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:00 pm

Criterion has dropped a few BBC supplements on some upgrades to Blu-ray, Short Cuts, Straw Dogs, and The River coming immediately to mind. So I can only imagine they had to renew them and couldn't justify the costs. It's a shame, too, because they were pretty good.

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Re: 1059 Crash

#25 Post by yoloswegmaster » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:22 am

MichaelB wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:20 pm
The BBC’s always been happy to license stuff to boutique labels; the problem is the eye-watering fees that they charge, so most can’t afford to.
Since it costs $10k to license a rare Jackie Chan interview from 1979, would you say that it would cost around the same to license an extra from the BBC?

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