I was considering seeing the movie Crash, so I went to mrqe.com to look at reviews and started to read the one my A.O. Scott in the New York Times. Now, I’m averse to this publication because of their assinine punctuation policy of using apostrophes for pluralizing acronyms such as DVD (“DVD’s). They do this because their headlines are in all caps, and god forbid, on the rare occasion a plural acronym would be in a headline (there’s only on UN, IRS, FBI, and CIA, and what about the more commom possessive form?), they throw in a lower case “s.” Idiots! (see my blogs from Nov. 30 and Dec 23 2003.)
What kind of movie is ”Crash”? It belongs to a genre that has been flourishing in recent years — at least in the esteem of critics — but that still lacks a name. A provisional list of examples might include ”Monster’s Ball,” ”House of Sand and Fog” and ”21 Grams.” In each of these films, as in ”Crash,” Americans from radically different backgrounds are brought together by a grim serendipity that forces them, or at least the audience, to acknowledge their essential connectedness.The look of these movies and the rough authenticity of their locations create an atmosphere of naturalism that is meant to give force to their rigorously pessimistic view of American life. The performances, often by some of the finest screen actors working today, have the dense texture and sober discipline that we associate with realism. But to classify these movies as realistic would be misleading, as the stories they tell are, in nearly every respect, preposterous, and they tend to be governed less by the spirit of observation than by superstition.
I made my decision upon reading the comparison to 21 Grams, which I disliked for pretty much the same reasons I disliked Leaving Las Vegas and Sideways: they are movies about about people I cannot admire. There must be more to it, though, but it’s a start.