Wednesday, September 7, 2005

If you only see ONE movie this year...

...make it Crash

It was released on DVD in the USA yesterday, it is on general release in England, and it is poetry.

I am a sucker for ensemble productions, but this is so much better than any of the Guest movies Magnolia, Short Cuts, Boogie Nights and the rest.

It'll will have you laugh, it will have you cry and it will have you think, what more could you possibly want from a movie? In my humble opinion it is the frist 10/10 movie released since Memento in 2000.

And here are the rest of my 10/10 movies:
Casablanca (1942)
Crash (2004)
A Short Film About Killing (1988)
The Killer (1989)
Fargo (1996)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Memento (2000)
Out of Sight (1998)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)


Anonymous said...

From Maria: o.k. so i've forgotten my blog identity details but i've got to say that we have a serious disagreement on our hands torbjorn - giving crash 10/10 is criminal and i think possibly you should be put away.

torbjorn said...

Oh mine, can you substanciate?

Lady Cecilie said...

Vi begynte såvidt på den sent torsdag kveld, men bestemte oss for å spare den til søndag. Litt trøtte, vøttø. Gleder oss!

Anonymous said...

from Maria: I just don't think it dealt with any of the issues - it just presented a lot of long traffic style shots which are all very well and good. But if it's all just long slow mo shots - then you don't have time to develop any of the characters. I mean I really was curious about Sandra Bullock when she had that phone conversation about how she wakes up angry every morning - I really wanted to find out why - or at least a little bit about why - but then there was nothing more - I didn't learn anything more about her. Likewise I don't think I learnt really anything substantial about any of the characters or learnt anything new for myself about racial conflict. "Learning" isn't a prerequisite for all films - but it is for a film that proposes it deals with issues and it is for a film that presents some nasty scenes. I'm totally fine watching a scene where a white policeman molests a black woman in front of her husband and another policeman - but ONLY if there is a point. If you find a point in the car rescue scene then great - but for me it was just another scene with the same people that I had learnt nothing about in the meantime.

torbjorn said...

I think you are absolutely right in what you are saying Maria. There isn't a lot of learning or resolution presented, and personally I feel that it is one of the movie's absolute strenghts.

Traffic is another good movie. What both movies provide without being too soppy is a glimmer of hope, but not too much...

They both leave a strong impression on on the viewer, but I feel Haggis'retoric is a bit more subtle than Sonderberg's, exactly because he doesn't spell out all the character's "whys", but leaves it between the lines.

Anonymous said...

from Maria: oh my god you think Haggis is subtle?

torbjorn said...

I think the exact term I used was that his "retoric is a bit more subtle than Sonderberg's".

Clearly subtle enough, I think you agree from your other comment, to leave the viewer possibly wondering why sandra bullock wakes up angry every day, and what the connection between matt dillon the molestor and matt dillon the life saver is.

dbackdad said...


I'm in complete agreement with you. Crash is the best movie I've seen in the last few years. In sheds light on racism without picking sides or being sentimental. The acting is uniformly outstanding ... especially from unlikely sources: Bullock, Phillipe, Fraser.

Great movies don't need to beat you over the head with what every scene means. And I do think Haggis is subtle. Like his other work (screenplay for Million Dollar Baby), the dialogue doesn't overpower you. More is left to how the movie is shot and cut.

Anonymous said...

from Rod: I dislike this kind of debate because I'm happy to let anyone like a movie they like, and I can't image what could be said to make me like this one, so I'm wasting my time perhaps. But what amazes me about this film is how polarizing it is (there are more 1 stars and 10 stars on IMDB than I've ever seen, altho obviously many more 10s). The people who like it glorify it and the people who don't are left puzzled over what movie the other people were watching. There's no definitions of subtlety or rhetoric that could be applied to the movie I watched. It was all race race race until my gums bled. It was all slow motion, manipulative, music video from VH-1 style for the WHOLE LAST HALF. The 'great ensemble cast' everybody identifies is only there to convey simple weeping or angry emotion, since none of the characters are developed in any way. Yes its nice to wonder about what makes characters do the things they do, but ONLY questions isn't enough to make anybody care unless its through the music and the lighting or stylistic things like 'how the movie was shot and cut'. The dialogue was contrived and it all sounded like the same person quoting the same statistics. The plot was contrived and unbelievable. AND YET (and here's my real point) Torbjorn loves it and gives it ten along with a hundred thousand other people in America and it will win countless Oscars. How can someone whose critical faculties I respect (and I agree with most of his other 10s) have such a different experience to mine? How can he see the movie of the year (or last five years!) where I see something like a 4 or a 5, and only because of a few opening scenes which are never developed?

torbjorn said...

Well, it is good that we're all scratching our head about it at least... (some Oscars come as a result of head scratching alone)

To keep it short I need to skip the fact that we don't seem to agree about whether a director is allowed to manipulate his audience and the fact that I believe you are misinformed about what is actually on the VH-1 play list (the only "VH-1 genre" on the soundtrack, I believe, was Hip Hop, maybe brit-pop (at least on VH-1 Europe...)), and go straight to your "real point".

(OK, that was fairly crass rhetoric, but it was fun)

A few reasons why viewers may have a different experience of watching a movie:
Audience (these 2 are closely linked)
State of mind

I am sure with help we can come up with more...

It could be argued that anyone with the critical faculties that we so clearly possess shouldn't be influenced by these things, but I think it unlikely we're totally immune. I am however unsure it can account for a standard deviation of the magnitude you suggest, maybe we should see the movie again...

Note: the cynical part of me believes your actual point is "America".

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