Holly Hunter as Helen Remington looking toward camera from back seat of a car in Crash film


David Cronenberg | Canada |1996

Director: David Cronenberg
Producer: David Cronenberg
Screenplay: David Cronenberg,
  from the novel by J G Ballard
Cinematography: Peter Suschitzky
Editor: Ronald Sanders
Music: Howard Shore
James Spader (James Ballard)
Holly Hunter (Helen Remington)
Elias Koteas (Vaughan)
Deborah Unger (Catherine Ballard)
Rosanna Arquette (Gabrielle)
Peter MacNeill (Colin Seagrave)
Cheryl Swarts (Vera Seagrave)

Rating: R18 sex scenes Runtime: 100 minutes

Not to be confused with Paul Haggis’ maligned Oscar-winner from the subsequent decade, Crash is David Cronenberg at his most provocative, bloody, and horny. A perennial favourite of Wellington Film Society (we’ve screened Videodrome and A History of Violence in recent years), the Canadian maestro is having a bit of the moment with his acclaimed return to body horror, Crimes of the Future, hitting screens last year (including as part of NZIFF).

An adaptation of J. G. Ballard’s 1973 novel, Crash follows a couple who finds themselves drawn to a community of car accident fetishists. It stars some of the most captivating actors of the 1990s: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger and Rosanna Arquette among them.

Crash is not for the faint-of-heart–a particularly controversial film for a director whose filmography is packed with controversy. It won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes despite the president of that jury, Francis Ford Coppola reportedly hating it. But, buried within the broken glass, twisted metal and scar tissue is a “disturbingly seductive treatise on the relationships between humanity and technology, sex and violence, that is as unsettling as it is mesmerizing.”


Jun 12 2023


6:15 pm - 7:55 pm