Year 12 Film Study. By the end of this unit, you should be able to:. Identify and analyse film language accurately; Analyse film image and sequences in detail; Analyse and discuss the use of narrative techniques, including motifs, transitions and editing;
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Discussion and notes on:
One last thing to think about:
What do you think? Be honest with yourself, even if you feel unable to discuss your thoughts.
A Brentwood housewife and her DA husband. A Persian store owner. Two
police detectives who are also lovers. An African-American television
director and his wife. A mexican locksmith. Two car jackers. A rookie cop.
A middle-aged Korean couple…
They all live in Los Angeles. And during the next 36 hours, they will all collide…
“Crash” takes a provocative and unflinching look at the complexities of
racial tolerance in contemporary America. Driving headlong into the
diverse melting pot of post 9/11 Los Angeles, this drama tracks the volatile
intersections of a multi-ethnic cast of characters’ struggles to overcome their
fears as they careen in and out of each other’s lives. In the gray area
between black and white, victim and aggressor, there are no easy answers.
One of the main techniques used in the film is setting up a situation or character and then overturning our – or characters’ – resultant expectations. How many examples can you list?
Scenes 4 – 11
Give – in your words – theapparent or surface reason for each of the following – and then explain the real reason for each.
Ideas and Issues
Paul Haggis: “Bobby [Moresco, his co-writer] and I didn't set out to actually write anything about race or about intolerance or prejudice. We actually just started following these characters around. Early on we were intrigued by the notion of how strangers affect other strangers. And one way you judge a stranger is that he looks different from you. So the cast became black and Persian and Hispanic and white and Asian.”
made to think, or even to feel. Crash only confirms what we already know about racism: it's inside every one of us. That should be a starting point, not a startling revelation.
- Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com
It is a narrow, ungenerous and, finally, unrepresentative view of the world, one that suggests people are correct in suspecting others as having only the worst motives. The film seems to promote an ideology of victimhood, and shoves race-based thinking to the fore of every human exchange. … A reasonably realistic and varied array of actions and responses is rejected in favour of an anxiety-provoking slate of negative motives that fulfil the drama's sociological programme, creating a blinkered view of humanity in a film that could have been employed to examine a more diverse cross-section of attitudes.
-Todd McCarthy, Variety
But for the most part, Crash works so hard at moral instructiveness that it's tedious to watch. A universe in which we're all racist puppets is finally just as simpleminded and predictable as one in which we're all smiling multi-coloured zombies in a rainbow coalition. … In the end, Crash says, when you push a vicious racist, you get a caring human, but when you push a caring human you get a vicious racist. - David Edelstein, Slate
Virtually every conversation in Crash is contentious, and the participants in these conversations run into each other far too often to be believable. But I'm willing to forgive Crash its coincidences because it's never judgmental or glib about the battles its characters face. The film mourns the direction society is taking, but it is compassionate about the pressures that lead to foolish behaviour. And, although Haggis's sharp, surprisingly witty script admits there are no easy answers, it holds out hope that it's possible to change hateful behaviour. Even the 12-people-in-a-huge-city-who-keep-running-into-each-other thing works for the movie. The idea is that even a big city is smaller than it seems. The planet is tiny, Crash argues, and the differences between us insignificant.
- Chris Hewitt, St Paul Pioneer Press
Don Cheadle, star and co-producer, disputes that the central issue is racism.
an important issue – people are often mocked for poor
How what we see and hear is used to emphasise key ideas and issues in the film…
MOTIF USED TO SHOW TIME/SETTING AND ALSO CONTRAST
- James Berardinelli
Central visual technique used in a number of ways…