Cult Favourites / Drama

Crash (1996) 4K Criterion Blu-ray: Flesh & machine

The Criterion Collection has announced the release of director David Cronenberg’s fascinating erotic thriller, Crash (1996) on 4K Blu-ray. Stars James Spader.

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.

Crash (1996) — Photo
Image courtesy IMDB

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.

The film is still eerily prescient about the way technology numbs us. Some of Crash’s near-surgical aesthetic and harder-edged sex feel more stuck in the ’90s. But the fetishized car culture? It’s still very much with us.

Janet Smith — Georgia Straight

Release date: December 1, 20120
Genre: Drama

DirectorDavid Cronenberg
CastJames Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas
Production Year1996
Discs1 Blu-ray Disc
Run Time100 minutes
FormatsColor / 4K / 1.66:1
StudioCriterion Collection

Special features

NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM, 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 CronenbergNEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM, supervised by director of photography Peter Suschitzky, and 5.1 surround
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
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by film critic Jessica Kiang

Crash (1996) trailer

Notice: The picture quality of these videos do not reflect the picture quality of the Blu-ray or DVD in this package.

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