Free-Floating Hostility

Friday, October 14, 2005

Italians: They All Look Alike to Me

One day in seventh-grade history class, a friend of mine was reading aloud from the textbook a section about Arabs. I don't remember what the section was about, but I remember him reading the word Arab, stopping, then correcting his pronunciation to A-rab. It was so absurd that I still remember it. And it was called to mind tonight.

We watched Crash, or rather, Anna showed me Crash given that she had seen it in a theaters and wanted a second opinion.

I was not as impressed with the movie as everyone else seemed to be. It's not that I didn't like it, because I thought it was very well done. There are some truly complex characters and situations, which is the hallmark of a movie worth thinking about. But the idea of pervasive racism loses some of its meaning once you have everyone waving guns around at each other. Outside of the police, I feel like it really doesn't work that way. That case is doubly hard to make when you're dealing with a closed loop of characters, although narrative form demands that (Slacker aside) everything in an ensemble piece gets tied together. Also, there are some badly written parts. I mean, what the hell was Jennifer Esposito doing there besides taking off her shirt? And I can't tell whether the DA part was bad writing or bad casting. Seriously, Brendan Fraser should donate his pay to the charity of Ludacris' choice.

But pinnacle of the bad writing concerns Terrence Howard's character, the TV director who suddenly goes Michael Douglas on Ludacris and three cops. I suggested in the real world all he would have had to do was to tell Scott Baio to go fuck himself.

"You mean Tony Danza," Anna said gently. "He could have told Scott Baio to fuck himself, but it's not clear what that would have accomplished, since he's not in the movie."

Anyway, Crash makes the effort to tackle racism and cultural misunderstanding in two hours and fails. But I'm not sure that anyone could actually succeed. Crash fails better than anything else I've seen. And that's worth a lot.

0 Comment(s):

Post a Comment