No smooth ride for explicit 'Crash'
November 22, 1996
Web posted at:11:30 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Cynthia Tornquist
NEW YORK (CNN) -- While director David Cronenberg posed
aboard a huge crane outside the London Film Festival earlier
this month, his new movie "Crash" was being broadsided by
British critics and public officials.
So violent and sexually perverse is the film that it's been
banned in England before its scheduled January release date.
(2.8M/1:16 sec. QuickTime movie)
"It's a violent film from the first frame to the last," said
film critic Alexander Walker. "It's (also) one of the most
pornographic that I've seen. The central idea of the film is
that people get their sexual kicks out of staging automobile
Taking the driver's sear in the pile-up of controversy,
Cronenberg defended the film recently to a London audience.
"It is not violent. There are no guns, no knives, nobody is
beaten to death, nobody is shot," he said. "No matter how
rough and strange, (the sex) is all completely consensual by
35-year-olds and not 16-year-olds."
Perhaps, but the British government's Board of Classification
has yet to consent to general release of the film.
"I hope they will take into account that we believe there is
too much violence and unsuitable material on video today,"
said Tom Sackville, a member of the British Parliament.
But the problem isn't only a British one.
In Italy, the film that's being marketed as "beyond
pleasure, beyond pain and beyond obsession" is also facing
controversy. Officials in Naples want to put the brakes on
The planned October 4 U.S. release of the film came to a
screeching halt when Fine Line Features chief Ted Turner said
the film "bothered" him and yanked it from the schedule.
That's a move that burns one of "Crash's" stars, Holly
"It's beyond 'Crash' now, and we're into an arena where we're
talking about our rights," Hunter said. "I think it's a very
chilling arena for Ted Turner to be entering when he's
speculating about what could be morally reprehensible for the
Upon re-evaluation, Fine Line officials contend "Crash" will
open stateside March 21. But after "Crash's" collision course
with Turner, Hunter remains skeptical.
"I'm still not exactly sure if 'Crash' will be seen here,"
But if it is, a little controversy over the film might mean a
traffic back-up at theaters.
Related sites: Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this
service is provided to you.