Filament 08 relit - CRASH

Sorry for reveiwing this in 2 parts. I really regretted not attending the 2 set of Filament screenings because the quality of the productions were very laudable. So I actually watched some of the films on DVD upon request from the filmmakers.

CRASH is a aesthetically sleek film that restores my faith in HD shooting (after my mishap with HD). The visuals were stunning and the editing helped enhanced the overall tone of visual sequence. A man loses his memory from an incident that leaves a wound on his forehead. Upon recover, he spots a polaroid photo stuck on his house wall. It shoes him and a mysterous girl looking rather chummy. He has no trace of any memory of her and wants to dig up as much as he could on his past. There is a convenenient clue stuck next to the photo that brings him to MUNCH a cafe, made quite obvously it was a sponsor of the film.

At MUNCH (the owner of MUNCH is smart, even reviews cannot escape mentioning it), he realises the girl is a waitress there. When pressingly asked about how she eneded up in that shot. she reveals it was just a casual shot during Christmas. But he was not satisfied because I think he sub-consciously wanted more to do with the girl. Then there was another guy to compliate matters more. Finally one day, he confronted the girl again, pressing her about that other party. When she was evasive, things got violent with the help of the glass vase. The girl is knocked unconscious and left to bleed to .... death (I suppose), while he runs out and escapes...... to his own..... (the rest is a simple guess)

This film sits between the stylistics and language of film and TV. Hence, I think it is very telemovie. Here are the TVish parts. The plot and development is more dramatic than a film. Yet, the drama never digs deep enough, it is just nice for a visual tingle. There was little attempt to establish and enrichen the characters. On the motifs side, there is a fair amount of blood, wounds and , excuse the pun, crashes. There is the almost mandatory P.I. (private detective) style `cheating' shots of her and his romantic rival. `Cheating' not in the conventional sense. Use of eye-candy telegenic cast. Generous dashes of flashbacks.

And its film moments come mainly from the shots. They were tight. intimate, zoomed on details and effectively-lit. But I feel the editing had a part to play as well. Excessive use of flashbacks aside, I felt the editor cleverly enhanced the moments of tension well. Finally, the circularity of starting the film with the chase scene and coming back to it later could be potentially cliche and narratively lazy. But they placed the scene of him in a bandage right after the chase scene which turned to be a future event, to pretty nifty results!

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