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Crash in our magazines


Sandra Bullock • Dan Cheadle • Matt Dillon • Thandie Newton • Ryan Phillippe • Terrence Howard
DIRECTOR: Paul Haggis

Christine Thayer (Thandie Newton) and Officer Ryan (Matt Dillon) THE CONCEPT:
Writer/director Paul Haggis takes a look at 36 hours in Los Angeles, where the lives of a housewife and her DA husband, a Persian store owner, two police detectives, an African-American television director and his wife, a Mexican locksmith and his family, two car-jackers, a rookie cop and a middle-aged Korean couple, will all collide.

U.S. RELEASE: May 6 2005, Limited • Rated: R


ďIíve lived in Los Angeles for twenty-five years and have been witness to our own subtle brand of race and class warfare. Iíve seen the many ways we discriminate against each other in everyday life. Iíve seen how we rationalize and excuse it, how we organize our lives so that we donít have to deal with it, and how we deny that racial problems exist. But it wasnít until afte 9/11 that I understood how to write this piece. Because the movie isnít really about race or class Ė itís about fear of strangers. Itís about intolerance and compassion; about how we all hate to be judged, but see no contradiction in judging others.Ē

ďIn Los Angeles, people can spend days and days on end in isolation, without ever having any real interaction with people. So I think the title Crash is a really metaphorically good title, because people are making disastrous contact with each other, because of this sense of ignorance, this sense of distrust and fear.Ē

ďI think to live in a place like London or New York, youíre much more jammed together, so as a result there is this need to wrestle with problems, the resolution of which get people to come together, which is why Crash is so interesting, because itís kind of forcing those disparate groups to come together in ways that they donít normally do. So itís kind of a contrived situation, which isnít at all contrived in the way that itís written, it allows it to be very realistic.Ē

ďThe funniest thing for me about making the movie is when Matt Dillon and I went out with a [police] lieutenant driving around Hollywood showing us different things that would be appropriate for us to learn [for our roles]. I sat up front with a baseball cap on, and Matt sat in the back and had no hat on. We pulled up at a stop light and some kid looks over and sees Matt Dillon in the back of a squad car and starts calling his friends. I thought that was great. Iím like, ĎYou should have worn a hat, dude.íĒ

ďIíve been fortunate to be a part of movies Iíve wanted to be part of. I want the business to change. I want the industry to be more accepting of films like this. I donít want to see a movie that I could care less about when I leave.Ē

ďI think the movie is positive about Los Angeles. I think itís a very hopeful film. I think we have in Los Angeles the best and worst of America, and itís all just under the surface. We wanted to talk about our fears and the things that make us angry, but also the things that give us hope. And I think thereís great hope.Ē

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #657, June 2005 cover

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