“Sex is now a conceptual act, it's probably only in terms of the perversions that we can make contact with each other at all.” J.G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition 1970
Originally made for BBC 2’s Review arts strand in 1971 and directed by Harley Cokliss, the piece was actually based on a section from Ballard’s experimental montage novel, The Atrocity Exhibition, which the writer would later develop into Crash (as filmed by David Cronenberg).
“In 1970, when a senior executive at Ballard’s American publishing house finally got around to reading a finished copy of The Atrocity Exhibition, he was so horrified that he ordered all copies to be pulped. In the UK, the reader’s report for Ballard’s 1972 novel Crash famously said: “This writer is beyond psychiatric help. Do not publish.”
Crash is a 1996 Canadian-British psychological thriller film written and directed by David Cronenberg based on J. G. Ballard's 1973 novel of the same name. It tells the story of a group of people who take sexual pleasure from car accidents, a notable form of paraphilia. The film stars James Spader, Deborah Kara Unger, Elias Koteas, Holly Hunter, and Rosanna Arquette.
The film generated considerable controversy on its release and opened to mixed and highly divergent reactions from critics. While some praised the film for its daring premise and originality, others criticized its combination of graphic sexuality with violence. Although it was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, it instead won the Special Jury Prize. The film's music score was composed by Howard Shore.
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