Maverick filmmaker David Cronenberg‘s wildly controversial 1996 cult favorite Crash is getting a special edition release on DVD and Blu-ray via The Criterion Collection. For this icily erotic fusion of flesh and machine, Cronenberg adapted J. G. Ballard’s future-shock novel of the 1970s into one of the most singular and provocative films of the 1990s.
A traffic collision involving a disaffected commercial producer, James (James Spader), and an enigmatic doctor, Helen (Holly Hunter), brings them, along with James’s wife, Catherine (Deborah Kara Unger, in a sublimely detached performance), together in a crucible of blood and broken glass – and it’s not long before they are all initiated into a kinky, death-obsessed underworld of sadomasochistic car-crash fetishists for whom twisted metal and scar tissue are the ultimate turn-ons.
Controversial from the moment it premiered at Cannes – where it won a Special Jury Prize “for originality, for daring, and for audacity” – Crash has since taken its place as a key text of late-twentieth-century cinema, a disturbingly seductive treatise on the relationships between humanity and technology, sex and violence, that is as unsettling as it is mesmerizing.
This new edition from The Criterion Collection includes a new 4K digital restoration supervised by cinematographer Peter Suschitzky; audio commentary from 1997 featuring Cronenberg; press conference footage from the 1996 Cannes Film Festival featuring Cronenberg, author J. G. Ballard and actors Rosanna Arquette, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, James Spader and Deborah Kara Unger; a Q&A from 1996 with Cronenberg and Ballard at the National Film Theatre in London; behind-the-scenes footage and press interviews; and an essay by film critic Jessica Kiang.
Watch an original trailer for Crash below and click here to pre-order your copy. The DVD and Blu-ray will be available in December.