Sexual ambivalence. Car crashes. James Spader fucking Rosanna Arquette’s gaping leg scar. This is cinema that dares to take risks and provoke in ways we seldom see. And 24 years since its theatrical debut, David Cronenberg’s Crash continues to shake us.
At the time, the U.K.’s Daily Mail was blunt in its disgust: “Ban This Car Crash Sex Film” screamed the front-page headline. When it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, audiences were sharply divided, while judges, astounded by Cronenberg’s chutzpah, had to invent a special jury prize on the fly to recognize a film that stood on its own.