- What do you feel is the message the director is trying to express in this movie? Support your answer with examples.
The film uses two traffic accidents to reveal the collision of race and humanity in Los Angeles. In such a big city with so many vehicles, car crash is unavoidable; so as crash among people with different race and background in the city. The film reflects the complexity of human nature. Characters convert they role from justice to evil, from victim to perpetrator in 24 hours. The typical example from the film is the story happened to the two white police officers. The one with racial discrimination who abused his power by bullying the woman can become heroic when the woman in danger; while another who seems pretty nice and fair can become a killer under certain circumstance.
- If applicable , discuss if you think this movie has accurate depictions of minorities or if they are situational? Why or why not?
I don’t think this question is applicable to the movie. The film tells the stories about ordinary people with different races, culture and background living in the metropolitan city – Los Angeles. Living and working with others, unavoidable, we face confliction every day. And racial discrimination, is just a fuse.
- Explain if you think the director’s ethnic/cultural/professional background played a role in directing this film?
I searched online and found that the movie director and writer Paul Haggis began to work as a writer for television programs. Maybe because of his working experience, the structure of the film actually is like TV series. Parallel cues and cross cutting structure he used in the film may make audience feel novelty, however, is very common means to tell stories in TV series. Like Spin City.
- What groups (people of color, nationality, culture, class, gender etc.) may be offended or misinterpret this movie and why?
The peoples with difference races and colors may be offended, because director used racial discrimination as a fuse to start the story. Personally, I think the movie is more about discussion of humanity than racial discrimination. However, the imagines of back people, Persians and Asian are not really nice showed on the movie.
- What the movie added to your visual literacy?
At the movie lines at the beginning of the movie, the black officer talks to his peer when we see a car accident “In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” It somehow reveals the main theme of the movie. People hurt each other in the confliction, but also help and comfort each other as well. I think it’s a good example of combination of visual language and verbal language.
- What kind of artistic and/or visual means did the director use in the movie to focus our attention?
The director used the parallel cues and cross cutting structure to attract audience’s attention. Each plot in the film is independent but related to each other and constitutes the main tone of the film. Using this kind of technique of expression helps to arouse audience’s curiosity to a large extent. The background music that used in the film is excellent, which is soothing throughout the entire movie even in the climax of the plot. The film Main Theme "crash" appears many times, a singer is crooned singing in Arabic. Los Angeles- a cultural and racial melting pot, is fraught with conflict. And the melody interprets well of the main theme of the film.