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James Spader, Sex and Alphabetising

I have never seen the 1996 film Crash. There are various reasons why this surprises me:

  1. It is directed by David Cronenberg, and as someone who has a film degree, I like to pretend that I understand him.
  2. It stars James Spader from the mid-90s, a particularly good time for him, hair-wise. During the mid-90s we found ourselves sitting somewhere between the feathery volume of the 80s and the corporate lawyer do from the 00s. And yes, I have spent a lot of time considering James Spader’s locks. Thank you for noticing.
  3. It’s about car crashes. And sex.
  4. There is an Arquette in it.
  5. Did I mention it’s about car crashes and sex?

It is a serious oversight in my film-watching career, and recently when a friend brought it up and described it as “weird” and “gross”, I decided it was high time I got to viewing it.

A pensive, 90's haired Spader.
A pensive, 90’s haired Spader.

Now, I consider myself fairly liberated. Get two drinks in me and I will go into detail about any topic you throw at me, without even blushing. I have been the first person to drink during a round of ‘I Have Never’. But for some reason, going to the DVD rentals place to find a movie about 90s perverts just seemed… illicit. Taboo. Naughty. And not in that good, sexy way, but the way where you feel like you need a shower.

I skulked around the drama section, furtively scanning the stacks with no luck. Having worked in a video store, an incorrectly shelved product makes my fingers twitch. I moved Dog Day Afternoon to the right place. Enigma went back to where it belonged.

Avoiding eye contact, I shuffled around to the thriller section. Animal House? In the Cs? Of thrillers?! I scoffed. What kind of shoddy operation was this, anyway? The romp went back to comedies and I gave up on my quest, deciding to figure it out another day.

I was halfway down the street when I suddenly saw my visit from the perspective of an outsider. A flushed woman walks into a video store, does some light alphabetising with her eyes held low, and leaves again. A mysterious creature of organisation and order. Will she return? Will the errant copy of Van Helsing in the Family section find its way to its natural home? Only time will tell, but as long as James Spader’s fluffy tresses remain unseen, you can live in hope.

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