Thursday, March 5, 2009

A few of my favorite things...

As you (may) know, we'll be showing the first excerpt of this epic mass of stuff that we've been working on very very soon! Sunday April 12th to be precise, as part of danceNOW NYC's RAW showings. Car crashes have been sort of a fixation for me for a while now. Not the bloody, sudden, real ones, but the gorgeous, slow motion, sparkling ones.

I've been talking with Cory and Cristina (the "driver/passenger" for the piece...but abstract)about why i'm so fixated on them, and i think it's a few things.

1. Something about the sudden wreckage of a crash - that it's such a break from the way things normally are, to see sheet metal and glass and all those "strong" and "structural" elements ripped apart like that - keeps taking me back to feelings i had after the end of a certain relationship i emerged from about a year ago. How cliche, i know. But it certainly fits the piece, in that the slow motion study of these images is an attempt to enact or retain some sort of logic or control over something that a) has no control b) is governed by logic, but very unchangeable logic ie. physics and c) can't be undone even if you understand it. The piece itself (as a whole) aims to explore that space of visiting and revisiting - the search to find logic or clarity in something that is much more massive and out of control than yourself.

2. Something about how in slow motion you can isolate the moment when all the howevermany tons of car is completely in the air - it's almost like a lullaby.

3. The physics that make all car crashes pretty much the same. Inside of one, it must feel like the least organized, most instantaneous...crunch and thrash? There aren't really words for it. But looked at objectively from the outside it's pretty self explanatory. If the car is hit at this place at this speed, it will react in this way.

4. There's this whole sub-culture relating car crashes and sex. Recently watched the 199(6?) film Crash (no, not the race relations one) and didn't love it as a film (thought it lacked a lot of basic construction) but thought it was really interesting as a study. Also, Palahaniuk's Book "Rant" rocked my world this past summer, and i'll probably come around for another read sometime soon. When Adrienne was at rehearsal, she noticed a lot of the sexiness in the crashes that we had constructed so far, which surprised me as it hadn't been our focus. Since then we've made crash #7 - "sexytime". You'd like to see a clip of that one, wouldn't you? Well you can't. Not yet.

But enough po-mo mumble jumble, here's what i wanted to share with you: some of the best crashes i've found. It's worth watching till it gets to the slow-mo part, trust me!

And there's also this one, which won't embed, but is pretty cool:

Then of course there's the art of the cinematic car crash, for which the second matrix (in my humble opinion) takes the cake:



emily said...

The crashes are striking, to be sure. However, I found there was only so much I could watch of these clips on a purely aesthetic level - that is, not thinking about the devastation caused by a real car crash. Then again some of that may be because I commute in a car every day? Potentially too close to home.

Your phrases based on the crashes are not disturbing in the same way, in fact, all beauty :)

Sarah A.O. Rosner/The AOMC said...

yes emily, i've been trying to address this in my head for quite a while now. I can't say that my obsession is "safe" or "clean" in my head, because it started when i was in DC, driving. Many of the images of crashes started coming to me when i was behind the wheel (not in a suicidal way at all, but in the way that i can visualize movement better when i have bodies there to look at and work on).

At the same time, when i'm looking at the crash videos and working on the movement, i'm not really thinking about the human aspect, which is odd considering that much of the emotional subvisc of the piece is human based.

I think much of how i'm thinking about "the car" and "the body" as a physical structure comes from working with Ashley Byler in her last piece, where were were cars that had hydrolics, using our bodies as these bouncing hunks of metal. Much of this piece is a little crush-note to her, almost as if i'm saying "so if i started with your definition of how the body is a car, here's what i'd do with it".

Ben Guest said...

I'd say the car chases in "Death Proof" and in "Terminator 2" are the best. "Matrix Reloaded" has too much CGI...

Sarah A.O. Rosner/The AOMC said...

Thanks for the suggestions Ben! I haven't seen either so i'll have to check them out!

I just got back from seeing Marya Wether's Kinetic Cinema at Chez Bushwick - Badass Babes (a screening of women kicking ass in action movies) and i'm wondering if i should now broaden my search to incorporate more kinds of crashes (body against body for instance)into the piece.

Yum. That's all i've got to say for now.