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CRASH
Introduction and Teaching Approach

Outline
1) Introduction to “Crash” • Genre • Themes and Narrative strategies • Formal and stylistic elements 2) Approaching “Crash” in the classroom 3) Possible classroom activities • The portrayal of L.A. in “Crash” • Crashing characters

Introduction to “Crash”
Genre: Episodic Film • Large cast of characters  Daily lives and interactions • Parallel chapters  Merge • Creation of a microcosm: The film reduces L.A. to a manageable cast of characters  Effects: Focus on interpersonal relationships + omniscient point of view for the viewer

Introduction to “Crash”
Themes and Narrative strategies: • Violent interpersonal contact • Interpersonal and interracial encounters  Crashes • Links are created between the characters:
• • • • • • Experiences of racism Urban isolation Literal car crashes Cars (protective shells  Isolation) Snow Christian imagery (St. Christopher, angel)

Introduction to “Crash”
Formal and stylistic elements:  Rapid cross-cutting  Montage, continual camera motion  Scenes choreographed to music  Rhyming visual threads and graphic matches (e.g. driving cars, walking through doors)  to demonstrate that there are connections

“Crash” in the classroom
• Appropriate for: grade 11 / 12 • Themes: Identity, social relations, tolerance, Multiculturalism, racism, prejudices, stereotypes

Rahmenlehrplan Englisch Sek II: 4.1 Individuum und Gesellschaft • Personal relations in their social context • Aims and ambitions 4.2 Nationale und kulturelle Identität • Overcoming prejudices in society • Ethnic diversity

Classroom activities
1. The portrayal of L.A. in “Crash” • Viewing of the intro-scene (before whole movie) • Pre-viewing: Text “Los Angeles”  Framework • Tasks: reading, summary and discussion in class (What information is new to you? Personal experience? Anything curious?)

Classroom activities
1. The portrayal of L.A. in “Crash” • While-viewing: 0:00:45 to 00:03:21 • Task: What impressions of L.A. does the scene convey? • Group a) Concentrate on the lighting and sound! • Group b) Concentrate on the speech!

• Post-viewing: Collection of impressions + discussion

Classroom activities
1. The portrayal of L.A. in “Crash” a) Lighting + sound: traffic, chaos, blurriness, darkness, gloominess, threatening, fear, desperation b) Speech: open-spaced city, you don’t bump into people, people are lonely and isolated, they have violent encounters to feel something

Classroom activities
2. Crashing Characters • Viewing the whole movie • Incorporation of the theme crash • Effect of the crash • Interconnection of the characters • Pre-viewing: Introduction to the characters

Classroom activities
Anthony – Car thief, African-American Jean Cabot – housewife, Rick Cabot's wife, Caucasian/white Rick Cabot – District Attorney, Jean Cabot's husband, Caucasian/white Farhad – shop owner, Persian Thommy Hanson – police officer, Caucasian/white Daniel Ruiz – locksmith, Hispanic

Classroom activities
John Ryan - police officer, Caucasian/white Cameron Thayer - television director, AfricanAmerican Christine Thayer - Cameron Thayer's wife, African-American Graham Waters - police detective, Peter Waters' brother, African-American Peter Waters - car thief, Graham Waters' brother, African-American

Classroom activities
2. Crashing Characters • While-viewing: Students are asked to pair up, each pair has to focus on 2 characters • Task: Get together in pairs. Each of you can choose a character to observe while watching the movie. Take notes about the character’s connection to the other 10 main characters.

• Post-viewing: Each pair presents their findings on a poster

Classroom activities
2. Crashing Characters Possible worksheet:
Jean Cabot Rick Cabot Thommy Hanson Daniel Ruiz

Farhad
Peter Waters

Classroom activities
2. Crashing Characters • Post-viewing: • Collecting the students’ observations • In class plenum with poster • Aim: Character network

Asian guy‘s wife

Asian guy

Classroom activities
2. Crashing Characters • Discussion: • Besides the car crash, the characters “crash“ all the time in L.A. • Question: Why do the characters crash and how is this connected to Los Angeles?

Classroom activities
2. Crashing Characters • Discussion: • Besides the car crash, the characters “crash“ all the time in L.A. • Question: Why do the characters crash and how is this connected to Los Angeles?
• • • • Racism Prejudices Ethnicities -> Mexican boarder Crime

CRASH
Introduction and Teaching Approach

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