Speed Racer and the invention of Crack Cinema

April 15, 2008

Here is the the trailer for Wachowski Brothers film, “Speed Racer”. I’m sure a lot of you may have seen it. I like the work of these guys (the Wachowski’s I mean, especially Larry who is into S&M and has a dominatrix girl friend), though the last Matrix movie was poor. I liked their V For Vendetta producing/writing effort, from a few years ago and Bound is a perverse low budget guilty pleasure.

While I generally dislike CGI, these guys are being creative with it like Robert Rodrigeuz did in Sin City, i.e. to capture a whole new look and color spectrum only possible with the help of CGI, that also recreates the hyper energy or actual look of comics/cartoons.

The films colors look dazzling and startling… like the photographs of that (rumored) famous crack head photographer David La Chapelle. Indeed, the look of “Speed Racer” I will dub the first example of “Crack Cinema”, whose bright and flashing spectrums of color seems to be the cinematic equivalent of crack. Hollywood has been heading in this direction since the hyper action films of Don Simpson and his partner Jerry Bruckheimer and their ‘borrowing’ of the look of Michael Mann’s work. Bruckheimer produced “Thief”, so can perhaps truly claim to have helped invent this look. Another famous coke head Paul Schrader influenced this look as well with American Gigolo. Simposon/Bruckheimer added silly and childish scripts, pumped up machismo, action sequences that look they were directed by or for someone on coke, etc., that all pepper their films and they established a new aesthetic. I dub this look, logically called, ‘Cocaine Cinema’ that appeared through Simpson/Bruckheimer in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Since then, this aesthetic has become the predominant language of the American action film, ever since. It can be seen in the cheap imitation of an imitation works of Hollywood hacks like Brett Ratner, Mc G (!) and other Simpson wannabe’s.

The stakes have been raised though, it seems as the Wachowski brothers have moved from ‘coke’ to ‘crack cinema’. How appropriate this comes from the production house of Joel Silver – who was supposedly the basis for Saul Rubinek’s Lee Donowitz character in True Romance.

Crack cinema appears to be here, people. Look out, Bling Bling…

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