Friday, November 02, 2007

Role of Language in Crash

What role did language play in the movie Crash?
How did specific language barriers or differences in dialect contribute to the interactions of characters?


KatiZ said...
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Stitches said...

Language played a big part in how the audience percieved the ethnicity of each character in the movie Crash. One example is Cameron, the character played by Terrence Howard. Whenever he was talking to a white person, he automatically dropped into a "white dialect" (very clean cut words, doesn't drop any syllables). However, when he talked to any black person, or when he felt he should be seen as a sterotypical black person, then he changed his speech pattern to that of a stereotypical black man. How we speak is one of the biggest indicators of how we wish to be seen by the people around us. In the case of Cameron, he really wanted to fit in, and so he changed his speech patterns depending on who he was with in order to do that.

susanna.w said...

I think that language played a large part in the interactions between characters. Sometimes, a person would speak in a foreign language and then the person that interact with would immediately condemn them as being stupid or being a terrorist. Just because someone spoke a different language, they weren't American enough or deserving. Different dialects, especially with slang in african americans , affected the way the character was perceived or acted. When a character spoke in a more 'black' sound, someone else would think of them as more violent or criminal than if he had spoken more 'white'. When the Persian storekeeper and the Latino lock-changer spoke, the Persian obviously didn't understand why he still had to buy a new door when the lock was fixed which caused him to begin yelling at him nonsensically in a foreign language which also provoked the lock-changer. These kind of interactions which immediately spark anger and confusion cause many of the conflicts in Crash.

KatiZ said...

I think that language plays a big role in this movie and the way people perceive each other. We talked some about how Cameron changes his word choice depending on who he is talking to and his emotions, but even looking at how both characters who were hit by a Chinese person talk when they get out of the car such as "what you no see my blake light" in the beginning of the movie, which just furthers the stereotypes about the race. The fact that after the insurance lady gets hit in Chinatown at the end of the movie, and gets out of her car and yells, don't even talk to me if you can't speak American. This reinforces how many people perceive Chinese people as unable to speak English or that they are not actually U.S. citizens; which is ironic in that Ludicrous has just let out a bunch of illegal Thai or Cambodian people into Chinatown.

Wrightla said...

I saw language playing an important part in how the different races viewed each other. In the movie set scene the white man tells Cameron that the black actor was not speaking "black" enough. This recurs throughout the movie in the interactions between the gun shop owner and the arab man. In the communication between the asians and other characters it is the most striking.

I picked up on the barrier between the asian characters most readily because it formed the largest obstacle to communication. When the car thief steals the van and finds the groups of asians in the back it is evident that there is a language barrier between him and them. They don't speak any english, because of this I viewed his action of releasing them in the chinatown area of the town as even more ethical of him. His decision to not take the money and even release and give money to this people who he can't speak to is powerful and more powerful than if they could speak English.


penguin said...

When searching for this film online I found the Internet Movie Database website that has all of the titles that it went under in different countries.

Collision- Belgium / France
Crash- Greece / Spain
Сблъсъци - Bulgaria
Ütközések - Hungary
Alto impacto - Mexico
Alto impacto- Venezuela
Contatto fisico- Italy
No Limite- Brazil
Fatalna nesreca- Serbia
L.A. Crash- Germany
Vidas cruzadas- Argentina

On the note of perception, does the changing of the title to fit a different language change one's perception of the movie?

KellyR. said...

How many times did people ask, "Can you speak English" or "Are you an American" like just because you have a certain portrate from another country or have an accent means that you aren't a real american. These perception and langauge ways of knowning turned out to be the real POK's

StarD said...

It was seen that the language depended upon what person is talking to who. If you see, the beginning of the movie where the two black people were just walking down the street and they talked about how they were being segregated against. But then near the ending they go their own separate ways. The black person who stated that he didn't want to ride the bus because it increased the stereotype, actually in the end rode the bus going against his own "belief" in a sense. His way of communicating with others changed right after the whole incident with the cops and the movie producer.

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