SOFT RIOT

A FEW BITS OF BALLARD IN FILM

05 September 2011

Being a rather large consumer of watching films in industrial quantities, especially as of late, I came across some online segments of film adaptations of JG Ballard novels that step outside the more well known ones done by Cronenberg or Spielberg (the two “Bergs”). The first is an early 70s black and white adaption of Crash staring JG himself by the unfortunately monikered Harvey Cokliss, whose name myself and M Lyle had a good chuckle at recently when watching a film he produced in the 80s called Black Moon Rising with Tommy Lee Jones and Linda Hamilton. Getting off topic hereā€¦

This version relies more on the actual narrative of the book as it was written, spoken above the film which is less plot driven than the Cronenberg version aimed to be.

CRASH (1971) Part 1 of 2

The second is a version of the relatively plotless The Atrocity Exhibition directed by Jonathan Weiss in the year 2000. There is a part-by-part version on YouTube with over-dubbed JG Ballard commentary about the film. Apparently he quite liked this version. I’ve still yet to watch the whole thing in its entirety myself.

THE ATROCITY EXHIBITION (2000) Part 1

I’ve always imagined some of his later work like Cocaine Nights or Super-Cannes would make good modern day thrillers or his older pieces such as The Crystal World nice artsy, eye candy science fiction but the risk is high for disappointment on such film adaptations so it’s likely best such ambitions are kept on the “down low” for the time being.

Meanwhile, this film by Victoria, BC-based director Panos Cosmatos looks like a watcher. An acquaintance of acquaintance, namely through his older, more “DIY” work in the Victoria music scene with bands like Atlas Stragetic (now Wolf Parade) and Frog Eyes (?) with album cover art, etc. , it’s pretty impressive seeing this far more grand vision come to life. Some of the soundtrack is done my Jeremy Schmidt of Sinoia Caves and Black Mountain fame:

BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW (2010) Trailer