The Whole Shebang!

The Whole Shebang!

Date: Wednesday, April 9, 1997 2:25:37 PM

From: Aaron G.

Subj: response 1 (informal?)

To: Earl


After watching the film Crash my first reaction was to think about the relationship between sex, death, car accidents and shock. By shock, I mean the
destablizing physical and mental feeling one gets after being in a car accident
or during the short time after an orgasm. So in this sense I am looking at
shock as a physical and or mental reaction to bodily trauma.

I say trauma
because of the way you described sex as an event that undoes the subject, which
is both an exciting and terrifying idea to me.

The first crash in the film was a head on collision between Holly Hunter and James Sapder. On the moment of impact Hunter’s husband is jolted from the
drivers seat (can we assume that as a the husband he was always in the drivers
seat?). He penetrates the window of his car and then again through the window
of Spader’s car, where he ends up face first in the passengers seat.

He is
dead. The next series of shots go back and forth between Hunter and Spader as
they stare at each other. The are both in a state of shock from the traumatic
event that just occured and both are paralyzed in their seats. The only
interaction is a gaze that is held between them since their seats, in
perspective cars, are exactly opposite. There is something sexual about this
gaze because they have come undone, much like one would after having sex.

Another interesting element to the sexuality in this scene is that after the
shock Hunter undoes her seat belt which exposes her breast. In the scene the
sexual act is subverted into a car crash, which is the first even in the
construction of the new sexual subjectivity of Hunter and Spader, who fetishize
car crashes and sex in cars through the rest of the film.

It seems to me that the reason they desire car accidents and sex in carsis becasue they recognize and associate the relationship between the shock that
is experienced in a car crash and the one that is experienced through sex, but
this devlops after the event of the first crash.

Since sex undoes the subject is sex traumatic?


I still have trouble with
the relationship between
sex and death.

I still have trouble with the relationship between sex and death. If
sex undoes the subject and subjectivity is defined by the undoing of the ego,
then would a simulated death or s/m phantasy define and annihilate the subject
at the same time? Someone was telling me that it is the idea of death and the
knowledge that it will at some point happen is what keeps the subject alive.

[I know this is obvious but while I was reading Studies on Hysteria I couldn’t but think about how Freud was developing this theories on sexuality through his studies on hysteria. In the way that the sexuality of the subject is constructed through experiences early in a child’s life. The prime example being Emmy Von N. walking in on her maid.]

How much did it cost to be treated by Freud? Did he advertise?


aaron g.
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