Just saw Michael Mann's (a.k.a Miami Vice guy) "Collateral." Couldn't help but make connections between that movie and J.G. Ballard's novel Crash. Ballard's book deconstructs our popular/contemporary notion of psychological depth in a very straightforward manner. While the movie seems to retain more of a traditional feel of psychological depth, the same elements seem to accumulate. Main difference is that the Jamie Foxx's character Max develops an ethical code building upon Cruise's "overman" character (adaptive mastery), folding in a certain self-interestedness, and in concert with his surroundings. The moment with the coyote(s) illustrates the difference between the two characters. Vincent maintains a hermetically sealed egoism (represented by his briefcase--as well as his inability to function outside of that sealed/created identity) while Max allows a certain permeation (like his cab--he keeps it clean, but depends upon interaction). Association with Vincent is death and association with Max means life. Circulation requires interaction and continually re-relating to your surroundings. Just like a coyote living in the midst of 17 million suburbanites, Max creates his "Island Limo" not as a separate reality, but as an affective relation to, an affirmation of, his surroundings. Max is the true coyote character.

The notion of endless circulation (especially in Vincent's foreshadowed death on the subway/train) parallels that of Ballard's book. I imagine reading Crash and Nietzsche's "Truth and Lying in an Extramoral Sense" in concert with this movie would pretty much illustrate what I believe makes up the core of postmodern/postindustrial life.

Surface, night, circulation--all of the stuff that make Baudrillard the poet of the postmodern.

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