Entertainment Weekly reports that author J.G. Ballard has died at his London home. He was 78. Though the mainstream world may know him best for Empire of the Sun, the author’s examination of his own childhood that was made into a film by Steven Spielberg, our community probably knows him best for his work that leaned into darker corners. Frequently employing the tropes of science-fiction, Ballard came up with some sharp work that also lent itself to adaptation. His infamous Crash was filmed by David Cronenberg.
Great related personal note: In one of the film classes that I teach, I show Do the Right Thing. As an assignment, I asked the class to find a similarly-themed film and write an examination comparing the message-delivery styles of the two works. One of my suggestions for possibilities was Crash, as directed by Paul Haggis. The next week, a student came is and said, “Okay, so I watched Crash, but I have no idea what f****** in car accidents had to do with racism.”