Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Steel Carnage

A month or so ago I was very moved by the Senna documentary, which now seems like a too-timely release with the death of two-time Indy winner Dan Wheldon at the Las Vegas Speedway on Sunday. It's a spectacular tragedy from afar -- Real Steel, as it were, Twisted Metal. Fifteen cars and one championship driver killed.

One can only imagine the horror of being in this crash, whether you survived, were injured, or, for poor Dan, killed. It brings up all sort of questions, philosophical and regulatory. It's the thing that makes you remember that racing cars at high speeds is exceedingly dangerous, that's why there's a premium paid for those that are good at it. It's the thing you usually forget -- and want to forget -- when you're watching a race.

The crazy thing about this one is the footage captured during the event and played after, replaying it from so many different angles. Like a videogame, but real and deadly:

At times it looks like a 3D animated reconstruction. I'll bet it'll be studied for movement, to understand what happened and how to prevent these kinds of accidents in the future...and to for some sort of special effects extravaganza to come, someday not so far away, to a multiplex near you.

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