After a long battle with prostate cancer, British novelist J. G. Ballard passed away in his home in west London on Sunday at the age of 78. Ballard might not have been a big name in Hollywood, nor lent his time to the world of Tinsel and screenwriting, but his novels did make for two radically different and unforgettable films.

First, there was Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun -- the story of Ballard's expat childhood in China and his experiences in an internment camp when the Japanese invaded during World War II. This also happens to be the film that truly kicked off Christian Bale's career (he played the young, fictionalized version of the writer). Ballard once wrote: "In many ways my entire fiction is the dissection of a deep pathology that I had witnessed in Shanghai and later in the postwar world."

This notion adds a whole other dimension to the other notable film made from his work: David Cronenberg's Crash, which saw James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger, and Rosanna Arquette explore the world of sexual energy bred out of car crashes. Roger Ebert said of the film: "It downloads gigabytes of information about sex, it discovers our love affair with cars, and it combines them in a mistaken algorithm. The result is challenging, courageous and original--a dissection of the mechanics of pornography."

J.G. Ballard, you will be missed.

Perhaps with his passing, Ballard's work will now get new life in Hollywood. Is there any you'd like to see on the big screen?

[via The Hollywood Reporter]
categories Cinematical