"But you did a great job of making me feel safe."
May 27, 2015 1:32 PM   Subscribe

 
I'd give my left arm to shoot like that
posted by GuyZero at 1:36 PM on May 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


but we all agree that the ending was weak and plothole-y, yes?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:40 PM on May 27, 2015


I think the movie is actually more feminist than this tumblr gives it credit for. You could have swapped the genders of either or both of those two roles and changed almost nothing else about the movie. It would have been a little weird for a male Furiosa trying to get back to the clearly female-only group but it wouldn't be the only weird thing that goes unexplained in that movie (I'm looking at you flame-thrower guitar player). The answer to all the questions that start with "why" in that movie is, "Because they're ALL insane!" so a gender swap wouldn't be a big deal.

There is never even a hint that Max sees her as anything other than just another person trying to survive.
posted by VTX at 1:41 PM on May 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


I just came across this on my feed and it made me smile. Oh, his WTF face is priceless.
posted by naju at 1:45 PM on May 27, 2015 [84 favorites]


Yeah, I think the part of that movie that almost made me jump out of my seat and start fist-pumping was that last parting look that they share. None of the usual romantic notes (you figure with a movie like this that either the two leads end up together or they share a moment of grieving for the Romance That Could Never Be Because a Man Has Got to Ramble or whatever), just mutual respect and peace, bud, see you around the bend. Oh, it was so good.
posted by invitapriore at 1:48 PM on May 27, 2015 [34 favorites]


but we all agree that the ending was weak and plothole-y, yes?

We certainly do not.
posted by maxsparber at 1:55 PM on May 27, 2015 [105 favorites]


Poor Max came out of that with an absolutely horrible case of tinnitus to add to his PTSD.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:56 PM on May 27, 2015 [18 favorites]


Also good: Tom Hardy Loves Every Dog
posted by almostmanda at 1:59 PM on May 27, 2015 [29 favorites]


weird thing that goes unexplained in that movie (I'm looking at you flame-thrower guitar player)

Doof Warrior Is His Own Explanation.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:10 PM on May 27, 2015 [41 favorites]


Foci for Analysis: "but we all agree that the ending was weak and plothole-y, yes?"

??? ??????? ?? ?????

VTX: "I'm looking at you flame-thrower guitar player"

In the grim future of mad max, playing a bard is amazing.
posted by boo_radley at 2:17 PM on May 27, 2015 [47 favorites]


I just came across this on my feed and it made me smile. Oh, his WTF face is priceless.

I saw the headline about it on TMS and I figured it was some kooky reporter but it's the movie critic for the Toronto Star. WTF? I thought the Star was a pretty legit paper?
posted by kmz at 2:17 PM on May 27, 2015


HOW CAN YOU PEOPLE TALK OR WRITE ABOUT THIS FILM WITHOUT USING ALL CAPS!?!
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:18 PM on May 27, 2015 [41 favorites]


After that shot, I really wanted Max to wander around with a finger in his ear going, "Mwop... Mwop... Mwop."

I don't care if it would ruin MY IMMERSION, it would be hilarious.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:19 PM on May 27, 2015 [27 favorites]


This movie was horrible and I feel like all the talk about it being feminist was just a trick to get people who would otherwise have no interest in seeing a 2 hour long car chase, to go see it. The trick worked, and I walked out and got a refund with half an hour to spare. HOW MANY EXPLOSIONS AM I SUPPOSED TO WATCH IN ONE SITTING?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:22 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


ALL THE EXPLOSIONS!!!
posted by kokaku at 2:24 PM on May 27, 2015 [84 favorites]


I think the movie is actually more feminist than this tumblr gives it credit for

Maybe I'm misreading the tumblr, but I don't think it's intended to be ironic; I think it's attempting to point out legitimately feminist aspects of the film.
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:25 PM on May 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also I made this while waiting for my friend to get out of the movie and this is as good a place as any I'll ever get to share it.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:25 PM on May 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


We've been having a lovely discussion about the film over on Fanfare. It changed my mind about the movie, made me appreciate there's a lot more depth to it than I realized. Now I need to go see it again.
posted by Nelson at 2:27 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I guess it's a lot to handle if you don't generally watch action movies. Because Mad Max: Fury Road blows all of them out of the water.

Anyway, I've renounced atheism and will join the first cult to spring up around the Doof Warrior.
posted by peripathetic at 2:27 PM on May 27, 2015 [27 favorites]


It seems like it frames things as, "I am much more attractive because I'm so feminist." I think the movie is even more feminist because "attraction" doesn't ever enter the equation.
posted by VTX at 2:29 PM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


people who would otherwise have no interest in seeing a 2 hour long car chase

Yeah, and what's with all the damn superheroes in "Age of Ultron"?
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:29 PM on May 27, 2015 [29 favorites]


And this is where this film gets all the violence-against-women stuff right, because it boldly and frankly positions it for what it is, stripping it of the male gaze, of sexuality, of uncontrollable male urges. There are no on screen rape threats, rape attempts, or rapes because they would detract from the entire point. You have to strip all that away to see it for what it is: Sexism is about power. Sexism is about controlling the means of production.
Kameron Hurley: Wives, Warlords and Refugees: The People Economy of Mad Max.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:29 PM on May 27, 2015 [41 favorites]


Anyway, I've renounced atheism and will join the first cult to spring up around the Doof Warrior.

I will carry you myself to Valhalla!

(Peripatethic trips)

Mediocre!
posted by maxsparber at 2:31 PM on May 27, 2015 [20 favorites]


If you fundamentally have a problem with the genre of action movies, then no, Mad Max won't necessarily be to your taste. It's an incredibly well-made action movie; by which I mean it's beautifully shot, coherently edited, has impressive action set pieces that clearly required a great deal of planning and skill to pull off, is anchored by two strong performances from the leads, and manages to fit in some good character stuff and clear and simple themes on top of all that. And yes, it is an explicitly feminist film. It's just that it's all that and yeah, ultimately it's also a two hour long chase scene. Just about every review I read of the movie was fairly explicit about that. This wasn't exactly a genre bait and switch here.
posted by yasaman at 2:33 PM on May 27, 2015 [25 favorites]


Peter Howell is the Star's longest (or one of the longest) serving movie critics. Normally I find his reviews really reliable and dependable when it comes helping me decide if I want to see a movie or not.

I didn't watch the video of the press conference, but I read the transcript. I get the feeling he was trying to address all the negative, anti-feminism criticism the movie has received in a light, jokey way (although I'm willing to be corrected of that impression), and failed miserably when doing so. I must admit I was a bit shocked when I read his name attached to that exchange, but he's got a lot of good faith built up with me, so I'm willing to call this a swing and a miss and hope that something similar doesn't happen again.
posted by sardonyx at 2:33 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I haven't seen a movie in a long time that is more clear about the interpretive angles it's playing towards, and Logically Well-Grounded Narrative is not one of them. The question, then, is whether the inconsistencies in the plot open up new storytelling opportunities that justify those breaks, which I think is the case, and whether the movie is able to isolate those inconsistencies so that they don't detract from everything else that the movie is doing, which I also think is the case. Folk criticism is all about the plothole analysis, though, which is tragically constricting in the cases where we're not talking about a Christopher Nolan movie.*

* Imagine me wearily shaking my head here at the irony of his movies consistently failing to deliver on the promises they make in this arena even as they pander so desperately to that type of interpretive urge.
posted by invitapriore at 2:36 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am much more attractive because I'm so feminist.

I wonder if this is why everybody (myself included) is falling over themselves to praise this movie.
posted by Flashman at 2:37 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


i couldnt imagine that a person could see the trailer, the poster, any of the previous films, or even just know any small thing about the series in general, and then be surprised that fury road was basically an epic 2 hour long car chaseplosion. it delivered exactly what was promised x10, with the *addition* of badass female leads, feminist underpinnings and toppling patriarchy action!
posted by young_son at 2:39 PM on May 27, 2015 [24 favorites]


One of my favorite things about it was how each of the major set pieces was climax-worthy. It's like it ate a bunch of lesser action movies to absorb their powers.
posted by invitapriore at 2:39 PM on May 27, 2015 [74 favorites]


Anyone else see Locke, the other Tom Hardy road movie? Lots of dangerous driving choices in that one too.
posted by mullacc at 2:40 PM on May 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


"I am turning 30 years old next week. I’ve been a fan of action film my entire life. And I have NEVER seen a physically disabled, kickass, female lead character in a Hollywood movie EVER – not once, until yesterday."

--This tumblr review--which does contain spoilers, by the way, so you've been warned--is what's cemented my desire to see the new Mad Max.
posted by magstheaxe at 2:41 PM on May 27, 2015 [31 favorites]


Yo, I heard it was feminist and tricked into seeing it too so I went and it turns out it was a series of projected images onto the wall of a darkened room, simulating motion through rapid transition and accompanied by recorded audio played over speakers. It was a horrible experience, luckily I was able to walk out and get a refund on my street cred.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:42 PM on May 27, 2015 [88 favorites]


I wonder if this is why everybody (myself included) is falling over themselves to praise this movie.

There is no one thing that makes this movie what it is.

OK, maybe the endless car chase scenes. Completely unparalleled.

But Fusiosa as a character, the director's lack of interest in indulgent gore shots, whether in fights or in the caesarean stillbirth, Max & Furiosa's relationship, the escaping women's quiet yet complex characters, etc etc. There's no one thing. That's the amazing part. The movie has such a clear conception of what it wants to show and at the same time doesn't make any huge statements about it.

If you want a movie that choses "show" over "tell" every single time, this is it.
posted by GuyZero at 2:45 PM on May 27, 2015 [54 favorites]


wouldn't be the only weird thing that goes unexplained in that movie (I'm looking at you flame-thrower guitar player)

...um, because IT'S AWESOME...

what other possible explanation would you need?
posted by ghostiger at 2:46 PM on May 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


wouldn't be the only weird thing that goes unexplained in that movie (I'm looking at you flame-thrower guitar player)

I took my 14 year-old daughter to see Fury Road (although she probably would have preferred Furry Road, kids today, amirite?) because I wanted to see it and she actually asked to go see it. I think she had seen all the Tumblr buzz about it being feministish but in the end it was flamethrowing guitar-bass-amp-rig dude that she liked the best.

She kept telling everyone "he had a guitar that was a flamethrower AND ALSO A BASS" as if the ALSO A BASS part was the most amazing element of it all.
posted by GuyZero at 2:51 PM on May 27, 2015 [49 favorites]


Haven't gotten to see the movie yet. I really really want to. Given the origin of the original Mad Max film, if it avoids male dominated power through sexual conquest ... Well... The franchise has come a long long way.

Of course, Max has been wandering the wastelands for like 30-40 years... That's a lot of time for reflection and introspection for not only him but for the bad guys as well.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:52 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


wouldn't be the only weird thing that goes unexplained in that movie (I'm looking at you flame-thrower guitar player)

He's their fife-and-drum corps, obviously! They have no radios, so they need some way of keeping the army organized, and the only way to get a message through over that roaring mess of badly-muffled war machines is a MASSIVE SOUND TRUCK.

I don't know why he has a flamethrower, though.

Also, he's a great in-movie excuse for the musical score played during the chase scenes.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:54 PM on May 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


Mad Max: Fury Road blows all of them out of the water

I thought it was set in the desert, where there isn't much water...?
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:54 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping end the flame-throwing guitar player issue/derail by quoting myself.

The answer to all the questions that start with "why" in that movie is, "Because they're ALL insane!"

Why do you bring a custom built and resource intensive vehicle with drummers and a guitar player who does nothing but play his flame throwing guitar (and panics when unable to do so) along on your very important chase? BECAUSE EVERYONE IS INSANE!

Why would you team up with a loner (and clearly a violent maniac) as you try to get away from your former home? BECAUSE EVERYONE IS INSANE!

Every question in the movie's universe that you could ask starting with "why" is always answered with some flavor of "because crazy."

Being sane is a weakness in this world and the weak die.
posted by VTX at 2:55 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I wonder if this is why everybody (myself included) is falling over themselves to praise this movie.

The photography is amazing. Too many post-apocalypse films are dark and "gritty", desaturated (see any Zach Snyder film ever made). Fury Road is super saturated, with colours digitally brightened rather than muted. The world of Max isn't perhaps a place to aspire to, but it has beauty, even in the warboys.

The writing subtle. As pointed out above, it's fundamentally a film about rescuing the damsels in distress, but there's no scenes of direct humiliation or violence. Furiosa's disability is never mentioned in dialogue, it's just part of who she is. The world is presented as it is with little exposition or crude backstory scenes.

Then layer on the mind blowing stunts, the amazing vehicles, the clever little references. It's a film that seems like it will really reward rewatching to catch all the details . It's not just a really well-done action movie, it's just a good movie, full stop.
posted by bonehead at 2:59 PM on May 27, 2015 [28 favorites]


Maybe I'm misreading the tumblr, but I don't think it's intended to be ironic; I think it's attempting to point out legitimately feminist aspects of the film.

I don't think it's ironic, either, but I see see roughly two different "feminist" approaches you could take in a film:

1) Taking gendered expectations and flipping them - so the woman, not the man, is the one driving the car; the man, not the woman, is the one who is nervous about being in the car with a potentially dangerous stranger; and so on and so forth

2) Throwing gendered expectations out the window, so that characterization and role within the narrative doesn't have anything to do with gender (unless relevant) and characters of both genders get depth and badassery without it having to be a commentary

I think there's value in both right now, but I think we get more of the first than the second, and I want to see more of the second.

(I haven't seen it yet tho so I have no idea if I agree this is what's going on with the film.)
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 2:59 PM on May 27, 2015


God I want the pen-and-paper RPG version of this movie so badly. Like Gamma World stacked on Car Wars and cranked until the handle breaks off
posted by rifflesby at 3:00 PM on May 27, 2015 [17 favorites]


Not Gamma world, Aftermath.
posted by bonehead at 3:03 PM on May 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


I had the "is the movie feminist?" debate with a co-worked the other day, and they pointed to the "Max has the idea that saves everyone" (i.e., go back!) as him being the "smart" one/having the good idea and ultimately, undermining Furiosa's leadership role.

I responded that I thought "sidekick convinces main character that they have the strength to go back and kill the bad guy" was a common enough trope and that Furiosa still made the final decision. And, then, I found this Tumblr, and saw the one that says:

hey girl: here’s an idea, but… it’s up to you. You’re the boss of this operation.


And now I really wish I could've pulled it out during the conversation.
posted by damayanti at 3:03 PM on May 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


I just came across this on my feed and it made me smile. Oh, his WTF face is priceless.
posted by naju at 1:45 PM on May 27


I love it! Evidently this was the longer exchange:
Howell: I have a question for Tom Hardy. Tom, I’ll preface my remarks by saying that I have five sisters, a wife, a daughter, and a mother so I know what it’s like to be outgunned by estrogen. But I just wanted to ask you, as you were reading the script, did you ever think ‘Why are all these women in here? I thought this was supposed to be a man’s movie?’
Hardy: No. [literally everyone laughs] Not for one minute.
Theron: Good for you.
Hardy: That’s kind of obvious. But like, but also in reference to the concept of having a script, that would have been nice. That was more of a concern.
Someone paraphrased the question as: "Allow me to preface my TOTES SEXIST comment by explaining why I think it's perfectly acceptable to act TOTES SEXIST because WOMYN AMIRITE?"
posted by erratic meatsack at 3:03 PM on May 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


I thought it was set in the desert, where there isn't much water...?


You remind me of a classmate who always had to make the "gorilla" joke whenever we discussed wartime guerilla tactics.

But I gather you haven't watched the movie, so spoiler alert, there is water in the Fury Road desert, quite a lot of it in fact, and it's monopolized by the villain in the movie.
posted by peripathetic at 3:03 PM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Of course the blow back from Men's Blogs has been hilarious with calls for boycotts and the like.

Charlize Theron kept showing up a lot in the trailers, while Tom Hardy (Mad Max) seemed to have cameo appearances. Charlize Theron sure talked a lot during the trailers, while I don’t think I’ve heard one line from Tom Hardy. And finally, Charlize Theron’s character barked orders to Mad Max.

Ha!!

Anyways - *spoiler alert* the one odd thing about the movie is that EVERY sympathetic male character exits by the end of the film.

Personally - I found the whole story line around the War Boys heartbreaking. The lies that are told to young men to commit violence is awful.
posted by helmutdog at 3:04 PM on May 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


Amazon reviews for edible silver spray. You really won't get it if you haven't seen the movie, but if you have it's hilarious.

What's your Mad Max name? (BuzzFeed)

And, yes, it's a great film. bonehead (which is also a great Mad Max name) makes a good point about the photography; it makes you wonder if we'd have gotten a very different, and vastly better, John Carter film if George Miller had directed.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:05 PM on May 27, 2015 [13 favorites]


I love start simplicity of the plot: "we're getting the hell out of here, cause this guy is completely terrible." Everything proceeds from there and it makes total sense.

The scene where Furiousa takes the shot is great because so much passes between those two in those moments and its mostly wordless. It's all said with expressions and body language.

My only problem is it'll probably be a week before I see it a third time.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:12 PM on May 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


I would also like to submit that if you're concerned about plot holes with this movie, you're missing the point. Generally speaking, complaining about nitpicky plot hole type stuff is not a fruitful avenue of critical analysis or discussion. In fact, it tends to shut down actually interesting critical analysis. There are times when plot holes are a symptom of greater flaws in a work, in which case, feel free to point them out and complain about them! And there are also times when a person's specific specialized knowledge means their suspension of disbelief is out the window and they can't engage with the work in good faith, and that is also fine! But these two articles linked in the Fanfare thread point out why plot hole nitpicking and fan theorizing are sometimes antithetical to critical analysis and discussion, and I think they make valuable points.

So I mean, ask questions of the movie and its ending, and construct scenarios about what happens next! That's part of what good art wants you to do! But yo, if you're gonna start going on about how the Doof Warrior is totally implausible for X, Y, and Z reasons and how actually, the society of the Citadel is unsustainable because when they turn on the waterfall it releases x amount of gallons and doing that regularly would drain an aquifer with x amount of water and blah blah blah, and it doesn't matter. It makes no fundamental difference to the film's themes.

To attempt to outsmart the movie with this sort of nitpicking offers little to no critical value, especially in a movie as lean and show-don't-tell as this. Doof Warrior needs no explanation. The movie did not need to present you with a five-year plan for the continued sustainability of the Citadel. Don't worry about Furiosa dying of infection from her wounds. Don't obsess over why Max now looks like Tom Hardy instead of Mel Gibson. As a film, Mad Max succeeds without addressing any of these things, because it is ultimately not especially necessary to address any of these things.
posted by yasaman at 3:13 PM on May 27, 2015 [43 favorites]


Anita Sarkeesian had a long series of tweets the other day about how Mad Max was in fact not feminist at all.

I didn't really get her point, though, because, you know.
posted by kbanas at 3:14 PM on May 27, 2015


I loved this film and I'm notoriously hard to please when it comes to movies. Part of the reason is that it keeps getting richer the more I think/read about it.

My wife reached over and took my hand during the two hours in the theater and at one point looked at me with concern. I realized that I had been squeezing harder and harder as the tension built and that I should probably ease up a bit. That's a good action movie.
posted by Morrigan at 3:16 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well, the ending is a little pat (I'd been rubbing my hands together hoping for a massive third act as they fought for the Citadel), and there's also a noticeable lack of non-white actors in the film (I counted two).
posted by Flashman at 3:17 PM on May 27, 2015



Amazon reviews for edible silver spray. You really won't get it if you haven't seen the movie, but if you have it's hilarious.

My favorite:

Q: Will this stain my mouth and teeth?
A: IT WILL STAIN THEM WITH GLORY, SHINY AND CHROME.
posted by bibliowench at 3:19 PM on May 27, 2015 [38 favorites]


Sarkeesian's point is a fair one. It's perhaps best summed up in this tweet:
Feminism doesn't simply mean women getting to partake in typical badass "guy stuff". Feminism is about redefining our social value system.
To which, you know, fair play to her. Just one summer tent pole movie isn't enough.

I'd answer though that there's value in evolving escapist fare like Fury Road. Redefining our social system has to include redefining art and pop culture too.
posted by bonehead at 3:24 PM on May 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


Also, I just got a super-short hair cut, and my son told me I looked like Furiosa. So now I need to buy him a whole bunch of ice-cream.

Seriously, though, we had the best discussion of feminism, the men's rights movement, and the general awesomeness of the doof warrior on the way home from the movie. And this is with a kid who had previously internalized the Sarkeesian-as-feminist-fun-killer message from his internet forays.
posted by bibliowench at 3:24 PM on May 27, 2015 [27 favorites]


You remind me of a classmate who always had to make the "gorilla" joke whenever we discussed wartime guerilla tactics.

Hey now - even I have some standards!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:27 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't like action films at all.

OMG THIS IS MY FAVORITE FILM OF THE PAST FIVE YEARS I CANT WAIT TO SEE IT A THIRD TIME
posted by Windigo at 3:30 PM on May 27, 2015 [18 favorites]


i really appreciated the symbolism of the ending and dont think it was pat at all. i saw the citadel as a literal manifestation of a structure of power: society as a machine that simply switches strong leaders. the same machine of warpups and administrators literally lifts furiosa up into the power structure.

similarly, i saw the U shaped narrative as a call to action: you can't just isolate with like minded individuals, you have to reclaim the land.

another thing that i havent seen discussed at all is that *this shit is literally going on right now* with boko haram and many others, in situations that look extremely similar, complete with pidgin language and weird names and cult leader warlords. thought that was deep as fuck subject, but nobody has talked about it at all!
posted by young_son at 3:31 PM on May 27, 2015 [52 favorites]


Seriously, though, we had the best discussion of feminism, the men's rights movement, and the general awesomeness of the doof warrior on the way home from the movie. And this is with a kid who had previously internalized the Sarkeesian-as-feminist-fun-killer message from his internet forays.
...
Anita Sarkeesian had a long series of tweets the other day about how Mad Max was in fact not feminist at all.


I think the Feminist Frequency Twitter is a combination of Anita and Jonathon McIntosh, who takes a rather harder line than Anita?
posted by Sebmojo at 3:38 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Sarkeesian has some great points, and I think you pretty much have to concede that the movie downplays the tragic consequences of violence in ways that deserve scrutiny, but I think that she's missing a lot in portraying Furiosa as a narratively male character (making this movie a definitive instance of Type 1 in Kutsuwamushi's typology above). There are elements of that to be sure, but I think the movie does a good job of creating characters whose outlooks and decision-making are mediated by their gender, but aren't narratively determined by it. I think it's also not clear-cut that the movie uncritically adopts the male gaze in depicting the wives. I mean, KathrynT for example had pretty much the opposite interpretation in the FanFare thread, so...¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by invitapriore at 3:38 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


This movie was horrible

Have you...have you checked your back yard for pods?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:38 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Sarkeesian's criticisms go a little too far into making the perfect the enemy of the good.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:39 PM on May 27, 2015 [19 favorites]


this shit is literally going on right now

Dang. You're completely right, and I'm disappointed I haven't read more analysis from that perspective. (And that it didn't occur to me earlier.)
posted by saturday_morning at 3:40 PM on May 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think Sarkeesian's criticisms go a little too far into making the perfect the enemy of the good.

Eh, that implies that there's a cost to airing that sort of criticism, and I don't think that's really the case. I don't entirely agree with her interpretation, but I think it's valuable and well-considered, and I don't see what we get out of having a uniform opinion on whether the movie is feminist or not.
posted by invitapriore at 3:43 PM on May 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


HOW MANY EXPLOSIONS AM I SUPPOSED TO WATCH IN ONE SITTING?

THAT SENTENCE HAD TOO MANY SYLLABLES! APOLOGIZE!

I love this movie so much FLAMETHROWING AXE GUITAR!

Also this comic.
posted by Fleebnork at 3:44 PM on May 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


The pen-and-paper RPG version is Apocalypse World. IT'S SO GOOD.
posted by Jeanne at 3:46 PM on May 27, 2015 [8 favorites]




I am a woman, a feminist, and I love action movies. I see most of them. They are stupid. They are terrible. And I love them. And previously, I pretty much had to just be grateful to the FF movies for existing and showing that women can drive cars. The few really fun, dumb action movies starring women tend to get so panned for no reason, when they are really no more dumb or bad than movies starring men. (Quick: Which is dumber, Salt or Riddick? You don't have to choose! They're both dumb). Honestly, I think Alien was the last action movie that made me quite this happy.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:52 PM on May 27, 2015 [19 favorites]


Reading all your effusive excitement about this film makes me feel like there was a party that I didn't get an invite to. I love action movies in general but just didn't love the action in this. I liked the story but was pretty let down by the visuals.
posted by octothorpe at 3:54 PM on May 27, 2015


Foci for Analysis: "but we all agree that the ending was weak and plothole-y, yes?"

Mmmmmmm, spoilers?
posted by Samizdata at 3:56 PM on May 27, 2015


there was a party that I didn't get an invite to

Well, that's not that surprising, given that you repeatedly pissed all over the movie in the July 2014 thread.
posted by effbot at 3:58 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Time for a Hell Comes to Frogtown remake.
posted by batfish at 3:59 PM on May 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


rifflesby: "God I want the pen-and-paper RPG version of this movie so badly. Like Gamma World stacked on Car Wars and cranked until the handle breaks off"

Dark Future instead of Car Wars.
posted by Samizdata at 4:01 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


HOW CAN YOU PEOPLE TALK OR WRITE ABOUT THIS FILM WITHOUT USING ALL CAPS!?!
posted by scaryblackdeath


Winner. Shut down the thread.
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:01 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I find myself disagreeing with Sarkeesian's tweets about this, but maybe I'm just not grasping her points. For example this: ""We are not things” is a great line, but doesn’t work when the plot and ESPECIALLY the camera treats them like things from start to finish." It's so at odds with how I view the movie - in particular with what I felt was a very keen absence of the male-gaze t&a camera shots usually prevalent in action films.

Did we watch the same thing? Argh.
posted by erratic meatsack at 4:03 PM on May 27, 2015 [14 favorites]


Did we watch the same thing? Argh.

This is a frequent problem with Sarkeesian's approach. I'm going with craven_morhead on this one.
posted by fifthrider at 4:06 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


but was pretty let down by the visuals.

Let me be the first of many to express my disbelief at this statement.
posted by wilful at 4:07 PM on May 27, 2015 [26 favorites]


"but was pretty let down by the visuals.

Let me be the first of many to express my disbelief at this statement."

I was just sitting here trying to think of the least insulting way to say "I'm sorry about that problem with your brain".
posted by rollbiz at 4:11 PM on May 27, 2015 [14 favorites]


I liked the story but was pretty let down by the visuals.

Not every film can be Buckaroo Banzai meets Tom Cruise in Legend.
posted by GuyZero at 4:14 PM on May 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


I feel chagrined that I'm not enough of a fan to remember who poo-poohed the movie in the thread from last year.
posted by maxsparber at 4:14 PM on May 27, 2015


GuyZero: "Not every film can be Buckaroo Banzai meets Tom Cruise in Legend."

AND THEN WE STARTED KISSING LIKE THIS

(mashes star wars figures together)
posted by boo_radley at 4:14 PM on May 27, 2015 [15 favorites]


If you don't like Sarkeesian's review you should try Laurie Penny's: “Mad Max” Is A Feminist Playbook For Surviving Dystopia - "What might happen if women’s rights evaporate has been examined in nightmare detail. Mad Max: Fury Road offers a solution."
This film makes plain what other dystopias have already hinted at: The nightmare of environmental collapse is a double nightmare. The real horror is not the drought and the howling desert and the lack of Wi-Fi and sunscreen. The real horror is other human beings. The question is not how we’re going to survive the droughts, the floods, the dimming of the lights across the world. The question is: How will we survive each other?

The answer is that we will survive together.
also watch Fury Road: B&W trailer
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:20 PM on May 27, 2015 [19 favorites]


I find myself disagreeing with Sarkeesian's tweets about this, but maybe I'm just not grasping her points. For example this: ""We are not things” is a great line, but doesn’t work when the plot and ESPECIALLY the camera treats them like things from start to finish." It's so at odds with how I view the movie - in particular with what I felt was a very keen absence of the male-gaze t&a camera shots usually prevalent in action films.

Did we watch the same thing? Argh.


So, I guess really minor spoilers yeah, but the first time we see the wives they are literally bathing themselves while barely clothed. Yes, there's a specific plot reason why they're barely clothed (and remain so throughout the film, since they only have the one set of skimpy clothes), but come on. There's definitely a titillation aspect there. I'd argue you actually need that aspect to an extent because it sets expectations (wives = eye candy that must be protected) that then get subverted later on in the movie. But it is also possible to have told the story without that scene and taken the depiction of the wives in a different direction that doesn't rely on setting up a stereotype just to blow it up.

I'd disagree with "start to finish," I guess, but that first scene did make me wonder why everyone thought the feminism was so praiseworthy. In general, I do agree to an extent with what I think Sarkeesian's main point was: Mad Max only seems feminist because everything else in the action movie genre is so awful in comparison.
posted by chrominance at 4:21 PM on May 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


So, I guess really minor spoilers yeah, but the first time we see the wives they are literally bathing themselves while barely clothed.

And yet Max is only interested in the water and the vehicle.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:22 PM on May 27, 2015 [38 favorites]


First action movie I ever saw in-theater, first 3D movie, first D-BOX experience. It was amazing- every stimulus turned up to 11, every overloaded sense screaming at once. I think that having no meaningful action-movie experience to compare it to definitely helped. I share the disbelief of a lot of movie critics that it was even able to be made, and throw my hat on the pile with the others about everyone expecting their own idealized form of gender politics. It's a giant step compared to anything else in the popular sphere.
posted by The Zeroth Law at 4:23 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


And Max is only interested in the water and the vehicle.

Sure, but Max isn't the only viewer here. The audience is, too. Just because Max doesn't partake doesn't mean that scene isn't intended to titillate the audience on some level.
posted by chrominance at 4:25 PM on May 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


Just because Max doesn't partake doesn't mean that scene isn't intended to titillate on some level.

All the main characters in the movie are far too beautiful by far. No one is going to see a movie with ugly actors. Sure there's an element of titillation to the scene but at least it serves some marginal part of the plot and isn't totally gratuitous.

To be totally realistic they should cast the movie with two lead actors who were malnourished growing up and who are uncomfortable to look at. That would be gritty realism.

But in the end it's still a movie.
posted by GuyZero at 4:29 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'll readily admit that the bathing scene made me roll my eyes the first time I saw it, and set my expectations for the rest of the movie. (I'm happy that I didn't have anything to worry about in the end.)

In general, I do agree to an extent with what I think Sarkeesian's main point was: Mad Max only seems feminist because everything else in the action movie genre is so awful in comparison.

She seems to be making that point in a weird way. Progress in dumb action flicks is not as important as progress in our actual value system, but I get the same rotten feeling from this as when we make a tiny headway on environmental issues and people are still all "YEAH? WELL WE'RE ALL DOOMED ANYWAY SO LIKE, STOP CELEBRATING."
posted by erratic meatsack at 4:30 PM on May 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


I went through the first half of the film thinking "Huh, a lot of really smart people told me about the feminist chops this movie had, and I'm not really seeing it that much".

Then the second half happened.
posted by rollbiz at 4:32 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just because Max doesn't partake doesn't mean that scene isn't intended to titillate the audience on some level.

This line of reasoning is trending perhaps a little too close to the "dress modestly because men are sex-crazed animals" position. They're escaping from a position of patriarchal subjugation with nothing but the meager clothes on their backs; would it really serve the interests of feminism to only shoot them from the neck up until they can find politically acceptable attire?
posted by fifthrider at 4:34 PM on May 27, 2015 [19 favorites]


Sure, but Max isn't the only viewer here. The audience is, too. Just because Max doesn't partake doesn't mean that scene isn't intended to titillate the audience on some level.

I've certainly seen movies that were intended to titillate, but I didn't get that from this scene at all. I think here it was intentionally descriptive of their plight as being treated as objects, but this depiction was provided intentionally and explicitly for one purpose: to quickly flip the whole damn notion on its head and kick you in the ass with it repeatedly throughout the rest of the movie. It wanted you to think initially that it might be one kind of movie, to eventually emphasize by contrast after how it really, really wasn't. So, it wasn't to titillate, but to create a slight of hand with the audience that really brings the point home.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:35 PM on May 27, 2015 [23 favorites]


""We are not things” is a great line, but doesn’t work when the plot and ESPECIALLY the camera treats them like things from start to finish."

This argument really stuck out for me too. Their costume drives home the point that they are escaping a place where the male gaze is prevalent and they ARE treated as things. Max sees them washing themselves off in their revealing clothing (which DID make me roll my eyes) but never sees them as anything other than a source of danger and/or a means to keep surviving. He takes one of them hostage without so much as a sneer. As soon they can, they start changing their dress to something more protective and it really starts to take on the same cobbled together bit-by-bit look that everyone else's costume has.

To me, the message was: Your overlords treat you as things but we don't have time for misogyny out here. Misogyny doesn't help you survive.

As a member of the audience I thought, "Well, Immortan Joe is clearly misogynist and Max is clearly not. Which one do I want to be identified with?" It made me MUCH more aware of my own misogyny.

So basically what SpacemanStix said.
posted by VTX at 4:35 PM on May 27, 2015 [20 favorites]


I liked the story but was pretty let down by the visuals.

Let me lay odds on this film receiving an Oscars nomination for cinematography.
posted by wilful at 4:38 PM on May 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


TBH I had slightly dreaded seeing this film once I learned about the whole sex-slaves aspect of it, because gratuitous sexual violence on screen has become increasingly unbearable to me. I was so fucking relieved and thrilled that there's no rape scenes, no almost-rape scenes, no implied rape scenes, that I almost missed how incredible the movie was in SO MANY other ways.

Luckily then Doof Warrior turned up and made sure I didn't miss anything.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 4:53 PM on May 27, 2015 [20 favorites]


if sarkeesian wasn't the constant recipient of horrific abuse there would be more room to discuss the issues with her and feminist frequency's viewpoints. i haven't seen the movie, so i can't speak to their specific views, but i will say that the problem i've always had with their approach is repeated here - basically it's the break down between radical feminism and choice feminism. they advocate for a totally well supported position, but i will say that personally i find it to be explicitly not intersectional. but, there's also plenty of disagreements to my view, so.

anyway, i think it's fine for them to air those opinions and i wish we lived in a world where i felt more comfortable engaging them without worrying that i'd be giving ammo to her harassers.
posted by nadawi at 4:55 PM on May 27, 2015 [26 favorites]


i was so so so glad to learn about the lack of rape scenes. that issue has ruined so many movies and shows for me!
posted by nadawi at 4:56 PM on May 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


I think that the specifically male portion of the audience, and to a lesser extent the audience as a whole, is expected to identify with Max, both because he's the title character, the first person we encounter in the film, and also because his inarticulate silence makes him an easy target to identify with...it makes him a blank slate, and therefore our representative in this crazy ass world. SPOILERS to follow:




Staging the scene with the beautiful women all dressed in that kind of clothing and bathing does create the sense that the film is about to indulge in a long bout of male-gaze-indulgence, but that expectation is violated so quickly that I can't help but think it was engineered that way on purpose. Max (us) is not interested in these women as sex objects; he's wary of them as a potential threat, and in fact their clothing serves only one real purpose for him: it differentiates them from Furiosa, so that when he needs the bolt cutters brought over to him, he rejects having Furiosa do it, because he senses (correctly) that she's the real danger.

It's a REALLY complicated scene, almost entirely non-verbal as I recall, and I think the rest of movie can serve as strong evidence that we shouldn't be too quick to assume that the scene is just there to pander.
posted by Ipsifendus at 4:59 PM on May 27, 2015 [30 favorites]


I made this point in the Fanfare thread (as linked above!) but yeah, when we first encounter the wives in the desert, they are super wet-t-shirt-porny-male-gaze-y. Then (I've only seen the movie once, I could be misremembering a bit) Max sees the water nozzle, and simultaneously, the boltcutters (aka the symbolic instrument of liberation) come into the frame and the wives start cutting off their own chastity belts. When those belts hit the ground, the camera work changes instantly -- they are never male-gazed again. To reinforce the point, when the wives are grabbing things to take off running, one of the women burns precious seconds to run back and kick the shit out of her chastity belt.

It was a brilliant example of using the camera's gaze as a narrative element. While they were locked in those belts, they were objects, possessions, things. When they came off -- when they CUT THEM OFF OF THEMSELVES -- bam, they were people.
posted by KathrynT at 5:00 PM on May 27, 2015 [104 favorites]


I think Sarkeesian's core point is an important one: that this was essentially a movie about glorifying the distinctly patriarchal cycle of violence in order to dismantle the patriarchal tyranny. And what you're left with is a new ruling class that's built on that patriarchial opposition rather than anything different or truly revolutionary. There are times when I suspect the filmmakers are aware of this criticism. The second movie was planned to initially be called Mad Max: Furiosa, and my uneducated bet/hope is that it will significantly complicate our understanding of who Furiosa is. In this first movie, she's set up unambiguously as the badass hero and audiences have fully embraced that. When the second movie rolls around, we might see her do some things that make us question that. And if so, maybe that second movie, in complicating her "righteous perfect badass" status, will take steps to make her the equal of a character like Mad Max, who's given license to be tortured, flawed, even villainous at times. And that movie will be 10x more feminist because of it. Because the Strong Female Character trope presents its own dilemmas. And does Furiosa in Fury Road rise above that trope, ultimately? I think there are ways in which she almost seems to, but I'm not convinced.
posted by naju at 5:04 PM on May 27, 2015 [13 favorites]


(and for context, the Action Girl trope)
posted by naju at 5:09 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think Furiosa is set up as the righteous perfect badass at all. She only took the wives with her because they begged her to go. She *must* have a history of being complicit in probably some shady stuff to make it to the point where she's driving a war rig. She speaks of her motivation being redemption. It's pretty clear she already is flawed and not a just trope.
posted by misskaz at 5:11 PM on May 27, 2015 [31 favorites]


This line of reasoning is trending perhaps a little too close to the "dress modestly because men are sex-crazed animals" position. They're escaping from a position of patriarchal subjugation with nothing but the meager clothes on their backs; would it really serve the interests of feminism to only shoot them from the neck up until they can find politically acceptable attire?

I'm not saying it would! I'm only saying that the original criticism of the Feminist Frequency comment, saying that it was out of line because the camera doesn't treat women as objects at all, was wrong. It totally does in that first scene. That it stops doing so afterwards, or that it does so to make a specific point, are different matters (and for the record, I did say in my first comment that I think it was done on purpose to subvert expectations). I think Sarkeesian would also dispute that the camera stops "caressing the women," and on that I'm much more ambivalent.

And for all this discussion, I actually did like Fury Road. It's not the most amazing film I've ever seen but it's very well-crafted and has a surprising elegance to it—only so much dialogue, only so much exposition, but a lot of focus on relationships and atmosphere. Though Sarkeesian sees Fury Road and finds it not much feminist, and thus something to criticize, I see Fury Road and find it not much feminist (though more than Sarkeesian), but still think it a step in the right direction.
posted by chrominance at 5:24 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


She *must* have a history of being complicit in probably some shady stuff to make it to the point where she's driving a war rig. She speaks of her motivation being redemption. It's pretty clear she already is flawed and not a just trope.

There are these clear hints that she has a history. The "redemption" part felt weird to me, because when she said that, I was thinking "what redemption, precisely? What arc are we in the process of seeing?" I think that's exactly it... the story is economically told, but we're not given as much of a deep look into this character. Max has a full character arc from beginning to end, but what of Furiosa? She has pure intentions and she's a badass from the first frame we see her to the last.
posted by naju at 5:37 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, I guess really minor spoilers yeah, but the first time we see the wives they are literally bathing themselves while barely clothed.

Something worth noting about this scene, I think, is that the wives are clothed in simple white cloth that would be very titillating were it to get to wet, but the only bit of any of their clothing that is shown to be wet, transparent, and clingy is the bit that's covering Angharad's very pregnant stomach. The movie is at no point especially subtle about the points that it's making, after all. (Don't take that as a dig, though. I loved every part of this movie, including its "flying hammer" level of subtlety.)
posted by IAmUnaware at 5:37 PM on May 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


Re: glorifying violence and not really escaping that cycle. Sometimes when you have a system that treats you like fucking dirt it feels really good (really good) to kick back. As a woman (and therefore never the target audience of these films) I found it very cathartic. Sure, you may be left with an "Okay, so what now?" at the end, but the ass-kicking to symbols of the patriarchy itself is exhilarating.

There can be a much better movie about dismantling the patriarchy through non-violent means, and I will watch the hell out of that one too. I think people might as well criticize the action genre if fighting systematic oppression through violence doesn't sit right.
posted by erratic meatsack at 5:42 PM on May 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


I thought Sarkeesian's criticism that the movie's feminism is limited to "women can drive fast and stoically kill people too!" would be well taken if Furiosa was the only female character. But she's not. The wives explicitly say, multiple times, that they don't want any killing. They're pacifists. They wanted to get out with the minimum of violence, and indeed, they consistently take the less violent option whenever they feasibly can. They don't kill Max, they don't kill Nux. They engage in violence only to protect their own lives. Furiosa and the Vuvalini engage in violence only to protect the other women and each other.

One of the pivotal acts of bravery and resistance in the whole movie was Angharad placing her pregnant body between the others and Immortan Joe's bullets, thereby forcing him to hold his fire. That's nonviolent resistance. The Dag was disappointed that the Vuvalini of the fabled land of Many Mothers engaged in violence, and the legacy she chose to carry from the Vuvalini was not their bad ass gun skills, it was their repository of seeds. That's rejecting the cycle of violence and looking towards a future of growth.

I thought the movie was pretty clear that all these women chose different ways to resist, different ways to be a woman, and no one way was privileged over the others. They all contributed to the success of their escape. Seems pretty feminist to me.
posted by yasaman at 5:46 PM on May 27, 2015 [75 favorites]


And what you're left with is a new ruling class that's built on that patriarchial opposition rather than anything different or truly revolutionary.

This is an interesting point. In this case, the Vuvalini would appear to be one real alternative to the Immortan Joe's misogynistic regime. It seems quite obvious that the Vuvalini are matriarchal (The Land of Many Mothers), and they have a very different approach to scarcity and environmental preservation. They kill to survive but not to subjugate, and in stark contrast to Immortan Joe's desperation to secure his bloodline, appear to have chosen a dignified extinction of their kind. They were probably the best hope for change since Furiosa and the Wives probably do not possess much knowledge, but welp, I believe the Vuvalini all perished trying to get them back to the Citadel.

I find the Vuvalini one of the most intriguing parts of Fury Road, and I hope we get a more fleshed-out back story in comic form or something. Anything. I am so hungry for details of this world.
posted by peripathetic at 5:47 PM on May 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


Re: rape scenes

I had been looking forward to this movie for SO LONG. And then the first trailers came out and I said with trepidation every time "I just hope it's not too rapey", because the trailers sure made it look rapey. And then I saw it, and not only wasn't it rapey at all, it was feminist as hell in the best possible way, and also AWESOME!!!!one1 and I can't wait to see it again.

Not only is it a great action movie, not only is it beautifully shot, not only is the acting superb, it's also deep, thoughtful, very modern, and surprisingly subtle for a movie with a dangling guitar/flamethrower dude.
posted by biscotti at 5:48 PM on May 27, 2015 [14 favorites]


but welp, I believe the Vuvalini all perished trying to get them back to the Citadel.

It's been a few days since I saw it now, but I know at least one (maybe two?) survived and were present on the elevator at the end.
posted by IAmUnaware at 5:52 PM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Agreeing with Sarkeesian's criticism or not seems to depend a bit on where you come down on intersectionality. If you're concerned about all kinds of oppression and social justice, and feminism as a part of that, then her criticism makes sense. Fury Road is maybe a bit more old-school, pre-intersectionality radical feminist, with matriarchal societies (shades of lesbian separatism, maybe?) The involvement of Eve Ensler, who has been criticized for not getting intersectionality, might also have something to do with it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:07 PM on May 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


While I mostly enjoyed the film, I didn't find it to be the Jesus (Mary?) of film making others make it out t o be. I thought it was a fairly formulaic actioner, with feminist tropes replacing the usual right wing/libertarian patriarchal tropes. I actually fell asleep on the opening car chase. though to be fair this has happened before in over the top actioners. It never leaves me with a super positive feeling for the film though.
HOWEVER, I am not saying those who deeply enjoyed the film are wrong, or that wimmins need to learn their place, or any other MRA style reactionary nonsense. I AM saying YMMV, mine did.
posted by evilDoug at 6:10 PM on May 27, 2015


It's been a few days since I saw it now, but I know at least one (maybe two?) survived and were present on the elevator at the end.

I've seen it twice and I've been racking my brains trying to remember if any survived. I'll just have to watch it again. POOR ME.
posted by peripathetic at 6:15 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think Sarkeesian's core point is an important one: that this was essentially a movie about glorifying the distinctly patriarchal cycle of violence in order to dismantle the patriarchal tyranny.

I don't understand this. The film explictly criticises the culture of the warboys - the lies that are sold to young men to trick them into buying into mindless war and sacrifice as 'honourable'. Instead it offers the alternative of self-actualised women choosing to fight against partiarchal oppression and for equality and hope and life, not death and power. I don't see that it glorifies that violence. It presents it as necessary - a choice between fighting for life or being resigned to starvation in the salt flats. It doesn't glorify the deaths of the Vuvulini. It mourns them.

IMO, the only death that is revelled in at all is Immortan Joe's. And I think that's fair enough.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:19 PM on May 27, 2015 [21 favorites]


The ONE HUGE GLARING issue that I cannot forgive this film is that for the next 20 years every time I see any sort of action film I will think "...But it wasn't Mad Max Fury Road."
posted by Windigo at 6:33 PM on May 27, 2015 [19 favorites]


Also, the editor was a woman by the name of Margaret Sixel, who has NEVER EDITED AN ACTION MOVIE BEFORE. She better get an Oscar nomination.

George Miller said at the Cannes press conference that he wanted her to edit it because if it was done by men, it would look like every other action movie out there. “She’s here to keep us from embarrassing ourselves,” Miller said. “The movie is like rubix cube; we needed someone with a lot of brainpower and a low threshold for boredom. She did not allow any repetition in the movie.”
posted by Windigo at 6:36 PM on May 27, 2015 [47 favorites]


NEVER EDITED AN ACTION MOVIE BEFORE

No bad habits to unlearn.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:37 PM on May 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also, a bit from one of my favorite reviews (written in all caps as it should be):

“There might be six pages of dialogue in the script. Maybe ten if they wrote out Tom Hardy’s grunting. It’s good grunting, don’t get me wrong because most of Tom Hardy’s work here is dialogue without dialogue. Max saws at the back of his masked head with a nail file so fast and with such insane anger that it becomes a line. You could have Tom Hardy complain about his face being strapped into a metal mask, sure, but it’s so much better to have this heathen outcast grunting and twitching and pulling at everything for the first 45 minutes of the movie like he’s a starving raccoon let loose in a restaurant walk-in freezer. He says his name once and I cried when he did even though I’m pretty sure he kills like 80 people for just doing their jobs as ripped albino death riders.”
posted by Windigo at 6:38 PM on May 27, 2015 [13 favorites]


....my other favorite bit from the review I just linked:

"CHARLIZE THERON'S EYES ARE EASILY HALF THE DIALOGUE IN THE MOVIE AND MOST OF THE LINES THEY SAY ADD UP TO SOMETHING LIKE "I'M ONLY GOING TO USE ONE BULLET ON THIS SHITPILE OF A WORLD BECAUSE THAT'S ALL IT DESERVES AND ALSO ALL I NEED TO KILL BECAUSE I AM THE MOST LETHAL TWO-HEADED LIZARD PROWLING THIS CURSED EARTH." SHE SHOULD GET AN OSCAR. I AM NOT KIDDING AT ALL."
posted by Windigo at 6:40 PM on May 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


When Furiosa puts a blade to Nux's throat the first time they catch him on the Rig near the beginning of the film, the wives pull her back, shouting "No unnecessary killing! You promised!" Nux is eager to wound Furiosa and turn her over to Joe to be tortured while returning the wives to their status as chattel, and the wives insist on treating him with mercy, which eventually (combined with his continued mistreatment by Joe) turns him to the cause of saving life rather than taking it. (Nux doesn't take any aggressive action after the mud scenes, right? If I remember correctly, all he does after that point is fix things and drive.)
When the Keeper of Seeds is bragging about her marksmanship during the scene where we meet the Vuvalini, the Dag finds her taste for killing distasteful, saying "I thought you all were better than that." The Keeper defends herself (saying that there used to be enough resources that you didn't need to kill anyone, but it's not like that anymore), but Dag doesn't seem convinced. Later, during the climactic action sequence, she prays instead of fighting, and when they finally leave the War Rig she goes back to get the Keeper's seeds, inheriting from the Vuvalini the things she respects about them and leaving the rest in the pass to be buried by metal and rock.

The movie obviously doesn't completely repudiate violence (especially given how gleeful Miller clearly is about some of the really excellent action sequences), but it certainly says some things about what place violence has in the society the wives hope to build.
posted by IAmUnaware at 6:45 PM on May 27, 2015 [26 favorites]


I have noticed that the women that I've read saying the movie isn't feminist seem to get to the point with the wives and dismiss them as eye candy at best (not just Sarkeesian, some other people I know personally). I find it really strange that the contributions of the wives are pushed aside because they are nubile young things- especially by women. I mean, The Splendid Angharad makes a choice to use her pregnant body as a shield. How much of a statement about female body autonomy is that? And she knows that this will work not because Immortan Joe values her, but her unborn child.

I think Sarkeesian's core point is an important one: that this was essentially a movie about glorifying the distinctly patriarchal cycle of violence in order to dismantle the patriarchal tyranny. And what you're left with is a new ruling class that's built on that patriarchial opposition rather than anything different or truly revolutionary.

But it's not about a new ruling class; it's about fertility and the preciousness of seeds and people feeding themselves by growing things. Seeds treasured and passed from an old woman to a young woman. Making Green Places by paying attention to what's important: seed, water, fertility. Immortan Joe's people are led to believe that power comes from dying, but the reality is that power comes from life. That's the big, feminist deal- not that women get to fight and kill other people. I'm surprised that so many smart women I know that say this movie isn't feminist aren't seeing that. I don't think it's crazy that women who have spent years being raped want to wash themselves at the first opportunity. We saw this movie in a theater with assholes who were clearly titilated by this scene. And they were clearly assholes who can't look at a female without being creepy. That doesn't have to be the case for everyone, and the movie points this out.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:47 PM on May 27, 2015 [33 favorites]


that this was essentially a movie about glorifying the distinctly patriarchal cycle of violence in order to dismantle the patriarchal tyranny.

I'm not sure this vision of the future was glorifying anything. I think it was setting patriarchy up as a ridiculous monstrosity brought to a possible future conclusion if left to its own devices over time and unchecked. It was saying that patriarchy at the expense of others turns into an electric-guitar play bard accompanying drums of war on ridiculous war machines that takes itself way too seriously.

I'm also very happy with a distinction that separates enjoyment of explosions and stuff with a real life glorification of violence. One doesn't equal the other, nor does it necessarily endorse the other. We can be a bit more sophisticated about this without insisting that they are bound in ways that have necessary real life consequences. The notion of catharsis has been observed since the ancients, and one way that it works is by inviting us to have vicarious moments in theater to help purge emotions that we often would rather not be part of our real life experiences.

And hey, someow I never connected that George Miller also wrote and produced Babe, and also directed Babe, Pig in the City. And he also directed Happy Feet. I'd like the next Mad Max movie to include talking animals, please.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:49 PM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


The "redemption" part felt weird to me, because when she said that, I was thinking "what redemption, precisely? What arc are we in the process of seeing?"

That line crystallized her character for me. Who was she, a slave, and no doubt chosen for the uses Joe had for women? Why was she, disabled as she was, the only driver not one of Immortan's pet warboys?

Who has she betrayed to get that steering wheel? What has she done?

That one line snapped all of that into perspective. She didn't need more back story.
posted by bonehead at 7:04 PM on May 27, 2015 [19 favorites]


IMO, the only death that is revelled in at all is Immortan Joe's. And I think that's fair enough.

I was surprised, pleasantly so, at how little gloating the film did over Joe's (and the other War Lords') deaths. In a genre where we're used to 80 minutes of vicarious thrills from the villains' cruelty as a set up for 40 minutes of the hero's equally viscous revenge, MMFR shows the villains as monsterously cruel mostly by implication, and passes over their deaths with speed. We know Joe died badly but the film doesn't gloat over it, partly because the characters are too tired, but partly because the film is about (hopefully) moving out of a dead cycle of violence.

And, yes, if you want an RPG experience, Apocalypse World is your game.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:06 PM on May 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh, also, this is the first film since Pride where I left the theater more elated than exhausted.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:08 PM on May 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


That one line snapped all of that into perspective. She didn't need more back story.

Not to mention her 'Remember ME?' to Immortan Joe at the end. It says so much that they don't need to say anything else to tell us what we need to know.
posted by Windigo at 7:09 PM on May 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


I was surprised, pleasantly so, at how little gloating the film did over Joe's (and the other War Lords') deaths. In a genre where we're used to 80 minutes of vicarious thrills from the villains' cruelty as a set up for 40 minutes of the hero's equally viscous revenge, MMFR shows the villains as monsterously cruel mostly by implication, and passes over their deaths with speed.

I think what marks this is a very fine film is how much continuity is felt with the previous films in this series without the over-the-top gratuitousness, and it still felt like a Mad Max movie. There was a lot of gloating in death in previous ones, with an underlying theme of revenge for what Max lost. Nobody on the right side of this movie wanted to kill out of revenge (that I can recall), only out of necessity. Even the war kid that had Max hooked up to his car with an IV was embraced as part of the group. There has to be a serious lesson in here somewhere about what we can do to create good art and culture against the seeming insistence that audiences will only come if you revel in that kind of depravity.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:13 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Speaking of steering wheels, I loved the fact that people carry around their own detachable wheels and everything that represents.
posted by Windigo at 7:17 PM on May 27, 2015 [13 favorites]


a trick to get people who would otherwise have no interest in seeing a 2 hour long car chase, to go see it.

I didn't see nearly as much in the reviews I read about being feminist, as about being a 2 HOUR LONG CAR CHASE! GO SEE IT!
posted by wotsac at 7:20 PM on May 27, 2015


It was a brilliant example of using the camera's gaze as a narrative element. While they were locked in those belts, they were objects, possessions, things. When they came off -- when they CUT THEM OFF OF THEMSELVES -- bam, they were people.

I think there's still a kind of residual problem where the handful women who are saved are ALL super attractive, and pretty scantily clad even when e.g. sorting bullets. I think the word that came to my mind was it was convenient. Even if the camera is not lingering over the women like a beer commercial every chance it gets, there's just some kind of lingering distaste I felt about the decision that of the five women who are to be rescued, it just happens to be Immortan Joe's harem of women who are all very attractive to the audience's presumed eyes—and them alone.

Furiousa undercuts that a lot, and yes I know people in movies are attractive. I'm not like ready to support Sarkeesian's conclusions, on the other hand I don't think it's a "nothing to see here move along" type of situation either.
posted by nom de poop at 7:26 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've been thinking about why the discussion of "is this movie feminist" has been ringing false for me, and I think part of it is because it posits that something can be all of one thing and another - a common problem we have with interacting with each other as well. It is easier for our minds if something is all one thing and not another thing and it's very clear, but the reality is that very little that is valuable is that simple.

I think it's also true that feminists can and will legitimately disagree on points, and that this disagreement - expressed clearly and without slurs or abuse - is a valuable thing that we should embrace instead of dismissing one side or the other. The movie can both have really strong, feminist things it does that we enjoy while also having some places where it could improve and doesn't do quite so well. It can also have parts which aren't necessarily feminist but which a lot of women who like the action genre enjoy and like seeing themselves represented within.

There is a subtlety to how we all can and will experience this movie (even if we don't see it, it's clear it resonates with a lot of people in a way which makes them want to talk about it and so it will become part of the cultural conversation) that "is this movie feminist" occludes and diminishes.
posted by Deoridhe at 7:33 PM on May 27, 2015 [14 favorites]


women who are saved are ALL super attractive, and pretty scantily clad

My thought there was that while there were plenty of women in the compound, Immortan Joe coveted those who were 'perfect.' Young and beautiful and relatively untouched by sickness and disease. Not only were they possessions to use in his drive for healthy heirs, they were a scarcity the same way water and milk and green growing things were. So he coveted them and secreted them away. Their clothing (white, clean, impractical) was a further testament to the idea of being untouched by the world outside. Of course he would objectify them in how he dressed them and kept them, the question is were they objectified for our viewing pleasure? I lean on no, due to the way they were filmed.
posted by Windigo at 7:36 PM on May 27, 2015 [22 favorites]


Speaking of steering wheels, I loved the fact that people carry around their own detachable wheels and everything that represents.

Yep. You know how in a lot of movies that involve a fighting force made up of several people, an army or a warband, there's always a scene where the troops are being called up in a hurry, and you get a shot where the camera is focused on a rack of either rifles (if it's a movie set in the present or the future) or swords (if it's a movie set in the past), and you see soldiers/warriors grabbing weapons off the rack in a hurry?

This movie had that scene, but everybody is grabbing a steering wheel.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:46 PM on May 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


....I thought it was fascinating to see the Wives' quarters and wish I could find pictures of that set. Stacks and stacks of books. Writing desks. A grand chandelier. I have to think on that further, but the idea that Immortan Joe expends energy on amassing all the dregs of refinement that he can find upon his slaves' cell is...interesting.
posted by Windigo at 7:47 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I felt about the decision that of the five women who are to be rescued, it just happens to be Immortan Joe's harem of women who are all very attractive to the audience's presumed eyes—and them alone.

Only for the first half of the movie. When they make the decision to turn around and go back, they are explicitly rejecting the choice to save only these five women, even if by "save" you mean "ride into a wasteland and die starving but free." They turn around and go back to save all the others.
posted by KathrynT at 7:49 PM on May 27, 2015 [13 favorites]


.I thought it was fascinating to see the Wives' quarters and wish I could find pictures of that set. Stacks and stacks of books. Writing desks. A grand chandelier. I have to think on that further, but the idea that Immortan Joe expends energy on amassing all the dregs of refinement that he can find upon his slaves' cell is...interesting.

Also I am like 99% sure that it was built inside the Thunderdome.
posted by KathrynT at 7:49 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Splendid Angharad was hardcore. In my personal headcanon Furiosa was born missing a limb and thus considered unsuitable to be a brood-mare. Angharad on the other hand tried to fuck up her own face in an unsuccessful attempt to render herself Un-Splendid. Hence the scars.
posted by um at 8:53 PM on May 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


everyone has raised so many good points but i thought i'll reshare the link that was in the previous thread and the Fanfare thread by Outlaw Vern that responded to a section of Sarkeesian's reading: Righteous Fury: In Praise of Peaceful Notions In Violent Movies.

Other small bits that i'll contribute:
- there were 2 surviving Vuvalinis at the end of the movie, raised on the platform with the rest
- on the POC count, two of the wives are mixed-race (Toast & Cheedo); the Valkyrie's actress is part-Maori (apparently Miller's choice to play Wonder Woman back when he was attached to the JLA project); and of the extras, one of Max's chorus of the dead included an Aboriginal man.
- Eve Ensler really didn't have a lot to do with the script, but Miller happened to be in the same event as her (something like that) and invited her to talk with the actresses playing the wives, and share the real world experiences of women caught in sexual slavery especially in war contexts.
- one day i will get clear screencaps of Miss Giddy's tattoos.
posted by cendawanita at 8:53 PM on May 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


i posted this on Fanfare, so apologies for the exact same comment:
Do You Realize Mad Max: Fury Road Is A Miracle? - this has been going around, though I personally, strongly feel a lot of his details are overstated and/or misunderstood the history of both the production and the WB's studio behaviour. But I'll agree with the headline. A long-gestating project like this has no business being so good, fresh and actually of its own -neither aping the trend nor clearly stuck in a past.
posted by cendawanita at 9:00 PM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


- on the POC count, two of the wives are mixed-race (Toast & Cheedo); the Valkyrie's actress is part-Maori (apparently Miller's choice to play Wonder Woman back when he was attached to the JLA project); and of the extras, one of Max's chorus of the dead included an Aboriginal man.

iOTA, who played the Doof Warrior, is half Maori. Although I don't think that counts because because it's not discernable.

I'm surprised that more of the Vuvulini were not non-white. They all mostly read as Pacific Islander to me, but maybe that's just because they were super tanned. Or my brain might have been completely fused by that point.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:07 PM on May 27, 2015


I did have someone point out a similar observation to me about the Vuvalini, but I have no idea because I definitely haven't looked them up. Won't be too surprised, to be honest.
posted by cendawanita at 9:13 PM on May 27, 2015


Can I also revel in the fact that the BSDM cannibal People Eater was played by John Howard, a man who has played the Slightly Embarrassing Middle-Class Dad in every Australian TV show for the last 3 decades or so?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:31 PM on May 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


I wasn't going to see this because Mad Max, eh. It will make me depressed and be sexist.

But I loved LOVED Theron in Monster. She was just beyond amazing in that movie and I have been in awe of her since. (if you have not seen her in that movie, go see her in that movie. She will break your heart).

And then the Mad Max reviews started rolling in, here and elsewhere.

So I will probably see this.
posted by emjaybee at 10:10 PM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


I just came across this on my feed and it made me smile. Oh, his WTF face is priceless.

Video.
posted by homunculus at 11:46 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]




I haven't seen the movie yet. I'd like to bring my wife, but she generally goes for wry comedies with an ensemble cast, preferably featuring Richard Dreyfus. Do you think it's the sort of thing she'd enjoy?
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:01 AM on May 28, 2015




I liked the story but was pretty let down by the visuals. My only guess here is your goggles were dirty.

Should I bring my wife
My wife loved it and even dressed up.

Went to see this tonight with a bunch of the crew from Survival Research Labs. This was the fist viewing for some and one of the crew wanted to know "Why weren't we asked to build anything?"
There was general approval all around and the women in the group were yelling during Furyosas scenes.
The buzzards got highest marks since the used power saws on boom arms and had the most SRL look in general. Five Stars!

I bought some of the silver cake spray on line , but it did not arrive yet.
posted by boilermonster at 1:09 AM on May 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm a wife who enjoys wry ensemble comedies and I loved this movie. The more important question is whether your wife finds noisy violent movies offputting. Because whatever else it is, it is a movie full of cars and shooting and explosions.
posted by gingerest at 2:21 AM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've been thinking about shaving my head for a decade. Fury Road pushed me over the line.

I regret nothing.
posted by athenasbanquet at 6:15 AM on May 28, 2015 [21 favorites]


I think an interesting moment in the "bathing scene" is Max's initial reaction to it.

People here have already discussed the fact that he is more interested in the bolt cutters and the vehicle than the women as sex objects and what that says about his character, but there is also that first reaction when he rounds the truck and sees them. That reaction could perhaps best be summed up as, "What. The. Hell?"

It's a funny moment, that works because these are, in fact, people that have no place in Max's perceived world. It's something that is completely disjunct from the movie that has preceded it. And I think it could be argued that starting with that scene, the movie is revealed to be a different one than it at first appears to be.
posted by kyrademon at 6:31 AM on May 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Pretty sure we also get Max's first word in the entire film in that scene. He mutter-demands 'water' at them.
posted by Windigo at 6:39 AM on May 28, 2015


KarthrynT's comment about the bathing scene is right on point, and her version of it in the Fanfare thread is a big part of my changing my thinking about the movie and realizing it was more subtle and complex than I understood on watching it.

Also want to bring up another bit I got from the fanfare thread, which is the bathing scene is strongly reminiscent of a scene from Homer's Odyssey, where Odysseus meets Nausicaä. Only it subverts Homer's trope of the maidens aiding the male hero.
We’ve been trained to expect Odysseus’ transformation, trained to expect that the women will help the hero get where he needs to go. Except Mad Max remains monstrous, and the women are not simply vehicles to move Max between plot points. They are the plot.
posted by Nelson at 7:57 AM on May 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


OMG
posted by kmz at 8:47 AM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


OMG

Noooooooooooo
posted by GuyZero at 8:51 AM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do You Realize Mad Max: Fury Road Is A Miracle? - this has been going around, though I personally, strongly feel a lot of his details are overstated and/or misunderstood the history of both the production and the WB's studio behaviour. But I'll agree with the headline. A long-gestating project like this has no business being so good, fresh and actually of its own -neither aping the trend nor clearly stuck in a past.

I am really tickled by how some of our older directors these days have been able to keep their finger on the pulse of what is good, not simply in a trendy way, but one that is innovative. You don't get the impression that when most people hit 70 (like George Miller), they are generally looking to innovate on such a grand scale rather than think about retiring with their riches. Ridley Scott is 77, and while not everyone was a huge fan of Prometheus, you have to admit that it's a visually stunning movie with some innovative characters. I really hope he can do something similarly fresh with the new Blade Runner movie while not deviating from the compelling characters or the aesthetic connection to the original.

It's a weird thing in general.The older I get, the younger everyone else seems to get. Even people who used to seem older.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:17 AM on May 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Stephen Colbert apparently liked the film: see the first and last part of his commencement speech at Wake Forest.

The stuff in between is pretty good too, but it has nothing to do with the movie.
posted by bibliowench at 9:53 AM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Noooooooooooo

That Post-Apocalyptic Hellish Arid Landscape ain't right.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:56 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Shiny and chrome
posted by Windigo at 7:30 PM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Feminist criticisms of this film remind me a lot of the criticisms of Black Widow in Avengers 2; Linda Holmes made the great point that the movie's biggest flaw with regards to her as a character isn't really anything about her at all; it's that she's the only female lead. If there were more, she wouldn't be in the awkward position of representing all women.

So, the biggest problem for me about Mad Max is that it's the only female-led action film about women destroying the patriarchy currently in theaters. Imagine going to see a movie and these are your options:

-- Mad Max

-- A film where a plucky space cadet discovers her commanding officer is infested with an alien virus and she's on her own to save the station

-- A historical film with Cleopatra using her wit and wiles to attempt to maintain Egyptian sovereignty against the might of Rome

-- Another one of those endless all-girl ghostbusters movies and in this one they have to take down the slick, corporate ghostbusters that are stealing all their business

-- Another movie that's like, I don't know, about an undercover female Samurai plus there's all kinds of weird monsters and evil misogynist Shoguns that must be dueled

...and so on. Then Mad Max's harem hosedown (which I think is defensible, really) wouldn't stick out so much, the way if half (OR MORE) the Avengers were female, the scene where Black Widow mournfully details her reproductive status wouldn't be so cringeworthy.
posted by Rinku at 10:31 PM on May 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:53 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Based on what I've read here and elsewhere I am going to take my nine year old to see this this weekend. His mom, by her behavior, is making him think that women can't be strong and I think this movie might be good for his future. I don't want him imprinting about all women based on the one he knows best.

She was a total bad ass back in the day when she was taking her meds and repoing cars and getting shot at in bad parts of Richmond to get herself through school. She could walk into a bar and everyone who was behind on their payments would run from "that red-headed repo bitch." But she is also a relationship chameleon and has become a girly-girl in her new one because that's what suits her new beau. She defers to him on everything and I don't want Boy thinking that is normal.

Violence is not an issue. We live on a farm and got in some serious scrapes last winter with predators. His philosophy of violence is sound. If anyone wants to memail me with other media suggestions, please do. Don't want to derail.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:46 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Right on. I saw Aliens when I was that age. I had nightmares, granted. But Ripley being a woman and a badass stuck with me.
posted by naju at 4:05 AM on May 29, 2015


Exactly. Putting that on my list. He's seen animals born before.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:11 AM on May 29, 2015


I have this image in my mind of someone, 20 years from now, discovering Fury Road for the first time.

"This is amazing!" she'll say, showing it to all her friends. "People were so feminist back then!"

"I wonder what went so wrong?"
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 5:37 AM on May 29, 2015


I actually think discussing films that have feminist elements and show women as being strong characters is a valuable part of this discussion. I'll discuss Australian ones, because, believe it or not, there is a tradition of this sort of film there.

BMX Bandits: I swear, the bikes that jump over the dunes and throw grenades in Mad Max are a nod to this movie, which features a very young Nicole Kidman as one of three kids who use BMX's to foil a bank robbery.

Turkey Shoot: Three social undesirables in a dystopian future, two of them women, a "most dangerous game"-style human-as-prey hunting party is set up. Very exploitationy.

Fair Game: A woman who runs a wildlife santuary is hunted by three poachers.

Shame: An outback remake of Shane in which a small Australian town is beset by sexual violence until a loner (who is a woman) comes to town.

Tank Girl: The film doesn't really do justice to the comic book, and loses some of the essential Australian-ness of the original, but there are many pleasures to be found in this story of a woman and her tank and her friend and her Jet and the intelligent kangaroos that love them.

Black Water: An Australian woman battles a crocodile.

Road Kill:
Four people, two of them women, battle a killer truck.

Snakeskin (New Zealand): A woman and her male best friend find themselves chased on a roadtrip by skinheads and drug dealers.

You might want to screen these before you show them to see if they are right for your purposes, as they are all very different movies, some more exploitative, some more political, some dealing in fairly mature themes. But all feature strong female leads.
posted by maxsparber at 9:22 AM on May 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


Oh my god...(spoilers for Doof Warrior's back story)

"The back story iOTA got for the character explains Coma’s distinctive mask. “It was made from his mother’s face. He was brought up by his mother; she was a musician and he had a happy upbringing.” Then Coma and his mother were attacked. She was dragged away and, days later, someone dropped her head in Coma’s lap. The immortan found Coma clinging to the head of his dead mother, which the Immortan made into a mask for his battle singer, so that, iOTA says, “He exacts revenge on the world with his mother’s screaming face on.”
posted by Windigo at 9:50 AM on May 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Doof Warrior = Cubone
posted by rifflesby at 9:53 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh no. Now I can't unsee it.
posted by maxsparber at 9:53 AM on May 29, 2015


Ok ok I hunted down the quote and in context it's...

"AE: I’ve read George Miller mapped every character’s backstory prior to production. Were you aware of Coma’s backstory and how much did you keep it in mind as you filmed?

iOTA: Yeah. I knew that George had said that Coma was found by Immortan Joe in a Cave and taken under his wing and he learned to be a musician. I kind of embellished that for myself. Basically, my story was that Coma was found with his mother’s head, after she had been killed, and he was clinging to it and Immortan Joe came and found him and Coma took her face off and made the mask out of her face, to honor her when he went to war."

So it's up to us if we wanna roll with that head-cannon.
posted by Windigo at 10:05 AM on May 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


He's definitely wearing some sort of skin mask.
posted by Windigo at 10:06 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Head-cannon.

Nice.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:41 AM on May 30, 2015


Pretty sure we also get Max's first word in the entire film in that scene. He mutter-demands 'water' at them.

Asking we're not counting the voiceover at the beginning, his first words come while he's still strapped to the front of Nux's car ("That's my car!" etc.).
posted by ocherdraco at 5:58 AM on May 31, 2015


Yeah, you're right (I've seen it twice since then). He also yells at Slit when he throws a pike too close to his head, when he's mounted on the car.
posted by Windigo at 4:51 PM on May 31, 2015


"That's my head!"

I'm not sure, but I think his first words are what he shouts "You've taken my blood, you've taken my car, what else can you take from me?"
posted by maxsparber at 5:38 PM on May 31, 2015




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