Mad Max With Its Visual Effects Worker

So I went and saw Mad Max a second time with one of its visual effects workers, and we had some pretty cool discussions about the movie. He also let me flip through a storyboard book he was given really fast and so here’s a list of a bunch of stuff he told me…

• Angharad’s scars are from self-harm

• The scenes were filmed in order of how they appear in the movie

• Rictus Erectus’ baby head necklace represents that he has the mind of a child

• Mother’s Milk is turned into cheese

• Someone cut off Furiosa’s arm so besides that she’s completely healthy

• Immortan Joe is the most powerful out of himself, Bullet Farmer, and People Eater

• The Bird People (the ones on stilts in the Green Place) eat crows

• Rictus is pretty much immune to pain

• Originally History Woman/Miss Giddy was going to be killed by Joe to symbolize that he doesn’t care about the past, only the present where he is powerful

• On the original story boards there was going to be a scene where the wives are sitting in the War Rig and singing to each other

• The flashes of Max’s daughter represent his fears trying to escape so that Max can accept himself

• When Max is watching everyone go across the salts and his daughter makes him hit his head, for a brief instant her face turns into the face of the guy who shoots Max

• Nux imprinted on Capable and loves her because she was the first person to show him true kindness. They have more of a strong platonic bond than a romantic bond

I want to talk about Mad Max. Specifically, I want to talk about The Dag. We know that she’s pregnant and I can’t help but think that being told that her baby could be a girl would bring her so much hope. It doesn’t have to be Warlord Jr. It could be a girl, a mother, and carry on the legacy of the Wives (because you know eventually Furiosa and Max will clear out and the Wives will be in charge of the Citadel)

So she prays. She prays to anyone who’s listening and hopes and begs for nine whole months that her child will be a girl. And after hours of pain, hours of feeling like she’s going to split in two, the Dag’s little girl, the one who might carry on their legacy, turns out to be a boy. She names him Furious, nicknamed Fury, not to create a self-fulfilling prophesy, but as an homage to the Imperator and the road that rescued them and led them to freedom. For the first years she’s sure that Fury will turn out just like his father: cruel, malicious, evil. The Dag watches him with equal parts hope and suspicion, but the ghost of Immortan Joe does not rise in her son. 

The little boy, who has his mother’s white-blonde hair and blue eyes, is quiet and soft-spoken. He dotes upon the other Wives, who act as his aunts and love him in return. When Furiosa and Max do come back (and they always do), they take him riding in their rig and he becomes a Road Warrior and a mechanic like no other, though his home is in the Citadel with The Dag. He plays with the War Boys, taking their minds off of the pain, and eventually begins helping his mother in her garden that she tends to meticulously and lovingly, in memory of the mother who never made it.

That precious boy, little Fury who does not live up to his name, grows into a compassionate man who loves the people of the Wasteland like they’re his own family and does everything he can for them. And eventually, when the last of the Wives die, Furious leads from the Citadel. But he does not rule in the way of his father, but guides and helps like he was taught to by his mothers. His many mothers. And under the kind hand of the Fury, raised by women, protected and taught by the madman and the rouge imperator, the Wasteland begins to bear life again.

Voor een dag van morgen-referentie
  • Leerkracht:Dat doet mij denken aan een gedicht, maar ik weet niet direct van wie het is...
  • Leerkracht:*gaat verder met de les*
  • Leerkracht:Ahja, zo iets van "Vertel het aan de bomen, hoeveel ik van je hield...", is dat niet van Hans Andreus?
  • Ik:Ja, da's van Hans Andreus.
  • Klas:Oh, is dat niet het lievelingsgedicht van [naam superfijne leerkracht Nederlands van vorig jaar]?
  • Leerkracht:Maar hoe eindigt dat alweer, ja van "ze zouden het niet geloven, dat een mens...?"
  • Ik:"Maar vertel het aan geen mens. Ze zouden je niet geloven. Ze zouden niet willen geloven, dat alleen maar een man, alleen maar een vrouw, dat een mens een mens zo lief had als ik jou."
  • Klas:Holy...
  • Klas:Hoe weet jij dat zo goed?
  • Ik:Ja, ik ken dat vanbuiten...
  • Vriendin:Da's eigenlijk echt wel mooi... Kan je dat nog eens zeggen?
Why Fury Road is most certainly feminist

this is a response to Feminist Frequency’s (Anita Sarkeesian) slew of tweets about Mad Max: Fury Road, which I first saw here on rubycue‘s blog (tweet photo credit to rubycue, I tried to reblog this traditionally as a response but either i am ignorant or you just can’t do it, so I am creating my own post)

from the top 

#2 adoring your setting is somehow misogynist? if I am watching a space drama and I admire the sleek design of a spaceship then I am being a misogynist? this reasoning makes no sense, and I believe George Miller very effectively addresses sexism and misogyny in this setting

“the camera […] caresses the brides’ bodies” this happens all of 5 seconds, literally 5 seconds. after a sand storm the brides and Furiosa stop, Max catches up with them, and when Max (and the audience) see them for the first time they are washing (clothed) after spending the better part of the day in a steel tank in the desert. Max demands that they give him the hose so that he can drink, he proceeds to drown himself (almost) and that’s it. it’s a wide angle shot that could, in all fairness, be taken as objectification, but the flow of the film doesn’t seem to agree with that


#3 camera and plot treats the brides as things:

let me re-address the camera objectification thing. the above shot could be taken as objectification, that is a fair criticism, but it never happens again. literally, in no other sequence in the film is there even the slightest room for interpretation as the brides being objectified. do not take my word for this though, go see the movie! 

plot: there is a sequence in the film where Immortan Joe (the sex slaver/master) is firing at Furiosa, and Splendid shields Furiosa with her pregnant body. Joe yells “that’s my property!” 

(source) Splendid uses her body to shield her female savior in a show of compassion and bravery, very aware of the value placed on her body as a thing by the patriarchy she was used by. she uses this against the patriarchy, becoming a savior herself in the process. if her defiance isn’t enough for you then i can give you Dag’s questioning of the desert women and her receiving life from them symbolically, Capable’s empathy and forgiveness of Nux (once a part of the patriarchy), and Cheedo’s fear turned to devious determination. all very interesting, and most definitely humanizing 

#4 “Mad Max’s villains as caricatures of misogyny” that might be true for some american women, but this is a very real thing for many women around the world. I have in fact encountered college educated americans who say that a woman refusing to have sex with her husband is immoral because it is his right to be able to sleep with his wife, even if she doesn’t want to… so is the sex slaver/master motif really all that far fetched in american society? no 

“doesn’t challenge more prevalent forms of sexism”  George Miller does in fact take on more common forms of sexism in american society: 

(source  source)  in this sequence Max has a limited amount of ammunition, but he repeatedly fails to hit his target, and so he puts lives at risk. he fails traditional hero, protector, and skill roles that are associated with males. with only one shot left Max gives Furiosa the gun and she makes the shot. a female is better at skill and protector roles than a male! this is somewhat similar to the ‘boys and their toys’ comment in the STEM community that prompted this. both Furiosa and the women of science show that females can thrive in traditionally male skill roles 

#5 men questioning themselves and how sexism works in society: men are in fact forced to question themselves. it may seem a caricature to some, but Nux is a male who has been fooled by the patriarchy, and throughout the film he fails to meet the unrealistic expectations placed on him by said patriarchy. when all seems lost and he is depressed, who saves him? Capable does, she shows compassion and empathy, and so in time he turns his back on the patriarchy to fight for the freedom of the people he has come to love

#6 feminism as “women can drive and kill too!” except that the brides very specifically state to Furiosa when she starts killing people “you said no killing!” and when Dag first meets the women of the desert and confronts them about violence she says “and i somehow thought you all were different”. the brides are very clearly non violent pacifists 

#7 “concepts of power and glorification of violence”  in the still below Dag is taking a bag of rare seeds from a dying desert woman. 

(source)  look at the symbolism here! a young pacifist is being handed the torch bag of seeds from the older violent generation. this is the same girl who left her home where she was a sex slave under a patriarchal system, she went into the desert where she questioned the violent tendencies of past generations, she learned about the creation of life, and now she is returning home to build a new society from the ashes of the patriarchy, a society that is based on the power of freely given not forcefully taken fertility. i don’t know of a more efficient or beautiful way to deconstruct power structures 

I have in the past agreed with Anita about certain things (video games) but I most definitely do not agree with her about this

[credit for all photos to the respective sites, Mad Max: Fury Road is the property of Village Roadshow Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures]

  • a visually stunning post-apocalyptic opera.
  • charlize theron as a disabled, war-machine operating, imperator, seeking redemption.
  • tom hardy as a mentally disturbed road warrior barely surviving, seeking nothing, but finding hope.
  • five diverse wives looking for hope and fighting for their lives.
  • explosions, nuclear sand-storms, and extreme road rage.
  • superb costumes and make up.
  • complex women. complex men. COMPLEX CHARACTERS.

this movie is storytelling at its finest.

bonus: the meninists are boycotting it, so let’s make it a hit and get two more movies.