In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Writers: Thomas Hardy (novel), David Nicholls (screenplay)
Stars: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen
One of the many reasons MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is so successful as an action film is the editing style. By using “Eye Trace” and “Crosshair Framing” techniques during the shooting, the editor could keep the important visual information vital in one spot…the Center of the Frame. Because almost every shot was center framed, comprehending the action requires no hunting of each new shot for the point of interest. The viewer doesn’t need 3 or 4 frames to figure out where to look. It’s like watching an old hand-drawn flip book whiz by. The focus is always in the same spot!
This was an edict passed down directly from director George Miller. Over the walkie talkies during every scene he could heard saying “Put the cross hairs on her nose! Put the cross hairs on the gun!” This was to protect the footage for editorial and to ensure that the entire high speed film would be easily digestible with both eyes and brain. Every new shot that slammed onto the screen must occupy the same space as the previous shot. This is by no means a new technique, but by shooting the entire film in this way, Margaret Sixel could amplify and accelerate scenes, cut as fast as possible with the confident knowledge that the visual information would be understood. (via Vashi Visuals)
Special thanks to wendydoodles for bringing this to my attention!
taylor ! you have followed me sense decmber 28th and it practically changed my life, you gave me so much happiness when i was going through depression and so i knew of so many of my swiftie friends who wanted you to follow them too so i haave made three follow lists for you to follow my friends with about 20 people each on them and i am so so happy you follow all of them except for my last list you didn’t follow my mom , but thats okay ill put her on the top this time because she’s a legit swiftie and were both seeing you in pit together in seattle ! so heres some more swifts that i know of that are fully dedicated to you and will always love and support you no matter what. varelarachel
A very interesting mad max observation: you can read max, immortan Joe, the people eater and the bullet farmer as the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The people eater is famine, the bullet farmer is war, immortan Joe is pestilence and max is death.
OKAY WE GONNA TALK ABOUT REVELATION because I am honestly kind of obsessed with the Revelation of St. John because it is such a fucking odd duck where Christian doctrine is concerned, so fuck it, we’re doing this. Now, sit down. WE DOING THIS. Let’s get squirrelly, folks!
First of all, Revelation is ridiculous. It is a long, absurd revenge fantasy against the Roman Empire. But then again, Mad Max: Fury Road is ridiculous, too, so let’s try to place it in a context of Revelation because it’s fun. Do I think this particular reading works? No, because the Four Horsemen are an arrival and a beginning, which Fury Road does not deal with (at least in regard to these four characters). But, let’s see if we can’t find a context for Fury Road anyway, because my day today consists almost entirely of exporting files from Avid and waiting for shit to render. SO.
Using motifs from Revelation is a popular idea in fiction, such to to the point that real people with actual political power make political decisions based off of their interpretation of the text, which is awful and scary and we’re not going to talk about that. But since Revelation is so long and squirrely, people usually only use snippets, because to try to create a meaningful narrative out of ALL of it is nigh-impossible. Unless you want to make Left Behind, and then you’ll just have garbage.
That said I think applying motifs from Revelation to apocalyptic narrative outside of lamesauce crap like Left Behind is fun so we’re going to do it anyway.
The word “apocalypse” derives from its use in the original greek in Revelation. It actually means “unveiling” or, well, “revelation.” The word itself has nothing to do with the end of the world.
This has no relevance to anything; I just think it’s interesting.
THE SEVEN SEALS
The Second Coming is considered to begin in earnest with the breaking of the Seven Seals by the Lamb (Christ). The Four Horsemen come about as the result of the opening of the Seven Seals, as shown by the Lamb to St. John:
ON THE FOUR HORSEMEN:
I’m not sure where “Pestilence” came from in the modern tradition, but Pestilence was never one of the original Four Horsemen. In fact, with the exception of Thanatos (Death), none of them have names, per se. The Horsemen were thus:
The White Horse is the one that usually gets replaced with “Pestilence,” but in Revelation is actually referred to as a “Conqueror.” He holds a bow and wears a white crown. Some interpret this figure as being Christ himself. How this combats with the Lamb being the seal-opener, who knows?
The Red Horse is the one who’s come to “take peace” from Earth. This is the one who’s usually depicted as “War.”
The Black Horse is a figure who comes out with scales of justice, and who says “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny”. Based on context (which we won’t go into), this is interpreted to have something to do with famine, therefore, “Famine.” Though this one could mean plenty of other things.
So with regard to Joe, Bullet Farmer, People Eater, it’s a bit of a stretch. Really Joe would make more sense as black horse, as he is the arbiter of resources, and the bellicose Bullet Farmer might fit as Red Horse, but People Eater doesn’t really work as White Horse, as he doesn’t seem terribly interested in conquest, but more in the relegation of resources (again, a Black Horse thing.)
This brings us to…
The Pale Horse, the only one who has a name, Thanatos (Death) and Hades (Hell) followed with him (remember, Revelation was written in Greek!) In the King James Version, the translation goes, that Death is given the power “to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” So death is like the Snow White of murder.
This is not an apropos description for Max, or for any of the other characters, really.
All this is a really long winded way of saying that the Four Horsemen aren’t Pestilence, Famine, War and Death - only Death (Thanatos) is actually named. There’s an argument to be made for Joe as some sort of anti-Christ figure, but, again, this would have to come much earlier (part of the popular obsession with Revelation in modern religious sects is the idea that the anti-Christ is the herald of the end times, and every popular political figure may be the anti-Christ. You know the deal.)
So given that the breaking of the Seven Seals comes at the beginning of the Revelation, the Four Horsemen application doesn’t really work.
AFTER THE FOUR HORSEMEN THE SHIT GOES DOWN
Most of the devastation as detailed in Revelation happens during the blasting of the Seven Trumpets and the pouring of the Seven Bowls - this is when all the fire and brimstone goes down and the Earth gets ravaged. It’s horrible and everything’s shitty and pretty much everyone’s dead. We can take this to be the nuclear wars and water wars that would have happened likely before Max was even born (Miller & co. have stated that civilization fell for good about 45 years prior to the start of the film).
There is one figure in the form of the woman (known usually as Woman of the Apocalypse) who’s basically the Sarah Connor of the whole thing. She’s pregnant with a male child of some significance, and there’s this “dragon” who really wants her dead, so she runs off into the wilderness for a few years to evade the dragon. This dragon, enraged, proceeds to declare war on all of her offspring, who are good ones and devoted to god and yadda yadda. If you reeeeaaally stretch you could say that’s Furiosa, but you’d reeeeaaally have to stretch. Again, all of the New Testament is super patriarchal, and if there’s a female figure in Revelation she’s either here as chattel or as a figure of excess (Whore of Babylon).
SEVEN BOWLS POURED ON THE EARTH
As if things couldn’t get any worse! This is where things get really bad - all the water turns to “blood” (water wars), followed by people being “scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God” (radioactive fallout everywhere and it’s fucking hot). Again, pretty much all of this would have had to have happened before the movie started. The only thing in Revelation that’s really left is…
BABYLON THE GREAT
Another interesting thing about Revelation that our modern narratives like is this idea of post-apocalyptic excess - we see this in the Capital and The Hunger Games, as well. There’s a lot of war, a lot of sin - the figure of the “Whore of Babylon” is basically that of excess that feeds off of decimation.
One can easily apply the “Babylon” motif to the Citadel. Even faced with such lack of resources, there is still a ridiculous amount of excess going on within the Culture. Joe wastes water, everyone wastes fuel, there is shameless excess as a show of power.
Like what the hell, people? You are ALMOST OUT OF EVERYTHING what are you doing?
Only thing is, in the Mad Max ‘verse, Babylon doesn’t really fall so much as it just gets a change of management. But, hey, it “falls” in a very real sense in terms of values, so, hey, why not?
Babylon as per Revelation is the only thing that’s left after the Earth is just completely fucking ravaged, and still they live lives of ridiculous excess. So I think that’s the best comparison where Mad Max goes - Joe, The Bullet Farmer, The People Eater - they are all defined by excess in the face of starvation. They are Babylon the Great, and Joe is the “Whore.”
Then again, after Babylon falls, Jesus comes back. Yaaaaay!
One thing before I conclude this massive tome I just wrote is in regard to archetypal “world ending” narratives is that the world very rarely end. In the Christian tradition, in the Norse tradition, in the Hindu tradition - you name it, the “end of the world” is actually a transition. In Revelation the old world will be replaced, same with the Hindu scriptures - nearly every culture that has a mythology about the world ending is really about the world “transitioning.” I think it’s interesting that the modern version of these stories, our folk stories, things like The Hunger Games and Mad Max: Fury Road - it is in many ways more of the same. Shit got bad, now it’s time to start over. The only thing with these modern versions that separates them from religious texts is ambiguity on whether or not they actually succeed.
Funny thing is, there’s still about half an hour left on my Avid render.