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Mad Max: Fury Road

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Jamal's picture
Jamal
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May 19 2015 19:30
Mad Max: Fury Road

I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I may go see it again. Some radical themes believe or not. First action movie that I really enjoyed that passed the Bechdel test. Go sneak in and check it out!

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May 19 2015 22:22

My gf and I are going to see it this Thursday. Heard good things.

bastarx
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May 19 2015 23:23

So good. My main criticism would be that apart from a bit of a leather daddy aesthetic the queerness of the previous films has disappeared. That would have made the MRA crybabies even more upset.

http://flatulenceofthegods.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/mad-max-filmshomoerot...

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May 19 2015 23:57

I saw it tonight and was disappointed to be honest - I didn't really see much in it that was radical. Sure, it was a fairly decent action flick, but I wouldn't call it feminist - even though it's clear that was the intention. I'm not sure it does actually pass the Bechdel test either - the whole premise is based around a load of women escaping men who want to keep them as sex-slaves. Plot-wise, they are still very much attached to the other sex. Also, it just seemed to be reinforcing a lot of stereotypes of "femaleness" to me. It kind of swung from the "hot babes in skimpy clothing" to "females as an embodiment of mother nature". Nothing new there. Obviously I'm no expert, so I'm open to a change of mind.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh, as I did enjoy the film, though I felt it was a little on the Hollywood over-blown side of things; what I always liked about Mad Max was it's grittyness - Fury Road was more spectacular. Minor gripe.

If you want to see a real good dystopian action film that passes the Bechdel test and doesn't fall into any of these traps, try Dredd (2012). Much better example of what feminism can look like in a predominantly macho genre.

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May 19 2015 23:36

It was basically just a 2 hour long chase, but I liked it. I think the supposed MRA outrage was partially stealth marketing.

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May 20 2015 01:50

bastarx, what about the older ladies in the second half of the film? I think they fit the bill...

Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues, was hired by director George Miller to help with the film: “I think George Miller is a feminist, and he made a feminist action film.”

Standfield, the women in the film are not sex-slaves. They are escaped sex-slaves and we don't see them until they are in the process of busting out, leaving slogans on the wall for us all to understand their motivations. I thought the heterosexuality was well balanced and noticed many of the female or male characters were portrayed as queer.

It definitely harps on the "motherness" of women, but portrays them in different lights, too. Is that bad? I dunno.

I thought Furiousa was fucking badass. And her strength and success was contrasted against the critical and blatant failures of other male characters.

Reminded me a lot of Children of Men in some ways.

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May 20 2015 01:54

And objectively, it does pass the strict interpretations of the Bechdel test. But that's not a huge accomplishment or anything.

1. The movie has to have at least two women in it,
2. who talk to each other,
3. about something besides a man.

In one scene it's passing the Bechdel test with about 5-10 women for 10-15 minutes.

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May 20 2015 11:21
Jamal Rayyan wrote:

Standfield, the women in the film are not sex-slaves. They are escaped sex-slaves and we don't see them until they are in the process of busting out, leaving slogans on the wall for us all to understand their motivations. I thought the heterosexuality was well balanced and noticed many of the female or male characters were portrayed as queer.

It definitely harps on the "motherness" of women, but portrays them in different lights, too. Is that bad? I dunno.

I thought Furiousa was fucking badass. And her strength and success was contrasted against the critical and blatant failures of other male characters.

Yeah, the "motherness" thing isn't necessarily a bad thing, I just felt by countering the primitive skull-and-crossbones patriarchy with the peaceful seed-growing stereotype of women, it rehashed old ideas which don't work anymore.

Yes, the women have escaped, but the in first scene we see them they are all lined up, in skimpy clothing, hosing themselves down with water. I mean, it just reeked of a calendar shoot cliche, made all the more potent when I believe some of the actresses are more known for being fashion models. But I guess that could've been a clever casting call in regards to their roles as "playthings" for the elite.

Furiousa was indeed bad-ass, but I didn't get why she was given charge of Immortan Joe's biggest missions, and held in high regard in this highly sexist and patriarchal society, especially as Theron fits the beautiful Hollywood image herself. It seemed to fly in the face of the narrative. You mention the failures of the male characters, but when you compare Immortan Joe's society with the one that the elder ladies formed in the desert, which one was more successful? They had even resorted to using a naked female on a crane as bait. But then, I suppose this could be considered empowering one's body and using it to your advantage.

About the Bechdel test, I was pointing out that because the women are escaping the men, and the whole film is based around that, including the dialogue, the claim that they don't talk about men is false, though to be fair, most of it is negative. I may of missed that dialogue you mention so I'm open to be corrected.

Either way, it's still a good film, I think after all the is-it-feminist chat about it pre-viewing I perhaps went in with a skeptical eye looking out for everything that didn't conform to that ideal, being the miserable, cynical, picky arsehole I am wink

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May 20 2015 12:55

Sounds like hell on a screen to me. I like watching my favourite films again and again and only watch new ones if recommended by my older daughter. I realise this classifies me as a dickhead but tonight I'll be watching Barfly and I KNOW that I will thoroughly enjoy it and am not going to risk wasting my time on some dull witted action bollocks or any other type of half assed phoney old wank.
Grumble, moan, whine.

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May 20 2015 13:46

DP

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May 20 2015 13:30

It's not a dull witted action movie, or half-assed. I almost guarantee you'd find something to enjoy.

I was actually using the restroom during the initial introduction of the wives and missed the shower scenes.

Right after the elder desert ladies are introduced they talk about the state of the world, family, water, seeds and a whole bunch of other things with no men in the shot and the scene is like 10-15 minutes long.

I think Furiousa demonstrated how capable she was, I understood that to be the reason for her success in Joe's society.

Also, I watched Dredd for the first time last night. Pretty damn good. What about it makes you say it's explicitly more fair to women than Fury Road?

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May 20 2015 13:45

Hey Jamal, I wasn't really talking about this movie but more about my closed minded attitude as a miserable old fart. That said, I have previously seen the trailer and felt I would rather put my balls in a vice than watch even a minute of it but I know trailers are often misleading.
My problem is that I find few things more annoying than spending 2 hours of my valuable time watching something that leaves me feeling dissatisfied or infuriated by lazy predictable storylines and characters. On the other hand, I find that repeated watching of a film I love is always exciting and that there is almost always something new to be extracted from it. It's the same with a good book.

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May 20 2015 17:42

All good, Webby. What are some of the ones you find yourself watching?

Hilarious, one of the reviews I read deemed Fury Road "testicle-bursting" action. Haha. I felt the same way before my brother dragged me along with him.

To me the discourse of the War Boys is enough for some take away.

Witness!!!

MT
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May 20 2015 18:02

I think it was excellent. big respect for the action, stunts, cast and music. it was an action movie, but a really different type and I liked that it appread as simple popcorn movie, while it was really not. i would not call it subversive, but the resources idea was pretty nice. and there is more to say, but I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet. i saw it in 3D, not useless, but would survive with 2D (although the guitar scene was cool:)

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May 20 2015 18:02
Quote:
All good, Webby. What are some of the ones you find yourself watching?

Well, there's quite a few but here's some of my favourites;

Magnolia
Crash
American Beauty
Withnail and I
The Wicker Man
Barfly
What we do in the shadows

They're all pretty old apart from the last one but then I'm pretty old myself!

Spassmaschine
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May 20 2015 20:12
Webby wrote:
Crash

The one based on the Ballard book or the one with Sandra Bullock?

factvalue
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May 20 2015 20:38

Yeah Webb, those would be on my list, and enjoyed in the same way because like any good art they get better each time - plus Fellini's 81/2.

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May 20 2015 21:15
Spassmaschine wrote:
Webby wrote:
Crash

The one based on the Ballard book or the one with Sandra Bullock?

Bullock - haven't seen or read the other one. Should I?

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May 20 2015 21:23
factvalue wrote:
Yeah Webb, those would be on my list, and enjoyed in the same way because like any good art they get better each time - plus Fellini's 81/2.

Well, obviously I agree but I have friends that think this a ludicrous idea.
I estimate that I've read Kleinzeit around 60 times now but it's still getting better with each read.
I read around 20 books pretty much on a loop with the occasional new one thrown in from time to time plus a few that I read every few years. I just read The Underground Man again after a couple of year break and it is so utterly marvellous I could almost cry with joy!

Spassmaschine
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May 21 2015 07:21
Webby wrote:
Spassmaschine wrote:
Webby wrote:
Crash

The one based on the Ballard book or the one with Sandra Bullock?

Bullock - haven't seen or read the other one. Should I?

Not knowing what paraphilias you're into, I'm not really sure. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crash_%281996_film%29

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May 21 2015 07:34

Ah, yes, I've heard of this. Looks interesting but as a sexually repressed old fart who considers leaving the light on kinky in the extreme it may be a bit of a challenge for me.

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May 21 2015 11:33

Frankly the movie isn't a patch on the book (Crash). But Ballard is an acquired taste.

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May 21 2015 12:49

re Crash
Holly Hunter is always worth watching - been a fan since The Piano.
Withnail and I - watched it once only, good movie though too close to reality.

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May 21 2015 14:24
factvalue
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May 21 2015 18:48

Webby have you tried the Beckett trilogy, Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable? In terms of the creation of an intense inner space where the self in search of itself encounters its multiple heterogeneous personae, haunted by phantoms from the future, I can't think of many other books that are so immediate in their effect:

'I listen, and the voice is of a world collapsing endlessly, a frozen world, under a faint untroubled sky,. . . enough to see by, yes, and frozen too . . . only these leaning things, forever lapsing and crumbling away, beneath a sky without memory of morning or hope of night.'

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May 22 2015 13:31

lol it got beat at the box office by pitch perfect 2

trololol

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May 22 2015 21:06
factvalue wrote:
Webby have you tried the Beckett trilogy, Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable? In terms of the creation of an intense inner space where the self in search of itself encounters its multiple heterogeneous personae, haunted by phantoms from the future, I can't think of many other books that are so immediate in their effect:

'I listen, and the voice is of a world collapsing endlessly, a frozen world, under a faint untroubled sky,. . . enough to see by, yes, and frozen too . . . only these leaning things, forever lapsing and crumbling away, beneath a sky without memory of morning or hope of night.'

I'll be on it in less time than it takes to say I hate jazz.

factvalue
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May 23 2015 18:07

Oi Webby!
I’ve recently been re-reading some works of Petrarch, one of the founders of Renaissance humanism. The nature and significance of his ideas are still open to question but it’s remarkable how close he comes to many of the notions explored obsessively by Beckett, overcome as they both were by a strong sense of claustrophobic self-fragmentation within the uncontrollable flux of time. It’s particularly striking how, just as for Beckett (as signalled by the self-contradicting sentence flow in works such as the Trilogy advertised earlier) instead of rest and the transcendence of the flux of time, Petrarch’s poems show that for him also the writing of poetic works only leads to further desire and writing. By asserting this essential ambiguity dominating the impact of writing and desire on the self, Petrarch rejected both the Dantesque notion that desire and the writing of poetry of desire can serve as a vehicle for the complete redemption of our exile in time, and the Augustinian view that such writing is fundamentally negative and hence must be discarded.

Petrarch represents this notion in such poems as canzone 73 of his collection of vernacular poems Rerum vulgarium fragmenta. Declaring that he has taken up his pen in the hope of gaining some repose and truce from desire, the poet nonetheless confesses that the act of writing poetry does not give him peace but only inflames him more:

Ch´e ’l dir m’infiamma et pugne

n´e per mi’ ’ngegno (ond’ io pavento et tremo)

s`ı come talor s `ole

trovo ’l gran foco de la mente scemo,

anzi mi struggo al suon de le parole

pur com’ io fusse un uom di ghiaccio al sole.

(‘For speaking inflames me and pricks me on, nor through my wit (whence I fear and tremble), as sometimes occurs, is the great fire of my mind lessened; rather I melt in the sound of the words, as if I were a man of ice in the sun.’)
Writing about his object of desire, the sweetness of his own words causes him to melt, igniting his desire rather than putting it to a halt. The act of writing poetry only intensifies the poet’s submission to a process of constant flux and becoming.

The similarity of Beckett’s viewpoint to Petrarch’s is made explicit in such works of his as the poem Neither:

NEITHER

to and fro in shadow from inner to outer shadow

from impenetrable self to impenetrable unself
by way of neither

as between two lit refuges whose doors once
neared gently close, once away turned from
gently part again

beckoned back and forth and turned away

heedless of the way, intent on the one gleam
or the other

unheard footfalls only sound

till at last halt for good, absent for good
from self and other

then no sound

then gently light unfading on that unheeded
neither

unspeakable home

And if you truly hate jazz as much as you protest el Webbstermeister, then there’s no reason why you’d like or dislike Morton Feldman’s setting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oXVfksf9bM of this poem since there’s no point of contact between the two idioms as far as I know.

MT
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May 23 2015 18:15

could the admins move the offtopic posts to some other topic? it is annoying to click on a new post and read something totally unrelated to the topic name. thanks

factvalue
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May 23 2015 18:59

yes good idea

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May 23 2015 19:06
MT wrote:
could the admins move the offtopic posts to some other topic? it is annoying to click on a new post and read something totally unrelated to the topic name. thanks

I see what you're saying MT but you should note that the author of the OP was the one who took the thread off course and not much has been said about Mad Max since. Also, I really don't think it's gone completely off topic anyway - we're still talking about film and other connected art forms are we not?
So to get in the spirit of things how about telling us your favourite films?