May. 26th, 2015

clevermanka: default (Respirator)
A collection of reviews, essays, and comments:

"There are memorable male and female characters, and their respective personalities and desires are varied...Some of the women are victims, some are heroes, and some are merely trying to survive...Suffice to say, this is not remotely a story about a strong male hero selflessly rescuing helpless damsels from male aggressors...But one of the bonuses of having many female characters is being able to provide a variety of characterizations and presenting male and female characters that are equally shaded and flawed. That this is a wholly feminist movie goes without saying, and that’s the icing on the cake, along with the fact that it works as an emotionally engaging movie, that makes it something more than the world’s greatest sizzle reel." Forbes review

"'I've gone from being very male dominant to being surrounded by magnificent women. I can’t help but be a feminist,' says George Miller." VF Hollywood article

A whole bunch of links and tweets on Storify (including some reviews and analysis I didn't like and/or don't agree with).

"In the film, Miller has Mad Max, Furiosa and the wives team up with a matriarchal motorcycle tribe...George Miller says in this hero myth, women of all ages were an organic element." NPR story

"In fact, as Fury Road unfurls, it becomes a surprisingly feminist tale: Miller spinning a yarn about women reclaiming their agency from an oppressive system that has long denied them any sort of autonomy. This is still a macho, muscled-up movie, with grizzled men warring over beautiful babes. But those babes—among them Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Zoe Kravitz—are themselves rebelling against their victimization, with the help of battle-scarred Max and haunted, determined Furiosa. (Theron cuts an arresting, sympathetic figure throughout.) We meet other women in this odyssey too, and by the final, madcap battle, Fury Road has become an empowering, distaff take on dystopia. Max, played with monosyllabic magnetism by Hardy (he says little, but does so much), proves a big help to these damsels in distress, but the effort is collaborative, a team of nothing-to-lose women and men (but mostly women) fighting to destroy the most brutal of patriarchies." Vanity Fair review

"Mad Max: Fury Road fails to be the lecture on the inherent superiority of masculinity I have to give myself in a Christian Bale Batman voice in order to climax sexually. Instead, it’s a lecture on the destructive, brutal folly of masculinity and the virtues of femininity CROWBARRED INTO OUR BRAINS. Watching a movie about a strong woman smuggling escaped sex slaves out of bondage felt, to me, like having something unwanted and incredibly encroaching literally shoved down my throat. Watching sex abuse victims depicted empathetically onscreen was an incredible violation of my delicate and SIMULTANEOUSLY VERY MANLY tastes."Jezebel (which I usually avoid, but this is brilliant)

"When the final trailer for “Mad Max: Fury Road” dropped back in April, I questioned if George Miller was secretly giving audiences a feminist action movie. There’s nothing secret about it. “Fury Road” is two hours of high octane action that is also a giant middle finger to every sexist action movie trope that has come before it. From the moment Imperator Furiosa takes a hard left into the desert to the second the end credits rolls, Miller is not interested in the status quo whether it comes to stunts, storytelling, or stereotypes. It is the most subversive action blockbuster in existence and it is glorious." Hitfix

"The effortless manner in which this film has presented a character’s disability is incredible. I literally could not ask for anything more. It’s ubiquitous. No big deal. Her body is never a plot point. It is simply allowed to be...In addition to being a total badass, the TRULY amazing thing about Furiosa is that she is also KIND, EMOTIONAL, AND COMPASSIONATE. The main plot of the film is her struggle to help these women escape abuse and slavery, to return to her homeland and family, and find peace in a simple life, away from war and suffering. She transcends the female action star stereotype of the unfeeling hard ass. It’s as if she were an actual human being, with real emotions and struggles, not reduced to a caricature of human existence." This random person's Tumblr post

"I have been unable to think of anything else since seeing this film. All I want to do in my life now is drive around Australia in an angry hedgehog car shooting people and having eye-contact-murder sex and washing myself with breast milk. With guitar man." Buzzfeed

"At a certain point, Fury Road becomes a metaphor for its own place in the current cinematic landscape. The term “wasteland” is a little harsh, maybe, but in a time of half-baked reboots and problematic depictions of women in film, here comes Fury Road with a Immortan Joe Concubine Chorus yelling “We are not things!” and dodging Hollywood conventional wisdom like so many exploding spears. (This, as you can probably imagine, does not sit well with the “men’s rights” movement.) Miller’s beefed-up war vehicle is a female empowerment tale hidden in a macho action flick—one bombarded on all sides by flashier movies, being chased by powerful masters who claim to own the world it lives in, yet holding on to a fighting shot of surviving." Wired Magazine

Every Killer Car in Mad Max: Fury Road Explained: Enter the post-Apocalyptic chop shop of quite possibly the most explosive, adrenaline-fueled chase movie ever. Bloomberg Business

"...The most interesting thing about Fury Road is how it reveals that, contra the wailing of Return of Kings’ “resident economist” Aaron Clarey, the Mad Max franchise has always on some level been a feminist franchise. It’s a franchise about toxic masculinity, and how all of us—including the “good guys”—are infected by it, and how there’s no hope unless we can someday build a world without it, which might mean building a world without ourselves." The Daily Beast

And, finally, this quote from Charlize Theron:
“I knew instantly from understanding the project that George had an innate understanding of what women represent to society and he wanted that to reflect in a post-apocalyptic world in the most truthful way possible. People keep saying ‘strong women’ but we are actually just women. We had a filmmaker that understood the truth of women is powerful enough and we don’t want to be put on pedestals or made to be unnaturally strong. What we are capable of doing is really interesting and informs a story like this.”

Also see today's Tumblr collection, Tuesday, May 26: Mad Max Fury Road.

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