Well, kids, we’re closing in on the halfway mark of 2015, and you know what that means: lists! I kid, and not just because nobody needs a calendar as an excuse to make a list; you see, here on the movie beat, studios and distributors are so bent on unleashing their prestige movies in that… Read More
Flavorwire Exclusive: Fascinating Storyboards and Amazing Behind-the-Scenes Images From ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
One of the real joys of the summer movie season has been watching everyone lose their collective minds over Mad Max: Fury Road — its style, its politics, its history, its energy, and its look. And those particularly taken by the latter element would be wise to pick up The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road, the jaw-dropping coffee-table book companion to George Miller’s action masterpiece. The decades-in-the-making picture has already entered modern movie lore for its eschewing of the conventional screenplay, with Miller working instead from an intricate series of storyboards. Many of those images, in both early draft and final color form, are included in the book, as are character designs, set concepts, and stunning behind-the-scenes images from the shoot. Flavorwire is lucky enough to share these exclusive images from The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road.
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Why do reporters ask vapid gendered questions about diets and clothes and “balancing work and family” of actresses over and over again — while they ask male movie stars about preparing for their roles and other weighty topics? Well, because whether these inane queries get slapped down or answered in earnest, it probably makes for a juicy headline. But it’s also simply lazy. That’s why one of the most heartening changes in the cultural sphere in the past few years is the way so many celebrities, male and female alike (Jeremy Renner being a notable exception), have simply refused to play this game — or, even better, called questioners on their… Read More
Michael B. Jordan’s Human Torch, Furiosa’s Feminism, and the New Identity Politics of Super-Mainstream Cinema
Arguments over identity politics are familiar on the Internet and in classrooms, but now they’ve made inroads from message boards to the previews and actions sequences of major blockbuster films. Today, different ideological groups are duking it out over individual characters in super-mainstream pop culture, either using them as avatars of their points of view or rejecting them as avatars of an insidious progressive agenda. Whether it’s MRAs freaking out about the feminism of “Mad Max” or racists reading a black Human Torch as a symbol of the ultimate affront of the Obama era, inclusive strains in new films have outraged social conservatives. Yet simultaneously, progressives are pushing hard for directors and studios to continue making their big-budget films even more accurately reflective of their devoted fandoms, in all their diverse glory.
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Among the many, many problems with pervasive reportage of weekend box office is the false sense of blood-sport competition it creates. It’s what happens when ticket sales are framed as box scores, encouraging moviegoers to cheer the “winner” and flee the “loser,” positioning films less as works of art or even snapshots of a culture than as professional wrestlers, talking shit or eating crow. Such juxtaposition is reductive to begin with, collapsing the entirety of a film’s being — its cultural impact, its critical reception, its potential longevity — into a stark, simple number that holds the entirety of its value. But in the wake of a weekend like this one, in which the astonishing success of Pitch Perfect 2 over second-place finisher Mad Max: Fury Road is being classified by industry rags and film bloggers alike as some kind of girl-power rebuke to testosterone-fueled action, such simplistic equivalency isn’t just ignorant, it’s counterproductive.
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The production company logos that open George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road are accompanied by the deep rumbling of a loudly revving engine — and good luck finding a more appropriate starter pistol for this movie, which is like a machine that roars at full throttle for two solid hours. Miller’s last entry in the Max franchise, which has run the gamut from grubby low-budget exploitation movie to pricey studio blockbuster, was 1985’s Beyond Thunderdome, where (in something of an artistic suicide) he saved the series’ signature motif of tricked-out post-apocalyptic vehicles roaring across the desert plain for the final 20 minutes of the movie. No such restraint is shown here. Fury Road is for all intents and purposes a 120-minute chase, where the focal vehicle must keep moving, and thus, so must the movie. But there’s more happening here than empty spectacle, which has drawn the ire of some of the Internet’s more odious commentators.
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Australian post-apocalyptic action film Mad Max: Fury Road has men’s rights activists up in arms. At first, “it looked like… Read More
In his first film in the Mad Max series in 30 years, George Miller returns to the franchise with the skull-cracking Mad Max: Fury Road — starring Tom Hardy as the iconic “Mad” Max Rockatansky. The stench of leather, burnt rubber, and sweat permeates the screen, introducing a whole new set of road warriors who are clad in their post-apocalyptic best. Cinema’s after-the-fall canon is full of outrageous costumes. We surveyed fashions from film’s post-apocalypse that inspired us to scratch our heads and hope for a future where citizens of the world feel free to indulge their inner… Read More