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lunedì 18 maggio 2015

LINK: S.R. Delany on "Mad Max, Fury Road", George Miller's new Mad Max movie [from his fb page]

I saw Miller's *Mad Max, Fury Road,* yesterday. I enjoyed it. It's a very pretty film; it's amazing what a little blood transfusion from the proper donor can do. There's a thoughtful relationship between the actions and the landscape--and we spend enough time in, on, and speeding over that landscape to experience its stark visual sumptuousness. There is the expected demolition derby that a Mad Max film must deliver. And, deliver it does. I've already read at least one complaint--I made the same one many years ago, in my opening review of the first film in the opening Star Wars trilogy--that there were no black people (or aboriginals; or anything else; or at least here not very visible). True. So it's certainly nothing new. But I will say this for it: there are hundreds of albinos in the film, who do live largely underground (thank you, Mr. Wells), now and again peeking out, or massing in the shape, the VAST majority of whom are male. In short, the deployment of the human bodies in the film has something to do with what it's about. The world has become a parody of the "white male's" fantasy. It's a handful of the upper class women--who have been reduced to artificial scarcity (and there is one off-white woman in the group)--who are rebelling, helped on by Charlise Theron's Furiosa, who get tangled up with Mad Max, who has good reasons, which we have actually seen for the first ten or fifteen minutes of the film, not to be in love with the powers that be. And that world is shown as totally diseased, in terms of its aging leaders, who, with the help prostheses and technology, hide their skin cancers and have their goutish feet moved around by their underlings--and the hell it would actually be. Thus, it's relatively coherent. I noticed that the music track was written by someone who has taken the name Junky XL. Shades of William Boroughs crossed with Dutch architect Rem (*Delirious New York,* *S, M, L XL,* and some buildings that are so conceptual it's arguable whether or not they exist) Koolhaas. It has the staying power of Vangelis's "Chariots of Fire" sound track from another century. I wouldn't be surprised if we heard a lot of it. In the film, with its insistent, on-site drumming, it was highly effective. The movie has its comments to make on disability, starting with Max--who IS mad. One small thing I wondered about was: where did the twitchiness that characterized him for the first few minutes of the film go to, once he starts doing his (get the stunt men in) impossible leaping from car to car and running over speeding truck tops? In the world that is the case, these things tend not to go away under pressure, but rather to get worse. (I don't mean the hallucinations. I mean his initial tendency to quiver. Or was that from what they were pumping into him . . .?) Charlise Theron is, as she is so often, very good. Tom Hardy is, as I've suggested, incoherent on several levels, but I wasn't deeply bothered by it. It's a science fiction fairy tale, but an extremely well done one. Certainly it's a lot more watchable and enjoyable than most films in this genre, since the first one with Mel Gibson hit our shores so many years ago.

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