Mad Max Fury Road (2015)

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Jules: Sequel, prequel, reboot, or mashup? Or just the logical conclusion of director George Miller’s deconstruction of genre, gender, and guzzlene?

David: We bookend our survey of 1979’s Mad Max 1 with our overview of the latest 2015 instalment. On Fury Road there’s lot to recognise from our own time. Much of the human degradation in it’s murdered world seems to be with us now, already.

Note this is a post-viewing discussion not a synched commentary.

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Mad Max (1979)

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David: As Mad Max returns to cinemas after 30 years in the wasteland we look back even further to Mad Max’s origins, as well as contexts like seventies oil shocks, road death tolls, bikie gang terror in the media and a director moonlighting as a doctor in an emergency ward.

Jules: The most financially successful low budget genre film (until 1999’s Blair Witch Project) or something more? What does director George Miller deconstruct as he assembles his mythos?

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Wake In Fright (1971)

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David: A changing of the guard in Australian thespianism, featuring Jack Thompson in his first cinema role and Chips Rafferty in his last. It’s a great swan song by Rafferty, upsidedowning everything he’d done before. But Wake In Fright goes much further, upending the entire Australian dream into one of the more harrowing journeys into biblical Hell ever put to film. Of those even aware of it, many regard Wake In Fright as the greatest Australian film ever made, but its particular brutality and antithetical perversity put it in a class that begs no comparison.

Jules: A high-noon nightmare collision between the vestiges of high-minded European culture and the alien landscape of inland Australia. Rationality is discarded as our Anglo-Australian everyman descends into an inferno of instinctual drives, unquestioned customs, and murderous violence. But, amongst the beer-swilling and paddock-bashing, is anything as it seems?

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