WILLIAM BROWN / Mad Ma(r)x: The Furious Return

 

Should it be a surprise that a film as full of sound and fury as Mad Max: Fury Road should ultimately signify nothing? What is more, we all know that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Indeed, the Furies were themselves female deities of vengeance – like Furiosa and her followers in Mad Max: Fury Road. Vengeance itself is an exercise in return: to revisit the site of trauma in an attempt not just to allay, but also to prolong the system of insult that creates it. And so to see a film in which fury is a road that does not necessarily lead nowhere, but which leads out into the desert and then back to where it began, is in some senses only logical: like the Mad Max cycle, it is an exercise in grunting, alinguistic return. MM, the millennial fear that surrounded 2000 AD: this is a comic book fear that has not gone away in the fifteen years since the millennium, but the comic nature of which is now clear for all to see, since what at first is tragedy returns as farce. This is the nature of cliché: to repeat until we laugh at the arbitrary and meaningless nature of that which purports to say much, but which in reality says nothing (the cliché that is the return as farce of that which at first seems tragic). What is nothing? Nothing by definition is not, and so nothing demands a new temporality, beyond ‘is’, and in the realm of becoming. But what can become if there is only return, repetition, remake (masquerading, like Hardy/Bane in a mask, as sequel, going along the road like Hardy/Locke to a somewhere that in fact is nowhere except now here)? The desert, the land of nothing: since it is nothing, the desert is not really real, since reality demands not nothing, but something, otherwise reality does not exist. The desert structures the road and vice versa. The desert is what we deserve: it is vengeance. Mad Max: Fury Road says nothing. As such it makes nothing its structuring principle, the very destiny not of mankind but of mancruel, which in assigning value to things tries to make something, but which must always comically, farcically return to the nothing that is. Maximum madness: it is the threat, nay the promise, of nothing that keeps us hoping that the something that vainly we try to create might yet become something better, something real, something, God damn it, that might scream as loudly as the void and thereby will itself into existence. An idiot’s game, speaking grunting idiolects. Mmmm mmmm mmmm. To be: that is not a question, but a tragedy. Not to be: this is farce. Let Max, Furiosia and all of us tragically strut and fret our hours upon the stage. This furious road to nowhere, it tells us that the withness of here and now is comically all that there is. Language requires memory; it, too, is repetition, return. In the here and now, there is no speech, just comic grunts. Should we take this seriously? More seriously than anything else, for the grunt of the here and now, that which makes somewhere out of nowhere, which makes of the desert a place since we are with it, it is our only furious hope in the face of the nothing of death. Return, return, return. Comedy, farce, it is not only all that we have, but it is the invention both of having and of we in face of a repetitive all, or whole, that is death itself. Human fury: to fury is to be human, to give ourselves a road. Without it, we return comically, farcically, once again, to nothing.

 

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ADRIEN CLERC / Un mot vient immédiatement à l'esprit, après la vision de Mad Max Fury Road : Frénésie

 

La phrenesis, c'était étymologiquement l'inflammation du diaphragme, car les Grecs établissaient une relation entre cette partie du corps et l'origine de la pensée. Le diaphragme est aussi une partie du corps de la caméra, et contrôle la quantité de lumière qui vient à la rencontre de la surface sensible. Oui, Mad Max Fury Road est frénétique, avec sa succession de poursuites, de combats, de cascades spectaculaires, sous le plomb d'un soleil de post-production.

C'est comme si une étrange lumière éclairait le film, comme si ce filtre orangé permanent était le symptôme d'un dérèglement plus profond d'un aspect fondamental du cinéma d'action. L’illusoire enchaînement action/réaction s'affiche pleinement comme un simulacre : les figures apparaissent et disparaissent, libérées de toute logique. Ne reste que le spectacle, qui se pare des atours d'une révolution pour cacher sa nature véritable d'aller-retour.


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MIREIA INIESTA / Mad Max Fury Road: una persecución infinita

 

La cuarta entrega de Mad Max es una clara deudora de las dos films que la preceden, si bien prescinde del abultado y spielbergiano guión de Mad Max beyond Thunderdome (1985). En el caso de Mad Max Fury Road (2015) el guión queda reducido a su mínima expresión, característica que comparte con algunas de las películas más notables de estos últimos años, tales como Inherent vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014) Trudno byt bogom (Aleksei German, 2013) o el último cine de Malick. La película esencializa el género de acción, a través de una persecución infinita, renunciando casi por completo a las escenas de transición.Vuelven la lucha por los recursos, el eterno cacique y la idea de la conquista del espacio, que acerca el film al género del western. George Miller arriesga con una puesta en escena que no se concibe si no a través del exceso, haciendo uso de técnicas de última generación en perfecto equilibrio con una forma de rodar más física y artesanal.

  

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MARIANA FREIJOMIL / Tomar Troya

 

“We don’t need another hero”, cantaba Tina Turner en Mad Max, más allá de la cúpula del trueno. Esto mismo parece decir cada fotograma de Mad Max: Fury Road, un auténtico chute de adrenalina donde no hay ni un minuto de pausa ni escenas de transición entre continuos picos de acción trepidante. El estribillo de la canción de la entrega anterior de la saga parece ser profético. Max no da su nombre (¿Acaso importa?, dice) porque él no es más que el caballo de Troya que contiene el arma que dinamita las expectativas del héroe ochentero al que es imposible regresar. Imperator Furiosa, protectora de las mujeres que huyen del harén de Immortal Joe, toma el protagonismo y con ella el guión se diluye entre escenarios sucesivos dignos de un videojuego y en los que el polvo nos ensucia, el sol nos ciega, mientras sólo nos queda seguir adelante hasta la próxima parada.

El destino final de esta acción acelerada es desquebrajar un mundo en el que las mujeres son objetos y los hombres guerreros dispuestos a ser carnaza, donde la vida no vale nada. La velocidad de los vehículos quiebra este orden porque la furia es el camino para abrir el único horizonte de esperanza: la revolución.       

 

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LUÍS MENDONÇA  / Os Olhos de Theron

 

Muito se tem escrito sobre a importância do CGI na construção do mundo de Mad Max: Fury Road. Como se as imagens fossem melões, como se a sua "qualidade" fosse passível de ser pesada numa balança ou medida com uma fita métrica! Pela minha parte, interessa-me menos saber quantas sequências foram intervencionadas pelo computador do que me agarrar àquilo que o filme mostra. E o que ele mostra é essencialmente uma redução até ao osso de todo o aparato narrativo de Hollywood, numa tentativa de fazer regressar o motor cinematográfico aos seus mecanismos e sons primordiais. Esta primordialidade, que casa bem com um cenário pós-apocalíptico, não se encontra só na dimensão orgânica, não computorizada, das sequências de acção, mas em mais dois outros aspectos essenciais. Primeiro, na coreografia dos corpos conduzidos deserto afora por um carnaval infernal, entre Emir Kusturica, o Cirque du Soleil e o Estado Islâmico. Segundo, na redescoberta do rosto humano, e nele da potência do olhar, como uma arena metafísica de afirmação sexual e política.

É preciso escrever sobre o olhar ou a acção dos olhos de Charlize Theron, na pele de Furiosa, a personagem que rouba o protagonismo ao herói do título, tal como Roland Barthes escreveu sobre o rosto de Greta Garbo no seu Mitologias. Num filme tão pouco palavroso, numa montagem das atracções próxima de Eisenstein, foi-me possível ver, a certa altura, balas, lanças e arpões a saírem dos olhos de Theron. Entenda-se: o seu olhar atinge-nos, penetra-nos e atravessa-nos como balas, lanças e arpões. Theron conquista o seu lugar de rainha do filme bem antes da coroação final no filme. Por isso, o contra-picado final é uma subjectiva arrepiante não só de Max como também de um espectador subjugado ao maravilhamento pela mais elevada potência de um olhar. Sim, a descoberta de George Miller não é coisa pouca: o olhar pode, de facto, ser uma questão de cilindrada.

 


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KIM NICOLINI / Ten on Mad Max: Fury Road

 

1.    Mad Max: Fury Road is one giant speedball of a movie, a two-hour adrenaline and guzaline fueled chase through the Post-Apocalyptic very near future which could be now tomorrow.

2.    Fury Road is a war cry, an explosive call for revolution in the guise of a high speed chase that feels like a trip through Burning Man fueled on Meth and LSD.

3.    Front and center in this riot of female rebels and totalitarian pimps is the one-armed Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and her mean, dirt-eating, rock-climbing, trail-blazing War Rig – an actual welded, bolted and operational vehicle hybrid created by Colin Gibson who sutured a Czechoslovakian Tatra and Chevy Fleetmaster into a six-wheel-drive 18-wheeler powered with twin V8 engines.

4.    Suture is the word for this movie as Furiosa sutures her past and her present as she ushers herself and a clan sex slaves out of the reign of drought and totalitarian patriarchal terror and into a new world that ends up reclaiming the old world.

5.    The movie may be part of the Mad Max series, but Furiosa (and her War Rig) owns this film, yet her strength and emotional depth are powerful because they play against Max’s silent (frequently chained and muzzled) body; the two are in many ways one and the same – comrades of survival with a taste for vengeance and redemption; survivors of trauma who fight their way through a world that keeps choking up dirt and abuse.

6.    Fury Road celebrates the human instinct for survival and not giving up hope even when survival means occupying the land of hopelessness and facing a dead end road; because life, like this movie, is a never-ending and relentless chase full of chaos and irrationality, and survival means moving forward even when it leads backward, just like Furiosa and her War Rig.

7.    The film embraces the land of the real even when showing the unreal; it pays tribute to the past (pre-CGI cinema) while painting a picture of a post-apocalyptic future: Real cars are smashed together into monstrous hybrid concoctions that harken back to the anthropomorphic monster cars of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth’s Rat Fink comics of the 1960s while the use of real locations (the desert of South Africa) and real actors (no stunt drivers or CGI stand-ins) infuse Mad Max Fury Road  with  a sense of hyper real cinema so visceral the stench of gasoline seeps from the screen.

8.    Showing a scorched and barren mother Mother Earth where women are milked like so much cattle, children are turned into half-life slaves, and humans like Max are leeched for their blood, the only possibility for redemption and salvation has to come from a woman who can give rebirth to an aborted world, and that woman is Furiosa.

9.    Furiosa grabs the wheel of the War Rig, waves her stump of an arm like a battle cry, and she fights to the end and back to the beginning blazing down a road and through a movie that ultimately are named after her -- FURY.

10.The whole movie feels like Survival Research Laboratories gone mad with its metal-crunching chop shop pyrotechnics, and the movie itself is a cry to survive; to reclaim a place on this planet for the broken, the beaten, the enslaved and the betrayed; and to take back that which was taken from us – the freedom to choose our own road, to ride, and to live free.