Film impressions by Roger Echo-Hawk
Mad Max: Fury Road crackles with whiplash energies. Entering the theater, we soon find ourselves surrounded by grotesques. Joining this horde, we are forbidden from anything like serene introspective reverie… this is more of a brute scholarly teratology. With glimpse after glimpse of senseless parched rigidities, it’s pointless to wonder why we came here.
Imperator Furiosa quietly orchestrates our quest. Max is just another haunted nameless fugitive. There is no past here; only an elaborately manufactured present. A sense of stark foreboding has taken the place of the future.
A furious ballet begins. Now we must careen, surrounded by timeless nightmarish disintegrating mechanisms. Our seats hurtle us into the midst of the machinery of extremity. If you choose to enter this theater with us, you can bring your seatbelts with you, but they won’t help. It’s that kind of myth.
Maybe history did happen. And if it did… well, Furiosa can plan for things like redemption and liberation. But for Max, such words are too weighty. So when he stumbles upon the Wives, we pause in the sudden diaphanous mystery. It should be a sensuous scene. But the story lunges onward. On into the drenching justifications for violence, the choices to kill that comprise the plot.
And the durable pacifist world of non-violent decisions that really fill daily life… the dreamlike delicacies of that world never happened in this mythology. Everything here is brittle; nothing is delicate.
Whatever happens next, make no mistake. This is a frightful epic ordeal; the darkest steampunk mythmaking. Here we must slowly shed our machinery. Here we must wrest back our names, our evanescent humanity. In the end, it looks something like fading into a crowd. It looks like… maybe we really can smile. Maybe. Someday. This is just what happened along the way.