C: Mel Gibson (Max Rockatansky), Joanne Samuel (Jessie Rockatansky), Hugh Keays-Byrne (Toecutter), Steve Bisley (Jim Goose), Tim Burns (Johnny the Boy), Roger Ward (Johnny the Boy), Roger Ward (Fifi Macaffee), Geoff Parry (Bubba Zanetti), Vince Gil (Crawfor "The Nightrider" Montazano), David Baracks (Mudguts), Paul Johnstone (Cundalini), Nico Lathouris (Grease Rat), LuLu Pinkus (Lobotomy Eyes), LuLu Pinkus (Roop), John Ley (Charlie), Jonathan Hardy (Commissioner Labatouche), Robina Chaffey (nightclub singer), Sheila Florence (May Swaisey), Max Fairchild (Benno), Steven Clark, George Novak. 93 min
The film was not theatrically released in Finland – first telecast: 14 March 2015 Yle Teema – VET 102086 – VLV 1984: K18 – VET 1986: K16, 2001: K18 – MEKU 2015: K16
Park Circus 2K DCP viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (Mad Max x 3), 23 May 2015
Mad Max: Fury Road  had its international premiere last week, and tonight we are screening the three previous Mad Max movies, all four directed by George Miller.
Thus I saw the first Mad Max (1979) for the first time; it was not theatrically released in Finland, and theatrical prints have been hard to come by in our part of the world.
I rate The Road Warrior / Mad Max 2 highly as a post-apocalyptic vision with a unique design, and I also like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome as an original interpretation of the primordial Australian Weltanschauung called Dreaming. George Miller created for BFI's the Centenary of the Cinema series a fascinating Australian entry called 40,000 Years of Dreaming where he elaborates a philosophy of the cinema based on that approach.
Unfortunately the initial Mad Max is not on the same level of ambition and accomplishment as the later films of the cycle.
It is a well-made violent action entertainment movie. As a story of brutalization and collapse to a revenge mentality (the opposite of justice) it has affinities with the Death Wish series. Mel Gibson here starts to create a memorable antihero. The fighter against criminals becomes a sadistic outlaw. The mad policeman persona became a starting-point for Gibson's later the Lethal Weapon series.
George Miller has real talent in action cinema. He knows how to build, he knows how to alternate moments of quiet and violence. He knows how to make a road movie.
Mad Max belongs to one of the cinema's original subgenres: the car demolition chase movie, already mastered by Georges Méliès, followed enthusiastically by French and Italian farce makers, and soon revived by Keystone and other American comedy studios. Last year in Pordenone Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi curated a special program of early cinema's car chase movies. James Bond, Blues Brothers... there is no end to this list.
Watching the film I was thinking about my mother who died two months ago. She was a traffic safety champion and also a film lover who liked Jacques Tati's Trafic and Jean-Luc Godard's Weekend. Mad Max is an illustration of her worst nightmare: a car-dominated world that has become a hell for non-drivers (and drivers, themselves, as well). She was a registered nurse and would have nodded approvingly at Dr. George Miller's hospital sequences.
This first Mad Max is not a post-apocalyptic story, nor is there as yet a unique design for a world after Doomsday. It is, however, already a film thoroughly informed by the customized car and motorcycle aesthetique. And this tale of demon motorists on both sides of the law has a stark smell of the death drive. The world has not yet ended, but they are already living like there is no tomorrow.
The Park Circus 2K DCP mostly looks good. The colour is fine. Machines and urban milieux look good in digital. Nature does not look very good in this digital presentation.
OUR MAD MAX X 3 PROGRAMME NOTE BEYOND THE JUMP BREAK