Monday, November 26, 2018

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD



This SUITABLY ABSURD 2015 release, directed by George Miller and starring Tom Hardy (chuckle) and Charlize Theron, is a PRICELESS JEWEL for the Discordian home film library. Once the film is stripped of its distracting elements, I find SO MANY THINGS TO LIKE!

>> Mad Max, t/n apparently Max Rockatansky, is played by Tom Hardy, for Pete's sake.  Thomas Hardy (author of Discordian classics like The Return Of The Native and Life's Little Ironies) is a Discordian saint in good standing.  And check this out.  Change the couture and the facial hair and they could pass for father and son:


Tom Hardy


Thomas Hardy


>> Charlize Theron, who appears in nearly every scene in the movie, plays a character who is pretty much channeling the Goddess of Chaos.  More than usual, even; she appears to understand and ACTIVELY MANIPULATE the complex interplay between Chaos and Order, and I'm here to tell you she plays it like a violin.  

>> Her name is pretty conflictual-sounding, even: Furiosa.  Remember that Eris is the twin sister of Ares, God of War.  And hey, how did she lose that left arm?   Probably not playing tiddlywinks.

>> The whole movie is about trying to find peace and safety -- what most people would call Order -- in an environment that is basically about TOTAL WAR, which most people equate with Chaos.  But the story is a delightful study in how Chaos and Order interpenetrate until you can hardly tell one from the other.  

>> Interestingly, Mad Max is trying, not to live with any of these people -- or rebuild society after the unnamed apocalyptic event that made the world like this -- but to go off by himself to resolve some internal issues.  He's haunted by the ghosts of people he wasn't able to save from WE KNOW NOT WHAT.  They hector and distract him constantly while he's trying to fight off the people trying to steal his car and his guns in the here and now.  All he wants is Order.  And all he has to contend with in order to get it is constant explosions, being kidnapped, tortured, drained of blood and dragged all over Hell's half acre, fighting for people he doesn't know and allying himself with people who keep trying to kill him.  As he puts it, he's the guy who fights the living AND the dead.

>>  Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne in a fright wig and scary-looking breathing equipment), despite his fearsome appearance, is the guy who's achieved some Order in this ultra-violent world. He has all kinds of complex arrangements in place to pump water from deep underground for drinking, bathing and trading, and he's organized his sick, starving constituents into productive units: breeding harems, armies of "war boys" who look like trainee Uncle Festers, bureaucrats, mechanics to keep the pumps running, lookouts and so forth.  They need all this organization to get through the day.  The Bullet Farmers and the inhabitants of Gas Town trade with the people living under the rulership of Immortan Joe, who controls most of the fresh water in the area, but the suppliers approach each other ARMED TO THE TEETH and are as likely to loot and pillage each other as they are to broker deals. 

>> Just about everyone else in the movie looks like groups of nomads on motorbikes dressed in what boil down to extreme gang colors.  The main difference between them and the Immortan Joe camp is that Joe's people have a permanent place to live and much bigger, better-armed vehicles.  Furiosa drives an enormous tanker truck variously loaded with water, gasoline, or mother's milk depending on the job.  In this series of events, she's packed the truck with Joe's favorite wives so they can all go to the Green Place of Many Mothers, which sounds like a fairytale but which may really exist.  Furiosa says it's so she can find "redemption."  For what?  She never says.  Hey, the living representative of the Goddess of Chaos, looking for Order?  Peace and plenty?  Safety and support?  The heck???  That's what I mean about her.  She gets that it's not a simple all-or-nothing choice.

>> Oh, the distracting elements I mentioned?  There's the fact that the whole movie is essentially a 2-hour fight-to-the-death funnycar show.  The crazy costumes.  The constant explosions.  When we finally get to a scene that isn't violent and crazy, it's a little startling.

>> I won't give away the ending, but it's a real shocker.  Total destruction of Order in order to create Order woven on the loom of Chaos.  A real kick in the teeth.

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