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Mad Max: Fury Road [May. 23rd, 2015|11:12 pm]
Mad Max: Fury Road

Holy crap what did I even just watch.

My brain is tired now, just from all the processing of spectacle.

Even if you've got a strong aversion to dystopian post-apocalyptic wastelands -- and I am very definitely in that camp -- it is worth overcoming to see this movie. It is exceptionally well-done. Like, in terms of being the kind of movie that it sets out to be, it gets a perfect score. It know exactly what it's doing, to the point that there are all kinds of crazy things that you just accept without hesitation, because the movie is so sure of itself.

Also some gorgeous beauty in between the explosions and mind-blowing violence.

Did I mention it's also deeply feminist in multiple awesome ways?


[User Picture]From: resonant
2015-05-24 03:23 pm (UTC)
Worth seeing on the big screen?
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2015-05-24 03:58 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2015-05-24 06:27 pm (UTC)
I have to disagree with FemFreq. I think she's focused mostly on Furiosa and neglecting a whole bunch of other women in the movie who do a bunch of other important things besides equal-opportunity violence. Plus, I didn't see the movie framing the violence as fun and awesome; I found it much more on the side of dreadful / unnerving / appalling.

I saw Thunderdome ages and ages ago, but remember little of it. I think Fury Road stands perfectly well on its own; it does a very good job of communicating all the necessary information with remarkable terseness.
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[User Picture]From: siderea
2015-05-24 11:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link!

As it happens, I rather profoundly disagree with the esteemed Ms Sarkeesian on this. I've been brewing up an essay in the back of my head with the title "The Privilege of Violence" for quite a long time. This looks like very useful point of departure; I'm glad she wrote out her sentiments.

As to the movie, I was under the impression from an interview with George Miller it was the (or a) goal of the film to be a feminist film; that's why he brought in Eve Ensler to consult on it.
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[User Picture]From: siderea
2015-05-25 04:38 am (UTC)
I'm keen on shades of grey, but I think of the difference between Anita's and my perspectives being that I gather from those comments that Anita sees positive depictions of violence (the "glorified violence" she cites in her tweets), by any gender, as anti-feminist, and I just don't. If one thinks of repudiating all violence as essential to feminism, than her criticism makes perfect sense in that light. I disagree with her that her stance on violence has anything to do with feminism.

So – with the caveat that I haven't seen the thing yet! – I'm entirely willing to grant that it "glorifies violence" (I've seen at least one other Mad Max film, and that seems a safe bet) and I don't feel that its doing so diminishes its feminist cred at all.

Now, it's entirely possible that I'll walk out of the theater fuming mad at its So Called Feminism – I'm one of, oh, three people who found "Brave" to be regressive misogynist tripe – so I may well agree with you when I see it, that it follows too many misogynist tropes, and those outweigh any of its feminist accomplishments. I just won't be counting the glorification of violence among them.
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[User Picture]From: siderea
2015-05-30 02:46 am (UTC)
I just walked out of the theater 30min ago.

I liked it! If I hadn't known that it was being hailed a "feminist" film, it wouldn't have occurred to me to think it such. I just would have been pleased to see so many female actors on screen in an action flick, especially doing the action, and accounted it progress.

I take even more exception to Anita's comments now, because the very issue she condemns it on – glorification of violence – is explicitly addressed in the film, by two women, in dialog ("I thought you were above all this") and implicitly elsewhere in it. I'm okay with criticizing that argument as a cop-out (it kinda was), but not acknowledging that the feminist argument against violence is present in the film is unfair.

That said, I agree with her tweet:
"We are not things” is a great line, but doesn’t work when the plot and ESPECIALLY the camera treats them like things from start to finish.
Yeah, there's a lot of visual objectification of the brides' bodies. There was also plot objectification; I'm more okay with that because think it was to a relevant point.

There could have been more feminist subversion of female-subjection tropes, but I like what it did deliver. Unlike Anita, I feel that women[*] getting to "participate as equal partners in a cinematic orgy of male violence" is a big fucking deal, and I appreciate it immensely.

Aaaaaaand it reminded me of the first MM film I saw, Road Warrior, and the unnamed woman warrior in the white armor, who made a big impression on me as a kid, I tell you what.

[* ETA: and middle age and older women getting to participate as capable combatants! BOOYAH!

Am now all bummed my ophthalmologist said I am at elevated risk for retinal detachments and not to do combat sports. :( My adrenal system is all like LET'S GO FUCK SOME SHIT UP, and my neocortex is like, "We are a slightly over-weight rather out-of-shape middle aged woman with knee issues and impaired ability to operate kitchen knives; also it is 11 pm. We are going to have a nice cup of chamomile tea now, and maybe shortly go to bed."]

Edited at 2015-05-30 03:00 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: siderea
2015-05-24 11:43 pm (UTC)
Aaaaaaaand that was exactly the review I was waiting for. Wasn't sure I wanted to tough out this level of violence, but, yes, apparently I do.

Have you seen this?
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2015-05-25 01:07 am (UTC)
Glad to be of service!

I had seen that post, but stopped reading at the spoiler tag. Thanks for reminding me to go read the whole thing!
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[User Picture]From: tbass
2015-05-25 01:17 am (UTC)
I liked it but my eyes were super tired after seeing it.
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