Culture Magazine

Mad Max: Fury Road – Notes Toward a Psycho-kinetic Reading

By Bbenzon @bbenzon
This is a quick note I posted to a private online forum. I may or may not expland on it later on, but I wanted to get the note out here in public space as well. Why? If you've seen it, you know that it's basically a two-hour chase scene. As I watched it I kept asking myself: Why? The last paragraph of this note hints at an answer to that question.
* * * * *
Have you seen the recent Mad Max movie, Charles? I ask, Charles, because some shots from it came to mind when you talked of the hope and fervor of millennialism. As you know, the films are set in a rather dystopian post apocalyptic desert world. In the current entry in the MM franchise, the 4th film and the first in 30 years, the fervor is expressed by War Boys who spray chrome paint around their mouths and on their lips and teeth. Their hope is to be transported to Valhalla when they die in battle. There are two other things that make the film interesting. The surprising emergence of feminism in the film and the gorgeousness of much of it.  And, as I think about it, I guess there's a third thing. The film is basically a two-hour chase scene. I can tell you that, more than once, i said to myself: "Jeez! Are we have to have no relief? Aren't we going to get something other than chase chase chase!?" I'm now thinking that that unrelenting chase is the psycho-kinetic sea in which the millennial fervor of the War Boys floats. Of course, the War Boys are not on the side of THE GOOD in this film, a side that develops that unexpected feminist aspect as the chase rolls along. But one of the War Boys gets isolated from his fellows and he converts to the Mad Max/Furiosa/feminist cause.
* * * * *
That's the note. If I get around to commenting, I'll be wanting to argue that it's not only the War Boys' apocalyptic hope that floats on that psycho-kineticism, but the feminist alternative. And that in some way that psycho-kineticism merges the two, the War Boys and the newly empowered Breeders, and Max and Furiosa (the one-armed).

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