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Mad Max : Between Apocalypse and Utopia single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Mad Max : Between Apocalypse and Utopia
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'Considering the vaguely punk 'rags 'n leather' aesthetic that has flourished in the sequels, it is always surprising to find how the breakout Aussie hit that started the franchise is only minimally science-fictional: for US grindhouse audiences - viewing the film in a rather hilariously dubbed American release version - it was surely the spectacle of lawless motorcycle gangs ruling over backwater towns surrounded by the unfathomable emptiness of outback roads that made it seem futuristic. [...]the gratuitous murder of his wife and infant child transforms Max from stoic cop to vindictive vigilante, hunting down and sadistically killing the individual gang members who conveniently combine societal collapse and Max's personal loss. [...]in spite of its sometimesuncomfortable homophobia and the striking erasure of native Australians, the franchise-defining sequels also rid themselves largely of the 1979 Mad Max's deeply reactionary sensibility: rather than depicting a dystopian world spiraling off into worsening degrees of chaos and lawlessness, the later films delight in the creative mayhem that results from the absence of a single hegemonic set of social relations. [...]while the nihilistic original film gives us a thoroughly nasty dystopia of uncontrollable social decay, its three successors (thus far) combine dystopian nightmares with a variety of stubborn and remarkably resilient utopian imaginaries. [...]that mirrors both the reception and the history of scholarly interest in Mad Max, the first film is once again the odd one out - bereft as it is of utopian impulses beyond its fully apocalyptic politics. [...]in her essay '"Who killed the world?" Religious paradox in Mad Max: Fury Road', Bonnie McLean navigates the slippery relationship between gender and religion in the film's post-apocalyptic society, focusing on the productive ways in which it offers productive alternatives while also condemning its corrosive patriarchal hierarchies. [...]without denying or 'misunderestimating' the franchise's ambivalent politics or its many internal contradictions, this quartet of essays reads Mad Max's barbaric post-apocalypse against the grain as a powerful expression of hope.'  (Publication abstract)

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Last amended 7 Nov 2018 11:14:39
301-306 Mad Max : Between Apocalypse and Utopiasmall AustLit logo Science Fiction Film and Television
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