Mad max (George Miller, 1979)

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Mad max (George Miller, 1979)

Post by Admin on Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:46 pm

What genre is this movie? What characteristics and genre conventions have you found during the screening? Please post pictures or clips to support your comments, if available.


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Re: Mad max (George Miller, 1979)

Post by TomCruise10 on Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:27 am

When Mad Max was first released to audiences back in 1979, the genre of the action film did not exist like it does today. Mad Max and other hit action movies of the 70's (Dirty Harry, James Bond: Live and let die) helped establish the action genre through similar codes and conventions.

George Miller helps craft such a genre by adapting a simple yet effective story line, starring Mel Gibson as protagonist, a widower on a quest for vengeance. Miller uses typical action film conventions (violence, gang wars and car chases) infused with a post-apocalyptic setting which really gives Mad Max the edge over action films of the same era.

The opening scene off Mad Max forces audiences into a fictitious civilization full of corruption. The lands are patrolled by two rival forces - the nightriders and the police. Gang wars are a common theme within action films, especially motorcycle gangs. The nightriders set the trend for many of the motorcycle clans we see on todays screens.

We see this rivalry intensify throughout the film as the narrative of the opening scenes reveals the genre and plot. The opening scene depicts a run down world as text types across the screen 'A few years from now' - This informing audiences of the futuristic storyline and scenery.

Using sharp editing and up-tempo music, the opening scene conveys typical action genre conventions, A police man is shown perched on a wall of graffiti, spying on a couple having sex through a sniper rifle. Set on long stretch of lonely roads (perfect for a car chase) The policeman is soon interrupted by a reporting of a nearby crime: "We got a cop killer" This opening line sets the narrative perfectly, thrusting audiences straight into the storyline of Max's revenge of this death.

Following this, Max is introduced as all hell breaks loose. The couple having sex flee the scene, car engines are fired up, all guns are loaded and Max zips up his leather jacket, all to a background noise of screaming and sirens. I believe this opening scene engages audiences immediately and the genre of film is obvious at this point.

Mad Max (and its two sequels) has become cult classic cinema; serving as inspiration for later action films. I would also recommend the latest film in the Mad Max franchise (Mad Max: Fury road) again directed by George Miller. Some would disagree but I believe this is the best to date, great watch!


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Re: Mad max (George Miller, 1979)

Post by Charliemarie on Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:59 pm

Mad Max (George Miller,1979) 

Not a lot actually happens in the first Mad Max film and I feel it's really more of an origin story for the franchise. 

Although you can tell it's clearly an action Film from the get go with its high speed car chases, cops and explosions.

The opening titles State 'five years from now' letting the audience know that it is set in the future, this is  before we see any visuals, and when we do it's pretty obvious the kind of future George Miller has in mind for Mad Max is that of a dystopian one. The Baron lands and the chop-shop looking cars are a dead giveaway to the films setting and genre. 

The film has a very distinct style that came from a lower budget but I think it works very well with the  dystopian theme  everything is supposed to be falling apart, everything is supposed to be thrown together, like chop-shop cars and bizarre gang uniform. some things that have become the norm in the franchise and it works really well. 

The gangs in general are a bit absurd in the way they dress, they are over the top in their mannerisms and the way they talk can be a bit peculiar, they are very playful, yet very violent, very reminiscent of Alex and his droogs in A Clockwork Orange and perfect for a dystopian themed Action film.   

As I said not a lot actually happens in the film as a lot of the time is filled with car chases but I suppose this would make it a bit more exciting and more of an action film,  and the car chases do tie in with the forthcoming plot of the film. 

That being that the titular character 'Max' is on the run from the gangs running riot at the beginning of the film, his wife and child are killed by said gangs and he seeks revenge, resulting in yet more cars chases, explosions and violence, all key elements in an action film. 

Although it can be slow in places, the faster paced sequences make up for it and make and excellent dystopian action film. I also have a lot of love for the films distinct visual style, it has a gritty arty feel to the film that is unlike any action film of the time and has influenced many after it and rightly so.


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Re: Mad max (George Miller, 1979)

Post by AshleighJackson95 on Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:45 pm

George Miller’s “Mad Max” is not the type of film I expected when I began watching it, as it is a lot slower than the modern Hollywood action film with action scenes fairly sparse throughout the film, but that is not to doubt that it is in fact an action film.
The main driving force behind Mad Max as an action film is not the use of guns, although they are also used, it is the car chase sequences where the tension and action comes into the film especially in the opening sequence involving the “Night Rider” and the climatic battle between Max and the gang leaders. These scenes feature multiple crashes; gunshots, explosions and a much faster paced editing than the rest of the film. Due to it’s heavy use of driving it could possibly be seen as a precursor to Hollywood action driving films such as “The Fast and Furious” franchise.
The plot of the film although it takes about an hour to get going is the basic revenge story, which is incredibly common in action films from Robocop to Django Unchained and will continue to be used in storytelling until the end of storytelling itself. In this scenario the Motorcycle gang burns Max’s partner to near death and they murder his wife and child. So obviously Max sets off to kill the leaders of the gang.
Although Mad Max is primarily an action film it does contain elements of Sci-Fi and Horror, for example the film opens with the text “Five years from now” telling us that this is a different world with things we don’t understand and rules different from reality. Later on in the film Max’s wife is running through the forest whilst being chased by the motorcycle gang this scene is quite horrific with it’s use of very quick cuts and high tempo discordant sounds.
Max in this film has quite a very distinctive character arc in this film as he starts as a police officer that loves his job that then becomes afraid for himself and his family so he quits to take care of them, which he fails at so he becomes a man set on redemption who achieves this but becomes cold as a result. This arc makes us see that Max had everything and lost it all and even though he has revenge he’ll never have his life back and will never feel the same again. This is like the antithesis of the ending to Nicolas Winding
Refn’s “Drive” in which the protagonist achieves redemption and finally has something to live for.
All in all “Mad Max” is worth a watch especially if you are a fan of car movies as it may have helped influence how chase sequences are done in modern films today and if you can look past the low budget style you have an enjoyable film on your hands.
My rating 3/5


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