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Re: FURY ROAD's Oscar chances?

Postby henry2 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:26 am

I don't want to give up hope for Best Picture. I absolutely LOVE this film, it's incredible! It even has heart and great storytelling through action which is hard to do and Miller pulled it off perfectly. I think it's one of the best films of all time, let alone this year. :)
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Re: FURY ROAD's Oscar chances?

Postby biolumen » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:35 am

Can ‘Mad Max’ Rally Passion for Oscar Best Picture Nomination?

October 26, 2015 | 05:08PM PT

One of the year's most vibrant auteurist statements could depend on turning out the base.

Last week a number of headlines sprouted up across the Internet beaming that Warner Bros. would be pushing “Mad Max: Fury Road” for best picture Oscar consideration. The impetus was the launch of the studio’s annual “for your consideration” site, which featured the film in all categories.

Of course, there’s nothing really new about that practice; “Our Brand is Crisis” soon joined “Black Mass” and “Fury Road” on the site, and Ron Howard’s “In the Heart of the Sea” will surely land there in time. It was always in the cards to promote the film heavily for awards, and recently the studio really began that charge, circling director George Miller and star Charlize Theron back around for press opportunities aimed at reminding the industry what the movie has to offer (i.e. an experience you simply won’t find elsewhere on the circuit).

With more than $153 million in domestic box office receipts ($374 million worldwide) and standing tall as one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year (a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 89 Metacritic score), the film absolutely remains a strong contender. The question is — and has been — whether Warner Bros. can find room for such an unabashedly atypical entry.

Passion matters most in the nominations phase, though, and there’s certainly a base to rally here. Filmmakers like Edgar Wright (a newly minted Academy member this year) have been particularly vocal about supporting it throughout the season, for instance. What’s more, the feminist aura of the film makes it the bold sort of centerpiece in a year dominated by female-driven narratives.

When I first saw “Fury Road” back in May ahead of its Cannes debut, my first thought was that it would be a brilliant poster child for the push to recognize stunt work at the Oscars. It’s jaw-dropping, what Miller and company were able to achieve practically, in-camera. My second thought was that, even if it doesn’t find enough best picture love with Academy voters who can’t quite keep up with its mania, perhaps members of the directors branch will sit in awe at what the 70-year-old Miller accomplished this late into what has long been an iconic career.

At a Q&A over the weekend, moderated by Variety‘s Jenelle Riley, Miller recalled working with actor Jack Nicholson and a debate the two had over whether the toughest job on a set was the actor’s or the director’s. Miller said he ultimately agreed with Nicholson’s take that it was the actor, and he then went on to praise Theron and his cast for “the interplay between rigor and abandon” necessary for a film like this.

But Theron wasn’t having it. “I’m going to put my foot down and say that you, by far, had the hardest job,” she replied. “To tell this story in a way that was so unusual — you knew that this is the way you wanted to tell it and everyone said, ‘That’s not how to do it,’ but you stayed true to it and that’s an incredibly hard thing to do. When I watch this movie, it’s like looking at a Jackson Pollock. I see your thumbprints all over that canvas.”

I think that really centers the film’s awards case. This film might be the most vibrant auteurist statement in the Oscar race this year, a controlled chaos courtesy of a legend. Degree of difficulty is a fairly definitive measuring stick, after all. With Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass” — which it should be noted does have its own passionate base — not quite generating the Oscar excitement Warner Bros. had hoped for overall, a fairly impressive best picture streak is on the line here; the studio has landed in the Academy’s top category 10 of the last 12 years, including three wins (for “Million Dollar Baby,” “The Departed” and “Argo”).

Is there enough fuel in “Max’s” tank to get it there? Whether there is or isn’t, you can at least go ahead and chalk Wright up for a vote:

Hey @TheAcademy, I don’t even need the voting form. Put me down for ‘Fury Road’ in all categories. Even Documentary. pic.twitter.com/zg0MNPWA9Y

— edgarwright (@edgarwright) September 29, 2015

http://variety.com/2015/film/in-content ... 201627113/
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Re: FURY ROAD's Oscar chances?

Postby henry2 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:36 pm

I just saw a New York Post headline, "First wave of Oscar hopefuls is a bust"! Including STEVE JOBS and BRIDGE OF SPIES. Does this help FURY ROAD's chances?
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Re: FURY ROAD's Oscar chances?

Postby biolumen » Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:35 pm

Fury Road was nominated for 11 AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) awards.

http://www.aacta.org/the-awards/5th-aac ... inees.aspx
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Re: FURY ROAD's Oscar chances?

Postby biolumen » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:47 pm

Hollywood’s award season began Nov. 1 with the presentation of the 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton


Lesley Vanderwalt, Hollywood Make-Up and Hair Styling Award for “Mad Max: Fury Road;” and Colin Gibson, Hollywood Production Design Award for “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

http://laindependent.com/hollywood-film ... rd-season/
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Re: FURY ROAD's Oscar chances?

Postby biolumen » Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:24 am

With awards season approaching, Miller and WB are starting to put the push on, with Miller doing lots of interviews. Several articles to read here.


In a poll of 168 critics from around the world, Sight & Sound has ranked MMFR the 3rd best movie of 2015, behind "The Assassin" and "Carol". Imo that's a fairly remarkable feat considering the artsy tastes of S&S.

1. The Assassin
2. Carol
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
4. Arabian Nights
5. Cemetery Of Splendour
6. No Home Movies
7. 45 Years
8. Son Of Saul
9. Amy (tie)
9. Inherent Vice (tie)
11. Anomalisa
11. It Follows (tie)
13. Phoenix
14. Girlhood (tie)
14. Hard To Be A God (tie)
14. Inside Out (tie)
14. Tangerine (tie)
14. Taxi Tehran (tie)
19. Horse Money (tie)
19. The Look Of Silence(tie)



WATCH: How George Miller Made 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (EXCLUSIVE)

By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood
November 25, 2015 at 3:37PM

It came to him in a dream, and he made it real. It was neither inevitable nor easy. And trust me, it's an Oscar contender.

When it comes to the Academy Awards, voters tend to think highbrow. They like to represent the best, most humane, classiest version of themselves. But don't forget the Steak Eaters. The Academy is full of them—they're red-blooded males (not just American), often directors, writers and craftspeople. They're the guys who voted for "Argo," "The Silence of the Lambs," "Braveheart," "Gladiator," "Avatar," and yes, "Crash" over "Brokeback Mountain."

"They vote for big movies that make big money, good solid moviemaking with great actors and good storytelling," one veteran Oscar campaigner told me. "'True Grit' is for them." Last year this faction of the Academy voted for such mainstream hits as Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper."

The Steak Eaters —and many women Oscar voters as well—will come through for George Miller in the same way they did Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" and Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity." It's about the nuts and bolts recognition of the craft of fashioning cinema spectacle that makes your eyes pop.

Organic. That's not a word you hear in Hollywood very often. That's George Miller's credo. If something doesn't fit or sit well, it doesn't happen. That's why his movies are so great—the ones he actually makes, from "Babe" to "Happy Feet." (Some have been left by the wayside, like "Contact" and "Justice League.") "Mad Max: Fury Road," dreamed up on an airplane and realized by a 70-year-old director 35 years after his feature debut with the original "Mad Max," does not follow any formula that any studio executive would recognize.

It helps that Miller owns the "Mad Max" franchise. (Even if frequent distributor partner Warner Bros. is paying for it.) And he took the time he needed—fifteen years—to make it. The project was revived at Warners long after it died at Fox after Mel Gibson's troubles met the recession. We are all the beneficiaries of this. Why?

Who but Charlize Theron, in all her muscular maturity, could play one-armed Imperator Furiosa, who more than holds her own with Mad Max (Tom Hardy stepped in for Gibson, after receiving his blessing), measure for measure? (Theron wanted to shave her head.) She even shows her prowess in a key moment that defies every Hollywood convention.

"Normally the guy takes the shot," Miller told me. "But it’s her gun. She’s the one that we see using it. It seems to be logical for the character. There’s one bullet left. To survive, they’re counting the bullets.” So Max hands her the gun and lets her take the shot over his shoulder. She makes it.

"Things develop organically," Miller said. "You create the architecture for the story once. The characters almost guide you one way or the other." Throughout the film Max struggles to free himself — he’s chained to Nux (Nicholas Hoult) and his souped-up car and enclosed inside an iron face mask—and slowly builds back the wardrobe that is stripped from him.

"Max starts off with a purpose: how to become free?" said Miller. "He’s a caged animal, and bit by bit he finds some freedom. He’s always manacled to problems: 'get that thing off his face!' When he finally does, once again he’s manacled to some sense of honor or obligation, and maybe a little flicker of humanity that draws him in. Again that came out of where the character was. There was a guy who’s really damaged, literally a caged animal, he’s a commodity, a blood bag."

Max is finally set free by his non-romantic ally and kindred spirit Furiosa. (We know how they feel about each other via silent looks and reactions. Mere dialogue is in short supply.) While Miller likes to describe his vision of a non-stop silent action movie, "Fury Road" falls into distinct sequences, mapped out first on 3500 storyboards by Miller and comic book artist Brendan McCarthy and then by screenwriter Nico Lathouris, and does occasionally stop to breathe. The viewer is hanging onto to every precious word to explain and reveal what is going on. Eventually the rules and characters and vehicles and caches of weapons become clear. The movie comes down to this sage line from Max: "If you can't fix what's broken, you'll go insane."

"There’s no time for recreational talk," Miller says. "The dialogue has to be very purposeful, it carries important information. It's about who is in this battle, or pageantry or religiosity in the dialogue of the tyrant, whether oratorical or sloganeering or the war cries of the war boys. When things do calm down there’s more intimate scenes between Nux [Nicholas Hoult] and Riley Keogh [Elvis Presley’s red-haired grand-daughter]—even those moments where Max reveals a bit of himself to another. Dialogue has its function, it’s very important to make it clear, people grab on quick, a little like water in the desert."

The central images of the movie's extended chase came to Miller on a long flight to Australia. "I never intended to make another 'Mad Max' movie," he said. He saw five wives fleeing a warlord. Then on another flight when he was in a "hypogogic state between sleep and wakefulness I free-associated the whole movie through the mist of my imagination. I wanted to do a silent movie with sound."

Miller consciously follows western tropes, substituting wheels for horses and pitting his adversaries against each other in an endless desert. Given the passage of time, Miller was well aware that his early success had spawned many imitative post-apocalyptic narratives. So he decided to zig where others zagged. The cliches of the genre were to desaturate the cinematography. So he and great Australian cinematographer John Seale (dragged out of retirement), saturated the color. "We were able to change the skies, and go against the idea that because it’s the apocalypse, there’s no longer any beauty in the world."

Thus these survivors, poisoned by radiation and riddled with tumors, struggle in a hostile environment short on resources like clean blood, fresh water and gasoline. So they come up with a religion to explain things and motivate them. And Miller’s creative team dug into the details—vehicles, props, costumes—all derived from scrap materials that would have existed before the fall. But he avoided the junkyard look of other dystopian landscapes. He looked for beauty.

It was up to Miller's humongous team—1700 crew were spread over several football fields at base camp—to realize his imaginings, from Jenny Beavan's costumes to 150 hand-built durable vehicles and multiple digital cameras shooting over 120 days. They yielded over 400 hours of footage that had to be whittled down to size by Miller's editing partner Margaret Sixel.

Two stunning sequences involve digital enhancement. One is the massive dust storm (Miller did use animatics) that envelops the swarm of warring vehicles, which get lost in a swirling dreamy CGI haze. The other is out on the wide desert (shot in Namibia) on an eery blue night with shining stars. Like the 40s and 50s westerns that Miller loves, he shot it day for night, with light glistening on hair, skin and eyes.

"It’s very difficult to light great expanses and make it feel like night—night for night," he said. "So we went back to day for night. It occurred to me that because horses don’t have headlights, of course it had to be day for night, the war rig couldn’t put on headlights or they’d give their position away, only the war party could put headlights on. We shot headlights at magic hour when we could see the lights and still see the sky. We did day for night for the rest."

While it’s true that Miller couldn’t have made this film without digital enhancements, he goes practical when he can, with a lot of remote technology, and used CGI for wire removal, sky painting and fixes, more than the stunts themselves, which were largely accomplished live. When the actors could do the stunts they did them—but an army of stunt guys did them too. Original “Mad Max” stunt man Guy Norris broke a world record by tumbling Max's Interceptor (which started out as a 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon Coupe) in a rehearsal for the opening sequence over and over 8 1/2 times—and landed on a dime in front of the camera.

Cirque du Soleil wrangled the acrobats who execute the swoony pole vaults through the air, perfectly controlled by weights. Remote control drivers allowed the actors to look like they were steering the vehicles. Miller directed the action from inside a speeding decked out dune buggy control room, manipulating multiple stunts at a time.

The wire work on the film was not Hong Kong style, but the stunt crew used an Australian rigging crew imported from the Sydney and Beijing Olympic opening ceremonies: "they only get one take," said Miller, "so they have a lot of fail-safe systems." The VFX folks could wipe out the wires and enhance puppet work with CGI, "just to make sure people move freely on vehicles at a speed so that should they fall, they not fall to their deaths," said Miller.

At the end of the movie (SPOILER ALERT), "when we tried to have Max go up to the Citadel with Furiosa, it just didn’t sit right," said Miller. "Hardy felt it. I felt it, everybody felt that."

So where does Max go from here? Like a John Wayne hero, he's a western loner with no home, one of those "who wander this wasteland in search of our better selves." Will we follow Furiosa? Reportedly not. Miller will only do another if it sits right. The movie wasn't shown in 3D in Cannes because he took as long as possible to get the 3D conversion perfect. He shot the space instinctively in 3D anyway, he says, "at a wide angle, from the beginning, with the camera always moving, on sticks, zooming in space." Now he likes it. (Of the three versions I saw, I preferred the 2D Dolby Atmos.)

Article Link:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononho ... e-20151125

Video interview links:

http://www.indiewire.com/embed/player.j ... &width=480
http://www.indiewire.com/embed/player.j ... &width=480
http://www.indiewire.com/embed/player.j ... &width=480
http://www.indiewire.com/embed/player.j ... &width=480
http://www.indiewire.com/embed/player.j ... &width=480


George Miller Pays Tribute to His ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Below-the-Line Crew

November 18, 2015 | 10:00AM PT
Tim Gray
Awards Editor @timgray_variety

Everything about “Mad Max: Fury Road” is mind-boggling: 15 years from inception to premiere; 3,500 storyboard images; nine months in the Namibian desert, often with 20 cameras and up to 80 vehicles; 480 hours of footage tightened into two hours, with 2,700 edits for the final print. In this interview, director George Miller pays tribute to his below-the-line colleagues.

Cinematographer: John Seale

“He was the great camera operator during the Australian-cinema resurgence. Everyone wanted to use him. Now, he’s a great cinematographer and still a great operator, which is important in a tight space. For example, when you’re working in the cabin of the War Rig (Charlize Theron’s vehicle), that’s seven or eight actors in a very limited space, and the whole thing was in motion. But he was always gentle, elegant. He was highly influential in creating a safe space for the actors, and that’s a big deal. To him, it’s as much about the performance as about composition. He had wanted to retire, and he turned 70 during the shoot, but he was right in the thick of it, and was very agile with cameras, and always with calm and artistry.”

Editor: Margaret Sixel

“Ah, the love of my life, and the mother of my two teenage boys. She hadn’t done an action movie, and didn’t think she would be right for this. But she’s done quite a few documentaries, and can take material that looks ordinary and fashion a real story. We dumped massive amounts of footage on her. We had lots of digital cameras shooting because they’re (relatively) cheap, and a (digital) card ran 40 minutes. She had storyboards and script, but can be dispassionate about footage, which is what you need. She knew what I intended, but she looks at what’s on screen, which is not always the same. That’s important. I knew she could find the rhythm. Like a composer, you have to find the tempo, the progression, the melodic line. You look for the relationship between one moment and the next. She spent a lot of time on the film; it wasn’t fair to our kids, but they thought it was cool that their mother was editing an action movie as opposed to ‘Happy Feet.’”

Hair/makeup designer: Lesley Vanderwalt

“She brought great skill and she’s also a great leader, in the way the hair and makeup team prepares the actors. That’s how actors start their day, and a fine crew will be sensitive to that. She’s understood the characters and the restrictions. Sitting in a War Rig hurtling across the desert, you couldn’t stop to do touch-ups. Charlize had a makeup kit to do it herself, and Lesley designed a look that could be striking but easy to touch up.”

Production designer: Colin Gibson

“I think he had fun, especially with the vehicles. One of the guiding ideas of the film: Everything has to be made from found objects. Max’s mask is a garden fork; the guitar on the car uses a hospital bedpan. Colin and his team took a steering wheel, a doll’s head and found how to use them. Even though it’s the wasteland, people can make beautiful things. Colin is almost impossible to describe. There were times I thought he was triplets. He’s everywhere, on top of a cliff with a motorbike, the next minute he’s down the road, painting a fake rock. He’s not afraid to tell you what he thinks, which is very valuable.”

http://variety.com/2015/artisans/produc ... 201641881/


‘Mad Max’ Director George Miller Reveals What Drove Him to Filmmaking

November 19, 2015 | 09:00AM PT
Tim Gray
Awards Editor @timgray_variety

Australian filmmaker George Miller, director of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” was in L.A. briefly to accept an Environmental Media Award for his work, including his activism on Save Watsons Bay. He spoke with Variety about his early creative influences.

What were some of your early movie experiences?

I was highly influenced by Saturday matinees. It was a ritual of the town where I grew up. There would be an A feature and B feature — or if it was a big Technicolor Cinemascope movie like “Ben-Hur,” it would be one movie with an intermission. Plus, cartoons, newsreels, 10-minute serials like “Batman” and “Sir Galahad.” There was a relatively new theater in Chinchilla, a town of 4,000-5,000.

It had 1,000 seats. There was no Internet, no cell phones, and Australia was late in getting television. So moviegoing was a major ritual and the theater was like a secular cathedral. It was an inadvertent apprenticeship.

Did you want to be a filmmaker?

I never thought I’d be able to make films. There was no opportunity. My twin brother, John, and I went to medical school. One day I walked past a cinema with a movie poster showing a woman’s legs, but the top half of her was a hand giving the peace sign. Hm. So I walked in. It was Robert Altman’s “MASH.” I knew nothing about him or the film. After the movie ended, I walked right out, and then paid to see it at the next show. That was a big deal to buy a movie ticket, much less two, because I was in medical school and didn’t have much money. When I walked out again, I was on a high. I passed an arthouse and bought a ticket, because I wanted to see whatever was there. And it was “Battle of Algiers”!

I was cinema-driven from that day. That was a good day.

Did that change your goals?

After that day, I thought, “I have to try to understand film language.” I saw silent films, like “The General” and Harold Lloyd. This brand new language! It’s a universal language and its syntax was developed pre-sound. So I try to conceive of each movie as a silent movie, and then when you add sound and music, see how much more you can get out of it. Byron Kennedy and I decided to make a satirical short, “Violence in Cinema, Part I.” It was one of the first shorts ever distributed in Australia. With the arrogance of youth, we said, “We should make a feature film.” And that was the first “Mad Max.” It was very difficult to make, but I hadn’t realized at that point that all films are difficult to make.

When did you develop your eco concerns?

I think it comes from growing up in the bush. Australian cinema is very much
about landscape. This is a vast continent, the size of the United States but with a population that’s only half of California. So you’re very aware of figures in the landscapes, and that shows up in our songs, films, in the culture.

http://variety.com/2015/film/news/georg ... 201643921/


Will Mad Max blow up the Oscars?

Robbie Collin
28 November 2015 • 8:00am

How a demented, gas-guzzling chase movie ignited its 70-year-old director's career and set fire to this awards season. George Miller on the spiritual journey of Mad Max: Fury Road

For more than 20,000 years, the Anangu people of Central Australia have told a story about seven young women who were chased across the Western Desert by a lecherous old man called Wati Nyiru. He was a powerful sorcerer, and his pursuit of the women was so frenzied that he carved the landscape into new shapes as he went, leaving caves and watering holes in his wake. But the women were clever, and kept one step ahead of the old chauvinist, finally fleeing into the night sky and becoming stars when they ran out of places to run.

Some time ago, the director George Miller took his children on holiday to Cave Hill, around 60 miles south of Uluru in Australia’s dead, red centre. On the roof of the cave that gives the area its name, the journey of the women and the sorcerer is described in a vast, swirling storm of ancient rock art.

The tale, which is called Kungkarangkalpa Tjukurpa, is what’s known in Aboriginal culture as a songline: something that serves as both entertainment and a kind of transcendental satnav, giving you practical advice on finding sustenance and succour in a hostile world.

All of which is to say that if you found watching Miller’s latest film, Mad Max: Fury Road, a nigh-on spiritual experience, it was not without good reason. Fury Road takes place in a bone-dry future, where a group of six women – five escaped sex slaves, plus Imperator Furiosa, the battle-scarred liberator played by Charlize Theron – are tearing across the wasteland in a fume-belching, 18-wheel War Rig. Tom Hardy’s Max finds himself whipped up in the wake of this whirlwind pursuit, while the women’s former master, the slavering despot Immortan Joe, follows on with his fanatical War Boys in tow.

I meet Miller on a drab autumn day in a hotel in central London. It’s six months since we last spoke, when he had just finished work on Fury Road, and in the meantime, lots of things have changed. Miller’s outfit is not among them, though: the genial 70-year-old Australian is wearing exactly the same thick black leather jacket and owlish glasses he also favoured for the late May Los Angeles heat.

Back then, many wondered whether Fury Road – a long-delayed sequel to a cult action franchise whose previous instalment was released 30 years ago, during Rambo’s heyday – would find an audience. Awestruck reviews (top marks from everyone from The Sun to Cahiers du Cinéma) and almost £250 million at the global box office provided the decisive answer.

Personally, I’m now convinced it’s the best action movie of the last 15 years, and perhaps even longer. (This millennium, only Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has got close.) So with the Oscars and the Baftas now just around the corner, a new question presents itself: how much further can Fury Road go before it runs out of tarmac?

For action movies, awards season can be a barren time. To find the last notable success story, you have to look back five years to The Hurt Locker, which pulled off a shock Best Film Bafta/Best Picture Oscar double – and then another six, to the final Lord of the Rings film, for the one before that.

But for Fury Road, the early signs are promising. At the San Sebastian Film Festival in northern Spain, three months after its world premiere at Cannes in May, Miller’s film won the Fipresci Grand Prix: an august honour, voted for by a panel of international critics, previously conferred on the likes of Michael Haneke, Jean-Luc Godard and Terrence Malick. (Last year’s winner was Richard Linklater’s Boyhood.)

The Fipresci award was “a surprise”, Miller chucklingly concedes. “Because when you’re working on each note, each chord progression, each sequence and passage” – he often uses musical metaphors for his work – “you won’t know until it finally gets out there if the whole piece works together. Does it have meaning? Does it have resonance? Do people get swept up into it?

“So when you realise, 'Oh my God, they’re digging down into the subtext of this story, not just seeing the surface,’ it’s very satisfying.”

That subtext is partly rooted in his fascination for indigenous Australian culture. Once Miller was free from Fury Road promotional duties, the first thing he did was take his family to the places in his home country he’d always meant to visit but hadn’t – “not quite a bucket list, but places I always felt quite ashamed at not having seen”.

One was The Kimberley, in Australia’s tropical north-west, where Miller was keen to track down an artist whose work he’d seen in a book by Geoffrey Bardon, a curator of Aboriginal art. The artist, Charlie Tjaruru Tjungurrayi, painted what he called “Ice Dreamings”: abstract multicoloured landscapes containing fields of white dots, which he told Bardon were images of a time “when ice made the mountains in my country”.

“They’re pictures of the last ice age,” says Miller, eyes aglow. “Passed down from artist to artist, and now painted by someone who’d only seen hail a few times in his life.”

The trip was bittersweet. Miller found the paintings, but not Tjungurrayi, who he discovered had died in 1999. But that visual short-circuiting of the present and the past electrified him.

Fury Road has the same passed-down, folklorish quality. Behind the spikes and tyres and flame-throwing guitar, it’s basically a campfire tale. It ends with a mysterious quote – “Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves?” – that’s attributed to The First History Man, a storyteller character in Miller’s early draft of the script but later written out.

“He was a walking Wikipedia,” he explains. “And because there were no computers, and all the books were probably burnt to make fires, the stories of the time had to be passed on orally.”

That’s why Miller went out of his way not to explain the film’s background details: the mourning rites, the weird incantations, even the chrome spray with which the War Boys ritualistically coat their lips and teeth before riding to their death.

“It would have taken away the poetry,” he says. “We’re watching a culture made up of repurposed found objects. You may not know what it means, because you’re a foreigner in the wasteland, but you know they know what it means. And there’s enough information there that you can interpret it according to your own world-view. That’s the value of allegory.”

Creating Fury Road itself became something of a dystopian legend. The film was 17 years in the making, with the original shoot, scheduled for late 2001, falling through when the financial repercussions of the World Trade Center attacks made it impossible to film in Australia with American money.

The leading man had to be recast twice: Mel Gibson, the star of Miller’s original Mad Max trilogy, was replaced by Heath Ledger in 2006, who was in turn replaced by Hardy, following the young actor’s death in 2008.

To cap it all, rainfall meant the proposed three-month shoot in New South Wales became five months in the Namibian desert, where Miller’s insistence on shooting the elaborate stunts “in camera” rather than using digital effects to create them from scratch, tested the crew’s talents, and sometimes patience, to their limits.

But finally pulling the thing off has turned Miller into something of a Hollywood hot property. He recently met with Warner Bros to discuss directing both their live-action remake of the classic Japanese animation Akira, and the Superman sequel Man of Steel 2 (sadly, the first is a definite no, and the second “probably not”).

In the works is another Mad Max picture with Hardy, subtitled The Wasteland, an idea for a science-fiction action film “with aliens”, and more. “But I have more films on my dance card than I’ll ever have time to make,” he says.

At first, while waiting for the stars to align, Miller busied himself with other projects. Some came to fruition, including the second Babe film, Pig in the City, and his Happy Feet animations – dancing penguins apparently being the ideal antidote to chaos in the desert.

Between 2007 and 2008, he was also agonisingly close to making Justice League: Mortal – a DC comics superhero team-up, with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, that would have predated Marvel Studios’ lucrative Avengers film by three years, and Zack Snyder’s forthcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by seven.

“It had a very good script, wonderful designs, a good story, and a fine young cast,” says Miller. “And we almost got there! But a little bit like the 2000 American elections, the Supreme Court voted four-to-five against, and we ended up with George Bush instead of Al Gore.” He’s joking, although politicians were responsible. Following the 2007 Australian federal election, a planned 40 per cent tax rebate was cancelled, and the movie evaporated in an instant.

For Miller, the consequences of that penny-pinching can’t be overstated. “It did for the Australian film industry,” he says.

But who needs Wonder Woman when you have Imperator Furiosa, the heroine-by-stealth of Fury Road turned feminist pop-culture icon? The way Miller demoted Max to a sidekick role in his own film caused a stir among “men’s rights activists” and other faintly tragic figures, but his rationale is blunt. “The wives needed a champion who was a female road warrior,” he says. “And she had to be female. A male stealing wives from another male would have been an entirely different story.”

As Miller attended screenings and signings, he was initially taken aback by the number of Furiosa tattoos. “It felt such an additional responsibility,” he says. “I kept thinking 'Oh my God, what if the film has no enduring quality?’ ”

But six months on, it’s clear Fury Road is built to last. Miller has already spoken about how much his film borrows from silent cinema – particularly Buster Keaton’s own there-and-back-again chase movie The General, which, almost 90 years after its original release in 1926, remains as riotous as ever.

That’s the thing about the pleasure of pure speed: it doesn’t date. Miller tells a moving postscript to his visit to Cave Hill: while he had been marvelling at the artworks in the cavern, he left his children playing outside, where they pulled up handfuls of wild grass and used it to slide down a steep rock face.

When he emerged, he noticed that the rock where they were sliding was as smooth as glass – “which meant kids had been sliding down there for thousands of years,” he says. Whether we find it via songlines or by instinct, in the desert or the dark of the cinema, that sensation is irresistible.

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Re: FURY ROAD's Oscar chances?

Postby Artemis Flow » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:14 am

From a total of nine feature film Awards presented at the Industry Dinner, including the AACTA Award for Best Visual Effects or Animation, the clear winner tonight was MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, scooping six Awards.
The AACTA Award for Best Cinematography went to industry veteran, Oscar and BAFTA Award-winning John Seale ASC ACS, whose previous award-winning work includes THE ENGLISH PATIENT.
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD also picked up the AACTA Award for Best Sound for an outstanding ensemble of practitioners; two past Oscar winners Chris Jenkins and Gregg Rudloff were awarded with two past Oscar nominees Mark Mangini and Scott Hecker, along with David White (who holds previous AFI and AACTA Award nominations), Ben Osmo (whose AACTA Award-winning work includes THE SAPPHIRES) and Wayne Pashley (who last won an AACTA Award for his work on THE GREAT GATSBY).
Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL won the AACTA Award for Best Original Music Score for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, the AACTA Award for Best Editing went to Margaret Sixel, and the AACTA Award for Best Production Design was awarded to Colin Gibson.
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was also awarded the AACTA Award for Best Visual Effects or Animation, seeing all six winners receive their first AFI or AACTA Award nomination and win; Andrew Jackson, Holly Radcliffe, Dan Oliver, Andy Williams, Tom Wood and Fiona Crawford.
* New site Fury Road Vehicles - http://furyroadvehicles.blogspot.com.au/
*Sydney Fury Road Stunt show - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N929gjLLzkk
*Hitler reacts to Mad Max Fury Road - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-_km-xssIA
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Re: FURY ROAD's Oscar chances?

Postby biolumen » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:32 am

Drew McWeeny sat down with Miller for a one hour interview, the first half of which can be viewed at the following link. He talks about the making of the first Mad Max and goes on from there. Drew confirmed that there's a push on from WB to get Miller nominated for best director Oscar, and that these recent interviews are part of that strategy.

http://www.hitfix.com/videos/george-mil ... ian-cinema


And here's another one of *those* interviews.


by Gregory Ellwood
November 30, 2015

Last May, at 70-years-old, George Miller dropped an unexpected masterpiece in the shell of a studio action franchise flick with “Mad Max: Fury Road.” It’s a film that stunned critics and is guaranteed to be a mainstay on year-end best of lists (it already ranks at no. 3 on Sight and Sound’s annual critics poll). Miller is a master filmmaker whose talents haven’t faded over time and if you chat with him for even a few minutes he’ll enlighten you with an ocean of knowledge that only the Spielbergs and Scorseses of the world can match. And that’s exactly what happened when I interviewed him last month for two pieces I wrote for Variety and the Los Angeles Times’ The Envelope.

The chat was supposed to be only 15-minutes, but happily Miller kept talking and it swelled to over 30. In fact, it probably would have gone even longer if I didn’t have a pressing engagement that forced us to cut it off. The Aussie filmmaker has a lot to share as one of the rare cinematic auteurs whose artistic achievements have become more pronounced with each subsequent picture and if someone hasn’t recorded him already Miller needs to tell his stories in front of a camera for a few hours for posterity’s sake.

“To be honest, it takes you a long time for you to understand what any of your work means,” Miller says. “It’s in the eye of the beholder and one of the things that is really exciting when you are doing interviews is that people reflect your work back at you. People have been telling me that my style has changed more than I’m aware of it and it’s provoked a lot of self-reflection.”

Miller’s made his mark in global cinema with his directorial debut, the 1979 post-apocalyptic thriller “Mad Max.” Cinephiles would insist that he’s just being humble, but when he looks back at that experience he believes he’s much better with actors today than when he first sat in the director’s chair.

“On the first ‘Mad Max’ movie I [had so many different actors from different backgrounds],” Miller says. “We had actors from television soaps. We had Mel Gibson who had come out of the National Drama School and was very steeped at a young age in Shakespeare. We had Hugh Keays-Byrne out of the Royal Shakespeare company and he’d starred in a very famous production of ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’ that he’d toured the world in.”

Miller didn’t come from a stage background, but spent a good amount of time studying action films and was “particularly interested in the quiet language that had developed in the silent cinema.” It wasn’t until he began working on his animated films, such as the Oscar winning “Happy Feet,” that he realized just how critical camera and cutting patters were.

“I’ve always been struck by what Roman Polanski said and I don’t know the exact quote, but ‘At any given moment there is only one perfect place for the camera.’ And I was able to prove that to myself in animation,” Miller says. “You could take the same performance, the same setting, the same everything and by changing the point of view of the camera and the cutting pattern you could substantially shift the mood and the way that a scene would be apprehended. Polanski was right. Then you go into a live action movie like ‘Fury Road’ and it’s so helter skelter.”

He continues, “The difference between animation and a live action movie is in animation it’s a difference between a coach and a player. You’re in the middle of a football game and all the prep and all the drilling and all the skill sets and whatever, count for nothing if you don’t have that instinctive intuitive response in the moment. It’s why you set out to have a plan.”

Anyone who has seen Miller’s films knows that he’s just as prophetic in creating iconic characters whether its Imperator Furiosa in “Fury Road,” Felicia Allen in “The Witches of Eastwick,” Mumble in “Happy Feet” and, of course, Mad Max himself. And, obviously, they are just as important as where the camera is pointed at in a scene.

“You’re driven by the story and the characters and you’re driven by the technical realities of what you’re trying to achieve,” Miller says. “So, if you’re sitting there thinking about what the fans will think that’s another voice that you don’t need to hear. There is a wonderful quote Joseph Campbell picked up where he talked about the Swahili storytellers in Zanzibar and he said at the end of a story they would say ‘This story has been told. If it was good it belongs to everybody. If it was bad it was my fault because I am a storyteller.’”

While many “Mad Max” fans looked to the previous films for clues or hints about what “Fury Road” would be, Miller says he was focused on the new story at hand responding to what was in front of him, not what was behind him. That being said, he gives significant praise to artist Brendan McCarthy whose own style had been influenced by “Mad Max II” and he eventually ended up with a screenwriting credit on the film. Miller notes, “He basically said, I’m here because I don’t want you to make a movie that will disappoint me as a hardcore ‘Road Warrior’ fan. And I said, ‘Well the story I want to tell is a chase in a war rig in its extended version’ so he was a good representative of the fan. When the guys got into building the vehicles lots of mechanics and petrol heads keeping me honest there.”

Technology has also been a huge influence as Miller’s films have evolved over the years. After he first read “Babe,” which he produced and co-wrote the screenplay, Miller reveals he tried to get Stanley Kubrick involved in order to deal with the dicey problem of having the animals speak. He solved that issue by animating the mouths, but can you imagine if those two had collaborated? It was his good friend cinematographer Andrew Leslie who provided him the inspiration for the more difficult “Happy Feet.” Miller recalls, “Andrew had come back from shooting the first ‘Lord of the Rings’ and he showed me the first Golum motion capture and the moment I saw that I thought, ‘Ah, the penguins can dance.’”

“Fury Road” was green lit and fell apart twice before shooting finally began in 2013, but Miller now sees a huge technological benefit in that extended wait.

“In the decade it took to get made the camera became smaller and more agile,” Miller says. “And you could use your DI [Digital Intermediate] as part of your editing process, your coloring. And stereo conversion, 3-D conversion was also getting way, way better. That changed how we made the movie.”

But wait, there’s even more. Miller continues, “Being able to put a camera anywhere was huge. You know the [vehicle we used to shoot the action scenes]? It’s a high-powered four-wheel drive with a crane on it. And there’s a stunt driver. There is a grip with toggle switches moving the remote control crane. You stage these battles for real, you have endless landscape and this camera can go anywhere.”

And, shockingly, cost effective.

“You smash an Alexa it’s a huge amount of money. If you smash a Cannon 5D, which we used, you can go to the airport in Namibia and buy one for $1,500,” Miller says. “And we smashed a few, but it was OK. That’s why Margaret [Sixel], the editor, had so much footage. Often you had a 40-minute card. We just let the cameras run.”

It may be hard to believe, but Miller was making films before video playback – now standard on almost all productions– was in use. He notes and then digresses, “Where it really worked was for me was with Johnny Seale on ‘Lorenzo’s Oil.’ He was one of Australia’s great operators and he came to lighting really late because all the very finest Australian [cinematographers], Russell Boyd, Don McAlpine and the others would say to Johnny, ‘Just one more’ before he went on to lighting.”

Miller circles back recalling, “On ‘Lorenzo’s Oil’ he started blocking the scene and I’m walking over to the monitor and there was a perfectly famed shot. On [‘Fury Road’ it was much different because] there were monitors but there were real world, real people and real desert. And you’re in a vehicle following it just that vibration and the camera is moving and vibration is great and the camera because it suggests speed. So, I just had to rely on my eye more than anything.”

An eye that is as creative as ever on “Fury Road” will, hopefully, be recognized by at least his peers with a DGA Awards nomination. And all prejudices aside, can you really name five people who deserve a Best Director Oscar nomination this calendar year more than Miller? And at this point, critics and the media may truly be Miller’s best hope this season (are you listening LAFCA and NYFCC members?). Not that we’re sure he even cares. Something tells us he’d rather be out on a rig having fun shooting gorgeous action scenes on the blank canvas of an endless desert in front of him than playing awards season games. But, boy does he deserve it.

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Re: FURY ROAD's Oscar chances?

Postby Taipan » Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:39 pm

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Named Best Film By National Board of Review

http://variety.com/2015/film/in-content ... 201650879/

Ramin Setoodeh
Film Editor, New York
The National Board of Review has named “Mad Max: Fury Road” as the best film of 2015.

It was an unexpected victory for the summer tentpole starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, which received favorable reviews when it opened in May, but is seen as an awards season longshot. So far, most of the advanced buzz in this year’s Oscars race has focused on such indies as “Spotlight,” “Brooklyn” and “Carol” versus the box office goliath “The Martian.”

Ridley Scott received the best director award and Matt Damon best actor for “The Martian,” which is expected to be a major awards season player. Brie Larson picked up best actress for “Room,” the indie based on Emma Donoghue’s novel. Sylvester Stallone earned best supporting actor for “Creed” and Jennifer Jason Leigh nabbed best supporting actress for “The Hateful Eight,” Quentin Taraninto’s upcoming Western, which also took home best original screenaply.

The NBR winners are selected by about 120 film fans from New York (who cast their ballots via email or fax), and the organization has a mixed track record of predicting Oscars success. Last year, the NBR offered a left-field pick by awarding J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year” with best picture, actor (Oscar Isaac) and supporting actress (Jessica Chastain), only to see the picture get shut out completely at the Academy Awards. But the gala proved to be one of the early stops for eventual best actress winner Julianne Moore for her performance in “Still Alice.”

The honorees will pick up their statues at the NBR dinner on Jan. 5, 2016 in New York at Cipriani 42nd Street. “Today’s” Willie Geist will return as the evening’s emcee.

Here are the full list of winners.

Best Film: “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Best Director: Ridley Scott, “The Martian”
Best Actor: Matt Damon, “The Martian”
Best Actress: Brie Larson, “Room”
Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”
Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, “The Hateful Eight”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Drew Goddard, “The Martian”
Best Animated Feature: “Inside Out”
Breakthrough Performance: Abraham Attah, “Beasts of No Nation” and Jacob Tremblay, “Room”
Best Directorial Debut: Jonas Carpignano, “Mediterranea”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Son of Saul”
Best Documentary: “Amy”
William K. Everson Film History Award: Cecilia De Mille Presley
Best Ensemble: “The Big Short”
Spotlight Award: “Sicario” for outstanding collaborative vision
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: “Beasts of No Nation” and “Mustang”
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Re: FURY ROAD's Oscar chances?

Postby biolumen » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:34 pm

Holy crap X 2. That MMFR was named best picture and Ridley Scott beat out Miller for best director.
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