Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Nominee #2 - Mad Max : Fury Road (2015)
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in search for her homeland with the aid of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max.
Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy
Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
The camera is watching him from above. ‘My name is Max. My world is fire and blood. Once I was a cop, a road warrior searching for a righteous cause. As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy’ for the first time we see the ‘mad’ landscape and Max – back to us - goes on ‘Me or everyone else!’ Then the camera watches from below.
Then two shots, two frames to nearly every rushed movement, micro-movement, he gobbles the unsuspecting little reptile, swivels around to the car, grabs the duffel bag, closes the door. Then (as if for the first time) we see ‘that’ hood. The beast-engine roars to life. Smoke spewing from four (yes, one, two, three, four) exhaust pipes and the car rolls off the shoulder in a haze of dust. Silence. Then ‘everyone else’ comes leaping over the camera – on motorbikes, on dune buggies and in souped up cars.. All manner of monstrosities howling victory even before their prize. The camera takes in a mile of the chase in one frame. And his car is overturned.
‘I am the one who runs from both the living and the dead. Hunted by scavengers, haunted by those I could not protect’ and he’s cornered, by barbarians who’d make even Conan look like a nun in a pew. He’s dragged by the convoy, bound and on foot.
There’s surely no script. This is hell, on steroids. And the guy standing on a dune near you looking far off into the distant sand is about to turn around and bite your ear off.
His hair is chopped. He’s branded. He makes a ferocious attempt to escape and is chased through a maze of tunnels until he finds himself stopping just short of the edge of cliff. Max makes a last desperate dive out into the open but is dragged back by his captors into a world without hope and goodness. It’s one of those sequences where you wonder whether the marauding tribe might suddenly turn on the cameraman, the Director, the cinematographer. No one’s in control. There’s surely no script. This is hell, on steroids. And the guy standing on a dune near you looking far off into the distant sand is about to turn around and bite your ear off.
Sure, Director George Miller was mad. How else would he have returned to that same theme over and over and over again? But are you complaining? You’re just going to buckle up, strap down and do whatever it takes to enjoy the ride. And we don’t blame you. Witness us!
Behold nominee #2 in the Opening Sequences category