Of the many reasons to be grateful for the journalist Laurie Penny, her review of the movie Mad Max: Fury Road now ranks pretty high for me. Thankyou Laurie – and Jessica Valenti – for tipping the guilty pleasure of the film much more towards the pleasure than the guilt, by writing fantastic reviews that suggest it’s a really feminist movie. There’s also a great Tumblr site giving Max new lines, all feminist-y too.
The bit I would add to support this reading of the film is when Max sees the five scantily-clad women escaping the mad patriarch washing themselves in the desert haze – I know, I know, but bear with me – whereupon he kind of blinks, like this is a totally stupid hallucination (like his others), entirely irrelevant to the task at hand, which is dealing with the woman who’s engineered their escape. He doesn’t ogle, doesn’t look, doesn’t even think such a vision can be real. Woo hoo. (Unfortunately, not all viewers may share my interpretation of this scene; my 17 year old son among them, who pointed to it as evidence that the film was indeed sexist.)
Ultimately, though, the burning Mad Max question is: how does a professor get to be listed in a Mad Max film credits?! I swear I saw two profs thanked as the credits rolled. Who are they, what did do they do to get thanked, and (depending on the answers), can I do it too please?