“Conversations with George Miller” Part 2: Mad Max Trivia


Stuff I learned about the Fury Road world from George Miller, Nico Lathouris and Brendan McCarthy today at the Sydney Graphics Festival.

– Angharad is the true ideological opponent of Immortan Joe. He represents a toxic ideology of death, while she represents life, the alternate way of living. As the instigator of the Wives’ escape, and the one who came up with “We Are Not Things” she was the most revolutionary of them because she saw the potential for a new way of living, and she saw clearly that “what killed the world” was a way of life that glorified killing, something that even Furiosa participated in

– “We agreed – no unnecessary killing” was due to the fact that Angharad and Furiosa had actually argued about their worldviews before leaving – Angharad realised that the ideology of killing needed to end if they were truly to escape Joe’s influence, Furiosa believed that killing was necessary in the wasteland because you wouldn’t survive otherwise. They compromised with “no unnecessary killing”.

– Nico Lathouris said (and I quote) that Fury Road was about “dismantling the patriarchy” and central to this idea is the fact that the economy on which Immortan’s rule was based (the ownership of water and people) was dismantled also by the end (water made available to the Wretched for free, slavery ended)

– Actually Lathouris is an awesome guy, he talked so much about feminism in this event and talked specifically in regard to Angharad that her vision for a feminist utopia “seems initially naive” only because “it requires men to make such a shift in their perception and behaviour” but that ultimately her vision came true, if not in the way she expected and not while she was alive.

– The reason Max doesn’t go up into the Citadel at the end is because “he hasn’t earned it yet” in terms of his own journey. (Which implies maybe he will later?) I really like this because 1) Furiosa clearly has earned it because this story was about her and her journey really, and she has achieved her arc, whereas Max has achieved a major part of his arc (fixing what’s broken) but he hasn’t achieved all of it yet. 

– Max’s muzzle is a garden fork. 

– Furiosa can read, having learned from the Many Mothers. But Angharad and the Wives are more educated than she is,, having read all the books that remain from before the apocalypse. That taught them to question the structure and foundations of their society – something that (initially) Furiosa doesn’t think to question. 

– Capable can identify Polecats and Flamers because 1) Furiosa prepped all the Wives on things they might encounter in the Wasteland before they left and 2) from the room where they were imprisoned, the Wives could look down on the desert and see fights and things that went on.

– Toast can drive and load a gun because she grew up in the Wasteland rather than the Citadel. She was taken  probably as a teenager as her family passed through the Citadel (possibly to trade?)

– War Boys wear black and white paint because they know they are halflife, and their worldview is centred around death. They are trying to become like skeletons. They worship cars because cars are “immortal” in comparison to them, (also because they can fix cars and they cant fix themselves). White paint is a symbol of being halflife. You paint yourself white if you have a terminal illness. So people like the Imperators are full life, but presumably if you later found out you had a terminal illness and you were working for the Immortan you would start to paint yourself white. 

– War Boys were initially going to all wear penis gourds. But then George Miller thought “hang on this won’t go down well on screen” :P

– Some of Max’s buttons are Australian 10c coins.

– According to George, there are no War Girls. But he immediately followed that assertion with the qualifying statement that the world no longer “belonged” to him but to everyone and that everyone would have different interpretations so if you have a War Girl OC basically you have his blessing. 

– Everything in the wasteland is multi-purpose. So there are shopping carts attached to the sides of some war vehicles for people to sit in. 

– The decorative nature of things like the cars, steering wheels etc. are a reflection of the fact that even in really poverty-stricken cultures there is an artistic imperative and appreciation of beauty, so even “junk” is fashioned into art and the body is marked as a form of art and also fetishisation.