If you’d have told me a year ago that the fourth Mad Max movie, made 30 years after the last just-okay installment, would be one of the best movies of the year and one of the best action movies of all time, I probably would have been dubious. If you’d later said it’d be nominated for all sorts of Academy Awards, including Best Picture, I would have really laughed in your face. And yet, Mad Max: Fury Road absolutely is all of these things, a success of filmmaking, and nobody’s more surprised by its success than its director, George Miller.
Speaking to The Wrap, the Aussie visionary (and I don’t use that word lightly in his case) talked about how hard it was to bring the movie to the screen, taking 17 years of false starts before it finally happened. He also equates the movie to a ‘strange documentary,’ an allegory of sorts more than an action movie. As with the best in science fiction, if the story can reflect our current times in a fantastical way then it’s the most successful it can be.
One thing that will always give me pause is just how many storyboards were used for the film. 3,500 by Miller’s estimation. It was the only way to ensure getting every shot perfect for is sort of balletic “silent film with sound.” I really think this is an apt description; it’s as propulsive and visually arresting as anything Buster Keaton ever did, except done for thrills instead of humor. I’d love it if they put out a coffee table book of the storyboards because I wants to sees them.
Whether Fury Road can actually walk away with any of the major trophies at this year’s Oscars is still up in the air, but if there’s any justice in the world, Miller will snag the Best Director honor, because honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen a better directed movie in this decade.
What are your thoughts on George Miller’s magnum opus? Let us know in the comments below!
HT: The Wrap
Image: Warner Bros
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!