Gold Coast Film Festival Screening: Mad Max

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Posted 2011-11-22 by Matt Elliot Taylorfollow

Sat 26 Nov 2011

"I'll say the names, and you say 'yes' or 'no'… Night Rider? Toecutter? Bubba Zanetti?" To any true-blooded Australian with a thirst for a Phase-4 Head, Twin Overhead Cam and 600 Horsepower through the wheel, the answer to these questions is "yes".

As part of the Gold Coast Film Festival happening this month, Event Cinemas at Australia Fair are hosting a one-time screening of the Australian road revenge classic Mad Max [1979]. First-time viewers of today's generation will probably see it as just another revenge plot, but for fans it is so much more. Set in a post-apocalyptic society where petrol is scarce and the highways are ruled by chain-wielding bikers, Max (Mel Gibson) is a well-respected and feared highway cop who after having killed a head biker of a similar reputation – the Night Rider (Vincent Gil) – finds himself being chased down by his just-as-maniacal biker buddies, led by the infamous Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne). When they kill his wife and young child (in what can only be described as one of the most knock-out sequences in the history of Australian film), Max loses his soul and all respect for humanity. With the help of a 1973 GT351 Ford XB Falcon Hardtop ("She's the last of the V8s"), Max takes down the men responsible in some very cold but creative ways, culminating in a climax involving a hacksaw, handcuffs and an ankle belonging to child-like psychotic Johnny the Boy (Tim Burns) – "You can't kill me! Not for stealing a man's boots!". This final scene has since become so memorable that it inspired the premise for one of the most popular horror franchises in recent years: the Saw films.

Directed by George Miller, who was actually a doctor by profession, endeavoured to make a B-grade exploitation picture with aspirations of a big-budget action film, and it pulls it off magnificently. Brilliantly shot by cinematographer David Eggby with low-angle close-ups that will make you wonder if he's going to get sucked under the car being that close, Mad Max is the epitome of gung-ho filmmaking. Miller never got police permission to close off streets, crash cars and destroy property, with no insurance or workplace health and safety. In an industry today where you can't even light a match on set without filling out some sort of safety form, this landmark piece of Australian film history is to be marvelled at, not to mention igniting the career of Mel Gibson.

Winning A.F.I. Awards for Best Sound, Best Editing and Best Original Score, this special screening is being dedicated to the late Australian film composer Brian May, who not only wrote the score for this film as well as for the sequel Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior [1981], but also many other Australian films of the era.

1/2 out of *

On Saturday, November 26th, George Miller's Mad Max is screening at Australia Fair Cinemas on the Gold Coast as part of the Gold Coast Film Festival. If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing this film, go and give it a try to finally witness a seminal film that beautifully captures the massive Australian car culture of the 1970s.

!date 26/11/2011 -- 26/11/2011
211125 - 2023-06-16 06:34:02


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