Monday, September 7, 2015

Witness me...

This post is part of Nathaniel's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series in which the participants must post a single image from a movie he or she deems as the "best shot" for any particular reason.

Mad Max: Fury Road currently sits on top as my favorite film not just from this summer, but for the entire year. Unfortunately, I've only seen it once back when it came out thus making it even more of a challenge for me to talk about why I loved it so much. It's also tricky, because I honestly loved everything about it and the worst things I could say after I saw the film were that a) it wasn't longer and b) why a sequel wasn't already in the works. But that's getting ahead of everything and speaks to my TV-minded brain wherein I want to spend more time in this world, with these characters which George Miller so deftly painted.

Certainly I, along with many others, connected with the film's feminist storyline and characters, unfortunately rare in similar action films. So when picking a favorite shot from the film, I could've easily picked any numerous shots of Furiosa, the Wives, or the Vuvalini not to mention all of the moments between Max and Furiosa treating each other as equals (probably my favorite aspect of the film if I'm being honest). Their nighttime shooting scene is just beautifully rendered and was a close runner-up for my best shot.

But I decided to focus on the grand spectacle that Miller created in that vast, unforgiving, and beautiful desert wasteland. The film is unapologetically violent, chaotic, and loud and it's no more evident than during the final and epic battle when Furiosa and Max lead their group back to the Citadel and have to go up against Immortan Joe's army. The battle itself is fierce, anarchic, and messy with lots and lots of moving parts. But Miller shot it all with such specificity, thought, and harmony that rather than getting lost amidst the action, the audience is transported right into it. It's a fascinating and tricky balance that the film achieves. With all of that said, my pick of favorite shot from the film is the great explosion of the People's Eater's fuel truck as Max swings across the screen in a pole.

Best Shot

It's a highly unoriginal choice as it's one of the shots from the first trailer that people immediately loved, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't looking out for this moment in the film when I saw it in theaters. When it happened, towards the end of their battle, I was not disappointed. Just look at that explosion, supposedly a real one and not CGI, with its sheer power and fiery tendrils. This shot represents so much of what I love about the film visually from how visceral it is to how it's so thoughtfully framed. For example, the shot is made all of the more memorable by Max hilariously appearing on the foreground witnessing it all as he swings on his pole disappearing off screen on to the next action sequence. Mad Max: Fury Road is, excuse the lame pun, furious in all of the best way, but at its core it's also a grand spectacle in the smartest, most engaging way. I very much look forward to finally buying the film and then re-watching it many times.

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