2015 has been a terrific year overall.

One of the absolute high points for me has been getting the opportunity to meet and chat with George Miller, whose "Mad Max: Fury Road" remains one of the finest things produced by anyone anywhere this year. I've always been a fan, and I'd interviewed him once before by phone, but this year brought him roaring back into the mainstream, and I took full advantage of the opportunity.

Our first encounter was at SXSW, where I moderated a Q&A after a screening of "The Road Warrior," and it was a magical evening. In the midst of this busy media event, we had a sold-out audience at the Paramount in downtown Austin, and it played like it was a brand-new movie.

When Miller showed up at the HitFix studios a few weeks ago to discuss his work on "Fury Road," he mentioned that the SXSW screening had been a personal high for him as well. It was the first time he'd seen the film since the press tour for it back in 1982, and it gave him a chance to see the film through the eyes of the audience, fresh in a way that seemed to surprise him.

You always hope when you meet someone whose work means so much to you that they'll be easy to talk to as well, but I've been doing this long enough by now to know that is not the case. With Miller, though, it has been a delight every single time, and I think that's why he agreed to sit down for a full hour-long on-camera interview with me at the HitFix studios.

That's an uncommon chunk of time these days, when so many interviews are five or ten or twenty minutes, and Miller was great about allowing me room to explore all sorts of topics with him. The main reason the opportunity arose is because Warner Bros. would love to see Miller get a nomination for Best Director at the Oscars, and I would dearly love to see that happen as well. He's certainly deserving of one, as much as anyone else this year. I'd like to see anyone on the planet accomplish what he did with "Fury Road." It's an awe-inspiring piece of work, just on a physical scale, and a reminder of why he's a genuine legend.

In this first section of the interview, we're going back to the first "Mad Max" film. We talked about a number of his movies, and the conversation took some great twists and turns, but it made sense to me to start with the film that put him on the map internationally.

I'll have more from this one all week long, so keep coming back. And if you'd like a bigger chunk at once, I've embedded the entire first half-hour at the bottom of this piece.

"Mad Max: Fury Road" is available on all home video formats now.
You can pick it up for yourself via the Film Nerd 2.0 Amazon store.

A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.