So I know I was on vacation, but I wasn't cut off from civilization. I was looking at Twitter occasionally, reading a few e-mails at the end of the night. As a result, I'm still catching up on stuff that evidently was discussing, and I felt like one story in particular deserved a second look, because I'm not sure why it seems to have been almost completely shrugged off.
Isn't anyone else curious what's taking so much time with "Fury Road"?
Maybe it's just me. I've been hearing talk about this film for a decade now, and when it comes to George Miller, there are few film fans who are more passionate about him. I think Miller is all-time-pantheon good at what he does, and I think it's a shame he hasn't been treated with a little more reverence. He should be. He is a straight-up kinetic genius, a whiz when it comes to cranking up the tension in a sequence. There is a chase that takes place in "Babe: Pig In The City" that is every bit as thrilling and sincere as the big chase near the end of "Mad Max 2," aka "The Road Warrior," and only Miller could treat both of those scenes they way he did. Only he would stage them and shoot them the way he does. There's no one else who has the same eye that Miller has. I don't understand the magic trick in "Lorenzo's Oil," where he makes it feel just as urgent to have someone read something in a book as it is to break past Lord Humungous and his horde.
There are reports now that there will be a period of additional shooting, something I fully support in any filmmaking process. I am of the mind that every movie should have three weeks of additional photography built into schedules after the first cut of every movie if you can afford to do it. It seems like an entirely sane idea, something that would allow you to add some gravy if you have the time and to patch the wound if you find one. I don't have any problem at all with "Fury Road" if they are indeed doing new material or replacing something they're not sold on.
The Playlist found the Inside Film link discussing the upcoming additional photography, and it looks like no one knows yet what the new shoot entirely entails. I hope whatever it is, that it genuinely helps Miller find his film. I want to believe that he's the one calling the shots, and that he is still capable of pulling off an amazing Mad Max film. I want to believe this because he has been so consistently great and undervalued over the course of his career. I want to see him pull off one more grand slam, and for it to be a "Mad Max" movie would be particularly sweet.
And while we're speaking of "Mad Max," holy crap, do I love this making-of documentary that I found online tonight for "The Road Warrior." I remembered it wrong from a screening at the Drafthouse. I believed the mantra was "Something… has gone TERRIBLY… wrong," but I wasn't far off. The droll matter-of-fact delivery of "The stunt has not gone according to plan" is so casually badass and unflappable that you just have to love these crazy bastards even more.
"Director George Miller, who was trained as a doctor…" I think it's important to remind the audience that Miller can treat the stuntmen he so happily seems ready to destroy. And I say that with much love. I think the world of Miller as a filmmaker, and I think he made the exact film he set out to make with "Mad Max 2," a huge heady mix of myth and mayhem, exploitation art.
He's like Raimi and Jackson and Carpenter and so many of the other filmmakers I admire, guys who took "junk" genres and infused them with soul in a way that made their films bigger and made them resonate deeper. When you watch "Mad Max 2" or "Conan The Barbarian" or "Blade Runner" or "Evil Dead," you're watching someone who isn't remotely ashamed of the genre they're working in, someone who knows that if you lean into it, heart and soul, you'll get something special.
"Once again, the stunt was performed sensationally… but something has gone wrong."
It's like 5;40 total, and there's time for two stunts to go disastrously wrong. That's great. Warner totally knew what they were selling. "Those crazy Australian bastards are killing each other with cars on-camera, and it'll only cost you $7 to watch it all. Coming next summer!" At this point, it sounds like this last round of shooting may be a case of allowing Miller to ladle on some gravy that they told him not to shoot until they could look at what they had, and stuff like this can often make the difference between something good and something great.
I am crossing my fingers for "Fury Road," and I hope that the next round of filming is a productive one for Miller and Warner and whoever else has a horse in this race.
"Fury Road" is coming. Maybe. Someday.