All Mad Max movies and the Australians & Hollywood show are coming | The Canberra Times

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Mad Max (1979), a film made during the Australian cinema renaissance of the 1970s, could have seen an unlikely international blockbuster. The lead actor was an American born unknown and there were no big names in the cast. The director and co-writer, George Miller, was a former doctor who made his feature film debut with a violent, low-budget, post-apocalyptic action film, often filmed in guerrilla style. But the dystopian Mad Max, with Mel Gibson as highway patrolman Max Rockatansky, starting a revenge against the bikes that killed his family, went on to become a major international hit. Both Miller and Gibson went on to great Hollywood careers. Miller’s later films included Lorenzo’s Oil, The Witches of Eastwick, Babe and the two Happy Feet animated films. Gibson found success on both sides of the camera, starring in films such as the Lethal Weapon series and directing and starring in the Oscar-winning Braveheart. The original film was followed by Mad Max 2 (1981) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) – both starring Gibson – and a “revisiting”, Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) starring Tom Hardy . Although oil was a scarce resource in this world, there was still a lot of hooning left in soup cars – make it whatever you want. All four films will be screened at the Arc Cinema at the National Film and Sound Archive to coincide with the exhibition Australians & amp; Hollywood, a Canberra-only show featuring Australian contemporary films that opens on January 21. Among the items on display are the custom editions of Mad Max: Fury Road. Mad Max, as noted, kicked out the franchise. Although it can be seen as Ozploitation compared to his current Australian films such as Picnic at Hanging Rock and Breaker Morant, his high energy, stunt work and distinctive cars and costumes made it a huge popular success. The dialogue was originally called by Americans for the American market with unknown slang being replaced, but the action spoke a universal language. Max Max 2: The Road Warrior was also a big hit and, with a much higher budget, enhanced the elements that made its predecessor a hit – action, stunts, distinctive images – while still retaining a grim feel. The story, with colonists fighting against looters, was reminiscent of a western. It could be the highlight of the series. In Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Max meets Bartertown, directed by Aunty Entity (Tina Turner, who sings We Don’t Need Another Hero on the soundtrack) and is forced to fight a duel in the Thunderdome with Master (a dwarf) and his giant bodyguard Blaster. Max, later banished and wandering again, encounters another settlement, this time of children and youth. This had a much higher budget than its predecessors, but was criticized in some areas – Max spent less time in the Wasteland and some elements, such as the children’s story, were seen as off-putting. Miller returned to the franchise with Mad Max: Fury Road (whose Black and Chrome Edition will be released on January 23). Although Hardy replaced Gibson, and the budget was enormous – well over $ 300 million – this felt like a return to the early movies. Mad Max: Fury Road won many awards including six Oscars. And there will be more: Miller has a Furiosa origin story and another Mad Max story in the works. For more information on Australians & amp; Hollywood and the Mad Max screenings, visit



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