Listen, dawg, I’m never not going to have SPOILERS when it comes to Fury Road.
I ended up watching this specific part (9:46) of this interview because of this one question that was referenced on twitter.
It’s interesting listening to George Miller’s impression about feminism in Mad Max: Fury Road. It ties into an old question about how much intention is in the writer’s mind when it comes to themes in their work? I’ve spoken to one guy, who also happens to be my roommate, and he says he’s very aware.
For George Miller, however, everything appears to just come logically out of the story he wanted to tell. He wanted to tell a chase story, and since he didn’t want to tell the story of one man stealing another man’s wives, it was logical then that a woman was stealing the wives. And obviously, what kind of woman would do such a thing? She’d have to be, given the universe, a Road Warrior. Meanwhile Max stumbles into the story, in George Miller’s terms, as a mad dog, and Furiosa and Max clash and have to come to some kind of alliance. So obviously Furiosa, again, has to be fierce and a warrior.
Like, it sounds like there was no feminist agenda, it just seems to me that the feminism is a logical outcome for a team trying to make a good movie. Of course the Wives would play a large part in the story and take risks and die, to make them the centers of the conflict but to not develop them would be, perhaps ironically, objectifying them (the very thing Immortan Joe was doing). Of course Max would defer to Furiosa, because Furiosa is the mastermind behind the scheme, whereas Max literally has no plan beyond “run fast”.
Of course Max would hand over the rifle to Furiosa, because she was raised among snipers. He didn’t know that, but he was next to her when she was sniping bikers out of the air and Max never struck me as a rifle guy (which makes sense again because Max was a police officer, and unless he was SWAT or something he probably wasn’t much of a rifle guy).
Like… I think all of it came down to George Miller and the team wanting to make a great movie and not compromise the story or the characters. There were a lot of women characters in the story, so naturally women had to do a lot of the carrying of the movie. A movie with something to preach is really hard to make good, and we’ve all seen dozens of “strong female characters” through the ages. But I think a great movie just organically has great themes, and a movie about rebellion against an oppressive tyranny will naturally have to have people struggling for equality and humanity, and oh guess what that neatly dovetails in to?