The fourth in the Mad Max franchise, which began with the classic Mad Max in 1979, Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) is directed by the one and only George Miller and is an immediately iconic action film. Its synopsis is as follows:
An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland. (source)
This film is one of my greatest regrets; in that I’ve only ever seen it on a television, and never on a huge cinema screen like it is truly intended. Mad Max: Fury Road is a truly exhilarating experience no matter the size of the screen, but I get the feeling that the action would be even more mindblowing and immersive in a cinema environment. Regardless, I recently had the chance to watch this on a television screen again, and was yet again stunned by the visuals on display. I have previously posted my thoughts on the film, and always knew I would have to do a separate post on how much I loved the way the film looks and moves.
Cinematographer John Seale worked on Mad Max: Fury Road. His previous films include Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Cold Mountain (2003), Rain Man (1988), Witness (1985), The English Patient (1996), amongst many others. One common theme amongst the visuals of all of these films is the use of vibrant and interesting colour combinations, which is definitely the case for Mad Max: Fury Road as well.
Basically, Mad Max: Fury Road is a triumph of so many creative fields – cinematography, editing, colour grading, costume and set design, and just shotmaking in general. The entire thing, from start to finish, looks absolutely gorgeous. Shot on location in the deserts of Namibia, the film makes great use of its natural environment and dusty surroundings. Dominant energetic colours of blue/teal and orange/yellow keep your eyes on the prize at all times. The use of colour and colour grading in particular is so commendable; you’d think that the constant blue and orange would get tiring, but it never does, and every now and then we get a flash of another colour on the spectrum (e.g. red or green) and instead of looking out of place, the object/person looks significant and interesting. I’m betting that Mad Max: Fury Road will sweep all the creative Oscars like Gravity (2014) did.
Find below my favourite shots from the film, mixed up to avoid plot spoilers. Given my love for the visuals of this film, there will probably be heaps.
Watch the trailer here.
All screencaps from kissthemgoodbye.net.
I loved this one as much as you. Fortunately, I did see it on the big screen – three times! Probably my favorite action film of the 21st century.
It’s for sure my favourite action film as well. I just can’t think of anything that betters it.
Those are some gorgeous shots you have posted. I hope this gets some love with award shows this season too.
I hope it gets a whole lot of love! I can see this getting nominated for pretty much all of the creative awards. I really hope it wins for cinematography.
Great shots posted. I love cinematography appreciation posts in blogs I’m just usually too lazy to make them. Excellent stuff here from an excellent film.
Thanks heaps Lukas! I have a bit of an obsession with cinematography, it’s true.
Great choice of shots, I’m thinking of doing a cinematography post on WW2 classic ‘The Great Escape’ completely different to Mad Max of course but just a nice reminder to get my act in gear. This looks fantastic
Thanks James! I would love to see that post on The Great Escape!
Shame you didn’t catch it at the cinema, I saw it on an IMAX screen and it was rather mind blowing. Still enjoyed it at home on Blu-ray though, fingers crossed a sequel gets greenlit!
I really hope they make a sequel focusing on Furiosa, she is fierce.
Wow amazing shots!
Thanks heaps Abbi! 🙂
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Amazing shots Anna. I’m still amazed the cinematography created so many colours from a sandy desert environment.
Thanks heaps Mikey. I’m so amazed as well, such skill on display. So glad this was nominated for approximately one billion creative Oscar awards.
Such a great film!
Agreed, it’s amazing!
Great post! So many spectacular shots in this one, many of which you included.
Thanks Wendell! I love all these shots, but had to even cull a few from the post because otherwise it would have just gone on for too long!
I really love that they actually went and filmed in the desert rather than green screened it. You’re right about the colours – the palette is carefully chosen and so saturated. I normally think of the desert as pretty drab but here it comes alive while still feeling quite oppressive.
I know, imagine how terrible it would have looked if they green-screened everything. It looks so much more authentic and atmospheric being shot on location.
I loved this review so much, your use of language and images is enthralling. The movie was one of the best action movies I’ve seen in a long time.
Thanks so much Vinnie! 😀 It really is an amazing film.
One of my favourite movies from last year.
I saw it opening day in IMAX. Worth every penny of the pricier ticket, and I don’t say that lightly. It was one of the most overwhelming and, yes, joyful film experiences of my life. I hope you get the chance to see it on the big screen someday. I have a feeling that this is a movie that theatres will make a point to screen from time to time for years to come.
I can only imagine how amazing this would have been on the biggest screen of all! Now I’m super envious. I’m really hoping this not only gets screened again in regular cinemas, but also gets another round at IMAX. I’ll be running in that direction if it does!
Excellent choices Anna 😀
Thanks Zoe, I had to cull so many because I didn’t want to go on for too long. There are too many amazing choices from this work of art!
Some great shots here!! Makes me wanna watch it yet again 😛
Thanks Jordan! Now I want to re-watch it too!
hehe yeah its that kinda film 😀
I absolutely LOVED this one, too!
It was so cool. Apparently George Miller says he has two more Mad Max stories to tell!
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