Sunday Matinee #37 Mad Max: Fury Road I of IV
Plus a new audience reaction poll - vote today!
Hello, Dear Reader, and I wish you well today. R-Rated Movie Club has proven to be a fun creative outlet for me and I want to say “thank you” for being a subscriber, it means a lot to me. Today is a poll day so that means be sure to take it before it closes in one week and we’ll look at results in two weeks. Here’s the poll:
Audience Reaction Poll
In honor of le cinéma du mois (I mean, if soupe de jour is French for “soup of the day,” surely I can coin the French phrase for “movie of the month), we turn our attention to the Oscar-winning, pop culture-influencing, generation-spanning,
highest-grossing Australian film franchise of all time (Just kidding! Mad Max has over $222 million at the box office, but it’s a far second to the $309 million from who else? Crocodile Dundee. Dude, where’s my crossover?!) - and that would be Mad Max.
Debuting in 1979 with the greatest budget to profit ratio of all time ($350,000 to $100 million, even perhaps still holding out after inflation adjustment compared to other big winners like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity), the gritty, high-octane Mad Max movies have left their impact on movies, science fiction, politics, and pop culture for years to come. Word on the street is we’ll get a prequel as early as 2024, Furiosa, and there may be another Mad Max or two in the future. For now, Dear Reader, a poll on what’s out there now - even if the third film is only PG-13.
What is your favorite Mad Max movie (so far)?
The poll closes on September 30 and will be discussed during the October 1 Sunday Matinee, so vote today!
We’ll talk about the poll results right here on October 1, and thank you.
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Quotes With Notes
Full Text: Philippians 1:21-30 (Revised Common Lectionary)
17th Sunday after Pentecost (September 24, 2023)
Sign up for a free course at EnterTheBible.org to learn more.
Context: Paul writes his introduction to the letter. He greets the community, thanks them for their faith and support, and encourages them to keep it up and thank God along the way.
27 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel 28 and in no way frightened by those opposing you. For them, this is evidence of their destruction but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing.
Mad Max: Fury Road | 2015 Village Roadshow Pictures, Kennedy Miller Prod., Warner Brothers | IMDB
Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Richard Norton, Rosie Huntingon-Whiteley
Written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris | Directed by George Miller
Context: Max introduces himself. He speaks of his tragic past, his isolated present, and does some simple yet effective world building (hint: the world of Max Max is not pretty).
Max Rockatansky: My name is Max. My world is fire and blood. Once, I was a cop. A road warrior searching for a righteous cause. As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy... me... or everyone else.
Max Rockatansky: …I am the one that runs from both the living and the dead. Hunted by scavengers, haunted by those I could not protect. So I exist in this wasteland, a man reduced to one instinct: survive.
One of the joys of reading Philippians is experiencing the joy of its authors, the apostle Paul and his assistant, Timothy. He cares about this young church, he cares about them building community. When Paul writes to them about following their faith and putting it into action, it is not to guilt people or make them feel obligated. By no means! This writer gleefully reminds them that they’ve got a good thing going, so run with it!
Have you ever received a pep talk? What is it that got you excited about the good people see in you, what did they say? Maybe you’ve held on to a “thank you” card or a memorable personal letter all these years. Perhaps you simply keep the moment in your memory banks. I hope you’ve had this or something like it. This is exactly what Paul is doing here in Philippians, especially the opening. Live your life in a manner worthy of Jesus, yes, but with a sense of hope and joy. Stand firm in the spirit and strive side by side together, of course, but wow, you’ve got this. His positivity knows no bounds in this letter. It’s like Paul thought, I have a good thing going in affirming these people, so I’ll run with it.
When Paul lifts up the good of the community, he does so with gratitude. I admit, not every community I've been a part of has been amazing at every turn. Maybe you have a similar experience? We all like our alone time and we all need it, even, but our primal instinct is to be part of a community.
Max does not have the luxury of community. He is alone. His only friends are his car and his wits. Oh, and a two-headed lizard pet that he oh okay nevermind he just killed and ate that raw cool cool cool. His isolation is his self-imposed exile. He detaches himself from anyone whom could bring attachment. Only… the dead haunt him so…
Those who have seen Mad Max movies know that every time Max runs into some sort of community, it ends up not going well. These people have gasoline, these other people are willing to kill them for it. These people have water, these other people are willing to die for a taste of it. These people are lost children who are vulnerable and alone, these other people will do whatever they want with them if they discover them. Community is not a kind experience for Max. No wonder he tries to stay away and uninvolved again and again.
But community has a way of seeking out Max. In this case, War Boys sent out by Immortan Joe to find new vehicles and fresh blood bags (Max’s fate is to be a blood and organ donor for the citadel’s warrior class) find Max at his most vulnerable - out of his vehicle. He steps on the gas, but it’s too late. He’s been absorbed into their “community.” Like the Borg swallowing up people in Star Trek, resistance is futile.
Once again, Max will be confronted with a question: are you out for yourself or are you out for others? He’s been out for others before but they died. He has found it better to be alone. But is that true? He will have to come to grips with that, just like any of us.
What have been the joys and celebrations of being in a community? When has someone applauded you and others around you with delight? Who gives you pep talks, tells you that you’ve got a good thing going, so run with it? On the other hand, what has isolation been like in your life? When has it been healthy? When has it not? What do you think people run from that they could find in community?
A Word of Encouragement
Have an excellent day Dear Reader. May your life’s journey meet the heart of God in ways you can recognize and that are meaningful. And to today’s preachers, may worship be a blessing for you personally and may your sermon and prayers remind everyone that God loves all people. God’s peace and good movies to you!
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