Collaboration | Lecture [5B] Film and Quality Part 2: Exploitation
'Mad Max: Fury Road' (2015)
'Exploitation films', historically, are low-quality B Movies that purposefully feature avoided subject matter at the time of release, to gain attention and succeed financially. They are said to date back as far as the 1930's, but are typically recognised more as a prevelant part of 1960's-70's culture.
The featured subject matter can range from issues of sexism, violence, and moral discussions at the heart of current social affairs. Often they justify their presence within the industry as 'educational', and thus necessary to the viewer.
'Mad Max: Fury Road' (2015), directed by George Miller, is considered- by some- to be a form of exploitation cinema. While, arguably, its large budget and additional points of discussion (anti-dictatorship; the control of water by Immortan Joe and his fanatical War Boys, environmental destruction; a product of nuclear war, and violence; a means of survival in a governless world), has it differ from such 'B-Movie' expectations... it has been recognised as such for its themes around sex (with the presence of Immortan Joe's wives) and violence, which are argued as necessary/prevalent to the world of post apocalyptic Australia.
Thus we watch as The Dag, Cheedo the Fragile, Capable, The Splendid Angharad and Toast the Knowing as they are exploited for purposes of 'the male gaze', often drabbed in thin white clothing, and first featured bathing together. The justification for this being the lack of civilisation, and their roles as "princesses of the postapocolyptic world". They are women who are degraded to the mere purpose of 'breeding', in the pro-survival world of 'Mad Max'.
However, in featuring this, they've also enforced the alternative, as the wives become sexual objects, there purely to satisfy the viewer. It allows this interpretation typical to 'Exploitation Films' to exist. Particularly with the film's lack of expansion of character, as we can only recognise the women for their beauty.
Arguably, however, 'Mad Max: Fury World' is now often discussed in relation to it's role in feminism, and thus it's been acknowledged and justified as a text which challenges expectation- and when enforcing it, brings it up for discussion now in succeeding reviews/essays.
Fig. 1 'Mad Max: Fury Road Poster', (2015), [Online Image]. Available at: https://www.imperialcinema.co.uk/media/filer_public/69/6c/696cae34-a54c-499d-857f-8edc42808350/mad-max-fury-road-kqjl17yufvn9ovlyxypvtyrffak.jpg [Accessed Date: 15/12/2017].
Fig. 2 'Fury Road', (No Date), [Online Image]. Available at: http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.2215626.1431111711!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_1200/fury-road.jpg [Accessed Date: 15/12/2017].
'IMDb', 'Mad Max: Fury Road', [Online]. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392190/ [Accessed Date: 15/12/2017].
Robertson, Adi (2015), 'Misogynists are totally right to be mad at Mad Max', [Online]. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2015/5/20/8620229/mad-max-fury-road-anti-feminist-mens-rights-boycott [Accessed Date: 15/12/2017].
Smith, Kyle (2015), 'Why 'Mad Max: Fury Road' is the feminist picture of the year', [Online]. Available at: https://nypost.com/2015/05/14/why-mad-max-fury-road-is-the-feminist-picture-of-the-year/ [Accessed Date: 15/12/2017].
'Warner Bros. Pictures', (2015), 'Mad Max: Fury Road- "Wives" Featurette [HD]', [Video]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slTH9lFJjKU [Accessed Date: 15/12/2017].