The Devilish Details of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

A new compilation examines the minutiae that make a cinematic universe.

The devil, so they say, is in the details. That’s certainly true about George Miller’s triumphant Mad Max: Fury Road, which takes place in a cinematic universe that is simultaneously stark and barren, but also rich with mythology and history. The former is established by long and wide shots of the ruined world that capture desert stretching in every direction for thousands of miles, and a hot, flat, open sky pressing down on the terrain. The latter is established in the opposite manner, with closer, tighter, more intimate shots of the details that make up this world and those who call it home, from the screws that hold Max’s muzzle together, to the “product description” etched into Max’s flesh, to the individual components of a wrecking vehicle. These details are the foundations of the social world that exists inside the greater one, they are hallmarks of survival and mechanizations of doom, they reveal character, atmosphere, tone, and other unspoken truths of this time and place, and they amplify what on the surface is a wall-to-wall action film into something much, much more timeless and artistic.

In the following compilation from Vimeo-er photobarin, the many minute details of Fury Road have been collected and cinematically sewn together to emphasize their importance in making the film’s universe tangible, dimensional, and fully-realized. Also of note, how none of these details are superfluous, they aren’t for their own sake, rather each and every one says something about the cultures depicted by the film, or the world in which they struggle. It only takes a couple minutes to watch the video, but what it can teach you about storytelling and world-building could last a lifetime.

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