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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 04.28.15] post apocalyptic

We love Ballard around these parts. From "Drowned World" to "High-Rise," "Crash" to "Concrete Island," Ballard is easily one of the most consistently thought provoking writers of the twentieth century. But, did you know the author REALLY liked The Road Warrior (ie. Mad MAx 2)? Yep, in fact, when Max Max 2 was released, J.G. Ballard proclaimed it "punk’s Sistine Chapel" and took seemingly every opportunity to turn people onto the film.

The wonderful site, Ballardian has posted a primer on Ballard and his interest in George Miller and his series and it's pretty fascinating.

Below you'll find some choice quotes wherein Ballard praises the film. Be sure and read the full primer if you're interested in both how the film inspired Ballard and the genisis of Miller's creation.

“Mad Max 2 is by far the best of the Mad Max series. With its insane vehicles and fearful body-armour, it is a vision of Armageddon as autogeddon. Mad Max 2 is punk’s Sistine Chapel.”

-- Quoted in "J.G. Ballard’s Top Ten Science Fiction Films", The Independent, 25 May, 2005.

“I loved The Road Warrior – I thought it was a masterpiece. For ninety or so minutes I really knew what it was like to be an eight-cylinder engine under the hood of whatever car that was; the visceral impact of that film was extraordinary. And seen simply from a science-fiction point of view, it created a unique landscape with tremendous visual authority.”

-- Ballard, interviewed by Jonathan Cott. ‘The Strange Visions of J.G. Ballard’, published in Rolling Stone, Number 512, 19 November 1987.

“One SF movie that did impress me, and colossally so, is The Road Warrior. That stunned me – I thought that was an amazing movie. The impact of the thing! Also, it was a credible future. I believed that. Technically and imaginatively it’s a stunning movie, and judged just as SF I thought it was very impressive.”

“Even allowing for vast budgets, the unrivaled resources of today’s special effects, high-definition lenses and optimum film stock and processing-how often do you see a film like Mad Max 2? They all ought to be like that!”

-- Ballard, interviewed by Andrea Juno & V. Vale. ‘Interview by A. Juno & V. Vale’, published in RE/Search 8/9: J. G. Ballard (RE/Search, 1984).

“Mad Max 2 doesn’t hold up on the small screen. It needs the big screen. I saw clips on TV before I saw it in the cinema, and I remember thinking, ‘Oh, it’s just a lot of trucks plunging around.’ When I saw it in the cinema it just overwhelmed me… I have seen it recently; in fact, someone gave me the three videos, the first, the second and the Thunderdome one, which was a big disappointment, and I have watched it again. I think it’s an amazing film, a genuine small masterpiece in its way. Some films just demand the big screen, really; they lose everything on TV.”

--- Ballard, interviewed by David Pringle, published in SFX #9, Feb 1996.

One wonders what he would have made of Mad Max: Fury Road's insanity.

Recommended Release: Mad Max Trilogy

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beppe (7 years ago) Reply

Not surprised but good to know!

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