The Pestle


Ep 278: “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga”

June 04, 2024

We stowaway in George Miller’s “Furiosa” and discuss:

  • Story & Writing, mercy in the wasteland, teleporting;
  • and other such stuff and things and stuff.

When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!from Don Quixote, by Miguel Cervantes

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  1. Joe Howes says:

    Ok I’m only 10 minutes in and loudmouth Joe has two things to say!!!

    Thing the First: George Miller is sort of unapologetically culturally Australian with his MaxVerse films, and he makes choices in that direction. I have no idea if this was such a choice, but I’m 99% sure the scene where Furiosa and Jack touch foreheads is one of those choices. That action, for me living down under the world here, cemented their relationship as non-romantic.

    That gesture in Māori culture is called a “hongi”, or “sharing of breath”. It’s both a formal and informal greeting, and among friends and family (your “whānau”) it’s like a hug. A friend gave me a hongi once and got jokingly offended that I didn’t breathe out heavily and breathe in like he did. He gave me shit “Share my breath, bro!! You’re supposed to share my breath!!”. I breathed out and breathed in his breath (which was pretty boozy!), and really learned what a proper hongi was.

    Australia and NZ share a lot of little cultural pieces like that. I love the idea that the hongi would’ve survived into the apocalypse in Australia. I think that gesture was meant to say that Furiosa and Jack had a deep familial bond. They were whānau, not romantic.

    You could argue that such a choice would alienate anyone not from our corner of the world, or you could argue it’s a cool bit of cultural flavor, and if it went over the audience’s head, that’s ok.

    Thing the Second: When the train is arriving in Bullettown and the crowd is singing “IMMORTAN JOE!!!”, the voices you’re hearing are me, Heather, Chris, Cassie, James, Simon, and about 20 other friends that sound engineers Dave Whitehead and Michelle Child gathered together for a big crowd sound session here in Miramar Park.

    OK!! Back to the episode.

    (P.S.: I loved Todd’s story meeting Jenni!! I think we saw Language Room at Stubbs with you all one night … was that the gig?!?!!?!?)

    1. wes says:

      Whoa, very cool note about what was probably a hongi!! I hadn’t actually read their relationship as romantic up until that moment and so it kinda reads (without cultural context) as a nod to a potential romantic relationship cut short before it could bloom. Probably one of those moments that could’ve used a line of dialog to kinda nudge their connection into one corner or another, but his dialog offerings are rather meager in this universe. So when you do that ya kinda roll the dice with the viewer’s interpretation imo, which I find funny when you consider how precise his action sequences are in keeping the viewer perfectly oriented. hahaha “When fighting 75 warboys at once they shall know exactly where every effing spear and pothole is…with their relationship? Eh, they’ll figure it out, or not, that’s their problem not mine.”

      Thing 2: Holy shit! haha that’s so cool!!! Pays to know all the other cool kids!

      RE: PS: Unfortunately that wouldn’t have been the same concert since we met after they’d already had Simon who starred in Threads alongside you! haha

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