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A More Satisfying Interpretation of "Mad Max: Fury Road"
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Mad Max and the Feral Kid, Road Warrior, 1981

My son called my attention to the fan theory going around that Mad Max: Fury Road is a more satisfying movie if you assume that Tom Hardy is not playing Mel Gibson’s character Max.

Instead, assume Fury Road takes place about three decades after the first three movies, and that Hardy is instead playing Max’s orphan sidekick from Road Warrior, the Feral Kid, now grown up. The Feral Kid is the nonverbal wild child Max sends out on the hood of the truck in climax of the great car chase in Road Warrior.

This would make some aspects of Fury Road better:

- Hardy’s struggles with his diction, swinging from grunts to over-formality, don’t sound much like Gibson’s character’s easy affability, but make more sense if you assume Hardy is playing the former mute child who didn’t learn how to speak until he was about ten.

- It makes a tic in the screenplay less annoying: Charlize Theron keeps asking Tom Hardy his name, and finally toward the end he says, big whoop, “Max.” That’s the name on the marquee, right? But what if Hardy’s character isn’t named Max? Maybe “Max” is to him more of an honorific that he has finally earned for himself over the course of this movie by emulating the legendary hero he knew before he could speak.

- Hardy kind of looks like a grown-up movie star version of the Feral Kid.

- Fury Road’s hero’s flashbacks to a lost loved one are to a little girl, but Mad Max famously lost a little boy to the bad guys in the 1979 first movie.

- The circumstances of Fury Road, such as the pervasive problem of birth defects among young males caused, presumably, by mutations due to nuclear war fallout, make more sense if you assume this movie takes place a generation after the earlier movies.

- And it holds open the option of casting Mel as the aged Max in a future sequel.

I’m sure there are holes in this theory, but it makes me like Fury Road considerably more than I did before I heard it.

The Age of Franchises in movies has some interesting effects on storytelling, such as making a virtue out of keeping your options open. You can float trial balloons over the Internet and see what fans think.

By the way, at the end of Road Warrior, the Feral Kid narrates that, after learning how to talk, he eventually became the leader of the Good People Tribe:

 
    []
  1. syonredux says:

    I’m sure there are holes in this theory, but it makes me like Fury Road considerably more than I did before I heard it.

    Well, one big hole.Hardy’s Max has the leg brace that Gibson’s Max picked up in Mad Max:

    http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2015/05/21/why-the-latest-mad-max-fan-theory-is-a-crock-of-shit

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Is it on the same leg?
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  2. D. K. says:

    OT: “As I was saying…”

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/22/us/chandra-levy-case/index.html

    Will “The Washington Post” plagiarist-reporter Sari Horwitz– who so saw herself in Chandra Levy that Horwitz talked her bosses into letting her investigate the case, with two underlings, several years after the unsolved disappearance and death of Gary Condit’s former constituent-with-benefits, which, courtesy of the unsworn testimony of double-dipping retired U.S. Park Police Detective Joe Green, whom prosecutors chose not to put on the stand, while allowing one of their three belated snitches to testify (leading directly to this pending retrial), caused the case to be officially reopened, and Senor Guandique to be indicted, without a shred of physical evidence tying him to the crime, without a shred of eyewitness testimony tying him to the crime, and without any confession or word of testimony by him implicating himself in the crime– now try to get the Feds to put mean Joe Green on the stand, in a retrial, to repeat his claim to her that he had gotten Ingmar Guandique, on the night of his arrest in Rock Creek Park, to admit, through a Spanish-language interpreter, and in the presence of another, unnamed police officer, that he had seen Chandra Levy, during the spring of 2001, in that same park?

    Read More
    • Replies: @gruff
    I am striving mightily to parse this grand sentence.
    , @candid_observer
    I saw the question mark at the end and realized that this was no ordinary sentence.

    You win this round, D.K.! Well played!
    , @SFG
    No.
  3. @syonredux

    I’m sure there are holes in this theory, but it makes me like Fury Road considerably more than I did before I heard it.
     
    Well, one big hole.Hardy's Max has the leg brace that Gibson's Max picked up in Mad Max:

    http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2015/05/21/why-the-latest-mad-max-fan-theory-is-a-crock-of-shit

    Is it on the same leg?

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    Cf. John Wayne and Robert Mitchum, in Howard Hawks' "El Dorado" (1967, in the United States; 1966, in Japan)!
    , @syonredux

    Is it on the same leg?
     
    Yes
    , @Wyrd
    A colleague recently contended Snake Plissken's eye-patch varied from right to left in Escape from LA. Can you confirm?
  4. SFG says:

    There was the fan theory that Tony Montana was Michael Corleone’s illegal son, explaining the obvious family resemblance. ;)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Makes sense.

    Tony inherited Uncle Sonny's action-orientation.
  5. Mad Max: Fury Road
    The film is set in a future desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities,

    So, they need the water to irrigate their crops and the gasoline to power their agricultural equipment?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AnAnon
    nah, they have enough for that, its joyriding thats in scarce supply in the grim future.
  6. @SFG
    There was the fan theory that Tony Montana was Michael Corleone's illegal son, explaining the obvious family resemblance. ;)

    Makes sense.

    Tony inherited Uncle Sonny’s action-orientation.

    Read More
  7. Soviet scrap metal is being redeveloped into reality version of Mad Max. We were going to turn the Rust Belt into the Carbon Belt and build new empire with carbon fiber. Instead we got put into iron pants by the age and the age got back the same shit that it demanded. Uncle Sam supplied the laughs. We have potholes and closed bridges. Build more stuff that flies and jumps. Drift http://planetside.wikia.com/wiki/Drifter_Jump_Jets

    Read More
  8. D. K. says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Is it on the same leg?

    Cf. John Wayne and Robert Mitchum, in Howard Hawks’ “El Dorado” (1967, in the United States; 1966, in Japan)!

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    From the IMDb.com entry on "El Dorado" (1966):

    ***

    "Robert Mitchum's character was wounded and needed to use a crutch, but Mitchum would switch which arm he used with the crutch throughout shooting. The continuity was so poor that John Wayne (who actually worked continuity in silents while a star college football player, a method used by Hollywood fans to slip players some spending money) had his character mention it in one of the last scenes. Director Howard Hawks enjoyed it so much he left it in the movie. Mitchum's version of this story is that he objected but Hawks had him switch sides with the crutch based on what looked best in that scene. When Hawks saw how bad it looked in the dailies, Mitchum suggested the additional dialogue between his character and Wayne's to cover the gaffe."

    ***
  9. He actually says that in the fullness of time he grew to manhood and became “the leader, the chief of the great northern tribe”.

    Read More
  10. Mad Mel says:

    There is one thing you forgot: the short easter egg scene where Max is playing with the wind up musical box…the same one given to the mute boy by Mad Max in The Road Warrior. This might further support the theory.

    Read More
  11. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Gibson brought a lot of angst and pathos to the role. The first film suffers from the micro budget but it is the most Australian. It’s gritty and just alien enough (there is a horrible American English dubbed version that played on cable for years). The way Max kills off the punk at the end is hardcore and darkly humorous. Overall it’s a foreign mix of Vanishing Point and Spielberg’s The Duel.

    Gibson, Willis, Cruz all appeared around the same time as medium height/build action stars. It worked.

    Read More
  12. D. K. says:
    @D. K.
    Cf. John Wayne and Robert Mitchum, in Howard Hawks' "El Dorado" (1967, in the United States; 1966, in Japan)!

    From the IMDb.com entry on “El Dorado” (1966):

    ***

    “Robert Mitchum’s character was wounded and needed to use a crutch, but Mitchum would switch which arm he used with the crutch throughout shooting. The continuity was so poor that John Wayne (who actually worked continuity in silents while a star college football player, a method used by Hollywood fans to slip players some spending money) had his character mention it in one of the last scenes. Director Howard Hawks enjoyed it so much he left it in the movie. Mitchum’s version of this story is that he objected but Hawks had him switch sides with the crutch based on what looked best in that scene. When Hawks saw how bad it looked in the dailies, Mitchum suggested the additional dialogue between his character and Wayne’s to cover the gaffe.”

    ***

    Read More
  13. whorefinder says: • Website

    a more satisfying interpretation is that they all get killed and hollywood loses money.

    also, the dude could have gotten an injury on the same leg as the old Mad Max. dummies.

    Read More
  14. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Like this theory but Miller said that Mel could never cameo, absolutely not, in the new series for the same reason that Connery could never be in Bond – said it would take audience out of movie.

    What’s important, and you’ve said as much, is that not enough has been done to rule this theory out, or make it so going forward. Should fans dig this he can make it canon.

    Read More
  15. gruff says:
    @D. K.
    OT: "As I was saying..."

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/22/us/chandra-levy-case/index.html

    Will "The Washington Post" plagiarist-reporter Sari Horwitz-- who so saw herself in Chandra Levy that Horwitz talked her bosses into letting her investigate the case, with two underlings, several years after the unsolved disappearance and death of Gary Condit's former constituent-with-benefits, which, courtesy of the unsworn testimony of double-dipping retired U.S. Park Police Detective Joe Green, whom prosecutors chose not to put on the stand, while allowing one of their three belated snitches to testify (leading directly to this pending retrial), caused the case to be officially reopened, and Senor Guandique to be indicted, without a shred of physical evidence tying him to the crime, without a shred of eyewitness testimony tying him to the crime, and without any confession or word of testimony by him implicating himself in the crime-- now try to get the Feds to put mean Joe Green on the stand, in a retrial, to repeat his claim to her that he had gotten Ingmar Guandique, on the night of his arrest in Rock Creek Park, to admit, through a Spanish-language interpreter, and in the presence of another, unnamed police officer, that he had seen Chandra Levy, during the spring of 2001, in that same park?

    I am striving mightily to parse this grand sentence.

    Read More
  16. M.A. says:

    Erm…….it’s just a film; an enjoyable one to be sure, but merely a film.

    Read More
  17. meh says:

    Nice theory but it simply can’t work. Max is the stereotypical man from nowhere, who comes out of nowhere at the beginning of the movie, and who disappears to nowhere at the end of the movie when his job is done (think for example of Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti westerns, such as the mystery hired gun in High Plains Drifter). He can’t be the same person who became the leader of the great northern tribe. Leaders of the tribe don’t wander off and disappear like Max does.

    I think of the Mad Max movies as more of a loosely held together genre of folk stories about a semi-mythical hero remembered in different ways by different people who knew him briefly. Thus the Feral Kid cannot be Max; one retells the legend, one does not become the legend while also carrying the burden of real life responsibilities (leading a tribe) nor does it make any sense for the Feral Kid to somehow leave the tribe, become Mad Max for no apparent reason, and then return to the tribe. It makes no sense for the Feral Kid to speak of Mad Max in the past tense, as an old man years later, if the Feral Kid somehow “became” Mad Max.

    Mad Max is Mad Max. If he looks and sounds a little different than Mel Gibson’s Mad Max, it’s a) a different actor playing same role, and b) different people remembering Mad Max in different ways. No need to overthink this.

    Also, I am sick and tired of mangina movie reviewers and their strawmaning of anti-feminism vis-a-vis their reviews of Fury Road. Yeah, I get it, women are people too hurr durr. The movie is enjoyable because the feminist claptrap does not get in the way of the storytelling. That’s precisely what does not happen with your typical SJW attempts at storytelling, where The Narrative and The Agenda overrides the actual story; which is in part what GamerGate and Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies is against. This is apparently too fine a point for the manginas and white knights to appreciate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    This is apparently too fine a point for the manginas and white knights to appreciate.
     
    So how's that strategy of (mis)treating bad faith for idiocy/ignorance been working for you these past 40 years? I'm not sure if it's a cover for cowardice or laziness at this point, confronting evil being neither safe nor easy.
  18. Sort of OT: I noticed this first when he was on the cover of Details and you can see it here. Tom Hardy’s natural, un-botoxed forehead jumps out at you, whereas even a dozen years ago it would have been the reverse.

    Read More
  19. Mad Mel says:

    “so, the dude could have gotten an injury on the same leg as the old Mad Max”

    Or maybe he was just copying what he saw as a child. Hardy’s character didn’t appear to even need the brace in the movie, if I remember correctly.

    Read More
  20. robother says:

    We forget that Dickens and other 19th Century novelists initially presented their long form narratives in serialized form in newspapers. This presumably gave Dickens the same sense of feedback in advancing (or eliminating) characters and storylines. The movie franchise, like the high budget TV serial (Sopranos, Mad Men), is returning to the roots of the modern novel.

    Read More
  21. It’s a nice theory, but unfortunately it would require way more thinking that anyone in 21st Century Hollywood is ever going to put into any project.

    Read More
  22. The original Road Warrior was the best motion picture ever made! Still haven’t seen the new one yet, but I’m hoping it’s basically the result of thirty years of Miller saying to himself, “wow, if only they’d had THAT technology when I was making RW!”. On the other hand, the budget and tech constraints were a big part of what made that movie so awesome. In my circle , “the Northern Tribes” are what we call white folks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chris Mallory

    The original Road Warrior was the best motion picture ever made!
     
    No, Highlander was the best movie ever made. The Road Warrior is in the top ten though.
  23. @D. K.
    OT: "As I was saying..."

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/22/us/chandra-levy-case/index.html

    Will "The Washington Post" plagiarist-reporter Sari Horwitz-- who so saw herself in Chandra Levy that Horwitz talked her bosses into letting her investigate the case, with two underlings, several years after the unsolved disappearance and death of Gary Condit's former constituent-with-benefits, which, courtesy of the unsworn testimony of double-dipping retired U.S. Park Police Detective Joe Green, whom prosecutors chose not to put on the stand, while allowing one of their three belated snitches to testify (leading directly to this pending retrial), caused the case to be officially reopened, and Senor Guandique to be indicted, without a shred of physical evidence tying him to the crime, without a shred of eyewitness testimony tying him to the crime, and without any confession or word of testimony by him implicating himself in the crime-- now try to get the Feds to put mean Joe Green on the stand, in a retrial, to repeat his claim to her that he had gotten Ingmar Guandique, on the night of his arrest in Rock Creek Park, to admit, through a Spanish-language interpreter, and in the presence of another, unnamed police officer, that he had seen Chandra Levy, during the spring of 2001, in that same park?

    I saw the question mark at the end and realized that this was no ordinary sentence.

    You win this round, D.K.! Well played!

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    Thank you! Justice-- by which I most decidedly do not mean the federal Department of Justice-- actually won this round, however belatedly. I hate illegal aliens as much as the next fellow; but, I do draw the line at their being railroaded for infamous crimes, at the instigation of a supposedly respectable journalist, acting instead as a public avenger, on behalf of a family with which she happens to identify personally.
  24. syonredux says:

    RE: all the problems with the Mad Max timeline,

    Miller doesn’t seem to much care:

    Miller is a little fuzzy himself on where Fury Road fits in the timeline. “If you put a gun to my head, I’d say after Thunderdome, but it’s very loose. I can’t even work out the chronology of the first, second and third, let alone the fourth thirty years later.” Though he did state when Fury Road takes place: “The apocalypse of some form happens, and you wind up 45-50 years in the future. That’s where we pick up.”

    https://nerdist.com/mad-max-fan-theory-will-make-you-want-to-see-fury-road-again/

    Read More
  25. Wyrd says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Is it on the same leg?

    A colleague recently contended Snake Plissken’s eye-patch varied from right to left in Escape from LA. Can you confirm?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lugash
    I still can't figure out if we're supposed to call him Snake or Plissken.
  26. A better “theory” I’ve heard is that all the Mad Max movies after the first one are essentially in-universe “tales” or “stories” about the legendary wasteland drifter Max Rockatansky, told from the perspective of people he has encountered or helped. Mad Max is his own story, but after that you have Road Warrior, as told by Feral Kid; Beyond Thunderdome, as told by Savannah Nix; and Fury Road as told by Imperator Furiosa.

    A loose analogy may be made to the “man with no name” trilogy, or High Plains Drifter

    Read More
  27. OT: WaPo, 05/22/15 – The amazing, surprising, Africa-driven demographic future of the Earth

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/07/16/the-amazing-surprising-africa-driven-demographic-future-of-the-earth-in-9-charts/?tid=pm_pop_b

    …Nigeria, currently Africa’s most populous country, is poised for one of the world’s most rapid population booms ever. In just 100 years, maybe two or three generations, the population is expected to increase by a mind-boggling factor of eight. The country is already troubled by corruption, poverty and religious conflict. It’s difficult to imagine how a government that can barely serve its population right now will respond when the demand on resources, social services, schools and roads increases by a factor of eight…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    Uhm,excuse me,racist,but they got cell phones now! Cell phones...in Africa!Middle class here we come!
  28. syonredux says:
    @Space Ghost
    A better "theory" I've heard is that all the Mad Max movies after the first one are essentially in-universe "tales" or "stories" about the legendary wasteland drifter Max Rockatansky, told from the perspective of people he has encountered or helped. Mad Max is his own story, but after that you have Road Warrior, as told by Feral Kid; Beyond Thunderdome, as told by Savannah Nix; and Fury Road as told by Imperator Furiosa.

    A loose analogy may be made to the "man with no name" trilogy, or High Plains Drifter

    That might be the most logical approach.

    Read More
  29. Lugash says:
    @Wyrd
    A colleague recently contended Snake Plissken's eye-patch varied from right to left in Escape from LA. Can you confirm?

    I still can’t figure out if we’re supposed to call him Snake or Plissken.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    I thought he was dead.
    , @Percy Gryce

    I still can’t figure out if we’re supposed to call him Snake or Plissken.
     
    He answers the question himself: "Call me Snake."

    Or were you doing, like, a thing?

  30. @meh
    Nice theory but it simply can't work. Max is the stereotypical man from nowhere, who comes out of nowhere at the beginning of the movie, and who disappears to nowhere at the end of the movie when his job is done (think for example of Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns, such as the mystery hired gun in High Plains Drifter). He can't be the same person who became the leader of the great northern tribe. Leaders of the tribe don't wander off and disappear like Max does.

    I think of the Mad Max movies as more of a loosely held together genre of folk stories about a semi-mythical hero remembered in different ways by different people who knew him briefly. Thus the Feral Kid cannot be Max; one retells the legend, one does not become the legend while also carrying the burden of real life responsibilities (leading a tribe) nor does it make any sense for the Feral Kid to somehow leave the tribe, become Mad Max for no apparent reason, and then return to the tribe. It makes no sense for the Feral Kid to speak of Mad Max in the past tense, as an old man years later, if the Feral Kid somehow "became" Mad Max.

    Mad Max is Mad Max. If he looks and sounds a little different than Mel Gibson's Mad Max, it's a) a different actor playing same role, and b) different people remembering Mad Max in different ways. No need to overthink this.

    Also, I am sick and tired of mangina movie reviewers and their strawmaning of anti-feminism vis-a-vis their reviews of Fury Road. Yeah, I get it, women are people too hurr durr. The movie is enjoyable because the feminist claptrap does not get in the way of the storytelling. That's precisely what does not happen with your typical SJW attempts at storytelling, where The Narrative and The Agenda overrides the actual story; which is in part what GamerGate and Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies is against. This is apparently too fine a point for the manginas and white knights to appreciate.

    This is apparently too fine a point for the manginas and white knights to appreciate.

    So how’s that strategy of (mis)treating bad faith for idiocy/ignorance been working for you these past 40 years? I’m not sure if it’s a cover for cowardice or laziness at this point, confronting evil being neither safe nor easy.

    Read More
  31. @E. Rekshun
    OT: WaPo, 05/22/15 - The amazing, surprising, Africa-driven demographic future of the Earth

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/07/16/the-amazing-surprising-africa-driven-demographic-future-of-the-earth-in-9-charts/?tid=pm_pop_b

    ...Nigeria, currently Africa's most populous country, is poised for one of the world's most rapid population booms ever. In just 100 years, maybe two or three generations, the population is expected to increase by a mind-boggling factor of eight. The country is already troubled by corruption, poverty and religious conflict. It's difficult to imagine how a government that can barely serve its population right now will respond when the demand on resources, social services, schools and roads increases by a factor of eight...

    Uhm,excuse me,racist,but they got cell phones now! Cell phones…in Africa!Middle class here we come!

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    Uhm, excuse me dummy, it's an interesting, current news article about Africa and the world. Get out of your shell.
  32. @Lugash
    I still can't figure out if we're supposed to call him Snake or Plissken.

    I thought he was dead.

    Read More
  33. I haven’t seen it yet, but –

    Road Warrior starts and ends with narration, with no indication until the very end that the narrator was the feral kid, years later. He says that the Road Warier came, helped them fight Lord Humongous and left, never seen again. I don’t believe the Road Warrior had a name, just the suggestion that Mel Gibson was the same character as Mad Max after the collapse.

    Another man with no name, along with Yojimbo, Fist Full of Dollars, and the original, Red Harvest. (And I don’t care what you say, Dashiell Hammett was a better writer, before he drank his brains out, than Raymond Chandler)

    The feral kid growing up to be another Road Warrior makes a lot of sense (as much sense as most cinema plots, anyway)

    Read More
    • Replies: @cthulhu

    Another man with no name, along with Yojimbo, Fist Full of Dollars, and the original, Red Harvest. (And I don’t care what you say, Dashiell Hammett was a better writer, before he drank his brains out, than Raymond Chandler)
     
    Ah, the eternal controversy of mid-20th-century detective fiction: Hammett or Chandler?

    As an experiment, I recently went back and re-read "Red Harvest", "The Glass Key", "The Big Sleep", and "The Long Goodbye": the first novel and consensus best novel from Hammett and Chandler, respectively. It had been decades since I had read them; I was quite taken with all of them in my early '20s.

    My verdict? Chandler's stuff held up much better than Hammett's; in fact, my two biggest surprises were just how goddamned good "The Long Goodbye" is, and just how bored I got with "The Glass Key". "Red Harvest" and "The Big Sleep" were closer, but Chandler's debut was for me head and shoulders above Hammett's.

    I'm interested in re-reading "The Maltese Falcon" now; it's quite possible that it will best "The Glass Key" as my nominee for Hammett's best. But after having also re-read "Farewell My Lovely" and "The Little Sister" to great enjoyment, I know which way my opinion in the debate goes.
  34. TangoMan says:

    O/T – Dutch immigrant kids take to street demanding ‘white’ classmates

    That’s asking a lot of parents. Sacrifice the welfare of your own kids to help other people’s kids. It should be the political class who is sacrificed.

    ISTM that Dutch actions should signal to the political class that multiculturalism doesn’t have a broad base of support. Looking at this dynamic and seeing the rise of Wilders should create pressure for a policy reversal but the power of the narrative is strong.

    Read More
  35. Stealth says:

    I’m a big fan of the Mad Max series, and I just don’t see Fury Road as being in the same continuity. It’s a reboot that leans heavily toward fantasy. I guess George Miller didn’t want to be constrained by the events of the original trilogy. It’s a different universe with different events and characters.

    For one thing, you have the problem of the Interceptor: it gets trashed in both Fury Road and Road Warrior. I guess he could have salvaged it, but that’s a stretch. The issue of the little girl might be settled in the upcoming comics, but if she was meant to be his daughter, this clearly contradicts the first three films. Tom Hardy’s Max states in the voice-over that he was a cop, which would seem to indicate that this is indeed the authentic Max Rockatansky.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde

    I’m a big fan of the Mad Max series, and I just don’t see Fury Road as being in the same continuity. It’s a reboot that leans heavily toward fantasy. I guess George Miller didn’t want to be constrained by the events of the original trilogy. It’s a different universe with different events and characters.

    For one thing, you have the problem of the Interceptor: it gets trashed in both Fury Road and Road Warrior. I guess he could have salvaged it, but that’s a stretch. The issue of the little girl might be settled in the upcoming comics, but if she was meant to be his daughter, this clearly contradicts the first three films. Tom Hardy’s Max states in the voice-over that he was a cop, which would seem to indicate that this is indeed the authentic Max Rockatansky.
     
    George Miller is outsourcing all this to the Mad Max fanbois to sort out. What he put into this movie was what he calculated would bring in maximum revenues world wide and this includes the third world. He originated Mad Max so he has the right to make this movie into a longer and superior remake of the road warrior chase scene. Browner guys world wide will be in awe of all these crazed pale males duking it out extreme style and their tricked out monster vehicles. This would normally lead to more illegal immigration except that Australia is surrounded by ocean.

    http://news.yahoo.com/dutch-immigrant-kids-street-demanding-white-classmates-071506783.html All comments I see here are iSteve type
  36. @anonymous-antiskynetist
    The original Road Warrior was the best motion picture ever made! Still haven't seen the new one yet, but I'm hoping it's basically the result of thirty years of Miller saying to himself, "wow, if only they'd had THAT technology when I was making RW!". On the other hand, the budget and tech constraints were a big part of what made that movie so awesome. In my circle , "the Northern Tribes" are what we call white folks.

    The original Road Warrior was the best motion picture ever made!

    No, Highlander was the best movie ever made. The Road Warrior is in the top ten though.

    Read More
  37. SFG says:
    @D. K.
    OT: "As I was saying..."

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/22/us/chandra-levy-case/index.html

    Will "The Washington Post" plagiarist-reporter Sari Horwitz-- who so saw herself in Chandra Levy that Horwitz talked her bosses into letting her investigate the case, with two underlings, several years after the unsolved disappearance and death of Gary Condit's former constituent-with-benefits, which, courtesy of the unsworn testimony of double-dipping retired U.S. Park Police Detective Joe Green, whom prosecutors chose not to put on the stand, while allowing one of their three belated snitches to testify (leading directly to this pending retrial), caused the case to be officially reopened, and Senor Guandique to be indicted, without a shred of physical evidence tying him to the crime, without a shred of eyewitness testimony tying him to the crime, and without any confession or word of testimony by him implicating himself in the crime-- now try to get the Feds to put mean Joe Green on the stand, in a retrial, to repeat his claim to her that he had gotten Ingmar Guandique, on the night of his arrest in Rock Creek Park, to admit, through a Spanish-language interpreter, and in the presence of another, unnamed police officer, that he had seen Chandra Levy, during the spring of 2001, in that same park?

    No.

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    Nevertheless, I would pay good money for the chance to cross-examine the erstwhile Detective Joe Green, under oath, on the witness stand!
  38. Romanian says:

    Steve Sailer and everyone else, have you seen Tomorrowland? The movie about a technological Whitopia? Throughout its runtime, it seemed to be very anti-diversity, as it focused on white technically oriented characters. The few glimpses we had of the city showed almost all whites with some token Asians, no NAMs.

    I was going to come home and recommend it to you when, at the last minute, it shoved a steaming pile of diversity in our faces.

    Mini spoiler alert:
    .
    .
    .
    .
    The city decides to recruit new people to build for the future and starts a montage of recruitment but, instead of recruiting normal people and engineers (the ones who actually do science and gizmos), they get an East Asian busker, an African park ranger, a graffiti artist, token blonde ballet dancer etc. Total let down. Why not cradle rob Caltech and MIT? I predict a grim future for Tomorrowland,, being turned into Idiocracy.

    Read More
  39. Man Mountain Molehill said, “Dashiell Hammett was a better writer, before he drank his brains out, than Raymond Chandler”.

    I dunno about that. I have read everything each one has written and could not choose one over the other. Hammet invented the hard-nosed violent when necessary Continental Op, and Chandler did the cool disaffected LA private dick. Both excellent in their own way.

    Read More
  40. @Lugash
    I still can't figure out if we're supposed to call him Snake or Plissken.

    I still can’t figure out if we’re supposed to call him Snake or Plissken.

    He answers the question himself: “Call me Snake.”

    Or were you doing, like, a thing?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
    At times, he also answers the question "Call me Plissken", at least according to the IMDB database of movie quotes.
  41. AnAnon says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome
    Mad Max: Fury Road
    The film is set in a future desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities,

    So, they need the water to irrigate their crops and the gasoline to power their agricultural equipment?

    nah, they have enough for that, its joyriding thats in scarce supply in the grim future.

    Read More
  42. I like this theory a lot because it would let me to keep The Road Warrior in its privileged place in my affections, while also allowing me to see and perhaps enjoy Fury Road. The handing on of the hero mantle is a common enough trope. Off the top of my head, we see it in The Dark Knight Rises, it’s mentioned in the The Princess Bride, and I believe it was the basis for the last round of Zorro movies.

    (I can also live with the other take floated here in the comments that Max is a semi-mythical hero of the wastelands and that the movies after the first are different tales told of him.)

    Read More
  43. cthulhu says:
    @Man Mountain Molehill
    I haven't seen it yet, but -

    Road Warrior starts and ends with narration, with no indication until the very end that the narrator was the feral kid, years later. He says that the Road Warier came, helped them fight Lord Humongous and left, never seen again. I don't believe the Road Warrior had a name, just the suggestion that Mel Gibson was the same character as Mad Max after the collapse.

    Another man with no name, along with Yojimbo, Fist Full of Dollars, and the original, Red Harvest. (And I don't care what you say, Dashiell Hammett was a better writer, before he drank his brains out, than Raymond Chandler)

    The feral kid growing up to be another Road Warrior makes a lot of sense (as much sense as most cinema plots, anyway)

    Another man with no name, along with Yojimbo, Fist Full of Dollars, and the original, Red Harvest. (And I don’t care what you say, Dashiell Hammett was a better writer, before he drank his brains out, than Raymond Chandler)

    Ah, the eternal controversy of mid-20th-century detective fiction: Hammett or Chandler?

    As an experiment, I recently went back and re-read “Red Harvest”, “The Glass Key”, “The Big Sleep”, and “The Long Goodbye”: the first novel and consensus best novel from Hammett and Chandler, respectively. It had been decades since I had read them; I was quite taken with all of them in my early ’20s.

    My verdict? Chandler’s stuff held up much better than Hammett’s; in fact, my two biggest surprises were just how goddamned good “The Long Goodbye” is, and just how bored I got with “The Glass Key”. “Red Harvest” and “The Big Sleep” were closer, but Chandler’s debut was for me head and shoulders above Hammett’s.

    I’m interested in re-reading “The Maltese Falcon” now; it’s quite possible that it will best “The Glass Key” as my nominee for Hammett’s best. But after having also re-read “Farewell My Lovely” and “The Little Sister” to great enjoyment, I know which way my opinion in the debate goes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Hammett was the pioneer in the hard-boiled detective fiction field and he really had been a detective. Chandler took the genre to a higher level of professional artistry. Chandler was a product of a higher literary civilization: the English.

    Chandler is quite similar in background to P.G. Wodehouse, the Raphael of genre fiction. Both Wodehouse and Chandler went to Dulwich College in the London area, both wanted to go to Oxbridge but had to go into business instead because their families didn't have quite enough money, and both spent a lot of time in America and mastered the slang (Bertie Wooster has a ton of 1912 Broadway in his vocabulary).

    , @ChaseBizzy
    I wonder if it occurred to Chandler to write a scene with Marlowe apologizing to the parking lot attendant? The Long Goodbye is a rightfully celebrated work but Philip Marlowe really comes across as a naïve busybody.
  44. @Father O'Hara
    Uhm,excuse me,racist,but they got cell phones now! Cell phones...in Africa!Middle class here we come!

    Uhm, excuse me dummy, it’s an interesting, current news article about Africa and the world. Get out of your shell.

    Read More
  45. In The Sopranos episode “D-Girl”, Anthony Soprano Jr tells his parents that life is absurd, that the hypothetical death of his friends would be “interesting,” and that there is no God. Tony and Carmela ask where this is coming from. Meadow Soprano appears at this moment and explains that Anthony was assigned The Stranger in English class, stating “This is education.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stranger_%28novel%29

    Camus said, now we can replace politics with morality.

    Camus talk
    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/…/CamusPaperWeb.htm
    Harvard University
    Hence it is fair to say that even before the publication of La Peste, Camus had … And it is true, as we shall see, that Camus ‘s editorials partook of the function and even the … Part of what had been “left” now swung durably “right,” not without bitterness in both camps. … The goal was to “replace politics with morality” (170).

    Read More
  46. @cthulhu

    Another man with no name, along with Yojimbo, Fist Full of Dollars, and the original, Red Harvest. (And I don’t care what you say, Dashiell Hammett was a better writer, before he drank his brains out, than Raymond Chandler)
     
    Ah, the eternal controversy of mid-20th-century detective fiction: Hammett or Chandler?

    As an experiment, I recently went back and re-read "Red Harvest", "The Glass Key", "The Big Sleep", and "The Long Goodbye": the first novel and consensus best novel from Hammett and Chandler, respectively. It had been decades since I had read them; I was quite taken with all of them in my early '20s.

    My verdict? Chandler's stuff held up much better than Hammett's; in fact, my two biggest surprises were just how goddamned good "The Long Goodbye" is, and just how bored I got with "The Glass Key". "Red Harvest" and "The Big Sleep" were closer, but Chandler's debut was for me head and shoulders above Hammett's.

    I'm interested in re-reading "The Maltese Falcon" now; it's quite possible that it will best "The Glass Key" as my nominee for Hammett's best. But after having also re-read "Farewell My Lovely" and "The Little Sister" to great enjoyment, I know which way my opinion in the debate goes.

    Hammett was the pioneer in the hard-boiled detective fiction field and he really had been a detective. Chandler took the genre to a higher level of professional artistry. Chandler was a product of a higher literary civilization: the English.

    Chandler is quite similar in background to P.G. Wodehouse, the Raphael of genre fiction. Both Wodehouse and Chandler went to Dulwich College in the London area, both wanted to go to Oxbridge but had to go into business instead because their families didn’t have quite enough money, and both spent a lot of time in America and mastered the slang (Bertie Wooster has a ton of 1912 Broadway in his vocabulary).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    P.G. Wodehouse, the Raphael of genre fiction
     
    That one could stand some fleshing out for some of us slow on the uptake types.
    , @syonredux
    RE: Hammett vs Chandler,

    Chandler was, most would agree*, the better prose-stylist.On the other hand, Hammett was more versatile/experimental.Once Chandler found his voice ( light but taut first person narration) and his hero (Marlowe), he more or less kept on doing the same thing.Hammett, in contrast, was more willing to try new things.Hence, after exhausting the first person tough guy detective with the two Continental Op novels (Red Harvest and the very mediocre The Dain Curse plus dozens of short stories) he shifted into the third person mode for The Maltese Falcon and The Glass Key.And, of course, The Glass Key also marked a move away from the private detective story format, as Ned Beaumont is an associate of crooked political boss.The Thin Man marks a return to both the first person mode and to the private detective as hero (more or less; Nick Charles is a former private detective who has married into society).However, the substance of the book is quite different from everything that preceded it in the Hammett oeuvre.Instead of being a detective story, it's a social satire, the kind of thing that Waugh might have attempted had he ever tried his hand at the detective genre.

    Plotting might also stand as another point in Hammett's favor.Compare the well-laid out Maltese Falcon, for example, to The Big Sleep.Of course, a counter-argument could be made, that Chandler's murky plots resemble reality better.


    Chandler was a product of a higher literary civilization: the English.
     
    Debatable.after all, most of Chandler's literary influences were American:Henry James, Hemingway (don't be misled by the sly dig in Farewell, My lovely), Hammett.

    and both spent a lot of time in America and mastered the slang (Bertie Wooster has a ton of 1912 Broadway in his vocabulary).
     
    And, of course, Chandler was actually born in Chicago.In terms of mastering the American idiom, he once made a little joke about how he used to have a British accent that was thick enough to cut with a baseball bat.By the time the 1950s rolled around, he seems to have lost pretty much all of the British in his voice.Cf his interview with Ian Fleming (the only known recording of Chandler's voice, by the way):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj6cc0T1z7I

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxJJo79e00o

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sS2DBBrOY8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9i00flBWuQ


    *There are a few exceptions.For example, Julian Symons (the noted British critic of the detective genre, author of Bloody Murder – From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel: A History, The Tell-Tale Heart: The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe, etc) Always maintained that Hammett's best prose was not inferior to Chandler's

    , @syonredux
    Another point of contrast between Hammett and Chandler,

    Chandler's Marlowe has something of the Public School ethos about him.Upright and proper.Note how an invitation to a sexual dalliance with the mad, bad, and dangerous to know Carmen Sternwood generates feelings of revulsion in Marlowe.Her presence in his room, in his bed, is a violation.Hence, after he expels her, he rips the sheets off his bed in a frenzy of disgust.

    It's hard to imagine one of Hammett's heroes acting in a similar fashion.They were hard men in a hard world, not knights errant.Even Sam Spade, the closest thing to a Romantic hero in the Hammett canon (Hammett even calls Spade a "dream man, [....]what most of the private detectives I worked with would like to have been and in their cockier moments thought they approached") slept with his partner's wife.
    , @syonredux
    A fun way to explore the Hammett vs Chandler divide,

    Watch Miller's Crossing (Hammett, mostly The Glass Key) and The Big Lebowski (Chandler) back to back.See what the Coen Brothers have to say on the matter.



    And, for extra credit, toss in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Chandler plus Mike Shayne).
    , @cthulhu
    Chandler always acknowledged that Hammett pioneered the genre and turned the mystery story from Victorian preciousness into realistic, meaningful fiction - see Chandler's terrific essay The Simple Art of Murder for the details, including a takedown of the excreble Agatha Christie. But as Chandler says in the same essay, as good as Hammett was, Chandler wanted more.

    The definitive biography of Chandler is Frank MacShane's Life of Raymond Chandler. It talks about Chandler's English public school education, and the other large but somewhat mysterious influence on him - his service in World War One. A fascinating man, one of large talent and large flaws.
  47. @Steve Sailer
    Hammett was the pioneer in the hard-boiled detective fiction field and he really had been a detective. Chandler took the genre to a higher level of professional artistry. Chandler was a product of a higher literary civilization: the English.

    Chandler is quite similar in background to P.G. Wodehouse, the Raphael of genre fiction. Both Wodehouse and Chandler went to Dulwich College in the London area, both wanted to go to Oxbridge but had to go into business instead because their families didn't have quite enough money, and both spent a lot of time in America and mastered the slang (Bertie Wooster has a ton of 1912 Broadway in his vocabulary).

    P.G. Wodehouse, the Raphael of genre fiction

    That one could stand some fleshing out for some of us slow on the uptake types.

    Read More
  48. Clyde says:
    @Stealth
    I'm a big fan of the Mad Max series, and I just don't see Fury Road as being in the same continuity. It's a reboot that leans heavily toward fantasy. I guess George Miller didn't want to be constrained by the events of the original trilogy. It's a different universe with different events and characters.

    For one thing, you have the problem of the Interceptor: it gets trashed in both Fury Road and Road Warrior. I guess he could have salvaged it, but that's a stretch. The issue of the little girl might be settled in the upcoming comics, but if she was meant to be his daughter, this clearly contradicts the first three films. Tom Hardy's Max states in the voice-over that he was a cop, which would seem to indicate that this is indeed the authentic Max Rockatansky.

    I’m a big fan of the Mad Max series, and I just don’t see Fury Road as being in the same continuity. It’s a reboot that leans heavily toward fantasy. I guess George Miller didn’t want to be constrained by the events of the original trilogy. It’s a different universe with different events and characters.

    For one thing, you have the problem of the Interceptor: it gets trashed in both Fury Road and Road Warrior. I guess he could have salvaged it, but that’s a stretch. The issue of the little girl might be settled in the upcoming comics, but if she was meant to be his daughter, this clearly contradicts the first three films. Tom Hardy’s Max states in the voice-over that he was a cop, which would seem to indicate that this is indeed the authentic Max Rockatansky.

    George Miller is outsourcing all this to the Mad Max fanbois to sort out. What he put into this movie was what he calculated would bring in maximum revenues world wide and this includes the third world. He originated Mad Max so he has the right to make this movie into a longer and superior remake of the road warrior chase scene. Browner guys world wide will be in awe of all these crazed pale males duking it out extreme style and their tricked out monster vehicles. This would normally lead to more illegal immigration except that Australia is surrounded by ocean.

    http://news.yahoo.com/dutch-immigrant-kids-street-demanding-white-classmates-071506783.html All comments I see here are iSteve type

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Furious 7 made $389 million in China. I don't recall them even having a scene set in China or a Chinese actor, although it's possible they had more Sinocentric footage for the Chinese release.

    The only thing I can think of is that the Persian Gulf stunt involved the heroes smashing a lot of Chinese Emperor terracotta tomb statues. I guess Chinese guys like that.

    My assumption has always been that the Mad Max franchise is a notch to the right on the bell curve than the Fast and Furious franchise.

    But that might just be because the first couple of Mad Max movies didn't catch on in the U.S. except at the upper end. For example, I sat through two showings of Road Warrior in March 1983, in awe.

    But the original low budget Mad Max was hugely profitable worldwide, just not in the U.S. (where they dubbed Mel Gibson with an American voiceover actor, because who wants to hear Mel Gibson talk?)
  49. D. K. says:
    @candid_observer
    I saw the question mark at the end and realized that this was no ordinary sentence.

    You win this round, D.K.! Well played!

    Thank you! Justice– by which I most decidedly do not mean the federal Department of Justice– actually won this round, however belatedly. I hate illegal aliens as much as the next fellow; but, I do draw the line at their being railroaded for infamous crimes, at the instigation of a supposedly respectable journalist, acting instead as a public avenger, on behalf of a family with which she happens to identify personally.

    Read More
  50. D. K. says:
    @SFG
    No.

    Nevertheless, I would pay good money for the chance to cross-examine the erstwhile Detective Joe Green, under oath, on the witness stand!

    Read More
  51. @cthulhu

    Another man with no name, along with Yojimbo, Fist Full of Dollars, and the original, Red Harvest. (And I don’t care what you say, Dashiell Hammett was a better writer, before he drank his brains out, than Raymond Chandler)
     
    Ah, the eternal controversy of mid-20th-century detective fiction: Hammett or Chandler?

    As an experiment, I recently went back and re-read "Red Harvest", "The Glass Key", "The Big Sleep", and "The Long Goodbye": the first novel and consensus best novel from Hammett and Chandler, respectively. It had been decades since I had read them; I was quite taken with all of them in my early '20s.

    My verdict? Chandler's stuff held up much better than Hammett's; in fact, my two biggest surprises were just how goddamned good "The Long Goodbye" is, and just how bored I got with "The Glass Key". "Red Harvest" and "The Big Sleep" were closer, but Chandler's debut was for me head and shoulders above Hammett's.

    I'm interested in re-reading "The Maltese Falcon" now; it's quite possible that it will best "The Glass Key" as my nominee for Hammett's best. But after having also re-read "Farewell My Lovely" and "The Little Sister" to great enjoyment, I know which way my opinion in the debate goes.

    I wonder if it occurred to Chandler to write a scene with Marlowe apologizing to the parking lot attendant? The Long Goodbye is a rightfully celebrated work but Philip Marlowe really comes across as a naïve busybody.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My impression is that "The Long Goodbye" is a fine novel of social observation (I particularly like having four Mexican characters in L.A. over 60 years ago. Edward James Olmos pretty much owes his career (Blade Runner and Miami Vice) to the Mexican-American detective in The Long Goodbye.)

    But by 1953 or so, Chandler had mostly lost the lyrical spark that made the The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely exquisite.

  52. @ChaseBizzy
    I wonder if it occurred to Chandler to write a scene with Marlowe apologizing to the parking lot attendant? The Long Goodbye is a rightfully celebrated work but Philip Marlowe really comes across as a naïve busybody.

    My impression is that “The Long Goodbye” is a fine novel of social observation (I particularly like having four Mexican characters in L.A. over 60 years ago. Edward James Olmos pretty much owes his career (Blade Runner and Miami Vice) to the Mexican-American detective in The Long Goodbye.)

    But by 1953 or so, Chandler had mostly lost the lyrical spark that made the The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely exquisite.

    Read More
    • Replies: @cthulhu
    I'll claim that The Long Goodbye is Chandler's finest work on all levels, including the lyrical spark of the prose and plot. Farewell My Lovely and The Little Sister are very, very good, but not th the level of The Long Goodbye.

    But Steve, who is the Mexican-American detective of whom you speak? The only two major Mexican-American roles I can recall are the gangster Mendy Menendez and the Wades's houseboy Candy. Detective Bernie Ohls (who was also a character in The Big Sleep but a much less central role) is the primary lawman...
  53. @Clyde

    I’m a big fan of the Mad Max series, and I just don’t see Fury Road as being in the same continuity. It’s a reboot that leans heavily toward fantasy. I guess George Miller didn’t want to be constrained by the events of the original trilogy. It’s a different universe with different events and characters.

    For one thing, you have the problem of the Interceptor: it gets trashed in both Fury Road and Road Warrior. I guess he could have salvaged it, but that’s a stretch. The issue of the little girl might be settled in the upcoming comics, but if she was meant to be his daughter, this clearly contradicts the first three films. Tom Hardy’s Max states in the voice-over that he was a cop, which would seem to indicate that this is indeed the authentic Max Rockatansky.
     
    George Miller is outsourcing all this to the Mad Max fanbois to sort out. What he put into this movie was what he calculated would bring in maximum revenues world wide and this includes the third world. He originated Mad Max so he has the right to make this movie into a longer and superior remake of the road warrior chase scene. Browner guys world wide will be in awe of all these crazed pale males duking it out extreme style and their tricked out monster vehicles. This would normally lead to more illegal immigration except that Australia is surrounded by ocean.

    http://news.yahoo.com/dutch-immigrant-kids-street-demanding-white-classmates-071506783.html All comments I see here are iSteve type

    Furious 7 made $389 million in China. I don’t recall them even having a scene set in China or a Chinese actor, although it’s possible they had more Sinocentric footage for the Chinese release.

    The only thing I can think of is that the Persian Gulf stunt involved the heroes smashing a lot of Chinese Emperor terracotta tomb statues. I guess Chinese guys like that.

    My assumption has always been that the Mad Max franchise is a notch to the right on the bell curve than the Fast and Furious franchise.

    But that might just be because the first couple of Mad Max movies didn’t catch on in the U.S. except at the upper end. For example, I sat through two showings of Road Warrior in March 1983, in awe.

    But the original low budget Mad Max was hugely profitable worldwide, just not in the U.S. (where they dubbed Mel Gibson with an American voiceover actor, because who wants to hear Mel Gibson talk?)

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    My assumption has always been that the Mad Max franchise is a notch to the right on the bell curve than the Fast and Furious franchise.
     
    Nerd-appeal can be useful as a kind of informal metric for estimating where the audience for a given film stands in relation to the Bell Curve.Nerds definitely like Mad Max more than F and F.Hence, by the nerd-appeal standard, the Mad Max films are definitely further to the right hand side than the F and F franchise.
  54. @Percy Gryce

    I still can’t figure out if we’re supposed to call him Snake or Plissken.
     
    He answers the question himself: "Call me Snake."

    Or were you doing, like, a thing?

    At times, he also answers the question “Call me Plissken”, at least according to the IMDB database of movie quotes.

    Read More
  55. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Hammett was the pioneer in the hard-boiled detective fiction field and he really had been a detective. Chandler took the genre to a higher level of professional artistry. Chandler was a product of a higher literary civilization: the English.

    Chandler is quite similar in background to P.G. Wodehouse, the Raphael of genre fiction. Both Wodehouse and Chandler went to Dulwich College in the London area, both wanted to go to Oxbridge but had to go into business instead because their families didn't have quite enough money, and both spent a lot of time in America and mastered the slang (Bertie Wooster has a ton of 1912 Broadway in his vocabulary).

    RE: Hammett vs Chandler,

    Chandler was, most would agree*, the better prose-stylist.On the other hand, Hammett was more versatile/experimental.Once Chandler found his voice ( light but taut first person narration) and his hero (Marlowe), he more or less kept on doing the same thing.Hammett, in contrast, was more willing to try new things.Hence, after exhausting the first person tough guy detective with the two Continental Op novels (Red Harvest and the very mediocre The Dain Curse plus dozens of short stories) he shifted into the third person mode for The Maltese Falcon and The Glass Key.And, of course, The Glass Key also marked a move away from the private detective story format, as Ned Beaumont is an associate of crooked political boss.The Thin Man marks a return to both the first person mode and to the private detective as hero (more or less; Nick Charles is a former private detective who has married into society).However, the substance of the book is quite different from everything that preceded it in the Hammett oeuvre.Instead of being a detective story, it’s a social satire, the kind of thing that Waugh might have attempted had he ever tried his hand at the detective genre.

    Plotting might also stand as another point in Hammett’s favor.Compare the well-laid out Maltese Falcon, for example, to The Big Sleep.Of course, a counter-argument could be made, that Chandler’s murky plots resemble reality better.

    Chandler was a product of a higher literary civilization: the English.

    Debatable.after all, most of Chandler’s literary influences were American:Henry James, Hemingway (don’t be misled by the sly dig in Farewell, My lovely), Hammett.

    and both spent a lot of time in America and mastered the slang (Bertie Wooster has a ton of 1912 Broadway in his vocabulary).

    And, of course, Chandler was actually born in Chicago.In terms of mastering the American idiom, he once made a little joke about how he used to have a British accent that was thick enough to cut with a baseball bat.By the time the 1950s rolled around, he seems to have lost pretty much all of the British in his voice.Cf his interview with Ian Fleming (the only known recording of Chandler’s voice, by the way):

    *There are a few exceptions.For example, Julian Symons (the noted British critic of the detective genre, author of Bloody Murder – From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel: A History, The Tell-Tale Heart: The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe, etc) Always maintained that Hammett’s best prose was not inferior to Chandler’s

    Read More
  56. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Furious 7 made $389 million in China. I don't recall them even having a scene set in China or a Chinese actor, although it's possible they had more Sinocentric footage for the Chinese release.

    The only thing I can think of is that the Persian Gulf stunt involved the heroes smashing a lot of Chinese Emperor terracotta tomb statues. I guess Chinese guys like that.

    My assumption has always been that the Mad Max franchise is a notch to the right on the bell curve than the Fast and Furious franchise.

    But that might just be because the first couple of Mad Max movies didn't catch on in the U.S. except at the upper end. For example, I sat through two showings of Road Warrior in March 1983, in awe.

    But the original low budget Mad Max was hugely profitable worldwide, just not in the U.S. (where they dubbed Mel Gibson with an American voiceover actor, because who wants to hear Mel Gibson talk?)

    My assumption has always been that the Mad Max franchise is a notch to the right on the bell curve than the Fast and Furious franchise.

    Nerd-appeal can be useful as a kind of informal metric for estimating where the audience for a given film stands in relation to the Bell Curve.Nerds definitely like Mad Max more than F and F.Hence, by the nerd-appeal standard, the Mad Max films are definitely further to the right hand side than the F and F franchise.

    Read More
  57. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Hammett was the pioneer in the hard-boiled detective fiction field and he really had been a detective. Chandler took the genre to a higher level of professional artistry. Chandler was a product of a higher literary civilization: the English.

    Chandler is quite similar in background to P.G. Wodehouse, the Raphael of genre fiction. Both Wodehouse and Chandler went to Dulwich College in the London area, both wanted to go to Oxbridge but had to go into business instead because their families didn't have quite enough money, and both spent a lot of time in America and mastered the slang (Bertie Wooster has a ton of 1912 Broadway in his vocabulary).

    Another point of contrast between Hammett and Chandler,

    Chandler’s Marlowe has something of the Public School ethos about him.Upright and proper.Note how an invitation to a sexual dalliance with the mad, bad, and dangerous to know Carmen Sternwood generates feelings of revulsion in Marlowe.Her presence in his room, in his bed, is a violation.Hence, after he expels her, he rips the sheets off his bed in a frenzy of disgust.

    It’s hard to imagine one of Hammett’s heroes acting in a similar fashion.They were hard men in a hard world, not knights errant.Even Sam Spade, the closest thing to a Romantic hero in the Hammett canon (Hammett even calls Spade a “dream man, [....]what most of the private detectives I worked with would like to have been and in their cockier moments thought they approached”) slept with his partner’s wife.

    Read More
  58. Psmith says:

    Lots of love for Chandler and Wodehouse ITT. You guys should check out Kyril Bonfiglioli’s Don’t Point That Thing at Me and After You With the Pistol. Pretty clearly influenced by both, and actually very funny, unlike most Wodehouse imitators. They were recently adapted into a forgettable Johnny Depp vehicle called Mortdecai, but the books themselves are fantastic.

    Also, I think you guys might be selling Red Harvest a little short. I wouldn’t put it up against any of Chandler’s best work–I think Chandler is probably up there with Fitzgerald and Robert Penn Warren as far as American prose stylists go–but it’s pretty hard to beat as far as punchy, clean (stylistically, not necessarily in terms of content), pulp/thriller writing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Romanian
    For those inclined towards science fiction, there is another competent Wodehouse imitator, Jody Lynn Nye, who wrote The View from the Imperium and a sequel, which are basically Wooster and Jeeves in space. I found the books quite delightful and they even have this interesting idea regarding how to maintain cohesion in a multiracial empire, but it would be a spoiler to tell you.
  59. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Hammett was the pioneer in the hard-boiled detective fiction field and he really had been a detective. Chandler took the genre to a higher level of professional artistry. Chandler was a product of a higher literary civilization: the English.

    Chandler is quite similar in background to P.G. Wodehouse, the Raphael of genre fiction. Both Wodehouse and Chandler went to Dulwich College in the London area, both wanted to go to Oxbridge but had to go into business instead because their families didn't have quite enough money, and both spent a lot of time in America and mastered the slang (Bertie Wooster has a ton of 1912 Broadway in his vocabulary).

    A fun way to explore the Hammett vs Chandler divide,

    Watch Miller’s Crossing (Hammett, mostly The Glass Key) and The Big Lebowski (Chandler) back to back.See what the Coen Brothers have to say on the matter.

    And, for extra credit, toss in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Chandler plus Mike Shayne).

    Read More
    • Replies: @cthulhu
    I love Miller's Crossing so much that part of my disappointment in my recent reread of The Glass Key was that it seemed much inferior to the Coen's version.

    Recently acquired trivia about The Big Lebowski: the female nihilist was played by songstress par excellence Aimee Mann, creating another reason why I love that movie too.
  60. cthulhu says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Hammett was the pioneer in the hard-boiled detective fiction field and he really had been a detective. Chandler took the genre to a higher level of professional artistry. Chandler was a product of a higher literary civilization: the English.

    Chandler is quite similar in background to P.G. Wodehouse, the Raphael of genre fiction. Both Wodehouse and Chandler went to Dulwich College in the London area, both wanted to go to Oxbridge but had to go into business instead because their families didn't have quite enough money, and both spent a lot of time in America and mastered the slang (Bertie Wooster has a ton of 1912 Broadway in his vocabulary).

    Chandler always acknowledged that Hammett pioneered the genre and turned the mystery story from Victorian preciousness into realistic, meaningful fiction – see Chandler’s terrific essay The Simple Art of Murder for the details, including a takedown of the excreble Agatha Christie. But as Chandler says in the same essay, as good as Hammett was, Chandler wanted more.

    The definitive biography of Chandler is Frank MacShane’s Life of Raymond Chandler. It talks about Chandler’s English public school education, and the other large but somewhat mysterious influence on him – his service in World War One. A fascinating man, one of large talent and large flaws.

    Read More
  61. cthulhu says:
    @Steve Sailer
    My impression is that "The Long Goodbye" is a fine novel of social observation (I particularly like having four Mexican characters in L.A. over 60 years ago. Edward James Olmos pretty much owes his career (Blade Runner and Miami Vice) to the Mexican-American detective in The Long Goodbye.)

    But by 1953 or so, Chandler had mostly lost the lyrical spark that made the The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely exquisite.

    I’ll claim that The Long Goodbye is Chandler’s finest work on all levels, including the lyrical spark of the prose and plot. Farewell My Lovely and The Little Sister are very, very good, but not th the level of The Long Goodbye.

    But Steve, who is the Mexican-American detective of whom you speak? The only two major Mexican-American roles I can recall are the gangster Mendy Menendez and the Wades’s houseboy Candy. Detective Bernie Ohls (who was also a character in The Big Sleep but a much less central role) is the primary lawman…

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  62. cthulhu says:
    @syonredux
    A fun way to explore the Hammett vs Chandler divide,

    Watch Miller's Crossing (Hammett, mostly The Glass Key) and The Big Lebowski (Chandler) back to back.See what the Coen Brothers have to say on the matter.



    And, for extra credit, toss in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Chandler plus Mike Shayne).

    I love Miller’s Crossing so much that part of my disappointment in my recent reread of The Glass Key was that it seemed much inferior to the Coen’s version.

    Recently acquired trivia about The Big Lebowski: the female nihilist was played by songstress par excellence Aimee Mann, creating another reason why I love that movie too.

    Read More
  63. Anonymous says: • Website • Disclaimer

    Miller is a cynical man. Look at the parabola of sellout in the first three films — Max is edgy, Warrior brings the dopey costumes, Thunderdome is big cheese — To the moon, Alice!

    So now he waits decades (until the original fan base essentially has died off) to do another. Smart and cynical move. Might be able to ring the cash register a couple more times on special effects alone.

    If Miller had real sack he’d make another with a small budget and some obscure Aussie actor with inner demons like Gibson. Have Max face off against Chinese conquistadors.

    Read More
  64. Romanian says:
    @Psmith
    Lots of love for Chandler and Wodehouse ITT. You guys should check out Kyril Bonfiglioli's Don't Point That Thing at Me and After You With the Pistol. Pretty clearly influenced by both, and actually very funny, unlike most Wodehouse imitators. They were recently adapted into a forgettable Johnny Depp vehicle called Mortdecai, but the books themselves are fantastic.

    Also, I think you guys might be selling Red Harvest a little short. I wouldn't put it up against any of Chandler's best work--I think Chandler is probably up there with Fitzgerald and Robert Penn Warren as far as American prose stylists go--but it's pretty hard to beat as far as punchy, clean (stylistically, not necessarily in terms of content), pulp/thriller writing.

    For those inclined towards science fiction, there is another competent Wodehouse imitator, Jody Lynn Nye, who wrote The View from the Imperium and a sequel, which are basically Wooster and Jeeves in space. I found the books quite delightful and they even have this interesting idea regarding how to maintain cohesion in a multiracial empire, but it would be a spoiler to tell you.

    Read More
  65. Off Topic:

    There is a long essay in this weeks New Yorker (May 25 2015) about Anders Brevik and his motivations. There is not a single word in the essay about immigration – amazing.

    Read More
  66. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Feral kid literally walks in Max’s steps in road warrior and then weirdly for one scene Max has feral kids rabbit skin boots on!
    Max has eye injury and leg injury in road warrior yet fury road Max’s tattoo clearly states that he has “two good eyes and no limb injuries!
    The tattoo also states “keep muzzled”
    Feral kid bites.
    Fury road max dispatches the bullet farmer with a tank of guzzolene and a very sharp shiny steel curved (somewhat like a boomerang) blade!
    Goose doesn’t die but becomes a burnt “thing” that’s “not goose”
    Humongous is a badly burnt thing that ain’t goose!
    Max’s wife doesn’t die, the last we see she is stable in hospital with only one arm and when max left she was furious!

    Read More

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