Miller and Max is the story of two heroes. One, a leather jacket-clad road warrior whose adventures in a dystopian future have made an indelible imprint on global popular culture. The other, the artist who created him: a softly spoken son of Greek and Turkish migrants, whose life charters a spectacular course from a tiny Queensland town to the highest echelons of Hollywood. In a sense the two men's personalities could not be more different. Max Rockatansky is ravaged by personal demons and intolerant of others: an impetuous, bitter, violent loner. George Miller is patient, collaborative and perfectionist: a filmmaker with big visions and slow, meticulous turn around times. Also, a qualified doctor with experience working in hospital emergency wards.
George Miller would make his first film, Mad Max in 1976 after raising $300,000 from family and friends and hiring a no-name actor, Mel Gibson. Some of his team would be paid in slabs of beer. Edited in his kitchen at home, the film would go on to gross more than $100 million worldwide and become the most profitable film ever made, a title it kept for over two decades. Miller would go on to make three more Mad Max films over three and half decades culminating in Fury Road in 2015, which against all odds wins a record breaking six Academy Awards, the largest haul of an Australian film in history. In between times with both success and failure in Hollywood from Babe to Happy Feet and more, Miller's quiet determination and audacious film making is never more apparent than in the Mad Max universe.
Written with the cooperation of a role call of cast, crew, family and associates, Miller and Max gets behind the scenes and on set, as well as behind Miller's sensible-sounding camouflage to reveal what's really inside the man — which is more than a little Max Rockatansky. Both forces seem to come out of nowhere; both remain to this day huge forces in the zeitgeist and are truly heroes of our time.
About the Author
Luke Buckmaster is the Guardian Australia's film critic. He has been writing extensively about cinema for two decades.
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This book was extremely well written. Luke Buckmeister is a terrific writer. He really knows his topic and his audience - and keeps the language light, direct, sharp, and funny. He captures the roughneck voices of some of the players in the making of the Mad Max films very well indeed. So, the book was very enjoyable.
My main qualm is that George Miller declined to take part in the book. This is really sad and you can feel the hole left in the reading of it. For many of the events described, I missed Miller's take on them.
This lack, however, is made up for by great depth regarding the character that was Byron Kennedy. His impact in the first two films can't be underestimated - and Buckmeister covers this very intimately.
So, for a fan, I'd call this, definitely, a must-read.
The book that all Mad Max fans MUST own and read. Finally its all down on paper for everyone to read. How one of the best cult movies Australia has ever produced started out. Very informative, great interviews and some incredibly funny moments. So glad that all those involved shared these moments with us fans who have waited a long time for this!
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st June 2017
Publisher: Hardie Grant Books
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3 x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.42