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SOURCES: excerpts taken from "The Official Collector's Edition Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Souvenir Magazine" and the popular "Rolling Stone" magazine (August 1985).

MEL GIBSON

" We are working in a new area with this one. If it were just a remake of the last one (Note: Mad Max 2) then there wouldn't be any point in doing it. But this is a much more human story and isn't necessarily a Mad Max film, though that kinetic energy is still from the other films. "

" What (George Miller & Terry Hayes are) trying to say is very clear. They're marrying the two things very smartly: The message and the action which goes along with it. It's not shoving it down your throat. The fact that this film has a message also made it more interesting for me to do it. It means you must work harder for the point. The other two films tended to be slightly nihilistic! "

(About Tina Turner, during the filming of Thunderdome) "She used to come down to the set wearing the chain-mail negligee, and everybody in the crowd would go nuts."

"I wouldn't do [another] Mad Max film no matter what. It would definitely have to be something that was going somewhere else."  (Aug. 1985)

 

GEORGE MILLER

THE STORY

" In my mind, it's now about 15 years later. In that time, I imagine, he's had a number of adventures and has basically survived them all. As resources have diminished, he's probably built up his capital, which is his wagon train (Note: Max's Caravan was basically his Junk Truck - " Huge balloon tyres, a monster engine and a skimpy chassis " - when towed by eight camels). He collect things, find things, is resourceful enough to improvise. By the start of this movie, there's no fuel, so he just scavenges about finding things necessary to survival. Essentially, he's a prince of his particular world and someone who has survived very well in it. He can defend himself if anyone, by and large, tries to take things away from him. "

" The main lesson I think he learned from THE ROAD WARRIOR was that no man is an island, that you can't help but be involved in the community of men, and he particularly learns this in the third picture. One of the main reasons we did this film was to get the opportunity to really push the character a lot further. He undergoes a much bigger journey in this picture. "

REMEMBRANCE

" Byron (Kennedy) was so extraordinary that it affected us in all ways --- in an extraordinary manner.
With him here, it obviously would have all gone in a different direction. Byron can't be replaced. My first impulse, actually, was to say: 'Well, that's it. I'm not interested anymore.' But then, very quickly, I said: 'No.' (Note : The MM3 back story was based upon many Byron's theories and suggestions).

" Maybe, a few years ago, dropping out would have been inevitable, but instead, almost the opposite happened. We started what was probably our most intense working period ever. We did 20 hours of very high quality television, and MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME all in 18 months. So, we've been really working hard, and I'm very, very glad we did. That's part of recovering --- not to shrivel from life, but to attack it a little bit more. "

MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME is dedicated to Byron Kennedy.

BARTERTOWN: HELPING BUILD A BETTER TOMORROW

" Bartertown is, even though it's set in the future, really medieval. So it's a very feudal place, a walled city ruled by physical power with law and order, but for the common good because it's certainly better than what was before. It represents the kind of world in which you have to make your own way, you have to make a buck to live, to bring up a family or whatever. It's fairly immediate, venal, profane, and it's got a lot of humor in it. Bartertown is New York, Los Angeles...it's like any city. "

AUNTY ENTITY & TINA TURNER

"(Aunty) was probably the leader of a gang. She saw it was pretty futile to go across the landscape like locusts eating everything up, because eventually there's nothing regenerated. So she says: 'Instead of killing this man who's trying to grow wheat or breed cattle, why don't we protect him so he can harvest another crop next year ?' So a bartering system developed. She also had to have great intelligence and be a POSITIVE rather than a DARK character --- not just a melodramatic bad guy. "

"(while writing the script) we kept saying that ENTITY had to be someone
like Tina Turner, but not specifically Tina Turner. When it finally came to casting, some months later, we said: 'Why not TINA TURNER ?' When I first called Roger Davies (Turner's manager) - he's Australian, coincidentally - I said: 'I'd like to talk to you about Tina doing the third Mad Max film.' He laughed and said: 'You know, Tina said to me yesterday she'd like to do a film something like THE ROAD WARRIOR. "

(Remembering his first meeting with Tina) " Here's someone who, in every way, is highly evolved. Spiritually, in terms of her pragmatic wisdom of the world, her childlike capacity for joy - all of that. I mean that life force is just fantastic. I remember being ushured into her house and hearing this beautiful chanting, several rooms away. She was doing her meditation. It was very powerful."

PIGS

600 pigs were present at the Underworld set (Note: Master-Blaster's reign placed beneath Bartertown) located in an unused Bull Sale Ring in Glebe, a Sydney suburb. The pigs were rented from Jake Piggeries, since buying 600 pigs would have adversely affected the pork market. A few days before shooting began, a local politician claimed that holding 600 pigs presented a health hazard, and the case went before the Supreme Court. Fortunately, the producers won the case and filming began, although stringent health standards were enforced.

" As it turned out, working with pigs is very enjoyable. They're wonderful animals. " (ehm...yes, so Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome IS the third chapter in the Mad Max series...but ALSO the
first entry in the BABE saga...ouch!!!)

THUNDERDOME

" It's a combination of circus, religious spectacle, and the Super Bowl...the people of Bartertown love Thunderdome, because it's a good time. Yet it's quite serious, too. It's not a joke. "

" The Thunderdome's elastic bungeys were inspired by infants' jolly jumpers. (It) makes a much more interesting fight than just going out on the ground with swords. "




THE CHILDREN


"There wasn't anywhere else for the story to go. We, in fact, were talking about another screenplay at dinner one night in a restaurant. We were just chewing the fat, and Terry (Hayes, co-screenwriter/co-producer) started to talk about a tribe of lost kids. I said: 'Do you know you're telling me the beginning of
MAD MAX III ?' We kept on chatting through the night until we evolved what was to become MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME. "


" Because they're children, they represent nothing
but hope, which gives the film great optimism. Children have this belief that things can be better. So while we see a destroyed world (at the end of the film), they see something quite magical, quite divine. A story like this allows you to try to understand this fairly complex world, and to make a simple little parable. "

MAX's DEATH

" We thought for a while that Max's death might happen in this picture, but it just didn't play in the story somehow. In fact, we went from the idea of him dying, to him disappearing and no one knowing what happens to him, and finally to the ending we have. But Max is a character who could die. "

ABOUT THE TRILOGY

" As a filmmaker and storyteller, I think Max allows me --- or the films allow me --- to go almost anywhere. But they're not fantasy films as such. Everything, by and large, is based in reality, except it's set in some future which allows me to play around with it quite a bit. It's much easier to get into these stories --- you have more fun with them, in a sense, because you're not restricted. "

ABOUT MEL GIBSON

" Ten years ago I would have been surprised if you'd told me that any Australian actor would become a mainstream movie star. But, having said that, I'm not surprised it was Mel. Mel is a greater actor than we've seen on the screen and, by his own admission, a tortured Catholic, which is what gives him his demons. Mel is a very good man who thinks he's a bad man. That gives him the complexity that makes movie stars. "

TERRY HAYES

BARTERTOWN vs. CRACK in the EARTH

" Bartertown is really our world today. A world which is vital, lively, funny, grim, totally relying on commerce and trade. There are bars and pigs and technology of a sort, and industrial complexes and singles' bars and girls on the make and guys fighting, and all those things. It's people trying to live their lives the best way they can. There is very little concern for what might be termed 'spiritual values'. Of course, it's a heightened version of our world. What you look for in films is not a reflections of things, but their essence. Films, in many ways, are closest to poetry, where you always try to get the maximum amount of meaning in the minimum number of words. With film, you try to find the maximum amount of meaning in the minimum number of images. "

" Crack in the Earth is a place which appears from the outside to be idyllic when we first arrive there, and it's mystical in a way. You might guess that it has a rich spiritual life, but its real undercurrent is superstition, fractured knowledge and ignorance. It looks wonderful, like Swiss Family Robinson, and all your dreams as a kid of growing up without adults. And it is spiritual, but it also has all that superstition and ignorance. What I think you realize is, that no world can flourish in that way. Crack in the Earth could never flourich, it's too fractured. It has no knowledge. It can't make the connections between things. Everything got all mixed up. So, as wonderful as it might be, it is, in its own way, as barren as Bartertown. "

" There's a wonderful saying, and I don't know who said it - and it wasn't about this film, but it just fits so well - 'One world already dead, another unable to be born'. Well, the world that's already dead is Bartertown, and there's one unable to be born, Crack in the Earth. The man who moves between those worlds, the catalyst for this story, is Max. What he does, of course, is take what is good and positive from Crack in the Earth, that compulsion to alter, that innocence, all those spiritual things, and combine them with the real world. What we see is not the old city being resurrected. It's something new that will be born out of the ashes of the old. Those kids have inherited whatever there is, they're very different from us. They're better suited, probably, to the future than anybody in Bartertown. "

MAX's TRUE NATURE

" The function of all drama is to reveal people. The first moment [of three, in which Max reveals his true nature] takes place in Thunderdome, when Max has such a clearcut choice between worldly goods and doing something which he believes is immoral. And boy, oh boy, in this world, there isn't much which is immoral. But, he can't do it. And I think - I've often said this to Mel - that Max is really annoyed that there is still this glimmer of humanity, of compassion, within him.

The second moment - and Max is really angry about it, too - is when he sets off after the kids. But for the third one, he's no longer angry. He lets go of all worldly things and does something not for himself, but for
others. Even if he survives, Max knows that he's lost. He knows that the best possible result is that he'll be left in the Wasteland. It's very hard for Max, because he has really come to love those children. I think he really wants to go with them."

TINA TURNER

"I would love to [return for Mad Max IV]! Maybe, this time, I would get to kill Mel!" (July 1985)

BYRON KENNEDY

(Quoted in 1982) " The leap between Mad Max II and III would be a quantum leap the same as that from MAD MAX to ROAD WARRIOR was, and that just comes from the learning process. We just learned so much more by doing ROAD WARRIOR so that in MAD MAX III we could hone in on some really pertinent areas. Some of the gloomy ideas that we've kicked around with MAD MAX III are really getting more and more towards that traditional science fiction. Australians would have their awareness elevated enormously by that because we're thinking of bringing the character back to the city from the Wasteland; bringing him back to Sydney after all that collapse so that it will be even more socially pertinent than ROAD WARRIOR. People will be able to learn and speculate and read things into it to a much greater degree. "


A cop in run for revenge...an ordinary man who lost his family...


...A road warrior in need of guzzline...a jackal who lost his humanity...


...A lone warrior in search of his destiny. A man who became a legend !

 

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