Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Miller Promises a Black and White Version of "Mad Max: Fury Road" Soon

Scene from Mad Max: Fury Road
It is likely that you've seen director George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road. Almost everyone seems to agree, it's great. Even The Academy have gotten their adrenaline on by giving the film a whopping 10 Oscar nominations. However, what if I were to tell you that the colorful version that ended up making it into theaters is not the way that it was intended to be released? Well, for those who enjoy watching every film in an altered fashion (I know I do), prepare for Furiosa and the gang to come back in glorious black and white - just as Miller had always intended it to be.

This may sound absurd to most, especially those who thought that Mad Max: Fury Road was a visual treat when it was released in theaters. However, Miller had intended it to be in black and white. For those reading reports at the time, the news of a black and white cut is nothing new. However, the fact that there is looking to be an actual go-ahead with this release is exciting. While there have been fan edits to make the film look this way, Miller's description appears to rely on contrast and various other elements - including more emphasis on the score. When speaking with the Los Angeles Times, he had this to say"
"We spent a lot of time in DI (digital intermediate), and we had a very fine colorist, Eric Whipp. One thing I’ve noticed is that the default position for everyone is to de-saturate post-apocalyptic movies. There’s only two ways to go, make them black and white — the best version of this movie is black and white, but people reserve that for art movies now. The other version is to really go all-out on the color. The usual teal and orange thing? That’s all the colors we had to work with. The desert’s orange and the sky is teal, and we either could de-saturate it, or crank it up, to differentiate the movie. Plus, it can get really tiring watching this dull, de-saturated color, unless you go all the way out and make it black and white."
This is an interesting idea, especially since Miller's previous three entries were all in color. For whatever reason, he wants to make it look differently than most apocalyptic movies of the past decade. Good on him. I'm not sure how much of a difference it will make, but I do hope that it's arguably at least on par with what he did with the impressive visuals. Considering that the film isn't dialogue-heavy anyways, it is doubtful that it will be missed if the film chooses to lose it. While he doesn't give any official release date news, he promises that Warner Bros. is going to be putting it out with additional bonus features and commentary tracks. 

This isn't the first Best Picture nominee to be presented differently in home video. Many films, specifically Dances With Wolves, have extended editions that many would argue the rival prints. There are some cases like Nebraska, which go against the director's wishes and show their film in color on TV. Most recently, the winner of Best Director, Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, was released in a Diamond Edition without the Oscar-winning score, if just to create a more realistic vision of space. Still, it will definitely be weird and exciting to see if the novelty of black and white does the film any justice, or if it's just another hacky premise.

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