Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
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This book explores the inter-relationship of disability and trauma in the Mad Max films (1979-2015). George Miller’s long-running series is replete with narratives and imagery of trauma, both physical and emotional, along with major and minor characters who are prominently disabled. The Mad Max movies foreground representations of the body – in devastating injury and its lasting effects – and in the broader social and historical contexts of trauma, disability, gender and myth.
Over the franchise’s four-decade span significant social and cultural change has occurred globally. Many of the images of disability and trauma central to Max’s post-apocalyptic wasteland can be seen to represent these societal shifts, incorporating both decline and rejuvenation. These shifts include concerns with social, economic and political disintegration under late capitalism, projections of survival after nuclear war, and the impact of anthropogenic climate change.
Drawing on screen production processes, textual analysis and reception studies this book interrogates the role of these representations of disability, trauma, gender and myth to offer an in-depth cultural analysis of the social critiques evident within the fantasies of Mad Max.
“The Mad Max films have been understood from numerous perspectives, from auteurism to national cinema to action adventure to gender to science fiction to dystopia. Mick Broderick and Katie Ellis have surpassed that literature with this exciting and profound work. Trauma and Disability is more than a new optic through which to view a storied series; it is a challenge to film studies and cultural analysis more broadly to wake up, smell the burning guzzoline, and rethink normativity.”
― Professor Toby Miller, Loughborough University London, UK
Mick Broderick is Associate Professor of Media Analysis at Murdoch University, Australia.
Mick Broderick is Associate Professor of Media Analysis at Murdoch University, Australia. His major publications include The Kubrick Legacy (2019), Reconstructing Strangelove: inside Stanley Kubrick’s ‘nightmare comedy’(2017), editions of the reference work Nuclear Movies (1988, 1991) and as editor or co-editor, Hibakusha Cinema(1996, 1999, 2014), Interrogating Trauma (2010) and Trauma, Media, Art: New Perspectives (2011).
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Since MZS is the brains behind the brand and concept, I guess that makes me the brawn. Even though my 'gun show' looks more like a water pistol exhibit in a toy store window...”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets such as Texas Highways and AARP. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently launching a Dallas extension of his MZS Film Series at the historic Texas Theater.
Judith is quoted as saying "his hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. Oh and he has the attention span of a gnat." MZS agreed to it all except the moonwalking.