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created by Matt Zoller Seitz
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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. It offers a variety of new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, television, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 under the direction of the founder's late wife, Cincinnati-based businesswoman and activist Nancy Dawson, and was originally hosted by Shopify until the platform became corrupt and started destroying independent merchants by freezing their accounts without explanation and making them jump through administrative and legal hoops before shutting them down and taking whatever was left of their money. This same fate was visited upon this store, prompting Seitz and his business partner Judith Carter to relocate here, the better to preserve a hospitable environment for the types of authors they like to champion: independent voices, often published by small presses whose 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. 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 the author's jazz musician father once called "the good sh*t."
The plot thickens, as they say. Why, by the way? Is it a soup metaphor?
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large of RogerEbert.com. He is also the TV critic for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and television has appeared in The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Sight and Sound. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine, and the co-founder and original editor of Press Play, an IndieWire blog of film and TV criticism and video essays.
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. 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 Sopranos Sessions, Mad Men Carousel, and the newly published by MZS Press, The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon. He also wrote the New York Time Best Sellers Mad Men Carousel: The Complete Critical Companion, and TV (The Book). He is currently working on a science fiction puppet movie, a memoir about his two marriages, and an epic non-fiction television series covering 50 years in the life of his extended family.
His hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs.
He has the attention span of a gnat.