'Mad Max: Fury Road' Combines Chaos and Beauty in Namib Desert
Image via YouTube
George Miller once again shows us his version of a post-apocalyptic world. It’s frantic, chaotic, visceral and in a strange way entirely beautiful.
Sure, you have to take your eyes away from the flames, dust kicked up by ridiculous cars and all the insane characters. But if successful you will see just beyond the fury, which is the beautiful landscape of the Namib Desert, where the fourth iteration of “Mad Max” was filmed.
Now before we whisk you away to Namibia, we will start in Australia’s Broken Hill, which was where “Fury Road” was originally supposed to be shot.
As the news report below shows, the weather was far too kind to the area, so production moved:
We would like to offer our congratulations to the locals for the newly invigorated plant life in the area, but somehow we imagine those in Broken Hill are a bit grumpy with the movie opening and all.
Now there are some parts of Australia used in the film. According to IMDB, production hit parts of Sydney, Penrith and Potts Hill.
However, a wide swath of the movie was shot on location in Namibia and, more specifically, the Namib Desert.
It’s among unusual serenity and beauty that the chaos of a fictional post-apocalyptic battle took place:
If that over-the-top, outrageous trailer doesn’t have you grabbing for the wallet to see this movie, consider that, as of this writing, it has a 99 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
If you do traverse as far as the local theater this weekend, perhaps you will be engaged to travel a wee bit farther.
Take away what looks like a “Top Gear” producer’s fever dream and you have the tranquility of the desert, or so sayeth African safari guidebook author Julian Harrison who once spoke with National Geographic about the area.
Harrison offered at the time, “The Namib Desert is rugged, diverse, barren, beautiful, and a fascinating place to take your kids. In such a completely remote environment, it’s just you and the earth.”
Of course, this is the case if the world hasn’t been swallowed by famine and overall madness:
As you can see above and as echoed by Miller to the New York Daily News, this movie provides very real action and scenery: “It's a movie that's not a green screen, CG movie, it's old school, particle filmmaking with real cars, real people and real desert.”
And if you aren’t yet sold on all that Namibia has to offer, consider reading The Independent’s Simon Parker who recently visited the area that played host to cast and crew.
Parker writes, “With a population of just 2.3 million scattered over an area six times larger than England, Namibia is vast, wild and rugged. Bleak yet beautiful, stark yet stunning, it brandishes one of the world's most photogenic and innately cinematic landscapes.”
The reporter also managed a word from Raymond Inichab who served as the Namibian production manager: “Here, we have one of the oldest and emptiest deserts in the world. The production crews that came here were stunned by what we have. I'm expecting this to be a busy time for Namibia.”
A movie that features explosions, car crashes and what looks like a sandstorm that swallows vehicles whole is hardly the equivalent of a tourism advertisement.
However, there is something to be said for the breathtaking beauty that surrounds chaotic scenes, which will undoubtedly take your breath away.
In Max’s world, the earth is a barren wasteland teeming with violence. Thankfully the reality is gloriously antithetical to that universe.
The Namib Desert is peaceful, inviting and achingly beautiful.
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