September 29, 2013 by The Friday Facts
This is the first in what I hope will be many installments where I take a scene from a famous movie and try and get my unfamous progeny to re-enact it
The Road Warrior
Mad Max II (The Road Warrior to our American cousins) is one of my favourite movies. It’s more or less a documentary to me. For one, it taught me to be nicer to leather-clad S&M weirdos because they apparently rule the world in the future. It also has cars driving really fucken fast.
I could talk a bit about it being probably the only Australian movie whose cinematic influence has been genuinely felt on a global scale, or its almost single-handed revitalisation of the Western genre. I could even talk about the fact that the senile old man that lives up the road from you in Sherman Oaks screaming incoherent and obscene comments about Jews and homosexuals to passing cars was once the achingly sexy embodiment of the mythical loner anti-hero archetype. But I’d rather talk about its cars.
Or its characters.
This rat-drawn bedouin urchin saved the good guys’ bacon at least once in the movie. Plus he came the closest of all the characters to the nigh-on impossible task of melting Max’s steely, anti-hero-lonerish facade.
If a movie as bleak as this one could be described as having a tender moment, it was most certainly this one, in which Max takes one of those tinkly metal music thingies (I’m pretty sure he pulled from the cold, stiff hand of a charred corpse) and plays it to the Feral Kid who, as someone who’s never seen such magic before, is most impressed.
(As a side note, it’s oddly reassuring to know that, in the post-apocalyptic distopian bleak-scape that apparently lies ahead of us, you can still walk into a hairdresser and get a blow waved mullet)
I see a lot of the Feral Kid in Sonny. Sonny has a mullet. He often drapes himself in road kill, too. He’s also been known to carry a blood-stained boomerang around with him from time to time. We have a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy on that one.
When my grandfather died one of the more bizarre things he left me was a crusty old school TAA bag* full of all sorts of weird shit, including a rusted up pair of clippers, some 50s cutlery and, yes, one of those metal musical things. Only this one played Up There Cazaly ** instead of happy birthday.
This is what happened when I used the musical thingie to try and get Sonny to re-enact the Mad Max II scene.
I’m going to go ahead and say that, as far as re-enactments go, this was a profound failure. So let’s talk it through, shall we?
Unlike the Feral Kid, Sonny seems completely unimpressed with this contraption. He’ll obsess over a sock or a set of keys for hours at a time, but evidently an intricate and painstakingly crafted triumph of metallurgy and musical science doesn’t warrant three seconds of his precious time. He pays lip service by halfheartedly inspecting it on two occasions, but no one’s fooled – he doesn’t give a shit. Then, in a final fuck-you to the whole scenario, he turns tail and turbo-crawls off into the night.
Mad Max II the Musical
Firstly, the out-of-shot thing that Sonny is completely preoccupied with in the early part of this scene is the television. The Feral Kid had no such distractions. If I had my time again, I would have driven Sonny into the middle of the Simpson Desert to shoot this scene. Or, if that proved to be impractical, I would have at least turned the TV off. The boy is TV obsessed and the scene never stood a chance as long as it was on.
Secondly, I think it’s significant that Max originally plays the music thingie to the Feral Kid from an elevated position. That way the kid can’t touch it. Sonny has an official policy of personally inspecting any new thing within reach and the whole deal with these music thingies is that they sound pretty. But they sound a lot less pretty when they’re being fingered by a 1 year old. In fact, it’s a miracle that he didn’t shove the thing straight into his big fat gob and try to swallow it; he does it with everyfuckingthing else. If he did, given that this thing had probably sat in my Grandad’s ‘special room’ for Christ knows how many years, it probably would have left us in the awkward position of having to front up to St Vincent’s emergency ward and ask them if the have an antidote for the Bubonic Plague.
In short, I’m not sure that Sonny will be a shoe-in for the role of the Feral Kid in Mad Max II the Musical, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Maybe someone would cast him as Disinterested Baby #3 in something that requires…um…at least three disinterested babies.
We can only hope….
* Message to Gen Ys – TAA was an airline. It existed. Deal with it
** Message to international readers – Up there Cazaly was a song from the 70s. It was about Australian Rules football. Deal with it