jesse_the_k: Hands open print book with right side hollowed out to hole iPod (Alt format reader)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k posting in [community profile] access_fandom
Wolf Schweitzer, a Swiss forensic pathologist (and above-elbow amputee), has a rich blog full of details on low-tech amputee hardware design.

He also has extensive thoughts on "Mad Max: Fury Road,"
begin quote
Again, the Punch & Judy department of Warner Brothers throws a faked disability, a faux handicap, at us, in their Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) movie, and again, we consider it, just as we considered the attempts in Kingsman, or, Home of the Brave (2006), or, maybe in the ill-fated attempt for cinema titled “Hancock”.
[...snip...]
So, here they go again; what do they do there? Is it good? And, before glorifying it just because (they even write “watch Furiosa punch Max in the face, with her nubbins” which she really doesn’t; she punches him with her hand while sticking the nubbins out in the air) – why not actually *use* our eyes, to look, to ogle, to view, and (in a more strict sense) “watch” it? It is so much a visual and so not much a verbal movie so we really have to switch on our eyesies. What is there to be actually seen, what do they really show? Is this empowering or what does it really say?
end quote


The full article is on his blog:
http://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=4762

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-08 09:16 am (UTC)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
... wow. The mechanical details are interesting but I am absolutely seething and the way he interprets the final sequence and the story arc.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-08 09:19 pm (UTC)
sasha_feather: Furiosa and the Valkyrie (Furiosa)
From: [personal profile] sasha_feather
I also disagree majorly with a lot of this blogger's impressions and conclusions. It's amazing how different people can have such different responses to art.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-09 01:24 am (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
It's as if someone had written about Mad Max 2 solely in terms of the leg brace Max wears in that one. He's focussed on the micro-detail of the arm to the exclusion of the macro-level story.

I don't disagree with much of what he says about the issues around casting non-disabled actors, but he's viewing the entire film through that one lens.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-09 11:43 am (UTC)
kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
So my actual issue (& sorry, Jesse, for the terse grumpy comment initially - it was left while I was still waking up, on the assumption that anyone who wanted me to expand would ask!) is that he's also approaching this in an incredibly male-gazey way and self-absorbed way:
This visual representation is relevant as missing part of an arm is far more of a communicative disability (in that it interferes with communication) than just a practical manual handicap – and that is what is visually highlighted and emphasized here. After all (we said that already), this is not the movie of the most brilliant verbal dialogues – but it does try to be an exercise in visual story telling.

And that is the visual of a disfigured woman who realizes that a man who could have matched her in some if not many ways walks out on her. Really, that ends up as the movie’s actual essence.


... like... what???? no????? NO??????????? Furiosa has shown absolutely no interest whatsoever in Max as a romantic prospect rather than as furniture; she's shown absolutely no interest in any men [beyond threat assessment]; she is actively trying to get away from them.

And he's got PTSD. And it's not about her being disabled. It's not. He leaves because he's so fucked up that he can't people, he can't the number of people in that citadel, he can't feel safe and he needs to keep moving and he feels like he needs the isolation. He gave her blood. She's not wearing her prosthetic in that scene because she's incredibly weak from blood loss and exhaustion, and he gave her blood, and that means so much more than any kind of bullshit shoehorned romance arc that neither of them wants. And he looks at her - he witnesses her literal ascent to power - and he apologises for being unable to stay and keep being furniture for her or whatever, but this isn't where he belongs and she doesn't actually want this dude who showed up out of nowhere to be seated upon her right hand or whatever, she's got women for that. The citadel isn't a community he belongs in. I can't see how he can possibly read that scene the way he does apart from having massive insecurities of his own in ways that to me honestly read more like standard douchebro whining about how Nice Men Finish Last with a specific different focal reason, dressed up as solidarity for and standing up for a woman. And, you know, I'm entirely willing to believe that he believes that's what he's doing -- but I think the only way you can get to that interpretation is by assuming that the thing Furiosa wants most is A Man, because She's A Lady, and I just... react so strongly against that that I can't even.
Edited Date: 2015-08-09 11:52 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-09 12:28 pm (UTC)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
The portrayal of PTSD is really good. Clearly the portrayal of the prosthetic isn't, but the ways that Furiosa interacts with her arm (and other people interact with her arm) are actually really matter-of-fact and affirming; and I think I disagree with the assertion that disability is used as a hallmark of villainy in FR, because sure the villains all have varying degrees of visible disability but so do most of the heroes, and all factions are depicted getting one hell of a lot done (regardless of the ethics of it) because of their adaptive tech. So. Yes, actually disabled (or Aboriginal, in addition to Pacific Islander!) actors would have been nice, but... this film pissed me off one hell of a lot less than most handlings of disability do.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-09 01:45 pm (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
I think that PTSD point is an important one. Everyone is so focused on talking about Furiosa's arm, and the various issues with the Warboys, that they never think about psychological disabilities and how they're handled.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-09 02:51 pm (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
From: [personal profile] sasha_feather
There's at least one disabled actor in the film: Quentin Kenihan, who plays Joe's son Corpus Colossus.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-09 02:34 pm (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
It's intriguing, how ever, that our common irritation with the rarity of hiring disabled actors doesn't trump challenging plots or realistically drawn relationships.

Good point. I think that cripping-up is a problem, but it's probably even more important that we get disabled characters shown as normal cast members living normal lives, not something special. We need to make progress on both areas, but getting realistic disabled characters in front of people is likely to have more of an effect for disabled people as a whole, whereas cripping-up is, to a degree, a narrow area of employment discrimination. And finding an actor with an appropriate disability for a big role may genuinely be difficult, or even impossible = thinking about Audrey Tautou's polio-affected Mathilde in A Very Long Romance.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-09 01:42 pm (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
Disabled and still being prone to standard douchebro whining is entirely possible.

OTOH I'm not quite sure that's the only thing at work. If you read his other film reviews (which I did, and it reminded me I'd actually stumbled across a couple of them while looking up the relevant films back when they came out), then how he views a film involving an amputee is pretty much determined solely by how he views its treatment of amputees and prosthetics. He gives one faux-amputee performance high marks, and loves everything about the film (Jessica Biel and Home of the Brave), and absolutely savages everything else. Of course it just so happens that Home of the Brave is a realistic treatment of being a contemporary amputee, while the other three films he reviews are SFnal, with the amputee element comparatively minor in two of them. He doesn't like how prosthetics are handled in Fury Road (cf the dissection of the prop, the whole post-apocalyptic-punk chic passes him by) so he views everything about it as the amputee character being treated badly - and from his perspective that includes her not getting the guy. I think there's probably a degree of douchebro whining under there, to trigger that interpretation, but he's looking for the negative and you could probably have swapped the sexes of Max and Furiousa and he'd have said the same.
Edited Date: 2015-08-09 01:43 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-09 01:49 pm (UTC)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
Oh I'm absolutely certain he'd say the same thing if you swapped the genders - it's just that that would make the entitlement even more apparent, because... yeah, I really think that entire thing is about a massive sense of entitlement, hyperfocus to the point of, well, missing the point. (The thing is, he's identifying with the amputee not the dude and this masks the fact that he's bringing a very, very particular sense of entitlement about Who Deserves Relationships to the table, as far as I can tell.)

([personal profile] starlady has just shared an article from a very different perspective in comments on my post about this!)
Edited Date: 2015-08-09 01:50 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-09 02:23 pm (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
Can't argue with that.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-10 12:31 am (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
From: [personal profile] sasha_feather
I was thinking about the article today as a failure of intersectionality. If you can't see that gender is as or more important of an identity for people of this world, (as opposed to disability), then you're missing the entire point of the film. Gender is way more oppressive than disability is, within the context of the world of MM: FR, because nearly everyone has some kind of disability-- even the war boys are sick.

The link you mention is also here at access-fandom, in the m: mad max tag, for anyone looking for more meta.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-09 02:21 pm (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
And oh, I love those Max as furniture sketches

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