Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Welcome To The Wasteland

Move over Ellen Ripley, Imperator Furiosa has arrived. In the latest edition of Mad Max to hit the silver screen, we are introduced to a new character in the form of Imperator Furiosa. A true bad ass roaming the wasteland of a post apocalyptic universe and she can go toe-to-toe with any male antagonist or protagonist.

In a broader context we have a female character who inhabits the wasteland in search of a life that is better than the one she's currently experiencing. Along the way she seeks to right the wrongs that have been heaped upon her and those that she cares for. And yes, she's also on a mission.

Clint Eastwood's The Man With No Name, Mifune's Yojimbo and Denzel Washington's Eli are loners traversing a barren landscape seeking to accomplish a task or to save a community. The landscape is filled with predatory types eager to thwart the plans of the evil doers. Thus our hero and heroine must follow a predestined fate. In the words of the Mythologist Joseph Campbell, "We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." These lone wolf heroes are thrust into situations that requires them to go beyond their limitations. It is not a life that they would have chosen however, having been thrust into a nightmare existence, they do not run from the evil that they must face. It reminds me of a poster that was popular in my youth. It depicted a caveman carrying a club looking quite ferocious. The text of the poster was a slight variation of Psalm 23: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for I am the meanest son of a bitch in the valley.