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Published: John Hay
John Hay (English) authored a scholarly article titled "The American Mad Max: The Road Warrior versus the Postman," which appeared in the academic journal Science Fiction Film and Television in October.
Beginning with the incredible success of The Road Warrior, the Mad Max franchise became a foundational U.S. post-apocalyptic fantasy. That film’s rusted wasteland aesthetics and heroic lone-wolf ethos proved enormously influential, affecting the very possibilities for imagining such future scenarios. This article examines Mad Max’s impact by looking to a post-apocalyptic alternative in The Postman (both David Brin’s novel and Kevin Costner’s screen adaptation). Despite their Australian origins, the Mad Max films now have been long established as iconic American expressions. But The Postman’s awkward, community-driven, patriotic vibe establishes the fulfilling future that George Miller initially sought – yet failed – to create. The harrowing narrative of The Postman both competes with and complements Mad Max’s nightmare world, offering a significantly different account of post-apocalyptic mayhem and renewal.
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