You don't miss a chance to see The Road Warrior in 35mm on the big screen. You really don't want to miss that chance when George Miller is in attendance, but especially not a couple of months out from the release of Mad Max: Fury Road - because you know you're probably going to see some new footage. Last night at SXSW, Miller definitely brought that footage after a fantastic screening of The Road Warrior.
Miller started off by explaining that the seven minutes of footage was from the beginning of the second act of the film, as Max has been imprisoned, describing him as "disturbed... like a trapped animal." When we first meet Max in this scene, he's wearing a metal mask over his face and a chain has him tethered to the lifeless body of Nicholas Hoult's Nux. Max tries to use his sawed off shotgun to blast the chain, but the bullets are dead and spark out, a callback to The Road Warrior (although Miller says this one was unintentional). Unable to break free, Max slings Nux over his shoulders and carries him across the wasteland until he comes upon Charlize Theron's Imperator Furiosa, accompanied by a trio of women in white.
Furiosa isn't wearing her robotic arm - it's dangling from the big rig nearby, while the three women (including one who is pregnant) are bathing in the water attachment from the truck. One of the women has just removed the totally insane chastity belt contraption from her body. You've seen a glimpse of it in the trailers with its toothy metal opening that spells certain death for any penis that should try to enter. We get the impression that these women have been rescued from slavery of some sort, likely by Furiosa, who seems like a really awesome hard ass.
Max points his empty gun at the women, forcing Furiosa to drop her weapon. He asks for water and for one of the women to cut him free with a hefty pair of wire cutters, but motions for Furiosa to keep her distance - he's already established that she's the most dangerous among the four. As the pregnant girl approaches, we hear engines far in the distance and spy a cavalry of vehicles approaching, likely led by Immortan Joe. The girl dreamily asks, "Is that the wind, or just a furious fixation?" The film has very little dialogue, but Miller clearly makes the most of what little there is.
At that moment, Furiosa makes her move, springing on top of Max like a feral cat, brutally and relentlessly attacking them. Nux, meanwhile, has begun to stir from the feeling of water on his skin. As Furiosa and Max tumble around in the sand - Max still hindered by his mask and chain - the women pull on his chains to assist Furiosa, who has dropped her gun. Max grabs the gun and tries to shoot Furiosa, but the clip is empty. Nux grabs it and holds it out on the ground near Max, who effortlessly slides the gun onto it and swings it up to Furiosa's face in one intensely fluid movement.
Max fires off three shots into the sand around her head, and the footage cuts to black.
Miller talked a bit about both The Road Warrior and Fury Road, revealing that much like its predecessor, Fury Road has little dialogue and not much exposition. He knows the characters and their entire back stories, but he prefers to show us who and how they are through action. More people should pay attention to the way Miller approaches character - hell, after seeing The Road Warrior on 35 last night, more directors need to pay attention to how Miller composes a film, period. They do not make films like The Road Warrior anymore, and there might not be a single action film that's comparable.