Posts Tagged ‘Mad Max’

The Influence of Metal Hurlant on Science Fiction Cinema

April 25, 2017

Yesterday I put up a piece I found on YouTube about the influence French Science Fiction comics had on Star Wars. This short video by the same poster, Abstract Looper, explores the profound influence the artists of the French adult SF comic, Metal Hurlant, known to the Anglophone world as Heavy Metal, has had on modern Science Fiction cinema. Metal Hurlant was founded in 1974 by Les Humanoides Associees Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud, Dionnet and Philippe Druillet. The video shows the striking visual similarities between scenes and designs in the comic’s various strips, and the films Mad Max, Alien, Blade Runner, Nausicaa – Valley of the Wind, Avatar, the original 70s Battlestar Galactica TV series, Hellboy, Prometheus and the Matrix. There’s a clip of Ridley Scott saying that when he made Alien, he was influenced by the visual material produced by Moebius and the French magazine. Guillermo del Toro also confessed that he was influenced by Richard Corben, another of the magazine’s artists. Terry Gilliam also states that the magazine was an influence on him. As does James Cameron. Rutgar Hauer, who played Roy Batty in Blade Runner also appears, telling how the producers visualised the future as already old. In fact, the producers of Blade Runner based their vision of Los Angeles on the towering cityscapes of Philippe Druillet. As well as Druillet, Dionnet, Corben and Moebius, another of the comic’s creators, the Franco-Yugoslavian artist Enki Bilal, was also influential. Also making the point are the similarities between the comics’ art and the concept drawings produced for the Alien and Matrix movies.

You could also add the Judge Dredd movies to this list as well. 2000 AD’s creator, Pat Mills, hates superhero comics. When he launched the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic way back in the 1970s, he was influenced by the French SF comics. Which naturally includes Metal Hurlant. Judge Dredd’s look was created by Carlos Ezquerra, a Spanish artist living in London, who has an artistic style very similar to Moebius.

As an aside, I was also pleased that the interview with Ridley Scott also had Russian subtitles. This shows how much the world has changed since I was at school. This was the years of the new Cold War, created by Thatcher and Reagan, when there were real fears of nuclear Armageddon. I felt profoundly optimistic when the Berlin Wall fell, along with Communism. There seemed at last a real possibility of a genuine, lasting peace between eastern and western Europe. I believe very strongly that it has been a massive improvement in world affairs that the peoples of the former eastern bloc can come to Britain to live, work and raise families.

And I am appalled and angry that Trump and the Democrats are pushing a new Cold War with Putin, and thus endangering the world all over again.

Warning: Heavy Metal was an ‘adult’ comic, which means that there’s some cartoon nudity. This was the magazine that was filmed as The Heavy Metal Movie, and which became notorious for the female nudity of the ‘Taarna’ sequence, which in turn inspired the episode ‘Major B***age’ in South Park. This may have changed, however. In an interview in the comics press a few years ago, its British editor stated that the magazine was dropping the nudity, because it was irrelevant given the amount of real nudity on the Web. He promised that the magazine would still be sexy, however.

Advertisements

Mutants from a Post-Holocaust Future: The Hunt Lobby and the British Aristocracy

December 28, 2015

Boxing Day is traditionally the day when fox hunters up and down Britain ride out to satisfy their bloodlust. Since 2004 it’s been illegal to hunt them with hounds, but this hasn’t stopped the Countryside Alliance from continuing to campaign for the repeal of the law. Mike reported over at Vox Political that a quarter of a million fox hunters were expected to ride to hounds on that day. And David Cameron wanted to see parliament repeal the law. You shouldn’t be surprised at that. He is, after all, a blue-blooded aristo, so the hunt’s almost certainly in his primal nature. Along with snobbery and an absolute contempt for those he regards as merely human animals, like the poor, disabled and working class.

Cameron was to be disappointed. The general public don’t want the ban lifted. Mike reported the findings of a poll, which said that 83 per cent of people don’t want a return to hunting with dogs. There’s also very strong support for the ban inside Cameron’s own party, with 70 Tories MPs stating they would vote against lifting the ban.

See the following articles on his blog: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/12/26/opposition-to-fox-hunting-hits-all-time-high-with-even-most-tory-voters-opposed/

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/12/26/fox-hunting-david-camerons-desire-to-reverse-ban-doomed-in-face-of-tory-opposition/

Mike also quotes the BBC News, where Tracey Crouch stated that Parliament has far better things to do than debate fox hunting.

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/12/26/fox-hunting-parliament-has-better-things-to-do-than-repeal-act/

So who are the proud supports of fox hunting? Well, from the experience of a group of my friends in Cheltenham, aristocratic Tory grotesques. I was up visiting them once, when they’d gone out for the day to enjoy themselves at the races. They’d had a good time watching the horses, and had even won a bit a money gambling, but came back in a foul mood.

What had spoiled their day? The fox hunting crew.

They’d been drinking in one of the beer tents, when a group of the local Tory aristocracy came in along with a squad of very loud supporters of fox hunting. These two groups were horrendously snobbish and condescending towards their social inferiors, as well as physically repulsive. One of my friends wailed in support of this observation that ‘They had no chins!’

So it’s true. The British aristocracy really are chinless wonders.

One of the women was so annoyed with the crew that she immediately sat down to play a particularly violent computer game. It was set in a post-Holocaust future, so presumably she was getting the urge to beat horribly deformed mutants to death out of her system.

It all rather reminded me of one of Robert Rankin’s fantasy novels: Armageddon – the Musical. This is an SF tale in which Elvis Presley and Barry the Time Sprout combat the forces of the Anti-Christ in a Britain devastated by a nuclear holocaust. Among the book’s villains are a sect of cannibals, the Devianti. Whereas other cannibals in SF books set in a post-Apocalyptic future tend to be an extrapolation of the poor White trash in the American Deep South, or violent urban subcultures, like the Bikers in the Mad Max films, the Devianti are true blue aristos. As an indication of their exalted social status, they wear their Barbour waxed jackets outside their anti-nuclear survival suits.

Going by what my friends said that day, I don’t think you have to travel into a future devastated by nuclear war to encounter mutants like them. They’re already here, deformed through generations of inbreeding, and with an insatiable thirst for blood and violence. This is shown in foxhunting, and in the massive bullying that goes on at the elite Public Schools. And they aren’t leaving it for a nuclear war to destroy Britain. Their policies are already doing that, as they seek to vent their hatred of Britain’s poor, sick and unemployed.

This ain’t Science Fiction any more. The mutants are here, and called Tories.