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2024 George Miller on “mystical” ‘Furiosa’ star Anya Taylor-Joy

George Miller paid tribute to his Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga star Anya Taylor-Joy and reminisced about ditching a career in medicine for cinema at CinemaCon’s International Day Lunch and awards ceremony on Monday.

Miller, the recipient of the International Career Achievement in Filmmaking award, recalled in a fireside chat how Edgar Wright had encouraged him to cast Taylor-Joy after the British director screened a preview of Last Night In Soho.

The Australian filmmaker followed the advice and reflected, “There’s something mystical about her.” Furiosa premieres out of competition in Cannes on May 15 and opens on May 22 internationally and May 24 in the US.

After studying medicine Miller realised he had chosen the wrong path and embarked on his filmmaking career. “The idea was to make films where, as Hitchcock said, they didn’t have to read the subtitles in Japan.”

The adage proved true. Miller, who along with friends funded production on the 1979 post-apocalyptic action title Mad Max that made a star out of Mel Gibson, said the cast’s Antipodean accents were a bar to success in the US.

However the film took off in places like Japan, Spain and Scandinavia. “It touched archetypes,” Miller told Warner Bros president of international distribution Andrew Cripps. ”In Japan it was samurai culture. The French called it a western on wheels. In Scandinavia it was vikings. That taught me we’re all hard-wired to hear stories.”

  • In a talk ‘You Are What You Watch: Cinemas As A Cutting Edge Technology’, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Walt Hickey explored some of the lesser known impacts of cinema on our lives and bodies and argued the information can be used to support the success of cinema around the world.

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