MARY AND MAX

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MARY AND MAX

Postby Barry » Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:53 am

December 5th 2009

Adam Elliot's film, produced by Melanie Coombs, is probably the film I have been most eagerly wanting to see above all others, and it did not disappoint. Next to more kinetic and overanimated films of this year, this is such a pleasant change. It does not have the fireworks nor the bells and whistles and the surface glitter of the other films, but it has something in abundance that the others lack - and that is a real warmth of spirit. OK UP is pretty emotional, but wait till you see this quirky film. The sight of a one eyed cat got me going from the start. A film celebrating and giving dignity to those whose lives are out of kilter, off blance and downright quirky and unfortunate. Adam manages to find such surprising detail in his dialogue and visuals. He has a touch of Alan Bennett and Victoria Wood about him in the unexpected juxtaposition of big issues and quirky character detail and observation. Sometimes you just cheer at the leap of logic. A and his beautifully structured film, helped by a great use of colour and delicious soundtrack - oh the penguin Cafe orchestra are so right, especially in a very tender use of Prelude and Yodel right at the end. The film has Adam stamped triumphantly on every frame, and yes there are references to Harvey and his other unfortunates, but this is also a huge step forward, and it is a brave device to keep the films two main characters apart. There's exquisite detail in the production design, and well, all of it is a joy. A pure melancholy, uplifting eccentric joy, with a profoundly moving ending.
i did keep thinking of the line in King lear 'God, stand up for bastards' (or something like that), but yes this is a hymn for those slightly left behind. No element of smugness or oveslickness, and it does make some of the other films around look hollow.
A great achievement. Well done to the whole team (oh yes one criticism - the type on the credits was way too small. Couldn't read and applaud all the names!)
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Re: MARY AND MAX

Postby Kerry » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:23 pm

*nodding* in a agreement.

It's even more wonderful the second time round as you invest more time with the characters (if that makes sense)!? First time I felt drawn to Max, second time Mary. Instead of being emotional at the end, I became emotional halfway through with Mary.

Never let down by anything Adam has done, and I still continue to pester him (started when I was a student and saw Brother). Boy am I excited to see what he's going to do next.

I LOVE THIS FILM! Big thumbs up!
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Re: MARY AND MAX

Postby Barry » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:00 pm

December 8th 2009

Just watched this again on the big screen with some students at the NFTS, and I know we should make comparisons to other animated films, but oh my, this makes other films look shallow. This is such a sophisticated film with such complex emotions. And the first time I saw it, I saw the lull towards the end as a bit of a fault, but I realise it is there to get you ready for the shattering last five minutes. I was again choking back tears - but they are confusing tears. Happy ones and utterly tragic ones. I have not felt like this in an animated film since either Bambi or Dumbo.
Brilliant.
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Re: MARY AND MAX

Postby Vicky Mather » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:10 pm

I thought it was fantastic. Great story, great characters, comedy and attention to detail. Very Impressive everyone should watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgRjB8PEDkM
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Re: MARY AND MAX

Postby R Phelan » Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:30 pm

Thanks for screening it for us at the NFTS Barry. It’s such a shame that it’s become so difficult to see it in the UK. I thought it was amazing, so full of sadness but at the same time so uplifting. The characters were so real and I loved how much could be put across with sometimes just a tiny gesture. I loved the use of colour for Australia and America and how they touched each other’s worlds.

I hope more people get to see it!
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Re: MARY AND MAX

Postby Barry » Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:08 pm

Thanks for that Richard, and I know Adam reads these pages so he will be pleased.
I feel sad that the big Hollywood awards seem to be ignoring Mary and Max. Of the ones that keep getting nominated, I do think it is certainly the superior and more courgeous film, as a film, but perhaps the other films are more flashy and more obviously demonstrative of a technique. Adam's film, though, has the biggest heart of them all, and is actually probably the most surprising and innovative. I feel that should be rewarded.
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