“Mary and Max” will kick off the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. A claymation animation by Academy award-winning filmmaker Adam Elliot (“Harvie Krumpet“), it tells the simple story of a 20-year pen-pal friendship between two very different people: Mary Dinkle, a chubby, lonely 8-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max Horowitz, a 44-year-old Jewish man, who is severely obese, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, and lives an isolated life in New York City.
Mary and Max
Director/Screenwriter: Adam Elliot
Producer: Melanie Coombs
Cinematographer: Gerald Thompson
Editor: Bill Murphy
Cast: Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Humphries, Eric Bana
Australia, 2008, 92 min., color & b/w
Please introduce yourself…
My name is Adam Elliot and I have just finished making a stopmotion “clayography” (clay biography), that has taken my team and I five years to create; from “script to screen.” It has been all-consuming, but what feature film isn’t? It is my sixth animated film and my first feature. The experience has definitely been bitter sweet and I tell people making a stopmotion feature is like making love and being stabbed to death at the same time! I suppose that’s why there aren’t many around. Despite the blood, sweat and tears, we are very proud of “Mary and Max” and hope audiences engage, be entertained, be moved and hopefully learn and leave the cinema nourished in some way. People keep telling us the film is unique. I found this curious and odd for a while, but I now understand. We are plasticine, we deal with adult themes, we are Australian, we are independent and our characters are strange.
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