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Thursday, 2 February 2012

Transcription: Mary and Max (2009) Review

Fig.1 "Mary and Max" Poster (2009)

"Mary and Max" is a 2009 Australian animated film wrote and direct by Adam Elliot. After Elliot's film "Harvie Crumpet" (2002) won the Academy Award for Best Short Film in the Animation category,  there were very high expectations  of what would be next for Elliot. Again working in the style of animation known as claymation, Elliot decided to make "Mary and Max", his very first feature length film.

Fig.2 "Mary and Max"  Film Still

"Mary and Max" paints two lost souls on opposite sides of the Earth who become unlikely friends. Mary Daisy Dinkle is an eight-year-old girl living in Australia with her monstrous mother and taxidermist father. At the post office one day, she randomly picks a name out of a New York phone book. Max Jerry Horowitz, an obese Jewish man with aspergers, who lives in New York.  They start writing to one another, and continue to write to each other  throughout their lives, filling the role of the only friend they both had  has.

Fig.3 "Mary and Max" Film Still

One of the thing that grabs the audience is that this film is the heart that is in it. You can tell that it was something that was made with love and that every single second of it was thought through.  "In narrative terms, Mary, and Max is indeed classically inclined but by intensifying certain themes and flipping others, Elliot gives his film gravity and adds a very personal stamp on a genre known for hiding its directors." (Cabin, 2010) This is because "Mary and Max" is based on elements of his own childhood and his relationship worth his own New York pen- pal.

Elliot has stylized worlds that Marry and Max live in, this aloud the viewer to make a clear visual distinction among the pair’s home environments. With Max's life in a monochrome busy America and Mary's life in a  Australian suburbia. Their different worlds incorporate symbolic flashes of red, to represent the colour Mary brings into Max’s life. On a technical note the stop motion, movement especially the amazing motion control camera movements through miniature sets are smooth and add to the enjoyment of the film. Alexander Zalben film critic sates in her review that "The animation also is unique to the form, effectively using colour and the stiffness of Elliot's clay characters to create a world through narration and voice over that never feels like an attempt to mimic reality, but rather to hold a mirror up to it. Think of Mary and Max not as an animated film, but a film that uses animation to tell its story" (Zalben, 2009)

Fig.4 "Mary and Max" Film Still

"Mary and Max" is  funny and moving, a film of warmth and consistent heart-warming honesty that shows the incredible emotion depths of adult themes with the use of dark comedy.

Cabin, Chris (2010) Marry and Max Film Review. (Accessed on 02/02/2012)

Zalben, Alexander (2009) Marry and Max Film Review  (Accessed on 02/02/2012)

List Of Illustrations
Figure.1 Elliot, Adam (2009)  Mary and Max Still. (Accessed on 02/02/2012)
Figure.2 Elliot, Adam (2009) Mary and Max Still. (Accessed on 02/02/2012)
Figure.3 Elliot, Adam (2009) Mary and Max Still. (Accessed on 02/02/2012)
Figure.4 Elliot, Adam (2009) Mary and Max Still. (Accessed on 02/02/2012)

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