Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Animated discussions : "Mary and Max" and That Sepia Thing

On Thursday 19th May, 22.45 pm Film Four is showing claymation feature "Mary and Max" as part of their Australian Season on British TV.

In their words: this is an "Adult-themed claymation film about the 20-year pen-pal relationship between a girl living in Melbourne and a man 35 years her senior living in New York."

Max is the overweight Asperger sufferer who receives a penpal letter from 8 year old Mary Maisie Dinkle in Australia. Mary, bullied by classmates and ignored by her dysfunctional parents, is looking for friendship on the other side of the world. In her random search of the phonebook she picks out the bewildered loner Max. The film follows their lives and relationship (cemented by a passion for chocolate) into Mary's adulthood.

It's a dark world in dark colours but filled with humour...OK.. maybe that's a bit dark too.

And I've noticed that this "dark"/sepia thing frequently shapes the animation world. From the dark art-film world of Brothers Quay and their inspiration the Czech film-maker, Jan Svankmajer, on into shorter films and independent commissions such as Richard Hutchinson's 1993 stop-motion animation "The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb".

Maybe it's something to do with the subconscious dreamworld that seems to inform a lot of animation. Certainly my dreamworld is often rather sepia coloured.... Well maybe that's just me.

Want a taster of "Mary and Max"? Click here for a YouTube trailer.

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