Audience Scores & Review- August 2014 // MARY AND MAX

Hello everyone, Woody here with the results of August’s Minicine at the Mills audience scores.

It was another high scoring night in the Mills as Mary and Max joined July’s Ernest et Célestine as one of our top five feature films of all time. Will My Dog Tulip join them when we return on September 25th?

Joe Schenkenberg’s, AKA Joey Shenks’, tale of a slug outrunning a salt-shaker Wriggle Room also became our joint third highest scoring short film ever along with Michaela Palátová’s Tram.

We’d like to give a big shout out to Noisette Bakehouse for spoiling us with their delicious baked goods. Inspired by Max’s favourite food – chocolate hotdogs – we were treated to brioche buns topped with sugar sesame seeds and stuffed with salted caramel brownie… *drools*

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And congratulations to Sarah and her team on last week’s much deserved win at the 2014 Young British Foodies Awards at Tate Britain. Seriously folks if you haven’t tried a Noisette cake yet you are most definitely missing out.

Finally I like to offer an apology to Kate who had kindly written a letter to introduce last month’s feature. Unfortunately, due to a few last-minute programming changes and time constraints we weren’t able to read her letter to our audience. She’s obviously put a lot of time and effort into the letter, and particularly its homemade envelope, so, while it may not be a review as such, I wanted to share the letter with you now:


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Howdo to all you lovely Minicine attendees! Hopefully Woody will have explained to you who I am, if not then here goes:

My name is Kate and, until January last year, I lived in Leeds. I then moved to North Wales. In February of this year I stumbled upon an interesting blog article online about snail mailing and pen pals and how to go about becoming one. I’ve never really had a proper pen pal before and, with a bit more spare time on my hands due to living in a tiny village in Wales instead of a busy city, I decided to join an American based pen pal club. I now have a pen pal in the USA and one in Canada! It’s such an aewsome experience receiving a letter from someone you’ve never met before, especially knowing the letter has travelled thousands of miles to get to you.

In addition to this, I also decided to begin writing to good friends in Leeds too, picking people who aren’t really big on social networking sites so I usually have no idea of what is happening in their lives. This is where Woody comes in and the whole reason why he’s reading out this letter to you. I’ve only started sending Woody letters recently and in his last correspondence he asked me to aptly introduce the film you’re about to watch, Mary and Max. I was over the moon to be asked! Thanks Woody! (Sorry Kate, I’m a terrible friend)

Mary and Max is a ‘claymation’ film or, as director Adam Elliot has described his work a ‘clayography’ (clay biographies). It’s two central characters are quite flawed individuals and are brought together by chance. As the years roll by the two pen pals help and challenge each other without meeting face to face. Mr. Elliot wrote the film loosely basing the story on his own pen pal whom he has written to for over 20 years.

The film was released in 2009 and took 5 years and 8 million Autralian dollars to create – quite a small budget when you reflect on the star voice talent involve; Toni Collette (Murial’s Wedding), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Barry Humphries (AKA Dame Edna Everage) and Eric Bana (Chopper).

To me, the film is honest and raw, you won’t find any wrong trousers or Wensleydale cheese here – just wrong decisions and a lot of chocolate and it’s interesting to find a ‘claymation’ to be so dramatic, dark and funny at the same time. You certainly pick up the blunt Australian humour quite soon into the film, a humour which I find to be too minimal in the mainstream film world. I’m probably shamefully missing out on quite a few examples here but I can only think of Muriel’s Wedding and the New Zealand based Eagle Vs. Shark to compare with the kind of cutting wit that you will find in Mary and Max.

I don’t want to go any further for fear of spoiling the plot for you, however what I will say is that being someone is a ‘snail-mailer’ themselves, this film is really enjoyable for me. When I write a letter I feel I have a lot of time to express myself and talk about everything and anything, so it’s hugely beneficial for my soul. Likewise, reading a letter from someone is a special thing to do; knowing that they too have taken the time to sit down and dedicate a portion of their day to write to me is a lovely feeling and, being somewhat out of the loop after moving away from Leeds, it’s a great way to catch up with old friends in such a personal, paced and direct way.

If you don’t already, I wholeheartedly suggest you start being a pen pal – definitely with someone you know who you find you don’t speak to that often. It’s much more rewarding than emailing and all the other online social media stuff that’s too quick and too instant most of the time.

Right, that’s enough of hearing from me. I hope you all enjoy the film!

Kindest regards,

Kate Broughton (aged 28¼)

P.S. If you’re interested in finding a pane pal overseas, look up The Letter Writer’s Alliance. Their membership is only $5 a year!

P.P.S If you want to write to me then ask Woody to pass on my address. I’m always interested to have another pan pal!

P.P.P.S Woody smells!! Ha! Made you read they out loud to everyone Woody! *winky face*

(I probably deserved that)


I Love Stop Motion dir. Chloe Fleury – 3.40


Create dir. Dan MacKenzie – 3.33


Wriggle Room dir. Joe Schenkenberg – 4.38


Rippled dir. Darcy Prendergast – 3.61


A Girl Named Elastika dir. Guillaume Blanchet – 3.06


Mary and Max (2009) dir. Adam Elliot – 4.83


Don’t go anywhere as we’ll have our preview for this month’s Minicine at the Mills film night coming your way this afternoon.

And later this week we’ll be revealing details of our programme for the remainder of the year.

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One thought on “Audience Scores & Review- August 2014 // MARY AND MAX

  1. Pingback: Audience Scores & Review- August 2014 // MARY AND MAX | Tinseltown Times

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