ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival, “Mary and Max”

Film, Lily's notes

ReelAbilities film festival is a completely unique festival and describes itself as “devoted to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities.

They will screen award winning films in various locations throughout the NYC metropolitan area. Discussions and programs are also planned.

GothamGirl attended the screening of one of the films in this festival which was included in the  recent Jewish Film Festival at the Walter Reade Theater, and if this film  is any indication of the quality of the films in this festival, then select a few to see.

We saw MARY & MAX, a claymated, award-winning,  feature film by Adam Elliot. Claymation is a demanding form of stop-motion animation and this film is a absolutely terrific example of the technique.

New York City, Australia the characters etc, etc are all formed of “clay” and the result is it’s own unique universe of action. If you go to the film’s site, there is a section which shows their behind-the-scenes technique.

It is based on a story of pen-pal  friendship between two very different people; Mary Dinkle, a  lonely, eight year old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max Horovitz, a 44 year old, lonely Jewish man with Aspergers Syndrome, living on his own, coping as best as he can with his situation,  in New York City. We see NYC through his eyes. He is “voiced” by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Mary and Max’s friendship endures for 20 years, and the story explores the nature of friendship, autism, and communication. It also mentions: taxidermy, psychiatry, alcoholism, where babies come from, kleptomania, sexual difference, depression, trust, agoraphobia and more.

Try not to miss this one but please remember that this is a film for adults.

This is a sad film and it is not for children.

Please see the ReelAbilities site for tickets, showtimes, programs and venue.

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