The Sundance Film Festival in Park City started last Thursday night, kicking off with an independent animated feature by Adam Elliot. The first reviews appearing online are intriguing – catching many veteran festival goers by surprise. Check out these quotes from Scott Foundas’ review in the LA Weekly:
For the first time in its 25-year history, the Sundance Film Festival opened Thursday night with a movie from Australia. It was also the first time the festival has opened with a feature-length animation — one, I feel confident in saying, that is among the strangest animated films ever made.
Pixar this most certainly isn’t. In fact, where most feature-length animated films, by sheer virtue of the painstaking labor involved, aim to reach the broadest possible audience, Mary and Max — which took over a year to produce, at an average rate of five seconds of finished animation per day — is as insular and private as any live-action “personal filmmaking.”
In the eight years that I’ve been covering Sundance, this is one of the only times the opening night film has been less than a calamitous failure, and maybe the only time it has been a movie of serious ambition, worth talking, thinking and arguing about afterward.
Mary and Max is in negotiations for theatrical distribution and will hopefully open in the U.S. in 2009.