So, last night was the official opening of the Sundance Film Festival 2009. Thursday's screenings were two showings of Mary & Max. We attended the second one, along with exactly zero celebrities. We did have the privilege of hearing from the Director of the Festival, the Mayor of Park City, and both the Writer/Director of the film and the film's producer before the screening.
The film was shown in Eccles Theatre, the largest venue of the festival. It holds 1,300 people and every seat was full, plus there were all the ushers there. The sad thing about this venue is that it is a high school auditorium. Yes, you read me right, a high school auditorium. We used high school bathrooms, sat in front of a not huge screen and watched the second showing of a world premier, opening night choice, at a high school. Weird. We also were supposed to abide by the school's policy of no eating in the auditorium. Sadly, all of the movies I have tickets for are showing there. Next year I'll be sure to see films showing at other locations as well. We had seats front and center and were surrounded by eager film enthusiasts from around the country.
The movie itself was incredible. Filmed entirely in stop-motion claymation, it took over a year to film and they shot an average of five seconds of reel a day. Nothing was computer-generated, meaning everything in the movie could be held in your hand. The story and visuals were absolutely unique and stunning. Wonderful writing and characters; semi-autobiographical story. I found a great article on the film here.
Check out the characters at: http://www.maryandmax.com/