Published 3 April 20093 April 2009 · Main Posts Adam Elliot’s Mary and Max Rjurik Davidson I saw Adam Elliot’s feature film Mary and Max at Metro Magazine’s 40th Anniversary Party a couple of days ago. Before the film Elliot asked people to come and give him feedback, both positive and negative. He seemed quite genuine about asking for negative criticism because, he said, he would only learn from his mistakes if he knew what they were. Elliot has an endearing presence; he seems very likable. Anyway, I didn’t get a chance to talk to him about the film, which I’d describe as good and occasionally great. On the good side, it’s like nothing I’ve seen before: an adult clay-motion feature. Yes there are laughs, but there’s an underlying darkness to the film that is at times unnerving. It is really a touching film about real and serious issues (Max suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, Mary is a lonely and alienated child – by a kind-of accident they become pen-friends, giving each other advice and sharing a love of chocolate). In other words, it’s worth seeing. On the other hand, at times I found myself restless and the film felt long. The reasons for this are: 1) There are essentially only two characters. I’ve written about this elsewhere, so I’ll limit myself to saying that this restricts the dynamism of any piece (film or fiction), for you have a only a one relationship to work with. For this reason many stories have three main characters, with shifting allegiances between them. 2) Mary and Max spend almost all of the film without ever being in the same scene together. (It’s the story of a pen-friendship.) Now that’s a hard thing for anyone to pull off. Still, Eliot’s film is really worthy – original, ambitious and obviously a labour of love. Check out the website if it sounds like your kind of thing. Rjurik Davidson Rjurik Davidson is a writer, editor and speaker. Rjurik’s novel, The Stars Askew was released in 2016. Rjurik is a former associate editor of Overland magazine. He can be found at rjurik.com and tweets as @rjurikdavidson. More by Rjurik Davidson › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202312 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Judith Wright Poetry Prize ($9000) Editorial Team Established in 2007 and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets seeks poetry by writers who have published no more than one collection of poems under their own name (that is writers who’ve had zero collections published, or one solo collection published). It remains one of the richest prizes for emerging poets, and is open to poets anywhere in the world. In 2023, the major prize is $6000, with a second prize of $2000 and a third prize of $1000. All three winners will be published in Overland. First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202315 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize ($6500) Editorial Team Supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, and named after the late Neilma Gantner, this prize seeks excellent short fiction of up to 3000 words themed around the notion of ‘travel’; imaginative, creative and literary interpretations are strongly encouraged. This competition is open to all writers, nationally and internationally, at any stage of their writing career.