Max & Co (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

Max & Co 2007

Directed by Samuel Guillaume

This extravagantly mounted, endlessly inventive stop-motion puppet animation should appeal to admirers of films like The Nightmare Before Christmas or Wallace & Gromit's Were-Rabbit adventure.

Belgium / France / Switzerland / UK In French with English subtitles
76 minutes 35mm / CinemaScope

Director

Screenplay

Emmanuel Salinger
,
Christine Dory

Photography

Renato Berta

Editor

Jacques Comets

Music

Bruno Coulais

Voices

Lorànt Deutsch
,
Patrick Bouchitey
,
Amélie Lerma
,
Micheline Dax
,
Virginie Efira

Festivals

Toronto 2007

Elsewhere

Promoted in Europe as a film for the entire family, this extravagantly mounted, endlessly inventive stop-motion puppet animation from Switzerland might more helpfully be considered in the same league as The Nightmare Before Christmas or Wallace & Gromit’s Were-Rabbit adventure. It is playfully gothic, looking like an urban Aesop’s fable from the jazz age, and features an all critter cast, wittily imagined caricatures of grown-up venality. In provincial Saint Hilare, playboy industrialist frog Rodolfo is letting Bzzz & Co, the town’s mainstay, go to hell. Though assailed by rabid insect auditors, he is besotted with a cabaret singer chat fatale. Meanwhile a maniacal genetic engineer manufactures mutant flies to increase the demand for the failing factory’s one and only product: fly swatters. Enter 15-year-old Max, a wandering musician in search of his feckless father. Will the foxy Max and his mousy admirer Félicie expose the criminally foppish frog and put an end to the flies? You bet. — BG