‘Memoir of a Snail’, featuring the voice of Sarah Snook, premieres at Teaserv

“Memoir of a Snail,” directed by Oscar winner Adam Elliot, and featuring the voice of the “Succession” star sara snook – has released a teaser before its premiere in Annecy.

It is scheduled for release in Australian cinemas, through Madman, on October 17.

In the film, little Grace Puddle is separated from her twin brother Gilbert after the death of their parents. Things only get worse from there, she later admits to a garden snail named Sylvia, the only creature interested in her tragic story.

“I lean towards the underdogs. People who are perceived as different, marginalized. I’m not interested in heroes. It’s probably because ultimately I’m making movies about myself. “I really empathize and identify with my characters,” said the director. Variety.

“The truth is, they are all based on real people: they happen to be my family and my friends. In [previous film] ‘Mary and Max’, Max was based on my pen pal, who is still alive. ‘Memoirs of a Snail’ has a lot of my mother. We call her a ‘reformed hoarder,’ but she still collects.”

Despite the “imperfections” of his characters and the numerous difficulties they go through, Elliot – who won the Academy Award for the short film “Harvie Krumpet” in 2003 – continues to support them.

“Someone recently said to me, ‘You really drag your characters through the mud.’ But they have been so unlucky that at the end of each film, when they finally succeed, you are on their side,” he pointed out.

Grace, hidden behind the objects that clutter her house, continues to experience loss, rejection, sadness and loneliness. And yet, “Memoir of a Snail” is full of warmth.

“I have always loved that phrase that without darkness, light has no meaning. There’s also a bit of that Australian, self-deprecating humour. I want the audience to laugh, but if I can make them shed a tear, I really feel like I’ve accomplished something. My father was an acrobatic clown and he used to say: ‘Adam, you’re not an ‘author’, you’re an artist. make them laugh and make them cry.’”

Despite his affection for Ken Loach or Mike Leigh, Elliot sticks to stop-motion.

“I get asked why I don’t do live action and it’s really simple: in stop-motion, you have creative control and you can push the boundaries of the art form. You can have a dark moment and a light moment almost simultaneously. In ‘Cousin’ [made in 1998] You discover that our character’s parents died in a car accident while he was wearing a t-shirt that said, ‘I sing for Jesus.’ Plus, I can’t help it: I love quirky deaths.”

Or older mentors. In the film, Grace finally finds a friend of hers besides her beloved snails: she is an eccentric lady named Pinky, who encourages her to come out of her shell.

“There is wisdom that can come with age. Now, there is a bigger gap between generations, so what could bring us together? Simple pleasures. Pinky teaches Grace how to be brave, because yes, she is like one of these snails. “She constantly recoils from all this trauma.”

Adam Elliott
Credit: Matt Irwin

“Originally, it was supposed to be a ‘Memoir of a Ladybug,’ but it felt a little cheesy. I love drawing snails and collected them when I was a child. When I write my scripts, I don’t think about all the practical aspects. after 10th draft or something, I said, ‘Oh wow, now I’m going to have to do a thousand of these things.’ I never want to see another snail again!

However, he will continue to make films he believes in.

“I have had offers [from bigger studios] and financially, I should have said yes. But I’m a megalomaniac: I prefer to write and direct my own movies, and I have my niche. Still, with my next project I want to be even more ambitious. All my budgets are very low, so there are always concessions: in ‘Memoir’ there is very little walking. Or speak, that’s why I use voice-over.”

Once again, his film is narrated by a stellar cast, from Sarah Snook to Jacki Weaver, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Eric Bana. She has previously collaborated with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Geoffrey Rush or Toni Collette.

“Everyone says, ‘Adam, why do you always cast these Academy Award-winning actors?’ Because they are good! Sarah, in many ways, led me. I don’t necessarily strive for globally recognizable names: I strive for authenticity. I told Sarah, ‘I just want you to be yourself.’ Investors love stars, but I don’t mention them at the beginning of my films, for example. “I don’t want the audience to think about the actors until the end credits.”

Instead, he wants them to look into his characters’ eyes. Literally.

“Even though they are masses of clay, they break the fourth wall and look directly at you. “They are asymmetrical and misshapen-looking, but they also have that endearing quality.”

Born with a physiological tremor, Elliot has incorporated it into his work.

“When I draw, my lines wobble, so my 3D characters are versions of my 2D drawings. Much of the stop-motion has become very slick, but the psyche of my characters is fractured. I always tell my collaborators: ‘Make your mark, make your mark.’ Imagine that you have had a glass of wine and you are a little drunk. “It’s about fighting for imperfection.”

An Arenamedia production, “Memoir of a Snail” was produced by Elliot and Liz Kearney, and executive produced by Robert Connolly and Robert Patterson. Anton & Charades is responsible for international sales; The film is distributed by IFC for North America and Wild Bunch for France.

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