Very Fine Cats Indeed: More Experimental Feline Films on 16mm

Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan Ave.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 7pm

Last year’s CAT Film Festival was such a success that we decided to come back with another helping of experimental films about cats projected from genuine 16mm film, this time with a better program title. We’re splitting them into two convenient programs, one that’s probably suitable for all ages, and one that’s just for the grownups.

7PM – Program One – Probably Suitable for All Ages – 47 min.

  • Robert Breer’s Rubber Cement (1975, 10 min.) is a color photocopy film that contains an affectionate homage to Felix the Cat. Jonathan Rosenbaum called Breer “the key figure in avant-garde animation.”
  • Pola Chapelle’s Fishes in Screaming Water (1969, 6 min.), created for the very first cat film festival INTERCAT ’69, features Georgecat, the accommodating feline who starred in How to Draw a Cat, in a performance that Jonas Mekas said “continues the great tradition of acting established by Rin Tin Tin.”
  • Ken Jacobs’s Airshaft (1967, 4 min.) is a single shot from a fixed camera from within a darkened room, out a fire-escape door, and into the airshaft between buildings, and there’s a cat in there somewhere.
  • Roberta Cantow’s If This Ain’t Heaven (1984, 27 min.) is a moving, tender documentary about the relationship between a middle-aged press operator and his constant companion, a cat named Africa.

8PM – Program 2 – Definitely Not Suitable for Kids – 39 min.

  • Caroline Koebel’s Puss! The Booted Cat (1995, 13 min.) is an erotic short about the various incarnations of the classic fairytale, but transformed here into a contemporary adventure of unrequited love and feline feminine power.
  • Carolee Schneemann’s Fuses (1967, 23 min.) is, according to B. Ruby Rich, “devastatingly erotic, transcending the surfaces of sex to communicate its true spirit, its meaning as an activity for herself and, quite accurately, women in general.”