. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Catfilms (For Sailor and Oscar)

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | October 30, 2003

Thursday, October 30, 2003, 8:30pm

Martha Colburn, Cats Amore (2001).
Martha Colburn, Cats Amore (2001).

Cinematic catnip from filmmakers old and new!  Inspired by Intercat, the late 1960’s-early 1970’s international cat film festival organized by experimental filmmaker Pola Chapelle, Catfilms mixes Intercat gems with contemporary feline flicks in a program at once wild and domestic, standoffish and affectionate.  Meow! Programmed by Amy Beste, independent curator and PhD student in film at Northwestern University. Female cats bump and grind and torment the canines in punk animator Martha Colburn’s Cat Amore (2002); the life cycle is touchingly evoked in The Private Life of a Cat (1947), an early work by giant of avant-garde cinema Maya Deren, with Alexander Hammid); Pola Chapelle offers Fishes in Screaming Water (1969), which “stars Georgecat; music composed and performed by his brother, Mamacat”; an investigation, motivated by a cat’s vigilance, reconsiders the spaces we inhabit together in Night Light and Leaping (2000) by Rebecca Meyers; a herring-hungry kitty is trapped in a structuralist nightmare in Joyce Wieland’s Catfood (1967-68); a mysterious bird, a pair of blue cats and a severed head help a girl through a startling metamorphosis in Shawn Atkins’ surreal cut-out animation The Traveling Eye of the Blue Cat (2002); in one of his last works, the late, great Stan Brakhage provides “a household depiction of my cat Max sitting guardian of me, filmed in camera” in Max (2002) (Amy Beste). 1947—2002, various artists, ca. 85 min, various formats.