2012 marked the inaugural Internet Cat Video Film Festival. Considering the Internet’s secondary purpose is to house videos of cats doing entertaining things (the primary purpose being to house memes of cats doing entertaining things) it’s a little surprising that it took so long for this to happen, particularly when you also consider there are now film festivals which celebrate everything from moustaches to golden apricots. Yet The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis has observed that the time is now riper than ever for 10,000 people to gather in front of a giant screen to watch 79 videos, chosen from 10,000 entries, of cats doing entertaining things.
Film genres included documentary, foreign, art house and lifetime achievement, but the People’s Choice winner was a monochromatic homage to French expressionist film titled Henri 2, Paw De Deux. The second part of a trilogry, the film rejects laser pointers in favour of telling imagery, a wistful soundtrack and melancholy commentary to capture the languid existence of a household cat.
Through subtitles revealing Henri’s thoughts filmmaker Will Braden paints a maudlinly witty portrait of a cat enduring a life that is comfortable yet empty. At one point Henri stands on the scales only to observe: “When my caretakers step here they become irate. Yet I fell nothing.” There are also thinly veiled references to the current state of cat-themed cinema: “The white idiot writhes on his chair begging for cheeseburgers”, Henri sneers inwardly towards the end of the film. Watch it below, then keep scrolling for entries shot in the more traditional style (read: silly glasses, footpads and musical instruments).
September 10, 2012 by Hannah Ongley