The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, January 25-31

nyc repertory-cat listening to music

Cat Listening to Music (1990)
Directed by Chris Marker
Perhaps Chris Marker had a secret soft spot for dogs, but there’s no doubting where he fell on the cat-dog divide. In A Grin Without a Cat, Sans Soleil, The Case of the Grinning Cat and other feline-filled films, Marker observed, pursued, even impersonated cats, creating the ur-cat-man in the form of his alter-ego, Guillaume-en-Égypte, an anthropomorphic, orange kitty. Cat Listening to Music arguably finds him at his most cat-ownery, his handheld camera alighting on a cat dozing away on a keyboard while classical music plays. But like his alter ego, this two-minute short is more than just the case of a curiously musical cat. Marker’s edits cut from the speakers to the cat’s perking ears, from the radio’s digital display to the claws tapping the keys, as if trying to ask: “Is this cat listening, am I being fooled, is there something of me in this cat or of it in me?” Jeremy Polacek (January 31, 7pm as part of a shorts program presented at Anthology Film Archives by the Flaherty Film Seminar)

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