00:00 | FRIDAY 7. 12. 2012 | Film Auditorium
The phantom street artist Monsieur Chat, who "attacked" Parisian facades by means of a striped, grinning cat, served as an inspiration for the author's penultimate film. In the documentary film Chats Perchés (The Case of the Grinning Cat) Marker does not search for anyone "risking his life at night to make this city laugh" – he perceives the yellow cat as a phantom of revolt.
Chris Marker, who was ninety one years old, died in July of this year. With the screening of his penultimate film Chats Perchés, PAF is commemorating the author of essayistic films in which various places, especially cities, provided the space for exploring human memory. Since the 1950s, when he shoot particularly left-wing films, his sympathies towards soviet Marxism have been transformed into a more general artistic commitment characterized by a certain melancholy caused by social events and a great deal caustic humour. After sobering up from the naïve idea about a classless leftwing world, Marker emphasized resentment against any systematic organization of society. At the beginning of the new millennium, in his eighties, he became interested in the phantom street artist Monsieur Chat who "attacked" Parisian facades. A striped, grinning cat reappeared overnight in unexpected places and "commented on" world events such as the Iraq war . For a certain period it even became the mascot of many demonstrators. In a one-hour film Chats Perchés (The Case of the Grinning Cat) Marker does not search for anyone "risking his life at night to make this city laugh" – he perceives the yellow cat as a phantom of revolt. Parisian roofs, offering a romantic, picturesque view of the legendary city, are confronted with facades conveying Parisians' critical opinions. But this time Marker not only ridicules the machinery of the state , but also demonstrators who sometimes do not even know whose side they are actually on. It is a film about the French tradition of demonstrating and striking, which Marker professes to understand as a certain form of national manners.
7 Dec | 00:00 pm | FA
screening | Urbanism Animated
The Case of the Grinning Cat / Chats Perchés
dir. Chris Marker | FR | 2004 | 59'