The Case Of The Grinning Cat

  • France
Audio Tracks 

A subjective news report about the situation in the French politics in the beginning of the new millennium. From November 2001 Chris Marker observed the events moving the social scenes: anti-war protests, president Chirac fighting for re-election, strikes paralysing the country, polemics over immigrants still held, communists with their propaganda.

The legend of the world documentary filmmaking wanders again through the streets of Paris letting himself get inspired by anonymous artists from the street. He chases the picture of a yellow cat that appears in public spaces in different variations, and shoots a specific video-graffiti, an epilogue to his most famous film Paris in May.

The picture of a grinning cat is jumping about the streets of Paris until it disappears from the walls and the tree trunk with a trick. A fetish of the bored modern civilization – a street graffiti is halfway between the boredom and revolt – is erased and with it disappears the last substance of revolutionary adventure.

In his documentary, the social existentialist Chris Marker again idealises social relations, while entering their outer movements with a camera, carried away with numerous demonstrations, dragged by the emotions of people’s gatherings, outbalancing the anxiety of the director, who, in all his work, has perceived the role of a man in the history as a complexity of social circumstances.

His last film takes place within the abstract interpretation of the crowd’s will. The social dimension of individual existence is reduced to the social base of the noise of dissatisfied street. The avant-garde that once linked the metaphysics of revolt with the revolutionary politics, is facing a crisis and the exhaustion is too visible.

As the Marker’s poetic style was a direct expression of the era’s wanting of social change, his last video journal is nothing more than a sceptical note of a tired passer-by.

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  • Original Title
    Chats Perchés
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Chris Marker
  • Cinematography
    Chris Marker
  • Editing
    Chris Marker
  • Music
    Michel Krasna
  • Sound
    Michel Krasna
  • Runtime
    59 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • France
  • Distribution
      • Les Films du Jeudi
      • 3 rue Hautefeuille
      • 75006 Paris
      • France
      • web: http://
      • tel: + 33 1 40 46 97 98
      • fax: +33 1 40 46 89 88
      • e-mail: is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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