Surprisingly Stan Brakhages Cats Cradle (1959) is not included in the Cat Film Festival.
  • Surprisingly Stan Brakhage’s Cat’s Cradle (1959) is not included in the Cat Film Festival.

This Friday at 8 PM Chicago Filmmakers and South Side Projections will copresent a program of cat-related short films in the parking lot of Filmmakers’ Andersonville location; it runs again on Saturday at 7:30 PM at Cafe 53rd (1359 E. 53rd St.). It contains work by two luminaries of avant-garde cinema, Stan Brakhage and Joyce Wieland, along with roughly a dozen other experimental pieces made between the 60s and the late 90s. Of course, the program only scratches the surface of cat-inspired cinema (which seems appropriate, as cats are notorious for scratching at things). One could easily create a whole series around feline-obsessed filmmakers; the subjects could include Stanley Kubrick (who kept dozens of cats in the room where he edited his films), Agnes Varda (who named her production company, Ciné Tamaris, after one of her kitties), Val Lewton (whose irrational fear of cats inspired one of the all-time great horror movies), and Joseph L. Mankiewicz (as Dave Kehr proclaimed his All About Eve “the catfight of the century”).