6.1/10
642
4 user 4 critic

Cat's Cradle (1959)

| Short
Images of two women, two men, and a gray cat form a montage of rapid bits of movement. A woman is in a bedroom, another wears an apron: they work with their hands, occasionally looking up. ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mothlight (1963)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A "found foliage" film composed of insects, leaves, and other detritus sandwiched between two strips of perforated tape.

Director: Stan Brakhage
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Stan Brakhage films the birth of his first child, Myrrena.

Director: Stan Brakhage
Stars: Jane Brakhage, Myrrena Brakhage, Stan Brakhage
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A collage of two-dimensional images of vegetation, each appearing only for a moment, sometimes as a single image, more often with other bits of stem, leaf, bud, or petal. Often we see only ... See full summary »

Director: Stan Brakhage
Documentary | Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

At a morgue, forensic pathologists conduct autopsies of the corpses assigned.

Director: Stan Brakhage
Desistfilm (1954)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four young men and a young woman sit in boredom. She smokes while one strums a lute, one looks at a magazine, and two fiddle with string. The door opens and in comes a young man, cigarette ... See full summary »

Director: Stan Brakhage
Stars: A. Austin, Robert Benson, Yvonne Fair
Eye Myth (1967)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After the title, a white screen gives way to a series of frames suggestive of abstract art, usually with one or two colors dominating and rapid change in the images. Two figures emerge from... See full summary »

Director: Stan Brakhage
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A stand of birches. Sunlight brightens and dims, revealing more or less of the woods. A little grass is on the forest floor. Is there a shape in the shadows? Something green is out of focus... See full summary »

Director: Stan Brakhage
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

We see a film negative of a nude couple embracing in bed. Then, back in regular black and white images, we see them alone and together, clothed, at home. It's night, she sees his reflection... See full summary »

Director: Stan Brakhage
Stars: Jane Brakhage, Stan Brakhage
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A visual representation, in four parts, of one man's internalization of "The Divine Comedy." Hell is a series of multicolored brush strokes against a white background; the speed of the ... See full summary »

Director: Stan Brakhage
Rage Net (1988)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Stan Brakhage
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A creation myth realized in light, patterns, images superimposed, rapid cutting, and silence. A black screen, then streaks of light, then an explosion of color and squiggles and ... See full summary »

Director: Stan Brakhage
Stars: Jane Brakhage, Stan Brakhage
Stellar (1993)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Stan Brakhage's artistic view of the cosmos.

Director: Stan Brakhage
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Jane Brakhage
Stan Brakhage
Edit

Storyline

Images of two women, two men, and a gray cat form a montage of rapid bits of movement. A woman is in a bedroom, another wears an apron: they work with their hands, occasionally looking up. A man enters a room, a woman smiles. He sits, another man sits and smokes. The cat stretches. There are close-ups of each. The light is dim; a filter accentuates red. A bare foot stands on a satin sheet. A woman disrobes. She pets the cat. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cat | smile | apron | bedroom | close up | See All (12) »

Genres:

Short

Edit

Details

Country:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Feline sensuality
26 March 2009 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Though as thematically incomprehensible as much of the director's work, in terms of the mood that Brakhage is able to cultivate, 'Cat's Cradle (1959)' is an excellent short film. The home in which the film is set is perpetually bathed in a warm, glowing ambiance, a combination of red and orange hues that suggests comfort, intimacy, love and lust. Brakhage sits against a wall, puffing contemplatively on a cigarette. Wife Jane Brakhage poses uncertainly for the camera – even in such brief flashes, she has a smile that lights up the screen. Though you wouldn't notice it on first viewing, also present are family friends James Tenney and Carolee Schneemann. But most prominent among the film's characters is a domestic cat, coloured black but always bathed in that ghostly reddish light. Rather than being an omen of bad luck, the feline instead serves as the entity that draws together the disparate elements – characters who are rarely seen sharing the same frame – into a cohesive household.

It's probably never a good idea to blend unrelated works of art, but I must admit that the Beatles' "Revolution 9" harmonised perfectly with the film's images, and even to a certain extent enhanced them. Brakhage's films often capture instants in time – prolonging, accelerating, and repeating these moments – and so creating a rhythm of disjointed time that is beautifully complemented by the nonsensical, psychedelic sound collage of John Lennon's avant-garde oddity, which makes frequent use of tape loops and backmasking. Brakhage's montage is unrelenting, each shot disappearing from the screen as often as it came, but, perhaps because he recycles certain frames on numerous occasions, the end result is neither jarring nor disorientating – that Brakhage had no intentions of telling a conventional narrative was, given his stylistic choices, certainly beneficial. The sensuality of the colour palette left me feeling rather flushed, as though I'd been sitting with an intense fluorescent light beaming against the back of my neck.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Cat's Cradle (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page