IMDb > The Case of the Grinning Cat (2004) (TV)

The Case of the Grinning Cat (2004) (TV) More at IMDbPro »Chats perchés (original title)

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The Case of the Grinning Cat -- In his newest film, French documentarian and cinema-essayist Chris Marker reflects on French and international politics, art and culture at the start of the new millennium. In November 2001, the filmmaker became intrigued, as did many other Parisians, by the sudden appearance of alluring portraits of grinning yellow cats on buildings, Metro walls and other public surfaces. Marker's cinematic efforts to document the mysterious materializations of this charming feline throughout Paris are a recurring theme of THE CASE OF THE GRINNING CAT.


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7.4/10   351 votes »
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Release Date:
5 December 2004 (France) See more »
Paris 2002. Yellow cats appears on the walls. Chris Marker is looking for these mysterious cats and captures with his camera the political and international events of these last two years (war in Iraq...). Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
A playful and contemplative film -- perhaps even a call to action. See more (4 total) »


Bertrand Cantat ... Himself - 1999 concert (archive footage)
Dieudonné ... Himself - demonstration (archive footage)
Léon Schwartzenberg ... Himself - demonstration (archive footage)

Marina Vlady ... Herself (archive footage)
Patrick Poivre d'Arvor ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Frédéric Taddeï ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Chris Marker 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Chris Marker 

Produced by
Laurence Braunberger .... producer
Original Music by
Chris Marker  (as Michel Krasna)
Cinematography by
Chris Marker 
Film Editing by
Chris Marker 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Chats perchés" - France (original title)
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59 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This film was broacast on television and edited on DVD in the same time.See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Hotel du Nord (1938)See more »


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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
A playful and contemplative film -- perhaps even a call to action., 31 October 2008
Author: James Wilson from Western Hemisphere

First off, I give this film the somewhat arbitrary rating of an "8" solely in comparison to other works by Marker (it is quite difficult to rate Marker's films in comparison to anybody else's work but his own -- which is unfortunate since no one has come along in the last fifty years who makes films on par with his -- if Lynch delved into nonfiction he might come close...). As a form of cinematic essay it is both provocative and meditative: "Grinning Cat" makes keen observations and provides insightful commentary on the current state of political activism and also plays with our expectations about non-fiction film-making, inviting contemplation on the ambiguity of reading visual culture. The film's structure feeds the viewer's interest while challenging our ability to readily take what we see as "pure fact." The politically-oriented commentary is poetically delivered and is a much needed dose of analysis that those of us in North America are rarely given in more popular, didactically political fiction and nonfiction films. Like a piece o abstract art or thickly composed piece of literature, Marker's latest film deserves and requires a second, perhaps even a third, look. It's film for reflection and contemplation, and perhaps even a call to action.

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