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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:

Stan Brakhage
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jane Brakhage Jane Brakhage
Stan Brakhage
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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>

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Plot Keywords:

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

Genres:

Short

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Trivia

This film is included on "By Brakhage: an Anthology", which is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #184. See more »

User Reviews

 
Fast editing and moving lights create unusual atmosphere
19 July 2010 | by timmy_501See all my reviews

Evidently influenced by the editing techniques of Sergei Eisenstein, Cat's Cradle is a rapidly edited collection of shots of a cat and two couples in two rooms. Whatever narrative exists here is too obscure for me to grasp with four viewings, but it seems that this six minute short is more about atmosphere anyway. Some unusual camera angles suggest that at least some of the shots are meant to suggest the perspective of one of the five characters, most intriguingly the titular animal. In what would seem to be another nod to silent cinema of the 1920s, many of the frames are monochromatic: red in particular stands out in the film's color palette. Light is also used to create some interesting effects, for example at a few points bands of it roll back and forth to create a new dimension of motion on otherwise still people and objects. The various objects in the room are given as much attention as any of the animate subjects, however Brakhage is careful to keep the camera tightly zoomed in so that it's often impossible to tell where any of these objects are in relation to each other. Of particular interest to those familiar with Brakhage's other work are the shots of lighted glass items, a subject he would explore at much greater length in 1974's The Text of Light.


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Details

Country:

USA

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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