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The Case of the Grinning Cat(Chats perchés)

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France · 2004
Director Chris Marker
Genre Documentary

A three-year documentary, from 2001-2004, follows the rise of the yellow grinning cat silent image throughout Paris, and the pursuit to capture them on camera also captures the political and global events of the Iraq War's last two years.

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Premiere by Aaron Hillis

Marker's even-handedness and playful spirit tries to show that innocent art and activist politics are two sides of the same culture, even if deviant government duplicity threatens the balance between them.


The Hollywood Reporter by Frank Scheck

The film doesn't really manage to sustain attention through its brief running time. But it is heartening to see that the filmmaker, now in his mid-80s, is as passionately engaged as ever.


Village Voice by J. Hoberman

Approaching 85, cine-essayist Chris Marker remains as lively, engaged, and provocative as ever--and no less fond of indirection.


Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

I can't think of a better portrait of contemporary Paris or the zeitgeist of 2001-'04 than Chris Marker's wise and whimsical 58-minute 2004 one can film people in the street better than Marker or combine images with more grace and finesse.


The A.V. Club by Noel Murray

The Case Of The Grinning Cat is a sequel of sorts to Marker's epic three-hour 1977 documentary on the decline of the left, "A Grin Without A Cat"--though this new work is both shorter and more playful.


Boston Globe by Wesley Morris

"Grin Without a Cat" brilliantly used montage and a wide intellectual scope to speculate about the history of war and revolution. "Grinning Cat" is a more modest achievement, but the director's wisdom remains robust.

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