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Chat D’œuvres: The First New York Cat Art Film Festival

Gathered together for the first New York Cat Art Film Festival: Chat D’œuvres is a selection of films/videos made by artists from Europe and the United States that feature the feline species. The friends at Anthology Film Archives, great cat lovers, are still mourning the passing of their own Maxi, quite a super-star there, so you can see her again in one of her best screen performances, in a film by no less than Jonas Mekas, founder of Anthology, on October 23rd and 24th, 2009.

To explain the title of the festival: Chat D’œuvres is a pun in French, whereby ‘Chef-d’œuvre’, or ‘masterpiece’, is turned into a Chat (cat), since many cats have been the subjects of artists’ œuvres.

Presentd by Petit Loup And Les Films Du Siamois, this exciting program includes a number of original, never-released shorts, vignettes, and homages; for I received such enthusiastic responses from cat lovers, artists, and filmmakers that many of them turned their cameras on their favorite feline(s) and made a special film for this first edition of Chat D’œuvres. Thus, we will premiere Annette Messager’s Only my Cat Understands Me (what a wonderful title), as well as Michel Auder's Chelsea Cats And Tracey Emin’s Showing Me The Way To Heaven.


Founded in 1970, Anthology Film Archives’s mission is to preserve, exhibit, and promote public and scholarly understanding of independent, classic, and avant-garde cinema. Anthology screens more than 900 film and video programs per year, publishes books and catalogs annually, and has preserved more than 800 films to date.
The non-profit, all-volunteer cat rescue and adoption group KittyKind  has lent their support to Chat D’œuvres. Visit Kitty Kind’s website ( and blog ( to be a part of this rewarding mission.

Stan Brakhage Nightcats (1956, 8 minutes, 16mm)
Stan Brakhage CAT’S CRADLE (1959, 6 minutes, 16mm)
Stan Brakhage PASHT (1965, 5 minutes, 16mm)
Stan Brakhage MAX (2002, 4 minutes, 16mm)
Pola Chapelle INTERCAT ’69 (1969, 15-minute excerpt, 16mm)
Alexander Hammid & Maya Deren THE PRIVATE LIFE OF A CAT (1944, 22 minutes, 16mm)
Joyce Wieland CATFOOD (1968, 13 minutes, 16mm)
Total running time: ca. 80 minutes.
–Friday, October 23 at 7:00.

Samantha Anderson NOBODY REALLY LIKES SURPRISES (2009, 8 minutes, video)
Michel Auder CHELSEA CATS (2009, 5 minutes, video)
Martha Colburn CATS AMORE (2001, 2.5 minutes, 16mm)
Annette Messager ONLY MY CAT UNDERSTANDS ME (2009, 3 minutes, video)
Tania Mouraud CATS AND DOGS (2007, 1.5 minutes, video)
Brigitte Cornand CHATBIRD (2009, 4 minutes, video)
Tracey Emin SHOWING ME THE WAY TO HEAVEN (2009, 3 minutes, video)
Ernst Caramelle UNTITLED CAT (2009, 1 minute, video)
Nancy Holt KARUNA (2009, 4 minutes, video)
Jonas Mekas FATHER AND DAUGHTER (2001, 3 minutes, video) + FATHER AND DAUGHTER, (2007, 10 minutes, video)
Carolee Schneemann FUSES (1964-66, 30 minutes, 16mm)
Carolee Schneemann INFINITY KISSES – THE MOVIE (2008, 9 minutes, video)
Carolee Schneemann VESPER’S POOL (1999-2000, 8 minutes, video)
Su-Mei Tse & Jean-Lou Majerus EASY DANCING (2001, 2.5 minutes, video)
Rob Wynne 1975 (1975 - 2009, 1 minute, video)
David Weiss & Peter Fischli KITTY / BÜSI (2001, 6 minutes, video)
Plus a couple other, hot-off-the-presses works – check for more details.
Total running time: ca. 105 minutes.
–Friday, October 23 at 8:45.
Chris Marker
2004, 58 minutes, video.
One of the most famously cat-happy of all great filmmakers, Chris Marker gave his love of the species perhaps its fullest expression in this 2004 film, a typically wide-ranging essay on 21st-century politics and culture which takes as its point of departure the cartoon cats that began mysteriously appearing on Paris’s buildings, Metro walls, and other public surfaces in November 2001.
This program will also feature a variety of surprises, including classic TV, animation, and a dash of YouTube!
–Saturday, October 24 at 7:00.

Blake Edwards
1963, 115 minutes, 35mm. With Peter Sellers, David Niven, Robert Wagner, Capucine, and Claudia Cardinale.
With this screening of Blake Edwards’s comedy classic, CHAT D’ŒUVRES pays tribute to one of the most famous big cats of all, making his first appearance, accompanied by Henry Mancini’s unparalleled theme song, in the animated title sequence.
–Saturday, October 24 at 9:00

Tickets: $9 general; $8 Essential Cinema (free for members); $7 for students, seniors, & children (12 & under); $6 AFA members.

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue New York, Ny 10003
(212) 505-5181 Fax (212) 477-2714
at 2nd St. Subway: F or V to 2nd Ave; 6 to Bleecker

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