The Strange Little Cat

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Das merkwürdige Kätzchen

There’s a strange music to this light-on-its-toes, rhythmic, and ultimately mesmerizing chamber piece.” — Kimberly Chun, San Francisco Bay Guardian

Director: Ramon Zurcher
Year: 2013
Country: Germany
Running time: 72 mins
Censor Rating: PG

Screenplay/Editor: Ramon Zürcher
Producers: Silvan Zürcher, Johanna Bergel
Photography: Alexander Haßkerl
Production designers: Matthias Werner, Sabine Kassebaum
Costume designer: Dorothée Bach
Sound: Benjamin Kalisch
Music: Thee More Shallows, Stephane Leonard
In German with English subtitles

With: Jenny Schily (mother), Anjorka Strechel (Karin), Mia Kasalo (Clara), Luk Pfaff (Simon), Matthias Dittmer (father), Armin Marewski (uncle)

The airy vagueness and habitual domestic eccentricities of a middle-class family are choreographed into a lightly surreal perpetuum mobile in this arresting first feature. A seamless ensemble piece staged in the connecting rooms of a small Berlin apartment, it is minimalist in scale but wonderfully nimble in execution. The neighbour has come over to fix the washing machine. Grandma is coming for dinner. Teenage siblings jostle while their baby sister conducts squealing competitions with every electrical appliance in the house. A bottle spins for no apparent reason and the cat is just there. The absurdist funniness is touched with eeriness: it holds you without exactly making you laugh out loud. (There’s a challenge.) “A droll, eventually poignant ballet of domestic discontent. Its seemingly wisp-thin ‘plot’ may confound encapsulation, yet its sum impact defies expectations.” — Dennis Harvey, San Francisco International Film Festival

Festivals: Berlin, San Francisco 2013