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From the KimStim Collection
The Strange Little Cat
A film by Ramon Zürcher
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In the hands of masters like Jacques Tati, and Chantal Akerman, cinema that at first appears to merely observe and record is in fact masking intricately constructed commentaries, built from seemingly mundane experiences.

In the case of THE STRANGE LITTLE CAT, an extended family-dinner gathering becomes an exquisitely layered confection ready for writer-director Ramon Zürcher's razor-sharp slicing. A mother desperately trying not to implode and her youngest daughter who explodes constantly form poles between which sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, cats and cousins weave in and around each other in the tight domestic space of a middle-class Berlin flat.

Fans of Béla Tarr and Franz Kafka will find much to love, as will devotees of The Berlin School, of which this film represents a third-generation evolution. A comedic examination of the everyday that has been captivating audiences since its premiere at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival.

"The domestic environment in the movie, with its hyperactive children and pets, short-circuited cross-talk and roaring kitchen appliances, is at once highly choreographed and buzzing with life; everyday actions and conversations take on a syncopated strangeness and a balletic grace."Dennis Lim, The New York Times

"Zürcher's ingenious debut feature suggests what Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) might've been like if Jacques Tati had got around to making it first."Jason Anderson, Artforum

"Ramon Zürcher's The Strange Little Cat is a beguiling cinematic oddity, a symphony of sounds and an expansive mosaic of telling details." Glenn Heath Jr., Keyframe

"Inanimate objects add to the fun, poetic parallels abound... Think Mike Leigh - esp. High Hopes, with its catatonic grandma and cactus named Thatcher - if he weren't a grouch but an oddball fantasist."Preston Wilder, Letterboxd

"The Strange Little Cat can feel like a whirring toy, a screen brimming with pointillist delights, and then one look at the subtle yet lingering grief on the mother's drawn face and the playful surfaces suddenly pulse with melancholy, even ominous undercurrents. It's a miniature that grows larger and more secretive, tenser and more flowing the more you gaze into it."Fernando F. Croce, MUBI's Notebook

"...Zürcher's frame contains not just objects of uncertain importance, but individuals whose identity and interrelationships remain strategically unclear for extended durations of film time. In this respect, The Strange Little Cat is most interested in its family as a set of human movements, of comings and goings, and as organizers of space and sound."Michael Sicinski, Cinema Scope

"...It's perhaps the most purely beguiling movie at this year's (BERLIN) festival—the rare film that offers a new way of looking at the everyday world. Zürcher's sensibility has been compared to that of Jacques Tati, with whom he shares a puckish sense of humor predicated on small bits of business that expand into running gags. But his asymmetrical compositions and discordant juxtapositions, which employ visual and aural misdirection to make the familiar seem fresh and wondrous, are entirely his own. "Mike D'Angelo, The Dissolve

Berlin Int'l Film Festival 2013 (International Forum of New Cinema), World Premiere
CPH PIX 2013 (Main Competition), Prize: New Talent Grand PIX Award
OFF Plus Camera 2013 – Int'l Festival of Independent Cinema Krakow (Main Competition)
San Francisco Int'l Film Festival 2013 (Main Competition)
Jeonju Int'l Film Festival 2013, South Corea (World Cinema: Cinemascape)
Cannes Film Festival 2013 (ACID Programmation)
New Zealand Int'l Film Festival 2013 (Fresh)
Fünf Seen Film Festival 2013 (Main Competition)
Santiago Int'l Film Festival SANFIC 2013 (Visions of the World)
Fresh Film Fest 2013, Prague (Main Competition: „Fresh Generation")
Toronto Int'l Film Festival – TIFF 2013 (Wavelengths)
Cinematik – Int'l Film Festival Piestany 2013 (Main Competition: Meeting Point Europe)
Athens Int'l Film Festival 2013 (On the Edge)
Helsinki Int'l Film Festival 2013
Cambridge Film Festival 2013 (New German Cinema)
Kaunas Int'l Film Festival 2013
Vancouver Int'l Film Festival 2013
Rio de Janeiro Int'l Film Festival 2013 (Expectations)
Int'l Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival 2013 (Main Competion), Prizes: SYIAD Film Critics' Award for the Best Film and Youth Jury Prize for the Best Film
Janela Internacional de Cinema do Recife 2013, Brazil (Competition), Prize: Special Mention
Mumbai Film Festival 2013, India (Competition)
Zagreb Film Festival 2013, Croatia (The Great 5)
Dharamshala Int'l Film Festival 2013, India
Viennale – Vienna Int'l Film Festival 2013, Prize: Standard Readers' Jury Award
Minsk Int'l Film Festival Listapad 2013, Belarus (Competition Youth on the March), Prize: Special Jury Prize for the Best Debut
Ljubljana Int'l Film Festival 2013 (Competition Perspectives)
AFI FEST Los Angeles 2013 (Competition New Auteurs)
Leeds Int'l Film Festival 2013, UK
Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival 2013, Portugal (Competition), Prize: Cineuropa Award
Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2013, Taiwan (Another View)
CineFuturo Festival Salvador 2013, Brazil
Mar del Plata Int'l Film Festival 2013, Argentina (Int. Competition)
L'Alternativa – Festival de Cine Independiente de Barcelona 2013 (Competition), Prize: Festival Feature Film Award
Europäisches Filmfestival Göttingen 2013 (Junges deutsches Kino)
FILMZ – Festival des deutschen Kinos Mainz 2013 (Competition)
Lume Int'l Film Festival 2013, Sao Luis/Brazil (German Films Exhibition)
Entrevues Belfort – Festival International du Film 2013, France (Competition)
Recontres Henri Langlois – Festival International des écoles de Cinéma Poitiers 2013 (Competition)
Festival International du Film de Pau 2013, France (Competition), Prize: Prix du Jury Lycéen
Festival du Film de Vendôme 2013, France
AFI European Union Film Showcase 2013, Washington
Festival of German Films in Russia 2013 in Moscow & Novosibirsk (German Films)
Festival of German Films in St. Petersburg 2013 (Goethe Institut)
Int'l Film Festival of Kerala 2013, India (World Cinema)
Pune Int'l Film Festival 2014, India (Global Cinema)
- Tromsø Int'l Film Festival 2014, Norway (Competition)
Premiers Plans Festival d'Angers 2014, France (Figures libres)
Göteborg Int'l Film Festival 2014, Sweden (Visionärer)
Solothurner Filmtage 2014, Switzerland
Victoria Film Festival 2014, Canada (World perspective)
Portland Int'l Film Festival 2014, Oregon/US (New Directors)
!f Istanbul – Int'l Independent Film Festival 2014 (Competition)
Maryland Film Festival
The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul

72 minutes / color
Release: 2014
Copyright: 2013
DVD Sale: $29.99

This DVD is sold above for home video use only. If you require a license for institutional use or Public Performance rights, click here.

Subject areas:
Family Relations, Germany

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Last Updated July 9, 2015
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