Monthly Archives: August 2018

Atlantic ‘kon-Tiki’ Arrives (1956)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Newsreel footage shows the arrival of the raft L’Egare the Second (also known as the Atlantic ‘kon-Tiki’) and her tiny crew at Falmouth, Cornwall after an 88-day voyage from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Reality Cats: Among the crew were two cats. First seen in the newsreel is a black male cat named Puce.

Atlantic kon-Tiki Arrives - black cat Puca seen on L'Egare the Second raft

The grey cat, Puce’s sister Guiton, was kept in a box when she was spooked by the large crowd that gathered around the raft. Someone apparently wanted to give her some food on a plate, since the crew had lived on meager rations throughout their journey, but Guiton seemed too nervous to eat.

Atlantic kon-Tiki Arrives - gray cat Guiton seen in box on L'Egare the Second raft with plate of food

Atlantic kon-Tiki Arrives - gray cat Guiton seen in box on L'Egare the Second raft with plate of food

Atlantic kon-Tiki Arrives - gray cat Guiton seen in box on L'Egare the Second raft with plate of food

Final Mewsings: After an 88 day trip a cat has every right to be finicky.


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Body of Evidence (1993)

Body of Evidence poster

Dino De Laurentiis Company
Starring:
 Willem Dafoe, Madonna
Directed by: Uli Edel

Synopsis: Lawyer Frank Dulaney (Willem Dafoe) defends a femme fatale named Rebecca Carlson (Madonna) who is accused of murdering her older boyfriend for his money.

Kitty Cameo: Rebecca takes Frank to see her holisitic doctor to explain the white powder one of her accusers assumes was cocaine. She then follows the doctor into the back to begin an acupuncture treatment. Frank looks around the office and hears a cat meowing. It is a Snowshoe cat sitting on the doctor’s desk.

Body of Evidence - Snowshoe cat sitting on desk

Frank picks up the cat and pets it while he watches Rebecca having her treatment.

Body of Evidence - Frank Willem Dafoe picking up Snowshoe cat

Body of Evidence - Frank Willem Dafoe petting Snowshoe cat

Body of Evidence - Frank Willem Dafoe picking up Snowshoe cat

Body of Evidence - Frank Willem Dafoe picking up Snowshoe cat

Final Mewsings: Cats prefer petting to acupuncture.


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Le Chat (1971)

Le Chat poster

English Title: The Cat
Lira Films
Starring:
 Jean Gabin, Simone Signoret
Directed by: Pierre Granier-Deferre

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains MAJOR spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: An older married couple, Julien (Jean Gabin) and Clémence (Simone Signoret) find themselves in a crumbling relationship in a crumbling neighborhood with little to hold them together.

Cinema Cat: Julien owns a Bengal tabby cat named Greffier which he found as a kitten. At the beginning of the film the cat’s dish and basket sit empty and the cat is not there. A flashback scene shows the moment Julien brought the cat home.

Le Chat - Julien Jean Gabin holding young tabby cat Greffier

The story of what happened to Greffier is shown in flashbacks. Because Julien is so affectionate with Greffier and shows him so much more love than he does his wife, Clémence resents the cat, which even sleeps on Julien’s bed while Clémence sleeps in a separate bed.

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier lying on bed

Greffier is often seen around the apartment, especially sleeping in his basket.

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier sitting in basket

In one scene Clémence is in the basement when Greffier follows her down. She admits to the cat she doesn’t hate him, but still she proceeds to frame him for damage to Julien’s precious newspaper collection.

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier in basement next to axe

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier walking on newspapers

Le Chat - close up of tabby cat Greffier

Julien doesn’t scold Greffier or even really seem to believe the cat ruined the papers. As they head upstairs, Greffier accidentally gets beneath Clémence’s feet and causes her to fall.

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier held by Julien Jean Gabin

Clémence then tries to get rid of Greffier by putting him in a bag and taking him to the local supermarket, leaving him to dine on the fresh fish there.

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier sitting on stairs

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier in bag in front of fish tank

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier on display of fish in supermarket

Much to Clémence’s chagrin the cat returns that night anyway.

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier returning home

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier by Julien's hand

Le Chat - extreme close up of tabby cat Greffier

After another vicious argument, Clémence has had all she can stand when Julien gives her a gun and tells her to shoot him. When she doesn’t he leaves, and the grief-stricken Clémence is left alone with Greffier.

Le Chat - close up of tabby cat Greffier

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier sitting on pillow

Kitty Carnage Warning!  At this point Clémence takes her anger out on Greffier, chasing him around the house and shooting at him. She finally corners him in the basement and shoots him dead.

Le Chat - close up of tabby cat Greffier

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier by door as bullet ricochets

Le Chat - tabby cat Greffier cornered by wine bottles

Julien returns to the house upon hearing the shots and finds the murdered Greffier. Without a word he picks up the deceased cat and carries him to the trash bin outside and sets him in the can.

Le Chat - dead tabby cat Greffier being held by Julien Jean Gabin

Kitty Cameos:  Julien vows to never speak to Clémence again and later he is seen watching cats on construction scaffolding nearby. Oddly enough in this scene the cats, which are shown in slow motion jumping from one board to another are sometimes seen flying around as if they had been thrown.

Le Chat - various cats on scaffolding

Le Chat - cats on scaffolding

Le Chat - various cats on scaffolding

Final Mewsings: Killing a cat is unforgivable.


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Fatal Instinct (1993)

Fatal Instinct poster

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Starring:
 Armand Assante, Sherilyn Fenn
Directed by: Carl Reiner

Synopsis: A spoof of suspense thrillers finds cop and attorney Ned Ravine (Armand Assante) on the trail of a femme fatale.

Purr Blur: Late in the film Ned enters a bathroom where the tub is filled with hot water. A moment later he opens a medicine cabinet and a tortoiseshell cat jumps out in a spoof of spring loaded cat moments. The sound effects indicate that off screen the cat jumps into the boiling water and screeches. The cat screech sound is used twice again after this when someone shoves some items off a table and when another person falls out the window, although the cat is not actually seen again.

Fatal Instinct - tortoiseshell cat in medicine cabinet

Fatal Instinct - tortoiseshell cat jumps out of medicine cabinet and scares Ned Ravine Armand Assante animated gif

Final Mewsings: No wonder cats hate baths!


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Léolo (1992)

Léolo poster

Alliance Films Corporation
Starring:
 Maxime Collin, Éric Cadorette
Directed by: Jean-Claude Lauzon

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Leo Lauzon (Maxime Collin) insists on being called Léolo and constantly tries to imagine himself outside of his troubled Canadian boyhood.

Kitty Carnage Warning! This film contains one of the most disturbing scenes in all the annals of cat film history. It entails a flashback as Léolo witnesses a boy named Little Godin (Éric Cadorette) betting a gang of boys that if they put five dollars down on the table he will rape a cat. Yes, you read that correctly.

Léolo - Little Godin Éric Cadorette and boys with calico cat

Léolo - calico cat pushed down on table

A poor calico cat is brought in and strapped down on the table in front of Little Godin as the money is bet. What’s even worse is Léolo explains that the cat has been declawed and has no chance to defend herself.

Léolo - Little Godin Éric Cadorette and boys strapping calico cat to table

Léolo - calico cat being tied to table

Léolo - calico cat being tied to table

Now clearly we don’t assume the cat actor was actually raped, but the cat is clearly in distress as she is being handled roughly by the boys and strapped down to the table. Apparently a cat puppet was originally to be used during the rehearsals for this scene but according to information on Wikipedia it was the boy playing the part of Little Godin who insisted a real cat be used. The scene was censored from the movie in Britain because of its implied content (to be honest, there were far more graphics scenes of violence elsewhere in the film).

Léolo - calico cat tied to table

Léolo - calico cat tied to table

Final Mewsings: What is it with boys and cats in movies? Seriously??

Credit to Nick Wale for letting us know about the cat in this film.


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