A Close Shave
We may always have known it but thanks to Étienne-Jules Marey it has become proven fact: a cat falling from great height always lands on its feet. The inventor and physiologist, who was also a pioneering photographer, gave us the most famous studies of animal locomotion from the early days of cinema – and provides the opening film of this programme, which is dedicated to all things cats and dogs: defying all laws of physics in Tex Avery’s KING SIZE CANARY (with a canary and a mouse joining the adversaries to form a megalomaniac Band of Four), while challenging the laws of perception in Stan Brakhage’s CAT’S CRADLE. Chris Marker’s CHAT ÉCOUTANT LA MUSIQUE is quite the opposite, without doubt the most enjoyable cat film imaginable. The longest appearance, though, deservedly goes to Gromit, the dog in Nick Park’s A CLOSE SHAVE: necessity is the mother of invention.