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The Cat-vant Garde Film Show


Cats make a natural subject for avant-garde filmmakers, who often film in domestic settings and are drawn to the feline’s contemplative, enigmatic, and photogenic nature. This selection, in the spirit of the first avant-garde cat film festival Intercat, which took place in 1969—long before cats took over the Internet—shows that cats inspired some of the masters of experimental film, including Stan Brakhage (Nightcats, Cat’s Cradle), Joyce Weiland (Catfood), Pola Chapelle (How to Draw a Cat), and many more.

Nightcats (Stan Brakhage, 1956, 16mm, 8 mins.)

Cat’s Cradle (Stan Brakhage, 1959, 16mm, 6 mins.) 

Max (Stan Brakhage, 2002, 16mm, 4 mins.) 

Airshaft (Ken Jacobs, 1967, 16mm, 4 mins.) 

Ophelia/The Cat Lady (Tom Chomont, 1969, 3 mins.)

Two Cats (James Fotopoulos, 1999, 1 min.) 

Catfood (Joyce Wieland, 1968, 16mm, 13 mins.) 

Zip-Tone-Cat-Tune (Bill Brand, 1972, 16mm, 8 mins.)

How to Draw a Cat (Pola Chapelle, 1973, 16mm, 3 mins.) 

Cat’s Amore (Martha Colburn, 2001, 16mm, 3 mins.) 

If This Ain’t Heaven (Roberta Cantow, 1984, 16mm, 28 mins.)

Psycho Pussy Slaughter (Kat Bauer, 2007, digital projection, 10 mins.)

Death Love (Kat Bauer, 2015, 16mm, 8 mins.) 

Please note: The screening of The Private Life of a Cat (Alexander Hammid and Maya Deren, 1947, 16mm., 22 mins.) has been postponed to a later date.

Tickets: $12 ($9 for senior citizens and students / free for members at the Film Lover level and above). Order tickets online. (Members may contact [email protected] with any questions regarding online reservations.)

All tickets include same-day admission to the Museum (see gallery hours). View the Museum’s ticketing policy here. For more information on membership and to join online, visit our membership page.