Found in: Revolt, She Said

The Cat Has Nine Lives

classified 15

Revolt, She Said

Film

Please note: This was screened in Aug 2018

Director
Ula Stöckl
Cast
Liane Hielscher, Kristine de Loup, Jürgen Arndt
Details
92 mins, 1968, Germany
Primary language
German

As if by magic, the first post-war German feminist film re-appears after 50 years, lovingly restored by the Deutsche Kinemathek and still as relevant as on its first screening.

The Cat Has Nine Lives is a dazzlingly choric conversation between five different women, centred on journalist, Katharina, and her visiting French friend, Anne. From anti-Vietnam protests to parodic pigtailed picnics via pick-ups that don’t go to plan, the film offers episodes in the lives of women on the verge of a political breakthrough, voicing their ennui with faithless turtle-necked lefty male intellectuals – but also with militarism, beauty, and other played-out stereotypes.

Their interest in each other’s intelligence and feelings is as invigorating and vivid as the film’s visual style, shot in Techniscope and printed using the Technicolor dye-transfer process to capture the bright zeitgeist of ’68. Imagine the jumpy smarts of Jean-Luc Godard and lushly lurid worlds of Rainer Werner Fassbinder (with whom director Ula Stöckl worked) meshed under a spell cast by a (love) witch.

Screening with short film My Name is Oona
(Dir: Gunvor Nelson | USA 1969 | 10 mins)

Sound, image and editing collide in this dazzling cinematic voyage into the dreams and fears of growing up girl in 1968. Swedish born Gunvor Nelson, a seminal figure of the San Francisco avant-garde film scene, made this intensely evocative and tender film with her daughter, with music by Steve Reich.