The Case of the Grinning Cat (2006)


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Movie Info

The film takes the viewer meandering through Paris over the course of three years--2001 to 2004--ostensibly in search of a series of mysterious grinning cats whose stenciled image has sprung up in the most unlikely places: high atop buildings all over the city. The film begins in November 2001 in a Paris still fresh from the shock of the September 11 attacks on the U.S., and where newspaper headlines read "We are all Americans." Over the next year, in the lead-up to the Iraq war, the city's youth march in numerous demonstrations for all manner of causes as the filmmaker continues his pursuit of the mysterious cats. He finds them again, to his surprise, showing up as the emblem of the new French youth movement. "Make cats not war!" street art is the flip side of the idealism and exuberance driving the young people marching in protests the likes of which Paris hasn't seen since the mythic events of May 1968.


Critic Reviews for The Case of the Grinning Cat

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (9)

[Director] Marker may be windy, but he also enjoys the wisdom that comes with age. His masterful command of the camera shows that he can lecture and entertain at the same time.

Apr 5, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The Case of the Grinning Cat is further evidence of Chris Marker's exhilarating wit. His hour-long cinema essay offers a snapshot of France that's been realized in Marker's daydreamy developer fluid.

Jan 20, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Demonstrates that this cinematic provocateur [director Chris Marker] has lost little of his gift for social observation.

Jan 3, 2007

The Case Of The Grinning Cat is a sequel of sorts to Marker's epic three-hour 1977 documentary on the decline of the left, A Grin Without A Cat -- though this new work is both shorter and more playful.

Dec 21, 2006 | Rating: A-
AV Club
Top Critic

In The Case of the Grinning Cat, the filmmaker Chris Marker fluidly moves over and under Paris, capturing images of fugitive beauty and pathos.

Dec 20, 2006 | Rating: 4.5/5

Leave it to Chris Marker, the 85-year-old French documentarian and cineaste hero, to take an unexceptional event and turn it into an exceptional film.

Dec 20, 2006 | Rating: 3/4

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