Nov 18, 2018
by Alexa Chipman
There is a myriad of films/DVD’s that feature felines prominently but the inspiration for this article came the recent release,Bohemian Rhapsody, the story of Queen frontman, Freddy Mercury. Freddy loved his cats wrote songs about them, dedicated albums to them and when on tour called to chat with them. Another current feature is Can You Ever Forgive Me? Melissa McCarthy delivers an Oscar worthy performance as Lee Israel a down on her luck writer with a drinking problem who decides to fabricate letters that have been written by famous people and sell them to dealers. Her cat is sick and needs to see the vet and she is low on cash.
These two films are fresh but cats have a long history of having important cameos. Marlon Brando as the Godfather caresses a cat while he orders other men to be killed as does Stavros Blofeld the villain in several Bond films. Who can ever forget Anita Eckberg prancing in the Fountain of Trevi holding a white kitten in La Dolce Vita? Jones, the ginger cat, is a survivor along with Ripley on that spaceship from Hell in Aliens.
Newer offerings with cat themes range from the ridiculous to the even more ridiculous! Keanu, a cat who was originally called Iglesias, is the pet of a drug czar. He is captured and his owner leads a merry chase to track him down. An orange cat figures prominently in Inside Llewyn Davis, a Coen brothers depiction of the tribulations of a struggling folk singer. Taken from a best-selling book, Bob the Street Cat is another orange cat, a stray who helped his musician care giver overcome addiction. Nine Lives stars Kevin Spacey as a stuffy businessman who gets magically transformed into the body of the family cat by Christopher Walken. Kedi is a really wonderful documentary about the semi-feral cats of Istanbul. They roam the city and are cared for but they are respected for their independence.
These are just a few of the latest offerings but Art Carney won an Academy Award for his “road trip with cat” performance in Harry and Tonto in 1974. The Incredible Journey is the re-enactment of the true story of three animals who travel 250 miles across Canada to re-unite with their family. Then there are the animations: Garfield, The Cat in the Hat, Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots. Look forward to Anne Hathaway who will follow Michelle Pfieffer and Halle Barry as Catwoman.
Unlike dogs cats do not take direction easily so most of the time several animals are coached and coaxed to perform only one action. Mysterious and haughty but purring and loving on their own terms, cats were once worshiped as gods and they are not about to let us forget it.
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