Three siblings attend a peculiar family dinner in “The Strange Little Cat” (Das merkwürdige Kätzchen), Swiss writer-director-sound designer-editor Ramon Zürcher’s precise, economical seventy-one-minute debut. Its story is a playful, minimalist variation on Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” and while reminiscent of the work of Chantal Akerman and similar rigorous filmmakers, in its own confined way, it’s even a little like Jacques Tati’s “Playtime.” Its tasty strangeness, beginning with the characters’ behavior and extending to jolting play with editing, framing and sound design, leaves a lovely savor and a lyrical aftertaste. With Leon Alan Beiersdorf, Matthias Dittmer, Lea Draeger and the titular orange tabby. 71m. (Ray Pride)
“The Strange Little Cat” opens Friday, December 26 at Facets. A trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor of Filmmaker magazine. He is also a photographer: his history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images is forthcoming; previews on Twitter (twitter.com/chighostsigns) as well as daily photography on Instagram: instagram.com/raypride. Twitter: twitter.com/rayPride. (Photo: Jorge Colombo.)