Our Thursday regular feature Vet 101 will return next week. It was heaven for some cat people in New York last night, myself included. I love foreign films, Japanese culture and of course cats. Add a bunch a cat lady friends like Tamar Arslanian of I Have Cat to the meow mix and you know it’s going to be fun.
The Japan Society is hosting a film festival of contemporary Japanese films, on until July 28. We singled out the film Rent-A-Cat for obvious reasons. Single tickets are still available for the rest of the series $12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors and students Tickets may be purchased in person at the Box Office, by calling 212-715-1258, or at www.japansociety.org.
For more info and film synopses World’s Largest Japanese Film Festival
We purred over the film Rent-A-Cat (Rentaneko) in its U.S. premiere by indie film maker writer/director Naoki Ogigami and were treated to a Q & A afterwards with her and an adroit translator.
The film, a sweet and charming reflection on love and loss follows Sayoko, a lonely young woman who rents cats to other lonely souls. Each person feels they can’t commit to a cat full time or forever but in the end, Sayoko faces her own fear of commitment when an former two-legged admirer returns.
Writer/director Ogigami slyly references class systems and the hysterically funny dream sequence alone is worth the price of admission. There were plenty of aw moments with cats so naturally adorable and untrained, it put regular cat wranglers to shame. The director’s own three cats acted proved to be natural stars. The film’s premise is simple and the pace languid but keeps moving and unfolding like a long hot summer day with an iced beverage of your choice.
We hope this quirky film gets a U.S. distribution deal so you can rent it and see it with your kitties. If the film makes your local art house theater, don’t miss it. Even non-cat lovers will be liable to purr or get a sudden hankering to adopt a cat or two. For Manga lovers the closing credits are a bonus delight.
The audience laughed loudly and often to the delight of the director, who commented pleased and slightly taken aback at, “Americans are unafraid to show their emotions.” Ogigami is the kind of low key, self-effacing filmmaker I’d love to see win an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
Director/writer Naoki Ogigami with a translator at the New York premiere.
Cat lovers come in all stripes and we instantly bond regardless of whether we’re married or single. It was wonderful meeting new cat lovers for dinner afterward despite the sadness of one blogger’s recent kitty loss. What better way to bond and heal but sharing about cats, what else?
Have you voted for us today? We’ll purr if you do. Voting continues once daily until July 31 here. Thank-you or as they say in Japan, domo origato.