Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
BUFF ’17: She’s Allergic to Cats
is a point on the cinematic spectrum where cheapo grade-Z schlock starts to
approach the style and texture of low-fi “expression for expression’s sake”
experimental film. This movie understands that place because it lives there.
Obsession and humiliation are just part of ordinary life for a video artist
working on the fringes of Hollywood in Michael Reich’s She Allergic to Cats (trailer here), which screens
tonight during the 2017 Boston Underground Film Festival.
Pinkney plays Mike Pinkney, an aspiring filmmaker who came to Hollywood to
become a filmmaker, but found the town had not awaited his arrival with great anticipation.
Currently, he works as a dog-groomer, a job he hates and is terrible at doing,
as we can see from his Mekas-esque video diaries, dressed up with retro-1980s
off-the-shelf computer effects. However, it is through his work at Tail-Waggers
that he meets the alluring Cora.
enough, Pinkney will have more luck pursuing Cora than anything else he tries.
He still dreams of making his version of Stephen King’s Carrie with talking cats, but he has no support from his bullying
German agent Sebastian. He also can’t get his club rocker landlord Honey Davis,
played by Honey Davis from Honey Davis and the Bees to do anything about his
rat infestation problem. So, do you see where this might be going?
and cinematographer Zach Driscoll deserve tremendous credit for nailing the
look of either terrible exploitation films or ambitious avant-garde cinema.
Someone should be embarrassed how aesthetically compatible Allergic to Cats is with Joan Jonas’s Double Lunar Dogs—and it isn’t Reich. However, that does not change
the fact all Allergic’s cheesy graphics
and VHS tracking effects are likely to give you a stress migraine.
is actually sort of fun to watch Sonja Kinski (daughter of Nastassja) and
Pinkney play off each as Cora and his meta-self, at least in their early scenes
together. Flula Borg is also a contemptuous riot as the arrogant Sebastian.
However, the cold hard truth is a little of Allergic
goes a long, long way.
just about everyone will agree this is the film The Truth About Cats and Dogs should have been in a more
interesting world. The more you relate to Pinkney’s circumstances, the more you
will likely appreciate its deliberately off-putting vibe. Basically, you should
already know with absolute certainty whether She’s Allergic to Cats is for you, so plan accordingly when it
screens today (3/25) at this year’s Boston Underground Film Festival.
Labels: BUFF '17, Cat movies