The Case of the Grinning Cat


Filmmaker Chris Marker combines two of his long-time passions, felines and Leftist politics, in this documentary essay film. Veteran filmmaker Marker is a devoted cat lover, with a number of tabbies of his own, so when the city of Paris repeatedly fell victim to a graffiti artist spray-painting grinning kitties all over town, Marker became curious and began to investigate. The cat graffiti started to appear not long after the September 11 attacks in New York City, which provoked new anxieties about international terrorism, but it wasn't long before solidarity with America gave way to protests over the War in Iraq and its consequences. Suddenly the image of the grinning cat was embraced by anti-war activists, who attached it to the slogan "Make cats, not war!" But as the smiling kitty became all the more pervasive in Paris, Marker was left to ponder if the cat's new political agenda was a symbol of genuine commitment or merely an example of fashion fusing with the events of the day. Chats Perchés (aka The Case of the Grinning Cat received its North American premiere at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. more..

Director: Chris Marker


  • 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.

    Noel Murray - The A.V. Club

    19 January 2013

  • "Grin Without a Cat" brilliantly used montage and a wide intellectual scope to speculate about the history of war and revolution. "Grinning Cat" is a more modest achievement, but the director's wisdom remains robust.

    Wesley Morris - The Boston Globe

    19 January 2013

  • One can never get enough of this prodigiously talented octogenarian artist and his bestiary.

    Manohla Dargis - The New York Times

    19 January 2013

  • I can't think of a better portrait of contemporary Paris or the zeitgeist of 2001-'04 than Chris Marker's wise and whimsical 58-minute 2004 one can film people in the street better than Marker or combine images with more grace and finesse.

    Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader

    19 January 2013

  • Sounds boring, but it's not, thanks to Marker's whimsical irreverence.

    V.A. Musetto - New York Post

    19 January 2013


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