Facets Cinémathèque

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December 26–31, 2014

Chicago Theatrical

The Strange Little Cat
Das merkwürdige Kätzchen

Film still: The Strange Little Cat


Film still: The Strange Little Cat


Film still: The Strange Little Cat
"Delightfully fresh and original... this is minimalist filmmaking par excellence, a sunny delight from end to end"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"One of the most confident and unusual first features in recent memory... Writer-director-editor-sound-designer Zürcher is a rigorous formalist with a light, humane touch"
  —A.V. Club
"With its peculiar angles and curious sensitivity to certain feelings seldom captured onscreen, the film eschews plot for wryly observed character moments, serving up an arthouse-ready Rorschach test that ensures no two viewers will have the same reaction"
Critics' Pick "Radically disorienting, disarmingly odd... Mr. Zürcher has concocted something intimate yet otherworldly with this highly original debut"
  —New York Times
3 stars½ "A beautiful, mysterious, beguiling cinematic doodle, and an absolute master class in mise-en-scène"
  —The Dissolve
3 stars "Strange and creepy and entertaining. It's like reading a short story by Chekhov or Ionesco, that was translated by Kafka...and then staged by Bertolt Brecht. Or Barnum & Bailey"
Recommended "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"
  —NewCity Chicago

Set almost entirely within the confines of a small apartment, as three generations of family members gather over the course of a day to share a family dinner. A delightfully dysfunctional family goes about its daily routine blithely unaware of the beauty and quiet revelations which surround their seemingly mundane lives.

A former student of Béla Tarr, filmmaker Ramon Zürcher's deadpan sense of humor and focus on the mechanization of modern life recalls Jacques Tati's Playtime, while the rigorously dispassionate performances of his actors contain traces of Robert Bresson and Chantal Akerman. But Zürcher's cinematic language, which dispenses with traditional rules of shot composition and editing, often mismatching sound and visual cues and positioning actors partially outside the frame, is refreshing and bracingly original. Zürcher is a German film student who comes from the video art world and his student project The Strange Little Cat, which was inspired by Kafka's Metamorphosis is is refreshing and bracingly original.

Directed by Ramon Zürcher, Germany, 2013, 72 mins. In German with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Dec. 26 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Dec. 27 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Dec. 28 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Wed., Dec. 29–31 at 7 & 9 pm
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$9 general admission

FREE for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation