Icarus Films will begin its 2015 home entertainment release campaign with a pair of much anticipated DVD product offerings on Jan. 13.
Included here in this initial ‘Q1 duo are both the debut of director Ramon Zürcher’s The Strange Little Cat and auteur Éric Rohmer’s 1987 treasure, Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle.
We can see nothing particularly odd about the little golden cat that roams about a Berlin apartment. In fact, as Zürcher’s family tale unfolds over a dinner gathering it becomes fairly obvious that the feline (and maybe the dog) is the only “normal” one there … so the title makes sense in kind of a roundabout way (ergo, if everyone is odd, then the “normal” cat is strange).
Roughly adapted from Franz Kafka's “Metamorphosis” (which is coming up on its 100th Anniversary), The Strange Little Cat will not be for everyone (the action-crowd need not apply), but for those drawn to puzzles and nuance there is plenty to behold.
The family is a cornucopia of movement — a tightly staged dance in a kitchen and dining area much too small for the three generations assembled there. Each taking a turn with the sharing of seemingly mundane stories and the retelling of events in their lives, punctuated from time to time by a young girl’s screams (any time a kitchen appliance is in use she goes primal).
Imagine alien creatures, in human form, describing their observations and you’ll get a sense of what Zürcher is after here. Strange, indeed.
French New Wave filmmaker Éric Rohmer’s Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle makes its long-overdue DVD debut on Jan. 13. This lyrical tale follows the interaction of country “mouse,” Reinette (played by Joëlle Miquel), with the worldly-wise Parisian, Mirabelle (Jessica Forde) as the latter visits the former in the country on holiday with her parents.
They are opposites, who share small observations — tête-à-tête — and have debates/discussions about how they perceive their little worlds. Like a fine wine, these interactions are to be savored for the subtlety of the moment and not consumed as a whole. Very Gallic; very Rohmer.
Their adventures are divided into four chapters — “The Blue Hour,” “Selling the Picture,” “The Beggar, the Kleptomaniac, the Hustler” and “The Waiter.” Presented in French with English subtitles.