Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Cat Skin

Mystery and Hell and Reality 

"Gummo brasileiro antes de Gummo." writes Letterboxd commenter Matheus Massias in a remark on Joaquim Pedro's third film, Cat Skin [Couro de gato – (La peau du chat), 1960] a 15-minute docufiction short. Cat Skin might find its present-day equivalent in India's "untouchable" caste, such as it ever were — slum denizens living in (not among) garbage mounds. Never mind Gummo —one can find a film precedent in Louis Malle's harrowing 1969 documentary Calcutta. Cat Skin doesn't focus on trash-eating as the scavenge; rather, it shows the gathering and killing of cats so that their skin can be leathered for use as a particular samba drum-skin in anticipation of the forthcoming Carnivale. A movie that expands mental space once it's viewed and viewed again; a movie evincing the film playing beyond the film; in other words, the entering into acute reality.


My Writings on the Complete Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

(This 3-disc Blu-ray set was issued by Kino in 2018.)

O poeta do Castelo [The Poet of Castelo, 1959]

O mestre de Apipucos [The Master of Apipucos, 1959]

Couro de gato – (La peau du chat) [Cat Skin, 1960]


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