The New Noir: Cat In Paris

A Cat in Paris (Une Vie De Chat)

Review by Lally Pollen.

Jean-loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol’s animation, A Cat in Paris, is at once simple, dramatically sensitive and incredibly elegant in style. It’s not without its nods and references, mixing tones of noir classics such as Night of the Hunter and Hunchback of Notre Dame with Pink Panther-like comedy.


Night of the Hunter (1955)

It follows the interweaving stories of two cat burglars – one literal and one metaphorical – a little girl named Zoe, the daughter of a detective and a ‘knuckle’ of gangsters. The story is told with well-balanced levels of humour, realism and dreamlike fluidity, particularly in the more lip-wobbling hallucination sequences.

The imagery of Cat in Paris is reminiscent of an array of artists from Matisse’s The Dance  to Shaun Tan’s cityscapes to Modigliani and his elegant, long-nosed faces. It’s strength is in it’s no frills simplicity but also the delightful soundtrack featuring Billy Holiday and a charm similar to that of Belleville Rendezvous or the Illusionist.
Sly, slick, funny and not without its dark themes, a solid children’s adventure that I think will amuse and engage most ages.