Yesterday marked the end of the first PBS Online Film Festival and, I must say, it was better than I expected. When I think of film festivals… I think of bizarro-awkward-wonky films that venture out of my comfort zone and force me to think more intellectually than I normally do during films. The PBSFF had a few titles under that categorization, but for the most part I enjoyed them!
Last week, I said my vote was going to the Asylum films, but in the end… I actually voted for CatCam. If you did not have the chance to see CatCam, the films are available on the PBSFF website for the time being. CatCam sounds and seems cheesy. The title is an obvious give-away of the subject: it’s all about a cat, his owner, and a camera around the cat’s neck. Yes, the concept still sounds like something you might see on Nick Jr., but the stylistic elements of the film caught my eye. The film camera follows the cat around whilst intercutting with interviews of the owners which is standard for documentary style. Then, we are given the chance to see photos and footage the cat, Mr. Lee, has captured.
Here are some of my favourites:
The topic of legitimacy of photography arrises in the documentary. Is it a piece of artwork of the a feline friend is unknowingly taking beautiful photographs? Does that mean the camera is actually the artist? Our reliance on technology to improve and otherwise mould our artwork is commonplace in today’s world. I often wonder with programs like Instagram and Photoshop if there are true photographers in existence. This assumption leads me to believe that Mr. Lee is probably more of a photographer than most of those who post filtered images of their food and clothes. Everthing is postmodern and ambiguous in our society, so I voted for a film that compliments the questions of legitimacy and reality.
Voting will be tallied up on April 2nd, so keep an eye out for the winner! Also, you still have time to view the films — they are all available at: http://www.pbs.org/filmfestival/home/ You’ll be hearing from me again sooner than you realize about a compact-yet-powerhouse-of-a-lady and her performance at the Lincoln Center on Sunday night!