Monday, January 10, 2011

Cat People (1942)

I am completely bored out of my mind.

I'm currently serving my jury duty.I'm bound to stay inside in this wretched windowless room. To add insult to injury, I'm not allowed to plug in my adapter to charge up my laptop. Of course I wasted hours browsing around the internet and now I'm alarmed to discover that I only have 32% power left. Great.

I was searching around for ideas and inspiration to make make up my costume for the renaissance faire and anime expo. As I'm looking around, I am seriously impressed by all the costumes that people have made up. Which indirectly reminded me of a movie that I saw years ago.

It was a movie I was inspired to watch after seeing a reference of it in "The Bad and the Beautiful".At one point during the movie, the filmmakers are brainstorming an idea for a movie. The costumes they made for a scary scene in the movie were ridiculous and could clearly see how poorly made they were. They come up with an idea to just highlight the eyes of the monster just like "Cat People".

"Cat People" is a pretty scary thriller movie. It reminds me a bit of "Rosemary's Baby" in it's allusion to horror. The movie uses shadows and music to scare the audience and increase the paranoia. Yet you never see the monster at all.

The plot circles around a beautiful woman named Irena Dubrovna. She is under the fear that she is the living embodiment of a myth:

"..According to legend, long ago the Christian residents of her home village gradually turned to witchcraft and devil worship after being enslaved by the Mameluks. When King John drove the Mameluks out and saw what the villagers had become, he had them killed. However, "the wisest and the most wicked" escaped into the mountains" (taken from wikipedia)

Irena believes that her mother was a "Cat person" who may been the cause of her fathers disappearance. Afraid that she herself is a "cat person", she tried to curb her passion and tried to keep impassive as much as possible. She married a man named Oliver. He married her despite her telling him her fears. And he still married her. Okay....

Anyhoo, jealousy begins to arise when Oliver begins to confide in his secretary Alice. Why is it always a secretary? Oh wait. Yeah common sexual fantasy. Irena's passions begins to flow and hell breaks loose.

I was pretty scared while I was watching the movie since I'm a sucker for any jump scares. I was also immensely intrigued by this movie. Stalkers are pretty scary. Add a supernatural element to it and damn that is scary as hell.

The tension in this movie is what really sunk it for me. Everything about this movie was tense. From the chase scenes with shadows, the panther lashing out, Irena's paranoia. I figured the tension was to represent Irena's battle with herself. Containing all that passion within herself. Alot of that was sexual tension which the movie alluded to throughout.

I also felt really bad for Irena. Irena could have easily been part of the X-men. She was suffering from a mutant genetic trait of which she held no control. I can easily imagine her fighting side by side with Wolverine. It's even more tragic how it ends.

For any starting filmmakers, this is an inspiring movie to watch. I can tell it was a low budget production but the movie is still really well done. The story was well played with complex enough characters that makes it so unique. With it's creative use of shadow and light, the atmosphere was just right.It was tense enough to have you grip the edge of your seat but intriguing enough to keep you wondering what happens next.

Just because you don't have alot of money doesn't mean it has to be bad. It just means you have to be really creative.

Ugh...when will this jury duty be over??!?!?

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