Cats Rule and the Spirit of the 90s is Alive in Toronto

Open Roof Festival’s 7th week is now in the books and what an evening it was! The day was #InternationalCatDay and we definitely were proud of it. While sadly we did not have any cats in attendance our pre-show playlist was an all-feline tribute

The live music brought us back to Lollapalooza 1994 with the alternative band Altered by Mom, dressed in cat gear for our evening’s theme. They brought a performance with a substantial amount of energy while constantly keeping a sense of humour. Guitarist Devon Lougheed made use of everything from our chairs and even our amps as a launching pad for his guitar solos. Gina Kennedy’s basslines and vocals sounded like we were hearing Veruca Salt in their heyday. Drummer Jamie Williamson, not to be outdone, fit with the band perfectly with backing vocals and such heavy hitting drumming that we imagine those drums must be replaced fairly often. It was a return to the 1990s and the audience could not have been any happier for it.

We returned to 2017 with the documentary film, KEDI, about the very close relationship that the city of Istanbul has with the hundreds of thousands of cats that roam its streets.

The filmmakers could not have chosen better subjects, both feline and friend, when discussing the relationships they have together. The people interviewed came from all walks of life, young and old, upper and lower class. Still, they all had in common a love of cats and a belief in their importance to the city.

The cats as well showed enormous ranges of personality, from those who rule their neighbourhoods, to those who enjoy hunting, to a cat who enjoys fine dining. The varying personalities highlighted drive home the point of how different each of these animals truly are, an important thing to detail when the film also shows them in the dozens.

Beyond the subjects, the camera work was also quite enjoyable. Overhead shots demonstrated the beauty of Istanbul and emphasized just how many cats make the city their home. The film also makes use of a number of tracking close-ups of the cats roaming around town, almost making us feel like we are cats ourselves following behind.

Within the first couple of minutes, there was a collective “aww” from our audience that would continue throughout the rest of the film. While cuteness was surely in abundance from our feline subjects the film also goes much deeper, discussing the philosophical notions of ourselves, religion, and Istanbul’s continuing gentrification. A great film for both cat lovers, as well as those interested in getting at the heart of a vibrant city.

Remember that next week our screening will be on Wednesday, August 16th and not our usual Tuesday. Our musical performance will be folk singer/songwriter Liam Titcomb, and the screening will be Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana’s Hot Docs 2017 Audience Award winning film RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WOLRD.

Next week promises to be an entertaining evening of music and a highly regarded film that delivers some very important subject matter so you do not want to miss it!

Remember to share the hashtags #MoviesMusicBeer #OpenRoof17 throughout the summer.

–Michael Marlatt