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By Film Threat Staff | August 30, 2001

The MadCat Film Festival celebrates cutting-edge experimental and independent films and videos from around the globe. The festival is committed to screening provocative works which challenge viewers by using sound and image in innovative ways. It is the goal of MadCat to expand the notion of women’s cinema beyond the limitations of films about traditional women’s issues. MadCat kicks off the festival with the 70 year anniversary screening of Leontine Sagan’s classic, Maedchen in Uniform (program 1: Sept 4, El Rio). For years critics have argued over whether the film is a lesbian romance or an allegory on fascism. This is precisely the kind of dialogue Madcat is committed to inspiring. Maedchen is a perfect way to celebrate five years of bringing the Bay Area visionary films and videos which continue to redefine cinema.
This year’s showcase includes films from: Estonia, the UK, India, Poland, Hong Kong, Austria, Japan and Ireland. Makers take on activism, love, lust, evil toys, “family values”, pirate radio and the Dewey Decimal System (among other things), in 8 programs of films and videos. After wading through the over 500 entries submitted, MadCat is proud to announce there have been 51 directors selected. The films and videos chosen wrestle with their subject matter and medium in new and original ways, from reframing the celluloid image of Catherine Deneuve, to combining 3D animation, to hand manipulated Super-8 footage. Our program themes range from films that redefine the horror genre to meditations on the idea of home, to civilians caught in the crossfire, to investigating the pros and cons of objectification. Festival-goers will see revivals of rarely screened animation (including: Mary Ellen Bute’s 1953 Mood Contrasts and Susan Jacoby’s Getting Together, 1970) and new work from Madcat favorites Lynne Sachs, Greta Snider, Katherin Resetarits and Jennifer Reeves.
Sachs will attend the festival (program 3: Rebels With A Cause Sept 7, PFA) to screen her new documentary Investigation of a Flame, which chronicles nine Vietnam War protesters, including a nurse, an artist and three priests, who walked into a Maryland draft board office in 1968, grabbed hundreds of files and burned them with homemade napalm. Also in this program local filmmaker Greta Snider will present The Magic of Radio a funny and lyrical documentary about the mystery and wonder of the radio transmission of sound. Resetarits’ new film strangers (program 5: In Search of Home Sept 9, PFA & Sept 11, El Rio) conveys a simple and stunning portrait of a family through masterfully constructed moments in their lives. She has found the subtle knack of cinema verite-like observation in narrative film that is so often lost. Utilizing motivational tapes and amateur video footage shot in the late 1980’s, Skinny Teeth by Jennifer Reeves (program 8: How Do I Look Sept 27, ATA) chronicles the escapades of two punk girls who wreak havoc in a Ohio Mall. This is an examination of teenage angst as the two protagonists push the boundaries of “appropriate” behavior and dress in public spaces.
For more info including the full schedule and line-up of movies, call 415-436-9523 or visit the official MadCat Film Festival web site.
Check out’s FILM FESTIVAL ARCHIVES for more fest news!

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