I Am a Cat | Chicago Reader

I Am a Cat

Kon Ichikawa directed this 1975 adaptation of Natsume Soseki's famous 1905 satirical novel, in which a feline narrator comments on the foibles and frailties of the learned gentry during the modernization of Japan. The cat's master, a high school teacher, inhabits an insular world threatened by the vulgarity of the 20th century, and though Ichikawa occasionally discards the cat's perspective, his quietly observant camera approximates the tone of the book, rendering the teacher's discontent while wryly noting his intellectual pretensions. Ichikawa's handling of an upwardly mobile couple is too broad, however, and the synthesized Bach on the sound track is incongruous. With Tatsuya Nakadai (Ran, Yojimbo), Yoko Shimada, and actor-director Juzo Itami (Tampopo). In Japanese with subtitles. 116 min.

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