By Daniel Corey
Okay…this is ostensibly an article about the film adaptation of Cats, so, in keeping with that, just make note that we are going to be a little all over the place, here.
First of all, the thesis of this piece is a plea to you, dear reader, to help me explain the film adaptation of Cats to my friend, James.
James Cotten is an award-winning filmmaker, and I usually see most movies with him. If I don’t see a movie with James, then I usually end up telling him all about it; sometimes in general terms of story points, and sometimes with impassioned and tearful reenactments of key scenes from the film. James was not with me when I watched Cats, so come lunchtime Monday, expectation will be on me to explain Tom Hooper’s film adaptation. And I’m telling you right now, I cannot find the words. I CANNOT.
Let’s leave that for a moment. We’ll come back to it later. But I’ll go ahead and spoil everything: by the time I finish writing this, I STILL WILL NOT HAVE A WAY TO EXPLAIN THIS MOVIE TO JAMES.
Just so you can get a nip of what it’s all about, here is the official Cats film trailer…
Let’s table all of that for the time being. There are many, many things to discuss, here.
Traditionally, at this point in the writing, I would be obligated to explain to you that Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the music for this musical play called Cats based on poems by T.S. Eliot, and it was a big deal, ran such-and-such long and won some awards, blah, blah, blah. I’ll spare you that. Just read about it on Wikipedia.
Okay, so the film was made, directed by Tom Hooper and starred a bunch famous people, and it’s…well, like I’ve already said, I don’t know how to explain it to James, so I don’t know how to explain it to you, either. But HERE’S THE THING: the Alamo Drafthouse in Downtown Los Angeles is doing Rowdy Screenings of the Cats movie! Which is all explained by this nice lady here…
Basically, people are drinking heavily, watching Cats on a big screen in a room full of other drunk people, and making lots of noise and saying snarky things. There is not yet any formalized choreography or anything that you would see at a Rocky Horror screening, but let’s hope that all happens soon. After all, we are the dreamers of dreams.
During this screening, people were rowdy, indeed. With proper guidance, I think they could get even rowdier. But everyone put forth a good effort, nonetheless. There was the waving of streamers, the blowing of bubbles, and instructions were shouted out; most notably, at the very end, when some guy screamed do not watch Judi Dench, watch the other three. The evening would have been a loss without that particular moment.
The only apt description that I could conjure for any part of the film had to do with the Mr. Mistoffelees number; just watch Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer video again, and you’ll get the idea what it was like…
Besides that, the Alamo Drafthouse is a pretty terrific place. I especially enjoyed their collection of vintage film posters.
And this giant, wall-sized Parasite poster had me wishing that there was a Parasite theme park dark ride somewhere. I soooooo want to enter that world. Who wouldn’t?
Enough of all that! Back to our central premise: HOW DO I EXPLAIN THIS FILM TO JAMES??? If you have seen the big screen adaptation of Cats, please tweet me at @dangerkatt with suggestions. I am just at a loss.
Finally, we watched the movie with NYC stage star Julie Garnyé, who previously starred in a national tour of Cats. Here she is, singing Memory. Julie is a national treasure.
Okay, so, go watch the Cats film. And then help me explain it to James.
That’s it. That’s all I got.
– Daniel Corey