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Fritz the Cat (1972), Ralph Bakshi, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

fritz_the_cat.jpg

Two shocking things. First: no, I’d never seen this before. In fact, other than the first reel or so of “Lord of the Rings” I’ve not seen *any* film by Ralph Bakshi. (I know, I know.) Second: this movie is actually good on its own merits — not just as shock value or a late-60s curiosity. But. . .as a late 60s curiosity. . .it is awesome!!!!. Two of my main fascinations is late 60s counter culture and its politics and New York City. So. . . when these two topics collide, I get quite giddy. (I find little mirth in London or San Francisco hippies. . .but longhairs on St. “Marx” Place get me very happy.) Anyway, Fritz, the assholic, date-raping, joint-sucking, negro-enchanted, vaguely-leftist NYU-attending cat has a number of far-out adventures. Best are the ones where real people were brought in to a studio to “rap in the mike” and the scene was later animated. All of the drawings of NYC are just beautiful. And Skip Hinnant, the voice of Fritz (and later of many, many children’s shows), has a real understanding of the “I-kinda-get-it” student who yearns for bohemianism so much that he’s rendered unable to find it. Sexist, racist, anti-Semetic, needlessly violent and morally ambivalent — this movie is *waaaay more* than cats fucking. But there are a lot of cats fucking. That’s fun, too.

2 Comments »

  1. I think you might find that if you’ve seen one late 60s/early 70s Ralph Bakshi flick, you’ve seen them all. I’m pretty luke warm on Fritz the Cat, albeit I haven’t seen it since college days … one of those “campus” flicks the film society would show in a rented-out classroom on the weekend, along with all those early John Waters flicks.

    Heavy Traffic is pretty blah. Some really cool images, but a lot of it is too trippy and meandering. I thought Coonskin was much better. (And apparently harder to find … although the ubiquitous Entertainment Outlet stores have it in the “Black Cinema” section for $7.99 … and this is clearly a copy bootlegged from a VHS and somehow packaged with the original graphics. Not sure of the legalities of this, but I suspect a lot of blaxploitation flicks may follow suit.)

    To add to your 60s NYC hippie vibe, I recommend getting into The Fugs. Those guys were out there — the best example of that place and time.

    Comment by Bill R — February 21, 2007 @ 6:53 am

  2. Without question — I think I graded this so high because I expected it to be unwatchable.

    Comment by Jordan — February 21, 2007 @ 7:21 am

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