Cat People

Friday, April 11 - Saturday, April 12, 2014

35mm print

“Overflowing with sexy commercial elements—and voluminous amounts of straight-up sex. Nastassja Kinski’s electric performance radiates dangerous sensuality from the first frame, and in the film’s hypnotic third act, Kinski rebels against the tyranny of clothing and spends much of the rest of the film in various states of undress. CAT PEOPLE brings back much of American Gigolo’s production team, including first-rate cinematographer John Bailey and composer Giorgio Moroder, only this time, David Bowie was recruited to record the movie’s moody theme song instead of Blondie.

“But while CAT PEOPLE feels like an early Bruckheimer production, it’s also permeated with the themes that personify Schrader’s work as a screenwriter and filmmaker: obsession, sex, the strange permutations of destiny, and man’s bottomless capacity for cruelty and violence. The result is an appropriately strange beast—part moody, sex-saturated art film, and part slick genre fare.

“If nothing else, the film provides the perfect vehicle for Kinski, whose uninhibited charisma defines Irena Gallier, a mysterious woman who arrives in New Orleans to reconnect with her even-more-mysterious brother Paul (Malcolm McDowell), whom she hasn’t seen since they were very young. Irena begins to sense that there’s something terribly off about her brother, just as she finds herself curiously attracted to a gorgeous leopard that was captured and placed in a zoo after attacking a prostitute. Irena secures a job at the zoo and falls for Oliver Yates (John Heard), a strapping all-American whose well-scrubbed normality stands in stark contrast to the bone-deep perversion of Irena’s tortured relationship with Paul. As it turns out, Paul and Irena are scions of an ancient race of half-human, half-feline creatures that transform into murderous beasts when sexually aroused, so must resort to incestuous relationships with siblings to avoid leaving a trail of human carnage in their wake.” – The Dissolve

  • Country USA
  • Rating R
  • Year 1982
  • Running Time 119 minutes
  • Director Paul Schrader

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.