The Cat Has Nine Lives (1968)

The Cat Has Nine Lives is a dazzlingly choric conversation between five different women, centred on journalist Katharina and her visiting French friend Anne. From anti-Vietnam protests to parodic pigtailed picnics via pick-ups that don’t go to plan, the film offers episodes in the lives of women on the verge of a political breakthrough, voicing their ennui with faithless turtle-necked lefty male intellectuals – but also with militarism, beauty, and other played-out stereotypes.

Their interest in each other’s intelligence and feelings is as invigorating and vivid as the film’s visual style, shot in Techniscope and printed using the Technicolor dye-transfer process to capture the bright zeitgeist of ’68. Imagine the jumpy smarts of Jean-Luc Godard and lushly lurid worlds of Rainer Werner Fassbinder (with whom filmmaker Ula Stöckl worked) meshed under a spell cast by a (love) witch.

Independent Cinema Office

  • Orig. title: Neun Leben hat die Katze
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Distribution: Deutsche Kinemathek
  • Print source: Deutsche Kinemathek
  • Cinematography: Dieter Lohmann
  • Editing: Wolfgang Schacht
  • Music: Bob Degen, Manfred Eicher
  • Sound: Folkardt Prestin
  • Production design: