There is a certain playfulnes in the montage of this film. There are even some jump cuts, small signs of a playfulness in a film which is partly dominated by Direct cinema style. But there are also moments which I would call poetic but in the sense how Renoir called his documentary scenes filmed in India and included later in the fiction of his film The River. It means a poetry which seem to unfold itself from the people, places and things it reveals. If I recapitulate the shots of the protagonists faces I have to think what Dreyer said about the human face as a landscape. Beside the urban and rural landscape the film presents, there are also the landscapes of human faces.
Often I see old films with curiosity but sometimes as well to complete this Must Watch-lists for the sake of completeness. But some of these films surprise and overwhelm me with their striking vitality. They resist against a category in film history I wanted to put them in my laziness. This feeling is hard to describe. It is like a strong echo of a distant time and the impact it had on real living people. And I haven´t even mentioned the influence such films had and still have on present or future film maker. Le chat dans le Sac is one of these films which gave me for a certain time the strange feeling of a time travel.
(1) Beside the brief mention of Barbara´s Jewish identity there other hints to different groups dealing with a definition of their identity. John Coltrane, for example, played like other Afro-American musicians like Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp or Ornette Coleman a key role in the identity of Afro-American culture in the 1960s.Barbara is not only a representative of another discriminated minority. Her decision to define her own identity as something different than following her boyfriend seems to me like a hint to the raising women´s movement in the 1960s as well. As important the French-Canadian context is, this French-Canadian search for identity seems to me put in a more global historic context.