EA...Blue Room with Cat

"Blue Room with Cat in Changing Light"*
Animated short film (3 minutes)
Spring 1999 at the Carpenter Center, Harvard University
Based on a sestina written by Mary Ellen Geer
Animation and music by Emily Arkin
(The Operators remade the music as "Across the Ocean" in 2004)
* for some reason this copy of it has incredibly bad, fritzy sound--remastered soundtrack to come!

Still Excerpts:

The light of early evening, blue and strong,
fills the corners of the room with shadows.
A single lamp casts yellowed light
on the rocking chair, still in silent motion,
the shattered teacup lying on the floor,
the gray cat crouching, muscles tensed to spring.

The cat is hiding, coiled tight as a spring,
thinking of ways to prove he's swift and strong.
He flattens his body against the polished floor
striped with bands of light and shadow.
His paw hits the cup in one swift motion;
it falls to the floor through the blue light.

The room is flooded with early morning light
on the first warm, humming day of the spring;
a sudden breeze puts the blue curtains in motion.
The cat flexes his muscles, feeling a strong
desire to impress; with great stealth, he shadows
the roving teacup, wrestles it to the floor.

The room is still; a broken cup lies on the floor.
Drops of rain slide down the windows, light
and soft as dancers fading into shadows.
The wavering, watery light of a rainy spring
fills the blue room; the rain gets stronger.
The cat sleeps, only his tail in motion.

The cat leaps up, creating a commotion
as he tears around the slippery floor,
skidding on the polished boards, digging his strong
claws into the blue rug; he bounds lightly
to the chair, shattering the teacup in mid-spring;
finally he retreats, gray fur blending with the shadows.

The blue room is filled with deep shadows
and bands of silver light; the moon's swift motion
across the sky this night in early spring
makes changing patterns on the polished floor.
The broken teacup glistens with reflected light;
the cat prowls the silver paths, silent and strong.

The artist sets up her easel, puts her teacup on the floor;
she will paint the blue room in the strong light of spring.
The cat watches from the shadows as she sets her brush in motion.

The Animator at Work*

photo: Kris Snibbe/Harvard University News Office

Public Screenings:

September 21 2002, Ladyfest*East
Fridays in April 2001, Somerville Community Access Television's Café Scat
January 26 2001, Anonymous Girls Non-Anon-a-Thon Showcase
June 1999, Harvard Film Archive

* on a different project, but I love the similarity this shot, taken by Kris Snibbe for the Harvard Gazette, has to the last scene of the film.

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