Jon Frickey, Germany
Jiro a young boy begins sneezing and soon loses his appetite. Even pancakes and syrup don’t sound tempting to him. His father takes him to a doctor who has a strange diagnosis. He has cat flu and will recover; however, oddly enough, only cats get cat flu.
Cat Days, an eleven-minute animated film in Japanese with English subtitles, appeals to a youthful audience. But it is more than that. It’s about a boy’s search for his identity and his ensuing resolve to be himself. Jiro’s dilemma unfolds in a visual tapestry of soothing serenity and masterful images that linger long after the film ends.
Berlinale68: Cat Days, diventare gatti in Giappone (becoming cats in Japan) is an online article by Simone Tarditi, who finds it to be more than just a coincidence that Cat Days was selected for the Berlinale. He draws multiple connections between Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs and Jon Frickey’s Cat Days.
Tarditi says, “When the 68th edition of the Berlinale arrived, all eyes were on Wes Anderson and his Isle of Dogs, a stop-motion, feature film on hairy, four-legged animals quarantined after an epidemic of influenza. …. Curious, but perhaps not a coincidence was the presence of the animated short film Cat Days (original title: Neko No Hi, directed by Jon Frickey) in the Generation KpLus section. Curious and not a coincidence because the things in common with Wes Anderson's latest work are manifold.….There were just a few minutes for Cat Days, but they are more than enough to drag the viewer into an irresistible story with surreal traits. We mention the things in common with The Isle of Dogs: the influence, the relationship of friendship between humans and pets (canids, felids), but especially Japan. If, for this, his new project, Wes Anderson said he was inspired by Akira Kurosawa, Jon Frickey draws heavily from the Japanese culture, specifically regarding cats and the importance reserved for them….. For the moment, it remains a short and delicious film.”
website: https://verocinema.com/2018/02/19/berlinale68-cat-days/ (March 1, 2018)