A Frisky Kitty for the Night Owls Among Us

This Friday’s Midnight Movie is a bit different from the average Film Society pick. Sure, it is an independent film that played at Cannes and deals with socio-political issues. The big difference here is that this film stars a raunchy animated cat.

Fritz the Cat was the first X-rated animated feature, and it sure earned its rating. I'm a bit behind on my Spongebob, but unless they've started throwing in group sex scenes, Fritz probably does a lot of things you aren't accustomed to seeing a cartoon do. Drug use, foul language, and general angst are all on full display in this commentary on counterculture in the 1970s.

Fritz the character originates from the pen of underground comic artist R. Crumb. Crumb had published a few Fritz comics in 1968. With spot-on social commentary, a unique voice, and a great artistic style, they caught the attention of animator Ralph Bakshi. Animation fans should recognize Bakshi as the man who would go on to create Wizards and the 1978 adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Bakshi acquired the rights to adapt the comic and turned it into the most successful independent animated film of all time. Crumb was reportedly appalled by the result.

So this Friday night, bring your friends but leave the kids behind. Fritz the Cat is a rare cult classic full of humor, commentary, and cat boobs. It is absolutely unlike anything else in our Midnight Movie series, which screens every Friday, all summer long in the Film Center!

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