As the summer warmth flashes the last of its lazed brazen tail and autumn gusts in, it is time for me to put off all the beach movies and finish this wonderful but too long in the making blanket, Postcards with Love.
I watched so many beach movies while I lovingly crocheted each square, including seeing Gidget, Jaws, and The Endless Summer for the first time! Each of them divined their own unique pleasures. But a recent watch that really stands out for me right now is The Cat and the Moon, released in 2019, with the title referencing the W. B. Yeats poem by the same name:
The cat went here and there And the moon spun round like a top, And the nearest kin of the moon, The creeping cat, looked up. Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon, For, wander and wail as he would, The pure cold light in the sky Troubled his animal blood. Minnaloushe runs in the grass Lifting his delicate feet. Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance? When two close kindred meet, What better than call a dance? Maybe the moon may learn, Tired of that courtly fashion, A new dance turn. Minnaloushe creeps through the grass From moonlit place to place, The sacred moon overhead Has taken a new phase. Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils Will pass from change to change, And that from round to crescent, From crescent to round they range? Minnaloushe creeps through the grass Alone, important and wise, And lifts to the changing moon His changing eyes.
The first thing I love about this film is that the actors are mostly new to me: fresh and also very believable. Rumor has it that the lead actor, Alex Wolff, was in a very famous movie called Hereditary, but a reliable source has warned me that it is too disturbing for me, which I believe entirely, so I will miss it, even though ’tis the season. Wolff also starred in Nickelodeon’s “The Naked Brothers Band” with his brother Nat, but somehow I haven’t seen it, either. However Wolff’s low key character in The Cat and the Moon, Nick, is nonetheless very captivating, as is the charming character of Eliza, played by Stefania LaVie Owen.
And that brings me to the second thing I love about this film, its quiet, understated nature. Nick comes to New York to stay with Cal (Mike Epps), a friend of the family, while Nick’s mother is in rehab. While visiting, Nick has time to reflect on his late father, who had played jazz music with Cal. He also makes new friends to carouse with in New York.
At the midpoint of the movie, Nick tells his personal story of The Cat and the Moon, and this center of focus coupled with the subtlety of the film as a whole also help create a reflective experience for the viewer.
The soundtrack fits the film to a tee, featuring jazz music composed by Alex Wolff’s dad, Michael Wolff, along with music by George Shearing, Tame Impala, A$AP Rocky, Jens Lekman, and Raffaella, among others. Alex Wolff also contributed to the score, and wrote and directed the movie, as well!