Chloë Sevigny’s Cat Power

Chloë Sevigny admits she loves to boss people around on-set. After more than two decades starring in films by art-house stalwarts like Harmony Korine, Whit Stillman, and Olivier Assayas, she finally took a step behind the camera with her directorial debut, Kitty, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. An adaptation of a Paul Bowles story about a shy young girl who finds herself transforming into a cat, this exquisitely crafted short film takes its aesthetic cues from the visually sumptuous style of Merchant Ivory and the work of Lewis Carroll and Beatrix Potter. In the below introduction to the film, Sevigny talks about her experience as a first-time director, the challenges of bringing Bowles’s fantastical tale to life, and the ways in which her stint on American Horror Story: Hotel made the film possible. Watch Kitty now in today’s Short + Feature program on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck, where it is paired with another, more shocking exploration of female youth, Catherine Breillat’s 2001 Fat Girl, which Sevigny has cited as one of her major cinematic inspirations.

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