Monday, October 18, 2010

Horrifyingly Beautiful Interiors: Cat People

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Say the words "cat people" and you either conjure up images of the show Hoarders or Paul Schrader's sexed-up 1982 feature film of the same name. Lucky for you, though, this post won't focus on any packed-to-the-gills interiors seen on cable TV. Instead, let's give Schrader's remake of the 1942 original a second chance since it's chock-full of some beautifully composed shots of interiors. Set in New Orleans, Cat People follows Irena, one of the last of an ancient race of panther-human hybrids left to figure out how to negotiate her animal instinct with her modern-girl need for love. In other words, completely relatable.

As you'd expect, Irena is immediately drawn to the New Orleans Zoo where she can catch up with her cat-brethren. This ostensible stand-in for the real-life Audubon Zoo is full of nice early 20th century touches: intricate brickwork, inhumane but gorgeous steel cages, specimen jars, and spiral staircases.

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Although the film takes place in New Orleans, there are shockingly few classic New Orleans-style 18th century structures, but they do make a few notable appearances.

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

And in a stand out scenedecor-wisefellow cat-lover Oliver takes Irena on a date to an oyster house where cyan chairs, blue lighting, and floor-to-ceiling subway tile had me wanting to completely rethink my own approach to kitchen decor.

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Speaking of cyan, Paul Schrader's palette for Cat People is the fairly unique combo of red-orange/cyan—just like 3-D glasses. Except this movie isn't in 3-D. All the same, it still provides for some stunning shots.

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People 1982 Interiors

Cat People runs 118 minutes and is available on DVD and Blueray from Universal.