The Valley of the Cats
The Windmill of Death • Adventure, Short Films, 29-Sep-2020
Two brothers steal a car in Lisbon, Portugal and head for a lighthouse. Directed by George Daniell, “The Valley of the Cats,” is an inventive lo-fi comedy adventure, shot on 8mm tape, part road movie, part descent into madness. Dead Eye and Square Hands, as the brothers are known, make their way through a picturesque European capital in search of somewhere to stay for awhile. Along the way they get lost, sleep in their car on the side of the road, and come across a mysterious rave. Eventually they make it to the lighthouse, a place to unwind, play music and games, and drink booze. But something is off there — paintings on the wall appear to speak, the chess board plays itself, and the boys start to lose their minds. Daniell’s film is a spirited endeavor, made with a crew of one and filled with playful camera techniques, stop motion animations, and anything-goes plotting (car hijacking, chase scenes, musical montages, the like). It’s an endearing bit of DIY filmmaking that roams free, finds a destination, then heads off for another. Director / DOP / Editor: George Daniell. Cast and music: Frederick Douglas, Markus Treppo.