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FRITZ THE CAT

USA, 1972 (MIFF 1973)

Director: Ralph Bakshi

Directed by former Paramount animator, Ralph Bakshi, Futz the Cat has been borne into the cinema, in full animation, from Robert Crumb's satirical comic strip.

Fritz sees himself as a liberated cat, and he indulges all the pleasures offered him by fate, as well as demonstrating his political commitments. He lures three felines to a hippy joint in the East Village in New York, but his orgy is invaded by the rest of the inhabitants there. The place is raided by the police, and Fritz flees to a nearby Synagogue, where he seeks refuge in the Ladies' Room. With the police still in pursuit, he heads off to his room at New York University where, denouncing escapist academics, he burns his books and the campus as well. He goes to Harlem, but his liberal assertions win him few friends, and Duke, a friendly crow, rescues him. After a joy-ride, they visit Big Bertha, and she and Fritz make it, high on pot. Soon after, Fritz's new awareness of oppression and its exposure leads to a riot and Duke's death. Rescued by the nagging Winston, he heads West with her, but before long. he makes off with a couple of doped Hell's Angels. When they take him to their leader, who is bent on social destruction, Fritz finds himself unable to adjust to the new role demanded of him.

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