Henri 2 takes top honors at Internet Cat Video Film Festival

Henri 2, Paw De Deux

If there’s any one thing that the Internet truly loves, it’s hardcore niche pornography. If there are two things however, the second absolutely has to be videos of cats being adorable. A quick YouTube search for the word “cat” brings up 1.6 million results, and the number of cat-based memes (and memes to which cats have been later applied) is far too large for us to spend the rest of the afternoon tallying up.

What we’re here to do instead is deliver word that the inaugural installment of the Internet Cat Video Film Festival has drawn to a close. Specifically, the event (which we told you all about in July) took place in Minneapolis on August 30, and by the end of the evening the gathering of prospective Cat Fancy subscribers had crowned a single vignette as the Internet’s finest video of a cat doing things that humans might find entertaining. You can find that clip embedded at the bottom of the post, and yes, that awesome header image above was plucked directly from the film.

Dubbed “Henri 2, Paw De Deux” by creator Will Braden, the video is actually the second part of a trilogy that attempts to capture the listless ennui of the average cat’s life via monochromatic homage to French expressionist film (though more accurately it’s an homage to the concept of French expressionism that has developed through years of satire and cultural osmosis). The end result is a short movie that’s funny, yet strangely touching. After watching the clip, those of you who would like to see the rest of Braden’s Henri trilogy need merely click through to this clip for the original Henri, or through to this one for Henri 3, Le Vet. Continuity isn’t all that crucial here so feel free to watch the trilogy in whatever order sounds most entertaining to you, but rest assured that these two additional vignettes are both worth a few moments of your attention span.

That said, we’re inclined to agree with the esteemed panel of judges (or whatever) at the Internet Cat Video Film Festival who voted for Henri 2. It’s a delightful cat video. Granted, most of the entertainment value in Henri 2 stems from the film’s maudlin, cynical subtitles (read: the cat’s inner monologue), but Mr. Braden does a really excellent job of capturing useful imagery to complement the story the film tells. Plus, those subtitles are very well written, and unlike the vast, vast majority of people who attempt to do something witty on the ‘net, Braden never belabors the joke. He gets in, shows us a cat, finds a way to make that entertaining, then vanishes. If nothing else, Henri 2 demonstrates a perfect understanding of the crucial idea that brevity is wit.

As for the Internet Cat Video Film Festival itself, it’s currently unclear if August 30’s event was a unique occurrence or if the Festival will become an annual thing. Hopefully creator Katie Czarniecki Hill (who readily admits to being a cat lady) has plans for next year’s festival, if only to give all those hopeful ‘net denizens the opportunity to show the world just how cute/dumb/anthropomorphic their kitty can be. If nothing else, it beats watching yet another dull Academy Awards ceremony.

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