CAT POWER :  Felines  in  Film
  From their luminous eyes, to sly saunter, to coy ways, the hypnotic allure of cats has continually fascinated mankind throughout history. Frequently regarded as divine creatures across various religions and mythologies, the enigma surrounding cats dates back to ancient Egypt—where not only were they first domesticated but worshipped as demigods. The Egyptian goddess Bastet, both docile and aggressive, was depicted as a ferocious lion-headed woman and later as a house cat.  While her name translates to “devouring lady,” she symbolized both protection and pleasure. The duality of Bastet’s nature is akin to feline charm- cats are loyal yet indifferent, playful yet dignified and affectionate yet aggressive. Elegant femininity meets the wild and dangerous.

Captivating, poised and unpredictable, cats are decidedly seductive and feminine—much like a coquette, or, when coupled with danger, a femme fatale. It is no wonder that Hollywood has embraced exotic, cat-like beauty and themes. Silver screen goddess Greta Garbo's most famous publicity photos feature her at a lion farm.  In one photo she sits anxiously next to an adult lion; in the other she happily holds a cub. Both famed actresses Charlotte Rampling and Lauren Bacall are known for their film noir roles and feral beauty: angular faces and large, wide eyes. (For a D.I.Y. cat eye, thinner along the inner corner and thicker at the end, sketch the shape outline with a black pencil, then top with gel liner for intensity.)

On a more literal note, in the erotic horror film Cat People Nastassja Kinski plays a young virgin who discovers love for the first time while simultaneously learning of her were-cat heritage. The sultry siren—with her bright green eyes and full lips—is faced with the destiny that should she make love to a human, she will be transformed into a viscous leopard63103o26v0zKRNPLLSTKMLSOMMLR, having to kill to break the curse.  More widely known, in the legendary Batman franchise, supervillainess Cat Woman is celebrated for her sex appeal. Comic book artists Bill Finger and Bob Kane modeled the character after sexpots Jean Harlow and Hedy Lamarr. Over the years, the role has been played on screen by icons such as Eartha Kitt and Michelle Pfeiffer — seductive, sensual, independent and in contemporary times, anything but traditionally domesticated.

Courtney Porkoláb