The New York Times reports that dogs are finally having their day…
Cats, and many of their people, will tell you that the world revolves around them.
The exhibition “How Cats Took Over the Internet” is running for six months at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, and the 2015 Internet Cat Film Festival screened last week at the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.
Now, the first New York Dog Film Festival is here to help even the score.
Saturday afternoon at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side, 40 short films (running from 60 seconds to 30 minutes) will be screened over two sessions. The festival aims to showcase a bond that’s deeper, and more magical, than “man’s best friend” implies. Dogs and humans have been cohabiting for thousands of years, and as with many relationships, it’s complicated.
The humorist Merrill Markoe, whose three shorts at the festival include “A Conversation With My Dogs,” said in an interview: “One reason I love dogs is because they are hilarious. Every time I’m sure that we share the same soul, I notice he is chewing on an old Band-Aid.”
Ms. Markoe, known for her work on “Late Night With David Letterman” (Stupid Pet Tricks and videos like “Dog Poetry”) and books like “What the Dogs Have Taught Me,” will be hosting a dog film festival in Virginia in two weeks — this canine cinema thing could be a trend.
The Dog Film Festival was created by Tracie Hotchner, the founder of the Radio Pet Lady Network and the author of “The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know” (and “The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know” — note the subtle Dog Wants/Cat Expects distinction).
Many of the festival’s offerings can be found on YouTube — home to cat-film superstars like the box-addicted Maru and the droll existentialist Henri, le Chat Noir, as well as cats and dogs doing random, ridiculous things. But this event promises “all dogs, all day” on a big screen in a 765-seat theater, in the company of fellow pup lovers.
The artist William Wegman, who has been making videos with his Weimaraners since the 1970s, has remastered his 1995 film “The Hardly Boys in Hardly Gold,” a deadpan comedy with costumed dogs-as-humans sniffing out a mystery.
“Second Chances,” an episode of the PBS series “Shelter Me: Partners for Life,” shows prisoners training shelter dogs to be service dogs. (Canine lives aren’t the only ones transformed.)
Circus poodles, a surfing dog, a canine cosmonaut, a “Courage the Cowardly Dog” cartoon (with a visit from the show’s creator, John R. Dilworth), a sci-fi film about a geneticist who becomes a dog — all are part of the festival. A black Lab from Australia named Helen romps valiantly in “Game of Bones,” a cuddlier reimagining of a certain HBO hit.
Two French-speaking strays scheme to bring two lonely Parisians together in “Le Sauvetage (The Rescue).” A clever Jack Russell terrier, Jesse, who plans to attend the festival with his human, Heather Brooks, cheerfully lends a paw with household chores in his “Useful Dog Tricks” series.