Tattle: Internet Cat Video Film Festival debuts at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis

Posted: August 30, 2012

EVERY DAY there seems to be some new sign of the apocalypse. (For the record, Tattle's signs of the apocalypse do not necessarily agree with the signs predicted by evangelical Christians, Mayans or Nostradamus.)

Today's sign is that the Walker Art Center, a once well-regarded museum of modern art in Minneapolis, is presenting its first Internet Cat Video Film Festival to showcase the best in filmed feline high jinks.

That's right, the YouTubey time-wasters that get millions of people to click away from important news stories are getting their own festival.

The questionable itch that needs to be scratched: Will people agree to see these videos in a public forum when they're more likely to enjoy them when they should be working?

"It is a cultural phenomenon that raises some interesting questions," said Katie Hill, the Walker program associate who first suggested the festival.

But Hill, a self-described "art historian and cat lady," was quick to add: "I'm not a behavioral psychologist; I'm not a sociologist. I just think they're funny and cute, and I think a lot of other people do, too."

Imagine that, a cat lady who works at a museum.

"Some you just watch over and over and over again," said Angie Bailey, a cat blogger (actually a woman who blogs about cats) and cat owner, covering the film festival for Catster.com. "When you want to laugh and feel good, it's sort of an escape from what happens in the real world."

Walker programmers got about 10,000 submissions for the festival after initially expecting several hundred. They whittled them down to the 70 videos to be shown on an outdoor screen on the museum's grounds.

Afterward, festivalgoers will be able to vote online for a "Best in Show" award. The Walker programmers picked a "Golden Kitty Award" to be bestowed at the end of the night.

Since many Minnesotans will be bringing their cats to the festival (it's hard to get a movie date in Minnesota), the museum is asking patrons to keep their pets on a leash.

Aw, come on. Maybe a cat will run in front of the screen and you'll have your first entry for next year.

All they are saying . . .

Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon are launching a coalition of artists, musicians and filmmakers who oppose hydraulic fracturing in New York state.

Ono, Lennon and Mark Ruffalo announced the formation of the group at a news conference Wednesday in Manhattan.

Artists Against Fracking includes Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and Alec Baldwin.

The group hopes to influence Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he decides whether to allow shale gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, known as hydrofracking.

Ono and Lennon say the drilling can cause oil wells to leak harmful methane into public water supplies.

The oil-and-gas industry says it's super-safe, and you know what else leaks harmful methane? Cows.

Artists Against Fracking is calling on Cuomo to ban the practice in New York.

Also in favor of the New York ban? Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. Who needs the competition?

Cuomo is expected to allow drilling to begin on a limited basis near the Pennsylvania state line with the hope that New York gets the gas and Pennsylvania gets the leakage.

TATTBITS * Burlesque performer/former Hugh Hefner girlfriend Holly Madison says she's going to be a first-time mom. The 33-year-old star of "Peepshow" told Us Weekly that she and her boyfriend of nine months, Electric Daisy Carnival rave founder Pasquale Rotella, are expecting. Holly previously announced that she will finish her run with "Peepshow" at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on Dec. 30. As Holly is 12 weeks along, officials and her doctors will determine how long she'll be able to perform. Not even in Vegas do "Peepshow" patrons want a peep at a premature birth. * Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez, unveiled an ambitious plan Wednesday to support the country's television and film creators with a new industrial park along the Buenos Aires waterfront that she hopes will be modeled on Hollywood's studios. Fernandez decreed the creation of a public-private company leveraging state pension funds (we bet workers are thrilled to hear that) to attract private developers and turn an abandoned industrial area near the city's glitzy Puerto Madero district into a business incubator known as the Polo Audiovisual, or audiovisual center. "Just like they do it in Hollywood, where support for the industry has made it possible for its content to become almost universal, we want our values and culture in Argentina to have this kind of development," she said. *  Kim Kardashian has settled a lawsuit against Old Navy claiming the clothing retailer violated her publicity rights by using a look-alike in an ad. Must have been one of their many mannequin ads. Kim sued over the spot in July 2011, claiming the company's use of a model who looked like her might confuse consumers. No details about the settlement were filed with the court. * FX says it has ordered 90 more episodes of the Charlie Sheen sitcom "Anger Management." The massive order reflects the original agreement that FX made for the sitcom, when Charlie returned to TV after he was fired from "Two and a Half Men." As part of the deal, FX set a ratings target for eight of the first 10 episodes of "Anger Management." The show reached the threshold, earning an automatic 90-episode order. FX executive vice president Chuck Saftler says he's confident the producers and cast will be able to produce another 90 episodes during the next two years. Give Charlie enough speed . . . - Daily News wire services contributed to this report.


Email gensleh@phillynews.com.

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