Zuh ennui…of Henri!

Zuh life!

She ees not wors leevingks!

Zee Existentialism, she has me in her grip! Aieee!

Thanks a lot for the ‘D’ in French Lit flashback, William B.



  1. Abigail says:

    Clearly, Henri needs the services of Confuse-A-Cat.

  2. fizzygrrl says:

    Tres, tres, bien!!!!

    Je le snorgles, oui?

  3. tres domage!! poor henri!

    hees tail is tres floofay, non?

  4. bleenann says:

    Aw, poor Henri. 😦 You can come stay with me. I will love you and pet you, and you will have many new furry friends who can survive a paw-swat.

  5. Tres ble-en?

  6. eikoleigh says:

    just like a cat…lol…

  7. Poohbear says:

    Ze Fraunch weez a Sweedeesh acceaount ! Sweet cat. I’m sure he’s very happeh and not depressed “pour un sou”.
    (BTW it’s Steinlen’s Chat Noir, in the opening credits though I do love Edward Gorey too.)

  8. Poohbear says:

    Bergman could have shot this! (in Fraunch…)

  9. Ah, zee ennui she is palpable.

  10. Theresa says:

    Satie’s Gymnopédies on the soundtrack– ohlala!

  11. Shannon says:

    My thumbs are not opposable.

    Yet I oppose everything.

    Luff it. The definition of Emo Kitty.

  12. Ah, le pauvre petit chat noir… Je vais pleurer!

  13. Theresa says:

    Cute-ophiles and Francophiles–
    Check out Tex’s French Grammar at the U of Texas– and learn French from an armadillo!:

  14. New favourite saying.

    “The monkey mocks me with each flip”

  15. Poohbear — heh, I was hovertexting blind this time. All YouTube videos are blocked by the WebSense filter here. I suppose I could’ve done something more Nietzschean, or maybe Art Nouveau…


  16. Heheheheheh! Poor Henri!

  17. ThreeCatNight says:

    Ah, mon cher Henri, I feel your pain.

    Moi and mon shadow,
    Strolling down ze ahvenus,
    Moi and mon shadow,
    Not a soul to tell our troubles to!
    Each night at 12 o’clock,
    I climb ze stairs,
    I ne-vear knock,
    For no one ees there,
    Just moi and mon shadow,
    All alone and feeling so bleu!
    Ah, mon Dieu!

  18. Poohbear says:

    Theresa – the cast of characters is hee-larious! “Je suis un cafard déprimé. J’adore l’insecticide.” Vive le Fraunch Depahtment de l’Université du Texas!

  19. Poor, poor deepressed leetle keetee! So sahd. So bleuh. Don’t worree, leetle keetee — I weel save yeuh!! OK, ok… so my Fraunch ahk-sent, she ees so peeteeful. So keel me, no?

  20. Still lightheaded, still laughing. This may be one of the most best perfectest cat videos of all time, and I’m not just saying that because I read French or will see Eddie Izzard perform on saturday. I really mean it.

  21. bleenann says:

    Theresa, I believe that may be an “armadilol.” Are you from Texas?

    [And in Wales, would they be armadillolls? – Ed.]

  22. BiscuitTin says:

    I have a diagnosis of Major Depression, severe, recurrent and when my symptoms recur, I often experience terrible existential angst; angst that I now realize can be summarized by the words, “I am free, yet imprisoned. My thumbs are not opposable, but I oppose everything. I am haunted.” Won’t my doctor be pleased?

  23. Poohbear says:

    Tého, eez impossibeul you deed not see zees vidéo! What weel you talk about at cocktèll parties ?

    [After I get *home* I’ll be able to see it… – Ed.]

  24. Omi-san says:

    10/10 for the video and music.

    1/10 for the French pronunciation.

  25. Agreed, Omi-san! Would love to hear this spoken by a true Francophone. Better as a silent movie.

  26. Christine H says:

    It’s on Cute Overload…but it’s so sad :(.

  27. Abigail, thanks for the Confuse-A-Cat link! I’d never seen it. Bewilderebeest, indeed! Stun-A-Stoat!

  28. Melissa H. says:

    Ah, the ennui of Henri!


  30. woofysma says:

    Simply unbelievable, that this innocent life lives in quiet desparation, never feeling joy, never finding a purpose…. Poor, poor Henri – my soul bleeds for your tragic existence. Oh, and, please give me more of your inspired filmmaking.

  31. Only thing missing: the final shot should be the word “Fin”

  32. Cute and sad and beautiful. Poor Henri. To add to the barren meaninglessness of his existence: he is described as a “black” cat, when clearly he is a tuxedo. C’est la vie.

  33. Rosie A. says:

    That was so sad… what a sweet looking boy… strangely haunting little film… Maybe it’s the coffe and lack of sleep, but it makes you think, “What DO cats live for, if not to merely entertain humans?” I think I’ll snorgle my cats extra hard tonight…maybe give them a weeknight Pounce treat for once… *sniffle*

  34. Treeling says:

    Genius! But I can help you with that -penible- French. Someone made free with Google translator, je crois.

    *Appellez-moi fingers*

  35. Lady Ann says:

    Poor Henri needs a kitten friend to play with!

  36. I may be a tad biased since I have met Henri in person, but if you enjoyed the film, you may also like the Kitty Haikus created by Henri’s filmmaker, Will.


  37. LesbianNeoCon says:

    F’ing brilliant!!!

  38. lymerae says:

    My parents both teach French film… we are in Paris right now, and we laughed our heads off at this.

    I asked my dad (who also teaches film production) what he would think if a student turned this in, and he said “It was quite good. I would be pleased.”


  39. I must learn how to say “My thumbs are not opposable” in French.

  40. Theresa says:

    Poohbear– Certainement le meilleur des enseignants français depuis Astérix!

  41. Theresa says:

    Posey– you’ve MET Henri!??
    Oh no you di-nt!! What is he *really* like?

  42. Animalphiles Annie says:

    OMG – I snorted I was laughing so hard. So freakin’ hysterical. Poor, pitiful Henri. Great writing!

  43. “I make new friends. But seldom keep them.”

    The story of my life, Henri. The new friends, they’re so exciting for a while, but then they sort of curl up and stop wanting to play. *le sigh*

  44. Theresa,

    For an international film star, Henri is quite grounded. The only thing he insists on is to be fed before the other kitties in the household.

    He loves his fans, and will graciously snorgle anyone who comes to get an autograph!

  45. That man can’t speak french for crap. The video really depressed me but I’m already depressed so it wasn’t hard.
    Good intentions though.

  46. hey folks, this is Will, I made “Henri”…I do apologize for my terrible French. I can read it passably, but obviously can’t speak it very well. but I couldn’t see doing it without making it in French!

    glad you enjoyed it! Henri will be so pleased!

  47. I’m relieved that it’s not just me who imagines their cats speaking French…lol

    Great film, love it!

  48. dave's mere says:

    povre chat. povre henri.

    ooh lala c’est oui escargot, non?

  49. Will, your video – c’est magnifique! Thank you for sharing it with the world.


  50. Juniper Jupiter says:

    Is it me, or am I the only one who was expecting a clown flipping pancakes at the end?

    Cute, but strange viddy, by the way! 😀

  51. what is the music is this?

  52. Nice job, Will. And while I obviously appreciate the nod to the auteurs (more Truffaut than Godard), I’m also compelled by the intertextual metastructural allusions to Bunuel’s “Las Hurdes” (known as “Land Without Bread” stateside). The comment from the friend of Henri — that he will snorgle anyone willing — indicates that you’ve framed otherwise neutral footage in the context of the filmmakers’ own general discontent and the inherent alienating experience of the medium itself. It is the filmmaker (or, rather, the disembodied voice, so hesitant about his place in the world that he can only demonstrate a foreigner’s grasp of the spoken language), who is “opposed to everything,” not the “real” (that is to say, historically actual) Henri. By denying Henri a more phenomenologically and consensually verified “cuteness,” you only further signify and reify said cuteness by its absence. Foucault would be proud.

    Now, can you do the Russian formalist version? Imagine that Henri was Dziga Vertov’s cat!

  53. This just may be my favoritest video. EVER.

    Ohhh Henri… so sad, and yet so apathetic about the sadness…

    Le sigh.

  54. Aw dagnabbit! I saw my anti-sad-pill doctor this morning and SOOO could have used this video. Sadlolz?

    My thumbs are not opposable. Yet I oppose everything.

    I have a new motto. 😀 / D:

  55. berthaservant, it’s true that the separation between Henri the character, and Henry, the actor are intrinsically connected to the my intentions as a filmmaker. Clearly, since Henry cannot speak, I am left to imagine his inner dialogue in reality. On film, when I lend my voice (and horrible French) to his ennui, who is to say that I am correct or incorrect? Perhaps Henry and Henri are one and the same. Perhaps they are polar opposites. Either way, it is true that his cuteness may be exacerbated by his discontent, for what should he be discontented by in his pampered life? Although, could we not say that for humans as well? Perhaps the success of the film is a purr-ic victory.

    and up next is Henry in full robot regalia in Catropolis…

  56. jennijoon says:

    is it moi, or was that hilarious? aussi? je pense je t’aime, will braden! (mon dieu, that’s come really merdy french…sigh). 🙂

  57. The music was Eric Satie’s Gymnopedie no 1.

    And I would like to either see the cat in Swedish, coming to terms with his loss of belief in God, or still in French, only in Quebec, eating poutine.

  58. Once you get past the horrendous pronunciation, this is quite genius. =D

  59. Carolina says:

    Merci pour ce film (de chat) noire trop drole!!

  60. FilthyGrandeur says:

    All ze kittehs adore ze poetry of Baudelaire…’e is for tortured soulz….

  61. Ce pauvre chat-vie de merde!

  62. This is the best thing I’ve ever seen.

    Double bonus points for Erik Satie.

  63. michellemybelle says:

    This should win any and all and every video contest ever.

  64. I do not know who Will Braden.

    I do not care.

    I want to bear his children. That is all.

  65. The above is supposed to read “I do not know who Will Braden is”.

    Crap. Gone now are my chances with the film genius.

  66. au contraire, Julia, self-correcting one’s posts is a favorite neurosis of mine!

    but alas, I have many more films to make before anyone can bear my anything… ;o)

  67. I was going to write a comment about nihilism and the Henri’s despair, and then I decided to create commentroversy instead. I feel really uncomfortable reading this site that I love and seeing the foreign-women-for-sale advertisements that keep popping up to the left. It makes me feel kinda nihilistic seeing CO is making a profit off of this sort of sadness.

    my thumbs are opposable, and I am filled with opposition.

  68. Ahhhh Henri Henri how sad and droll must be the life that you subsist in that you angst should rear it’s ugly head for all the world to see in so sad and tragic a film noir device. Oh that you would be freed from your deep despair and transported to a place befitting your good taste.

    Poor Mon Petite Chat noir!
    Pour Henri

  69. chanpon says:

    Brilliant! Get thee to Cannes right now!

  70. Hilarious! Just too good! I loff thees!

  71. Animalphiles Annie says:

    Berthaservant – your comment had me laughing almost as hard as the film. As a doctoral student I bow before your exceptional academic prose.

  72. woofysma says:

    I love the bad French accent. It puts this perfect little cine right over the top. Enter it at Cannes – Henri/Henry will become the masses new darling. Not that it will excite him.

  73. Best. Video. Ever.

  74. Michael says:

    Aww, by the time I got here, all that remained was a “video is no longer available” message. I tried twice with the same result, so I assume it wasn’t just a one-time error.

    I weel haf to carry on without eet.

  75. Michael says:

    I retract the previous post. I just tried to watch the NEXT video (raccoon) and received the same message. It’s either my computer or it’s all of YouTube (in which case I’m sure it IS a temporary problem), but it’s not this specific video. That would be too much of a coincidence, for two CO-linked videos to both have been deleted.

  76. oaklandcat says:

    “purr-ic victory.”

  77. jennijoon says:

    btw, will, i meant that MY french was really merdy – not the fab stuff you were speaking in the vid. 🙂
    and i big typo too in my poste – I meant “some” (egads, not “come”).

  78. dharlan1too says:

    BiscuitTin:Yes, the non-opposable thumb angst might explain a lot without really explaining anything. Which is what those with such angst grasp for with said thumbs. Made even my angst ridden cynical soul smile. Peace to you.

  79. OMG — that’s hilarious.

    The French is AWFUL, but still very, very funny.

  80. tuckeverlasting says:

    “if my tail wags, it is a reflex action. nothing more” lol i like that one, i might use that for myself, if i need to slap someone, ill just be like only a relfex action. nothing more. just kidding 🙂

  81. Typical cat! Never satisfied. My 3 are the same.

    Gorgeous flick!

  82. SO… IM A CAT?

  83. claudia says:

    “I make new friends. I seldom keep them.”

    *dead spider*


    Oh BRAVO, Henri, Bravo!

  84. Michelle says:

    Adorably melancholic.

    *long, drawn-out sigh*

  85. I loved this!

    And this “222222-.+” is what MisoKitty had to say about it when I was reading the comments and not playing fetch with her.

  86. Braden is brilliant!

  87. Will: I am Truffaut to your Hitch, Bogdonavich to your John Ford, Ebert to your Russ Meyer.

    Annie: thanks for the compliment. We egghead doctoral students have to stick together (and hopefully reproduce). Foucault ain’t gonna just teach himself now, is he?

    :: off to contemplate “Foucault” as a name for a kitten ::

  88. I only knew it as the music from the film “Diva”. Thanks for the heads up on Erik Satie.

    The mauvais francais is entertaining but in the end, distracting je pense.

  89. Poohbear says:

    Zees ees one of the most breelliant veedeos on CO evar! Brings back my days as a film student at NYU…*le sigh*
    Will Braden, soon to be a household name in cinema, get ready for next edition of the Cannes Festival!
    To those bothered by the outrageously “bad” Fraunch, to us Fraunch speakers it’s actually hilarious! and compounded by the outrageously inadvertent Swedish ak-sent, which makes it all the more existentialist! Bergman meets Chris Marker (La Jetée) (remember him, BerthaServant?)
    Definitely brillianto, thanks all for a great moment in time (do all those silly people at Cannes even know what goes on on the Interwebs??)

  90. That cat is so Emo it´ll probably slit its wrists soon. 😉

  91. hon glad says:

    Henri mon coeur, to keep a friend, try not to flatten eem.

  92. Barbara says:

    See, this is exactly how you meet women. Because I see I’m not alone in wanting to bear Will’s children for this.

    Brilliant! And the use of Satie…mon dieu!

  93. Katrina says:

    Nice try, Henri, but I see right through your ‘beard’-how did you come up with the name Will Braden- a slip for sure, using your ‘will’ to make this incroiable film. And ‘Braden’- to tie, perchance to come together with feelings and thoughts, giving the world a new ‘twist’ on what it means to be ‘le chat dans 2008’. Mon pauvre petit, you are as readable as ze journal de matin next to my ‘corn pops’.
    We who do not eat spiders must eat the ‘corn pops’ to sweeten our angst, and decode the films with our magic decoder rings of the life. Use your nom de film petit chat-keep your true face from us, and stay away from my corn pops, the do not crush like the spider. But yet, they are fun to chase.

  94. my sister's cat is a blob says:

    I, myself, am now perfectly contented at having encountered such brilliance to start my day. Merci beaucoup, M. Will (et Henri).

  95. Katrina says:

    Henri- Your voice-over for “will” is perfect, it is like watching and listening to an existential Inspector Clouseau. Merci bien, mon petit chat.

  96. I just had to come and watch it again. This is my favorite vid since The Engineer’s Guide to Cats. (And since that guy didn’t respond to my marriage proposal, maybe Will Braden . . . . )


    P.S. Berthaservant: BRILLIANT!

    P.P.S. Lay off the guy’s French already, people! I am reminded of the line from “My Fair Lady”: The French don’t care what you say, actually, as long as you pronounce it correctly.

  97. Theresa says:

    Animalphiles– but he didn’t *hegemonize* anything!!

    (KitchenAid Hegemonizer, in Classic White, $298.00 at WalMart)

  98. I’m on my second day of jury selection process. I am one of the forty (out of original 200) people left (I make new friends, but…). NYC has wi-fi in all the courthouses. As I watch this with my earphones on, I really have to work hard stifling my laughter, so as to not annoy people reading 2007 issues of Sports Illustrated.

  99. Okay round two I still lof this it crackes me up and the details are amazing. if you peek back in here Will Braden Mon Ami I salute you. The comedic timing is purrfect and Henri is the best actor ever. BRAVO!!!

  100. Daphne Moss says:

    My stomach hurt from laughing at this by the end…it is priceless…


  102. This is FANTASTIC. Oh my. Love love love.

    The saddest line: “I rarely purr.”

    The funniest line: “My thumbs are not opposable.”


  103. I am a pendulum but I do not swing….

    oh my…I am laughing but I am crying

    and my sides hurt too!

  104. I believe Henri’s true problem is a lack of self-understanding. He is not a black cat as he believes; he is, in fact, a black and white cat, an entirely different creature. Perhaps, if Henri were to accept this and explore the implications to their deepest levels, he may not feel such an overwhelming sense of ennui.

    (Woot! I’ve been waiting 15 years to use “ennui” in a sentence!)

  105. uh…..I have nothing clever to say. Henri is cute

  106. Fantastic video! I love it so very much much. Great job, Will. I thought your French was great, but then, I don’t speak French. 😉 Sorry people are giving you such a hard time about it. Everyone’s a critic!

  107. Herself says:

    Tres bien!

  108. Paunchie says:

    His accent is what? Swedish? did someone say?

    le pauvre petit chat noir — l’ennui! mais alors!

  109. This made me laugh.

    The note written in English, which the cat can’t read because he speaks only French, thus perpetuating his loneliness and isolation.

    And I love the authentic-looking “film scratches”.

    Nice job, WB

  110. meowandwoof says:

    I had found true love with Berthaservant (I THOUGHT!). Now I can’t stop thinking of Will Braden and Henri. (don’t despair, BS, I’m fickle that way…)


  112. thank you all for the kind words! I’m truly grateful that so many people are enjoying Henri…

    the best thing you can do for Henri is to pass him along to as many friends as you can! each new person to see this movie will help to quell his purr-vasive loneliness…

  113. Would a single red balloon at the end have been a little over the top?

    Reading that scholarly exchange on Fraunch film makes me realize a) how poorly educated I am, and b) that it’s because it makes my brain hurt!!!

    Somehow, I just know that somewhere, Henri is smoking a Gauloisie (sp?) at an outdoor cafe.

  114. *le sigh*, I forgot to say how much I enjoyed Henri’s lament—especially the vignette with his ‘friend’!!!

  115. cute. The title image is from Theophile-Alexandre Steinlein, not Gorey, though.


  116. Joelle Taschereau says:

    Wow, ça c’était weird comme film…

    Le gars parle un semi-français en mâchouillant ses mots…pas facile à comprendre!!

  117. meowandwoof, I am crushed, particularly since one can’t possibly understand such genius of WillB without a critic like myself pointing it out….

    …and YES, Poohbear, I, too, saw “La Jetee” while I was a Cinema Studies student at NYU (the sixth floor is soooo superior to the ninth floor….)

    To those of you who don’t know, “La Jetee” is the brilliant original short film that later was adapted to become the movie “12 Monkeys.”

  118. halla_w says:

    What a great film! I adore.

  119. “you only further signify and reify said cuteness by its absence. Foucault would be proud.”

    I would have said more Derrida than Foucault. Nice reading though.

  120. Je suis enchantee!

  121. Kimski — you’re absolutely correct, but I just prefer Foucault (who still would have been proud).

  122. Poohbear says:

    BerthaServant, you’ve got to be kidding moi. (And I don’t mean about 12 Monkeys.) Cinema Studies at NYU? I won’t ask what year… I took some credits in that program but was enrolled in undergraduate filmmaking (BFA). This WAS some time ago…

  123. Poohbear says:

    Don’t remember a ninth floor! Cinema Studies was on third and filmmaking on 6th… I guess this dates it all!

  124. Bravo bravo!!! Oui oui!!

  125. BeanSidhe says:

    He looks like my mum’s Brucie. Floofy and so very tragic…
    and @debG, how’d you get Izzard tickets? He’s here in St. Louis tomorrow night and sold out in a flash. I is jealous.
    **goes to pout with Henri**

  126. Le Chat……Henri. Il ne pas jolie. C’est dommage.

    Wow. It’s been a long time since I took French.

    Hope I got some of it right!

  127. Mais non, Berthaservant. Foucault will only ever teach himself.

  128. Also, Teho: the Welsh word for armadillo is ‘armallogyn’ – ‘logyn’ seems to be an old Welsh word for ‘one who lives in a hole’. It would be possible to pronounce Armadilloll in Welsh; it would not be advisable to stand close to a non-native speaker attempting to do so. On account of the, um, spray.

  129. Let me add my voice to the chorus of “way to go Will!!!” I must admit – I am bilingual (English/French), but wondered if the spoken text was some obscure African French patois, which was so hip & elite, I hadn’t even heard of it! I was bemused and impressed, while still wondering if it was just some guy trying to sound French. It added to the whole existential experience for me! Loved it! Thanks! Oh, and everyone at work (who I spent half my day showing the clip to) also loved it!

  130. Raemie L. says:

    “Ze Ennui euf Henri” – perfect, even with the inaccurate Fr. accent (which I wouldn’t have noticed until ppl pointed it out). I haven’t seen the newer posts’ comments yet, but heh, will the vid’s phrases become the new Pasickie? 😀