Caesar Eats a Mouse, a film by Joe Maggio, was created for the Slamdance Film Festival’s $99 Special section. The films in the section are all made for $99.
In December of 1997 I purchased a new camcorder for the purposes of recording the improv work in a theater group I’d started with actors Clint Jordan and Tom Brangle. As soon as I got home from J&R Music World, I unpacked the camera, inserted a mini-DV tape and began playing with all the bells and whistles. Suddenly, from across the room, I heard my cat, Caesar, pounce and begin clawing at the leg of the kitchen table. I turned to discover he’d cornered a mouse. My immediate instinct was to pull Caesar off the poor creature, but then I realized I really didn’t want the mouse creeping around my apartment and, as unfortunate as it was, I’d better just let nature run its course. WQXR was playing on the radio and the music seemed to fit perfectly the battle royale taking place on my kitchen floor. The sound has not been altered in any way and the happy new year wishes audible from my answering machine are authentic. Years later, in the midst of the George W. Bush regime, thousands dying (to my mind senselessly) in Iraq and Afghanistan and the country seemingly well on its way to a collective moral bankruptcy, I remembered this footage and decided to cut it together. Somehow it just made sense.
CAESAR EATS A MOUSE is the first, and only, political snuff film inhabited exclusively by animals.