Teaching's in my DNA · The Writing Life

Learning Writing Voice with Henri

kitttyA teacher is supposed to inspire and empower, and to do that I sometimes use Internet videos.

My beginning students are winding up their Chick Lit short stories (six to ten pages, due Friday), and I’ve been encouraging them to use a definitive voice. You know, writing like a girl would think and speak.

Today I took a different tack. I profiled the writing voice of…a cat.

First we discussed the characteristics of film noir. And then, for reasons you’ll see in a minute, I transitioned into describing French fatalism as Americans perceive it. You get the drift, that “I am alone, misunderstood and powerless; it is my fate” kind of thing.

Finally I came to the real point of the lesson: voice. Enter Henri, Le Chat Noir .

This short film by William Braden is, like, genius stuff. You’ve probably already seen it, but in case you haven’t, here is the tuxedo cat Henri, in all his existential glory.

It’s no surprise that the students loved him. Hats off to inspirational feline ennui.

Cat illustration courtesy of Webweaver.nu

2 thoughts on “Learning Writing Voice with Henri

    1. As I understand it, the filmmaker is not French, his mother is (or is fluent in French). She coached him.

      And in an interview he said that his self-made voice over was one thing he’d change. But how could he know Henri would become an Internet sensation?

      Liked by 1 person

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