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The Lure

Wednesday, March 23 @ 7:00pm  |  Brattle Theatre

2015 | Poland | 92 minutes
Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska
Screenwriter: Robert Bolesto
Cast: Marta Mazurek, Michalina Olszanska, Kinga Preis

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A pair of vampiric teen mermaid sisters find themselves drawn into a world of love, lust, and punkrock glitz in this gothic horror, new wave musical set in 1980s Warsaw.

Out on a midnight clepe, mermaid sisters Silver (Marta Mazurek) and Golden (Michalina Olszanska) swim up to potential prey—a family of musicians called the Fig and Dates—and find themselves drawn ashore by the siren song of Warsaw’s seedy nightlife.

Sequins and neon bestow a patina of glamor upon impoverished Communist Poland, whose underground dancehalls register somewhere between the Ziegfeld Follies and Twin Peaks. Silver and Golden reveal beguiling talents to their adoptive musicians and the nightclub owner who manages them—a knack for hypnotic harmonization and monstrous metamorphosis—quickly assuming the throne of the capital’s burlesque scene.

Depending on how wet or dry they become (yep), the limniad beauties (and beasts) are regarded with both lust and revulsion and become swept up in the opportunities and consequences of being attractive young women in a modern, land-lover’s world.

Things get complicated when sweet natured Silver falls in love with the bass player (isn’t that always the way?) and embarks on a path that, according to mermaid folklore, can only end in certain death if that love is unreciprocated. Meanwhile, Golden finds her own bliss in backseat bloodlust while growing wary of her sister’s lovelorn pursuit.

At the outset, The Lure reads as an amalgam of Hans Christian Andersen & Disney’s The Little Mermaid, but first-time feature filmmaker Agnieszka Smoczynska takes these well-worn tales and breathes fresh, frenetic life into their gills with masterful imagery, boundary-pushing, genre-smashing storytelling, and the most intoxicating, sexy soundtrack of the last decade.

– Nicole McControversy

PLAYING WITH:

A MERMAID TALE
Stephen Franciosa, Jr., 6 min.

A sun soaked summer day at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade has something menacing going on behind all the debauchery and costumes.