It’d be alright if “cannibal mermaid musical” became the next blockbuster genre too.
Likely you’ve been living your life unaware of the giant gaping hole that exists inside you. “Poor unfortunate souls,” as very wise woman said once. Lucky for you I know exactly what that hole is and I am here to blast it away with three words:
Cannibal. Mermaid. Musical.
Oh yes, you read that right: cannibal mermaid musical. Now, each genre has existed on its own to much acclaim. In fact, in the past year I’ve seen an electrifying cannibal film (Julia Ducournau’s upcoming Raw), an absolutely hilarious mermaid film (Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid), and some toe-tapping musicals (La La Land, Sing Street). But has there ever been a cannibal mermaid musical? What about a Polish cannibal mermaid musical? Seems like an untapped market, if you think about it.
Agnieszka Smoczynska likely thought the same and decided that her debut feature film ought to be one of the first. And so she directed The Lure and now our lives are forever improved because of it. The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for Unique Vision and Design (and received deserved praise from our Rob Hunter). It then went on to screen at piles of other festivals, racked up even more awards, and continued to wow audiences like it wowed me.
Take a Bite From The Lure But Know This Lure Bites Back
Except all this time the only trailers that have existed online were either not subtitled or only set to music. I excitedly showed my boyfriend a Polish trailer and exclaimed that it was one of the best, most crazy, weirdest, must-see films of the year and he was all, “It’s pretty but I don’t understand what they are saying,” and I was all, “Why don’t you understand Polish?!” I tried to fill him in on what was happening but understandably he wasn’t hooked. (Huh, I’m kind of impressed I haven’t been making more fish puns…)
Now there is a glorious subtitled trailer and I encourage you all to stop what you are doing immediately, gather your loved ones, and watch it on repeat:
You’re now understanding the special award for unique vision and design, right? It’s just as mesmerizing and luscious as in the trailer and the original songs are so damn catchy. Smoczynska has described The Lure as being a “very personal story” and that the mermaids served as “a mask, in a way.” In the same interview she describes more of the inspiration of the film:
Firstly, the world ‐ the glamour of the Communist dancehall era from my childhood lured me in. My mother ran a restaurant during those times, and I was always fascinated by the different, strange characters that came into those parties to drink vodka and forget about the gray reality of Communist Poland. Also, our composers’ parents had a band like the one in the film. I also loved the motif of first love and the price you are willing to pay for it.
The Lure is one-of-a-kind, yes, but that’s not the only reason to put it on your “must see” list. (But if “cannibal mermaid musical” wasn’t enough to convince you, I’d suggest pausing and really contemplating your life choices.) Variety called it a “kooky-monster escapade [that] is never less than arresting, and sometimes even a riot” and The Hollywood Reporter said Smoczynska’s “fearless debut feature is the sort of exotic siren call that festival and art house audiences are most likely to heed.”
Along with the new trailer, a new poster has also been released. I didn’t think the festival-run poster could be improved upon but I was proven wrong (see below).
You’ll be wanting to mark your calendars for this one. It’s… a catch (last one, I promise). The film will be opening at IFC on February 1st and then rolling out nationwide.