896 The Lure

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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dwk
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896 The Lure

#1 Post by dwk » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:43 pm

The Lure

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This genre-defying horror-musical mash-up—the bold debut of Polish director Agnieszka Smoczyńska—follows a pair of carnivorous mermaid sisters drawn ashore to explore life on land in an alternate 1980s Poland. Their tantalizing siren songs and otherworldly auras make them overnight sensations as nightclub singers in the half-glam, half-decrepit world of Smoczyńska's imagining. The director gives fierce teeth to her viscerally sensual, darkly feminist twist on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid," in which the girls' bond is tested and their survival threatened after one sister falls for a human. A coming-of-age fairy tale with a catchy synth-fueled soundtrack, outrageous song-and-dance numbers, and lavishly grimy sets, The Lure explores its themes of emerging female sexuality, exploitation, and the compromises of adulthood with savage energy and originality.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

• High-definition digital master, supervised by director of photography Kuba Kijowski, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New program about the making of the film, featuring interviews with director Agnieszka Smoczyńska, actors Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszańska, screenwriter Robert Bolesto, Kijowski, composers Barbara and Zuzanna Wroński, sound designer Marcin Lenarczyk, and choreographer Kaya Kołodziejczyk
• Deleted scenes
Aria Diva (2007) and Viva Maria! (2010), two short films directed by Smoczyńska
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by writer Angela Lovell

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Forthcoming: The Lure

#2 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:32 pm

dwk wrote:Since Agnieszka Smoczynska has a phantom page and The Lure is the only feature she's directed, we all figured that Janus/Criterion had it, but here is confirmation via Janus' poster for the the film:
Image
Well, with the Janus poster revealed (and phantom page), here is a clip of the Director, Agnieszka Smoczynska, introducing The Lure....
Batton down the hatches with this one. :)

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Re: Forthcoming: The Lure

#3 Post by domino harvey » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:46 pm

NSFW video linked above FYI

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zedz
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Re: Forthcoming: The Lure

#4 Post by zedz » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:18 pm

This was actually a much better film than I expected, and as musicals go it's refreshingly full-blooded: characters really do just break into song to express what's happening in the plot. The music itself isn't too bad, if you like 80s pop.

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Forthcoming: The Lure

#5 Post by MichaelB » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:34 am

I need to see this again: I was far from wowed when I saw it way back in September 2015, which is odd as you'd have thought that a Polish musical about killer mermaids would be right up my street.

But a great many people whose opinion I respect have praised it to the skies since then, so it may have been down to festival ennui.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Lure

#6 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:39 am

Sounds an intriguing premise at least! Though just the 'mermaid horror' idea made me remember that Japanese entry into the Guinea Pig series (the best 'narrative' entry of that notorious series but still as gag-inducingly gory), Mermaid In A Manhole (very NSFW)! For a film all about gore, that little story about a frustrated artist finding a mermaid on one of his regular trips into the local sewers(!) and falling in love with her as his muse figure, only to watch her slowly die from a pustulating disease, is surprisingly touching! It gets into ideas of slowly watching a loved one die, very slight environmental and exploitation ideas, capturing someone's likeness through art as they slip away, and the difficult relationships between artists and their muses.

Although you have to be OK with a bulk of the film being about cutting open the various pus-filled blisters on the mermaid (with her consent) and draining the different coloured fluids from them to use in the painting! That, and the standard for a Guinea Pig film dismemberment climax, sort of assured its 'underground' status!

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Re: Forthcoming: The Lure

#7 Post by Reeniop41 » Sat May 06, 2017 6:06 pm

The poster is now available at the Criterion Website and the HD version of the film is available for rent at Amazon. Great audio and visuals! Very nice debut by Agnieszka Smoczynska! Looking forward to owning this one day. Maybe will be announced 5/15/17.

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Re: 896 The Lure

#8 Post by swo17 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:33 pm

Announced (Link NSFW)

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Re: 896 The Lure

#9 Post by Tommaso » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:44 pm

Absolutely wonderful. This film was THE discovery for me among new films of the last few years. I absolutely love its daring, ultra-stylish/stylized but at the same time very accessible mix of horror and arthouse elements (which has some Jarman or Ottinger moments for sure!), and simply the whole "80s" look of it, which however never feels retro-ish or imitative in any way. And the same goes for the soundtrack, which makes reference to Italo disco/ new wave of the 80s but still sounds amazingly fresh and innovative. And that goes for all of the film itself, I'd say. A truly great choice for the Collection, if you ask me.

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Re: 896 The Lure

#10 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:47 pm

swo17 wrote:Announced
NSFW BTW

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Re: 896 The Lure

#11 Post by swo17 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:49 pm

Yes, please send me your credit card info before following that link.

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Re: 896 The Lure

#12 Post by med » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:21 pm

Beating Tooze to the punch

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Re: 896 The Lure

#13 Post by All the Best People » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:15 am

I'll be interested to see what others think of this (as it seems like many contributors here haven't seen it, or haven't found much to say about it). It's one of those movies where I liked the idea of it more than the execution of it; it has sublime moments, to be sure, but for me dragged and struggled to juggle it's tonal shifts. There is certainly talent here, and creativity, and ambition, so I don't regret having seen it, but I didn't find it all that satisfying on its own terms.

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Re: 896 The Lure

#14 Post by Rupert Pupkin » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:27 pm

I prefer "Gold" (aka the brunette) who looks like Mia Kirshner in Exotica rather than "Silver"

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Re: 896 The Lure

#15 Post by TheRanchHand » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:26 am

I was perusing (though I don't condone the activity) a site online with streaming films that run the gamut of still in theaters to old classics and found The Lure in HD. But the film opened with the Criterion logo and was clearly taken from their master. I only watched the first 10 minutes to get a vibe of it, but the transfer was gorgeous and the film seemed interesting to say the least.

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Re: 896 The Lure

#16 Post by swo17 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:25 am

But you implicitly condone it by both doing it and posting about it.

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Re: 896 The Lure

#17 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:28 am

Did you inhale?

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Re: 896 The Lure

#18 Post by Mungo » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:47 am

A HD copy is for rent on Amazon Video, if you want to watch the movie and have a clean conscience afterwards

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Re: 896 The Lure

#19 Post by Apperson » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:30 pm


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Re: 896 The Lure

#20 Post by MichaelB » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:47 am

All the Best People wrote:I'll be interested to see what others think of this (as it seems like many contributors here haven't seen it, or haven't found much to say about it). It's one of those movies where I liked the idea of it more than the execution of it; it has sublime moments, to be sure, but for me dragged and struggled to juggle it's tonal shifts. There is certainly talent here, and creativity, and ambition, so I don't regret having seen it, but I didn't find it all that satisfying on its own terms.
100% my take. By rights, this should have been right up my street, but I think part of the problem was that I watched it in the context of much of the rest of that year's Polish feature output, and I preferred Grzegorz Królikiewicz's Neighbours and Łukasz Barczyk’s Hiszpanka for sheer weirdness (whatever its other merits, The Lure doesn’t feature Crispin Glover as a German-speaking mentalist*), and Grzegorz Jankowski’s Polish Shit was more entertaining as a modern Polish musical.

To be fair, The Lure is a much more daring acquisition than most Polish films that get perceived as West-friendly (Małgorzata Szumowska's Elles is comfortably her worst feature, but that's the one that got the most international exposure since it's in French and stars Juliette Binoche), but people more familiar with present-day Polish cinema tend to regard it more as a promising debut than a fully-achieved masterwork, which was very much the take at its 2015 premiere in Gdynia. When it comes to demented fusions of ambition and originality by brand new directors, the first two features of Kuba Czekaj (Baby Bump, The Erl Prince) leave it for dust.

(*I use the word “mentalist” in both the traditional and the modern British sense.)

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Re: 896 The Lure

#21 Post by Minkin » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:59 pm


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Re: 896 The Lure

#22 Post by knives » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:39 pm

Put me in the mixed camp. It's not bad exactly, but it's gratingly mediocre and feels bad when connecting it to its peers and influences. The movie basically has two things going for it: It's a musical and its '80s influenced. The affect though just had me hungering for Tsai films which deal with the camera work (and in one case having your protagonist by a mermaid) far better. With the '80s stuff, well you could watch this or watch a genuine and excellent article like Alphabet City. The plot is repetitive and dull with essentially non-existent characters. I'm sure there will be a loud subset of people who will say that this is an aesthetic movie, but the thing is that this is a film with a pretty average, almost mainstream aesthetic. It's not House with its 'and the kitchen sink' surrealism. If anything the film seems weirdly grounded which is I guess why Tsai was at the forefront of my mind.

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Re: 896 The Lure

#23 Post by Lost Highway » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:20 am

I wasn’t a fan of The Lure, it was working way too hard to be a cult film. The songs were just about OK but they didn’t do themselves a favour setting them against a classic like I Feel Love. When a plot finally emerges it turns into The Little Mermaid and some attempt at characterization wouldn’t have gone amiss to make this more involving rather than just being a hipster artifact. Everybody in the film is a cypher to drape it’s concept (mermaid horror musical) around.

Still waiting for a great mermaid horror film, with Curtis Harrington‘s Night Tide coming the closest.
Last edited by Lost Highway on Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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896 The Lure

#24 Post by movielocke » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:56 pm

This was a fun concept with very nice effects and adequate songs but a remarkably weak script lacking cohesion, world building or character. It feels like a short film that was expanded from thirty minutes to 90. Or paradoxically, it felt like a mini series shortened to a film. Jump to introduce "fiends". jump to other woman. Jump to foam. jump to murder investigation. etc. Just an awful lot of plot points in the last half hour
SpoilerShow
I did find the transplant really upsetting, but felt like the film did nothing with the potential emotions there (of either silver or her sister), or the clear potential trans parallels.

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