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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Lure aka "Córki dancingu" [Blu-ray]

 

(Agnieszka Smoczynska, 2015)

 

  

Also released, by Criterion, in the UK, on Blu-ray the following week:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Wytwórnia Filmów Dokumentalnych i Fabularnych (WFDiF)

Video: Criterion Collection Spine #896

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:32:28.334 

Disc Size: 49,075,869,746 bytes

Feature Size: 29,100,582,912 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.91 Mbps

Chapters: 17

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: October 10th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio Polish 3979 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3979 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:
• "Off the Hook" - a 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 Wrońskie, sound designer Marcin Lenarczyk, and choreographer Kaya Kołodziejczyk (40:21)
Six Deleted scenes
Aria Diva (2007 - 31:21) and Viva Maria! (2010 - 17:10), two short films by Smoczyńska
Trailer (2:07)
PLUS: An essay by novelist, playwright, and storyteller Angela Lovell

 

Bitrate:

 

 

 

Description: This genre-defying horror-musical mash-up the bold debut of Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska 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 Smoczynska'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.

 

 

The Film:

For one reason or another, Hollywood has caught a serious case of mermaid fever. In addition to Chris Bouchard and Blake Harris's upcoming live-action rendition of The Little Mermaid, set for release this year and starring Shirley MacLaine (although not, sadly, as the title character), Disney is planning a Lin-Manuel Miranda revamp of its animated musical and Universal was also mulling a Sofia Coppola version, once upon a time.

Do not, however, mistake Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska's The Lure as part of this Ariel-centric trend. Her new film involves mermaids, sure, but it's a frequently bizarre, occasionally nasty escapade that only uses the mythical creature as a means of eviscerating misogyny and chauvinism.

Excerpt from TheGlobeandMail located HERE

As folkloric Polish musical sex-comedy horror movies go, “The Lure” is pretty interesting. The first feature directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska, the film follows two mermaid sisters onto land, where they look for love, feast on human flesh and find work singing and stripping at a nightclub that might have come from an early David Lynch movie or a vintage-’80s music video.

As it happens, the club, with its seedy glamour and its muted sparkle, represents a partial concession to realism. Ms. Smoczynska shot much of “The Lure” in an abandoned Warsaw cabaret, decorating it to evoke the “dancing restaurants” of the Communist era. An aura of nonspecific nostalgia hangs in the air. We are not exactly in the present and not precisely in the past, but in a dreamy cinematic space where distinctions of genre and tone are pleasantly (and sometimes shockingly) blurred.

Excerpt from NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Lure looks excellent on Blu-ray from Criterion and is cited as a "High-definition digital master, supervised by director of photography Kuba Kijowski".  It was shot using the versatile 'Arri Alexa XT' camera and dynamically shows the benefits of the process on the Blu-ray with a strikingly crisp and clean image, plenty of depth an a high level of detail in the many close-ups. There is a green/blue leaning in some interior shots which we presume to be accurate. It's on a dual-layered Blu-ray, with max'ed out bitrate, in a 2.39:1 ratio that reproduces very strong 1080P visuals that closely replicates the original theatrical presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Criterion transfer in a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track at 3979 kbps (24-bit) in the original Polish language - that has plenty of depth and strength to handle the film's aggressive effects and amusing musical numbers; ballads etc. - Dywany, Czary Mary, Byłaś serca biciem, Prorok, Mucha and many more. The film's effects are exported with abundant intensity and there is a lighter edge to much of the on screen activity. There are optional English subtitles (as well as for the song lyrics!) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' (in North America) and Region 'B' in Europe.

 

Extras :

Criterion add some supplements. "Off the Hook" is a new 40-minute 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 Wrońskie, sound designer Marcin Lenarczyk, and choreographer Kaya Kołodziejczyk. It is in Polish with English subtitles. There are six deleted scenes, running a couple of minutes or more each, entitled "Alternate opening", "Drunk", "Contortionist", "Loop", "Policewoman", "and an "Alternate Ending". They are kinda cute, perhaps more risqué... but essentially fun for the curious fans of the film. Aria Diva is a 2007 1/2 hour film directed by Agnieszka Smoczyńska while she was a student at the Wajda School in Warsaw, a housewife falls under the spell of her new upstairs neighbor, an opera diva. Viva Maria! was made in 2010 running 17-minutes about opera singer Maria Foltyn and was also directed by Smoczyńska at the Wajda School. There is a trailer and the package has a booklet with an essay by novelist, playwright, and storyteller Angela Lovell.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Lure is very cool - an unbridled film of dancing, music, humor, fantasy, eroticism and horror. Mermaids sure are a hot topic the past few years , but The Lure is very different from Nymph made a year earlier.  This is a lot of fun and the combination of genres is mixed seamlessly. This Blu-ray package is a recommendation. I loved the visual effects and fans should take a chance on this as it has so much to offer... very strongly recommend!

Gary Tooze

September 14th, 2017

  

Also released, by Criterion, in the UK, on Blu-ray the following week:


 




 

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