"I would prefer breathing to not breathing’
Nobel Prize laureate – William Faulkner
Which is not to say that “How to Meet a Mermaid” is by and large a downbeat or severe film. There’s much melancholic whimsy here, while the filmmaker’s consistent fascination with the physical and symbolic properties of the ocean producers some moments of actual cinematic rapture:
Lars Skree’s serenely composed, crystalline widescreen lensing regards the water with suitable awe, with aerial shots of whirling turquoise currents, or slow-motion profiles of cresting waves, that wouldn’t be out of place in a David Attenborough spectacle. (Or, for that matter, a latter-day Terrence Malick one.) Composer Mark Lizier, meanwhile, may earn MVP status on the pic with a lushly thrumming, sometimes brittly tingling score that gives suitably siren-like voice to the sea itself.
A singular, perhaps intentionally frustrating cri de coeur, “How to Meet a Mermaid” may find its maker wrestling with bitterly mixed emotions about the life aquatic, but casual disdain is never remotely on the cards.
In How to Meet a Mermaid, the sea becomes a haven for mankind, locked in its struggle with its ‘indifferent universe’. Lex, Rebecca, and Miguel each have their own reasons to lay their lives in the hands of the capricious waters.
The question remains, however, whether they will find what they so anxiously seek underneath the surface of the waters.
How to Meet a Mermaid
90 min. |English, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic | Dutch subtitles | 2016 | Documentary | HD stereo 5.1
Egypt – Netherland – Mexico – Disney Island – U.S.A & UK
Written & directed by Coco Schrijber
Voice of the Sea: Sofie Gråbøl
Cinematography: Lars Skree
Sound recordist: Tim van Peppen
Editor: Gys Zevenbergen
Sound design & re-recording mix: Vincent Sinceretti
Executive producer: Judith Vreriks
Producer VPRO: Brigit Dopheide
Commissioning editor VPRO: Barbara Truyen
Delegate producers: Frederik Nicolai | Off World
Jesper Jack | House of Real
Produced by Frank van den Engel | Zeppers Film BV
International press at IDFA:
Silversalt PR | Thessa Mooij
Press materials: www.silversaltpr.com