The Lure
Friday February 10 through Thursday February 16 at IFC Center: $14

This beautifully shot, futuro nightlife fantasy flick is sort of like a glammed-up, femme-fatale version of Splash, only the mermaids here are hardly damsels in distress. These sister mermaids are flesh-eating fish people with vampy tendencies. They have the same power to entrance and, well, lure that sirens are supposed to have, but that somehow American imaginings have left out (Puritans, ughhh). I guess it took some Catholic guilt and Polish imagination to get this darkened-disco retelling of The Little Mermaid off the ground. IFC writes, “One sister falls for a human, and as the bonds of sisterhood are tested, the lines between love and survival get blurred.”

Naturally, The Lure is set in the seedy underworld of strip clubs by night, with all the glittery exploitation that entails. Reminds me a little bit of that Egyptian disco vampire flick that screened at Spectacle recently.

A Grin Without A Cat
Saturday February 11 & Saturday February 18, 3 pm, Saturday February 25, 1:30 pm, Tuesday February 28, 7:30 pm at Spectacle: $5

Spectacle describes filmmaker Chris Marker’s classic as an “epic film-essay on the worldwide political wars of the ’60s and ’70s: Vietnam, Bolivia, May ’68, Prague, Chile, and the fate of the New Left.” And as you can see from the opening sequence above, this film is replete with leftist imagery and, uh, Marker’s droning French, which might seem like a somewhat dense way to spend 180 minutes of your Saturday. But whoever said reeducation was easy?

This Chris Marker guy– a prolific filmmaker and Left Bank scenester, tireless Vietnam War protester, and member of the leftist film collective SLON (which also encouraged workers to get into filmmaking) – has just got to be good. I mean, people seem to really like him. Plus, he was a certified weirdo: The Guardian called him “a phantom, an escape artist, a shapeshifter” and apparently he was fond of telling people that he was from Mongolia and signed his name Chris.Marker.

I haven’t sat through this one myself, but I’d say go ahead and give it a try. Sit with it. Just really, really sit with it. And maybe you’ll be a fist-pumping Marxist when you leave that theater.

The Decameron
Friday February 10 and Saturday February 11, 12:10 am at Nitehawk: $12

Filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini took on the prudish piety of Giovanni Boccaccio’s 14th-century monk-inscribed stories set in Florence and reimagined them as sexy romps set in where else but Naples. Nitehawk writes: “Among the chief delights are a young man’s exploits with a gang of grave robbers, a flock of randy nuns who sin with a strapping gardener, and Pasolini’s appearance as a pupil of the painter Giotto, at work on a massive fresco.” Sounds nasty!

But really, all you need to know is that this screening is sponsored by Babeland. Each audience member will receive “a special gift” courtesy of the dildo shop. Cheers!

Monday February 13, Thursday February 16, and Friday February 17 at The Metrograph: $15

Roma is exactly what it sounds like: a celebration of Rome, a city both ancient and stylishly modern, where the stank of piss wafts up from the streets and mixes with the luscious scents of flower stands. Fellini’s 1972 epic celebration of the city captures the complexities of not just Rome, but urban life in general. And Roma once again proves that Fellini does was Fellini wants to do, and above all Fellini don’t give a crap.