Friday, July 12, 2024

Lesbian classic I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing gets new release

Patricia Rozema’s indie cinema classic I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing opens March 11 in New York City and March 18 in Los Angeles.

Lesbians of a certain age have a handful of films that are near and dear to their queer hearts but which may not have made it into the streaming or digital age.

Lucky for us, Kino Lorber is now presenting the US theatrical release of the 4K restored Canadian classic, I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing. This 1987 surprise hit was written and directed by Patricia Rozema (When Night is Falling, Mansfield Park) and won the Prix de la Jeunesse at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. The film opened the Toronto International Film Festival and went on to win numerous awards and was ranked in TIFF’s list of Top 10 Canadian Films of all time. 

Now, it opens at Metrograph in New York City on March 11, and at Alamo Drafthouse in Los Angeles on March 18th. Expanding to select cities nationwide in Spring 2022.

This charming and whimsical story follows would-be artist, amateur photographer Polly (Sheila McCarthy) as she lands a temp job at a Toronto art gallery run by elegant and sophisticated Gabrielle (Paule Baillargeon), who is also a painter. Polly is impressed with Gabrielle’s paintings, but as Polly gets to know Gabrielle’s lover, Mary (Ann-Marie MacDonald), and becomes entangled in their lives, she realizes that Gabrielle isn’t exactly who she appears to be. The absent-minded temp with spiky orange hair and the polished curator with a gift for gab are like night and day, yet a strong connection builds between these two women through their shared love of art, and their genuine curiosity and need for love.

“The character I wanted to draw was a ‘little’ person, a quirky and vulnerable innocent whose inept exterior belies a vast and vivid internal universe,” explains writer-director Rozema. “This character, Polly, came to me full-blown and I loved her immediately. The tone was to be quietly absurd, compassionate and, most of all, whimsical—just enough reality to recognize the emotions and just enough fairytale to let the mind fly. I wanted to make a warm-spirited anti-authority film. But most of all I wanted to make a film with Polly in it, one where she and I get to hear the mermaids singing.”

More info here.

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