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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
by Garon Cockrell
DVD Review: The Mermaids
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Oct. 29, 2013 12:01 a.m.











The Mermaids is a German short film about a young woman named Nikki

who loves mathematics, and discovers something else about herself when she

joins an all-girls football team.








Nikki Schubert (Ania

Niedick) introduces herself at the start of the film: “I’m new in town. I study mathematics. I love numbers and systems.”

She is cute, blond, and wears large glasses. She looks directly at us, but

interestingly her introduction is done as voice over rather than having her

address us directly. She identifies herself as a nerd and weirdo, saying her

parents would rather have had an athletic girl for their daughter. She tells us

she became invisible… “Until today.”








We are treated to a

series of funny images of Nikki out and about. I particularly love the shot of

her getting on the subway. She is framed in such a way that a man’s arm is

across her neck, blocking her, suffocating her as she stares forward,

unnoticed. She puts her hands on the glass just before the subway leaves the

station, almost as if to make contact with us. It’s funny and endearing, and it

makes us feel for her right away.








She is in therapy, and puts

her goals into mathematical terms. The therapist recommends she involve herself

in sports. And so Nikki joins an all-girls football team. The first football

scene is done mostly in montage, and that doesn’t quite work. We haven’t yet

seen enough of this character to warrant a montage. The montage actually

creates a bit of a distance between us and Nikki, rather than drawing us closer

to her.








After practice, Nikki

sees two of the women kissing. It’s a nice moment, but I wish it weren’t set to

a song. The song somehow keeps it from being too personal. However, when she

talks to her therapist, she puts homosexuality into mathematical terms, which

is great. She tells her therapist, “I

can’t thank you enough for encouraging me to play football
” – a sweet and

funny moment.








(To read the complete review, please click on "RAWR.") 
















And because Nikki sees

everything in mathematical terms, she begins creating special plays for the

football team, much to the chagrin of the coach.








The Mermaids is a sweet and quirky lesbian film, but it relies a

bit too much on music and montage. It’s like it doesn’t trust its own

strengths, such as the fact that it has a totally likeable, adorable lead.








Lady Pochoir








This DVD actually

contains a second short film from the same filmmaker, Petra Clever. For me, Lady Pochoir is the better of the two

films. It tells the tale of Yv, a bicycle courier by day and graffiti artist by

night (her graffiti name is Lady Pochoir).








Yv (Nadine Rennack) is

shown creating some of her graffiti, then rushing to her friend Stan’s place,

paranoid that someone is following her. He suggests she try a different art

form. Soon they are visited by Stan’s friend Sascha, whose police uniform of

course only helps to increase Yv’s paranoia. But the scene where they meet is

well done, not played for awkward laughs, but instead is honest, even kind of

sweet, while still voicing both sides of the graffiti argument eloquently.








The other woman to

suddenly enter Yv’s life is Lexy (as the end credits spell her name, or Lexi,

as the subtitles spell her name), a writer who is putting together a book on

street art. She accompanies Yv on a night of spraying, which then leads them to

a lesbian bar. At the bar, they run into Sascha, and she and Lexy immediately

display jealousy over Yv. Each of these two women seems to be keeping something

from Yv.








This film is best in its

quieter moments. This film is also really well shot, with lots of beautifully

framed shots of the city.








The DVD also contains

trailers for both The Mermaids and Lady Pochoir.








The Mermaids was released on October 8, 2013 through TLA Releasing.






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