LU OVER THE WALL
In Japanese with English subtitles
Masaaki Yuasa, Japan, 2017, 107 min
Recommended ages 8+
From visionary anime auteur Masaaki Yuasa, who takes over the festival this year with two other selections – the new rom-com Night is Short, Walk on Girl and outré classic Mind Game – comes a hallucinogenic-but-family-friendly take on the classic fairy tale of the little mermaid who falls in love with mankind, and then comes ashore to join a dysfunctional middle school rock band and propel them to fame. New kid Kai is talented but adrift, spending his days sulking and isolated in a small fishing village after his family moves from Tokyo. When he demonstrates a proficiency at making music on his synthesizer, his classmates invite him to join their nascent garage band, but their practice sessions soon bring an unexpected guest: Lu, a young mermaid whose fins turn to feet when she hears the beats, and whose singing causes humans to compulsively dance – whether they want to or not. Winner of the grand prize at Annecy, Lu Over the Wall is a toe-tapping, feel-good demonstration of Yuasa’s genre-mixing mastery that will leave you humming long after you leave the theater.