Welcome to the House of Crouse. It’s a full house this week with guests from the film and fashion world. Izzy Camilleri is here to talk about her healthy eating book “Izzy’s Eating Plan” but we also talk about how she designed one of the most iconic Canadian stage costumes of all time. Then Ali Weinstein stops by to chat about her film “Mermaids,” a look at the healing power of the mono-fin. Then, in one from the vault, we geek out with “War for the Planet of the Apes” director Matt Reeves. We talk movies and why “The Exorcist” still scares him today. It’s great stuff so c’mon in and sit a spell.
A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “War for the Planet of the Apes,” “Mermaids” and “The Little Hours.”
Here’s some info on The Richard Crouse Show!: Each week on The Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favorite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Richard also lets you know what movies you’ll want to run to see and which movies you’ll want to wait for DVD release. Click HERE to catch up on shows you might have missed! Read Richard NewsTalk 1010 reviews HERE!
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Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies the ape-tastic “War for the Planet of the Apes,” the fin-tastic “Mermaids” and the sin-tastic situation comedy “The Little Hours.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies including the rebooted prequel “War for the Planet of the Apes,” the fin-tastic “Mermaids” and the updated 14th century situation comedy “The Little Hours.”
Weeki Wachee Springs is a legendary Florida roadside attraction. The theme park features the usual enticements like water rides and animal shows, and one unusual feature — mermaid costume shows.
According to their website, since 1947 they have ignited tens of thousands of imaginations with an underwater show featuring “beautiful women dressed as mermaids with fins about their legs [swimming] in the cool, clear spring waters.”
When documentarian Ali Weinstein read a story about the place in The New York Times Magazine she was intrigued.
“They had interviewed a bunch of women who worked there and who had worked there back in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s,” she says. “The way these women spoke about their job as a mermaid fascinated me because they talked about it as though it was the most important thing they had done in their whole lives; like it was this completely transformative experience for them.
“I started thinking about what it would be like to be able to put on this alter ego, this costume, and transform physically,” Weinstein says. “I started researching mermaids from there and saw there was this subculture I had no idea about.”
That interest sparked the idea for a film, Mermaids, which took her to Weeki Wachee Springs and beyond. But the film isn’t a historical look at marine folklore or the history of the Starbucks’ logo. Stories of the underwater half-fish, half-humans luring sailors to their death have been written for centuries, but Weinstein took a humanist approach, deep diving into the lives of people living the mermaid fantasy.
“I grew up loving the water,” she says. “I was a synchronized swimmer for many years and even though I never put on a tail before I started researching this film, I immediately connected to what some of the women were saying about feeling more at peace with themselves and more beautiful underwater because I had experienced that. I definitely expected to have that kind of healing power in the stories I was going to hear but the ubiquitous of that was shocking to me.”
The 75-minute film introduces a variety of women for whom the wearing of a prosthetic tail is a cathartic act. There’s incest survivor Cookie (her husband tailors her tails) whose love of dressing as a mermaid helped her overcome feelings of worthlessness. There’s also Julz, a transgender woman who found acceptance in the mermaid community.
“I think there is something about a mermaid where she is both free and independent and powerful,” says Weistein, “which makes her an easy figure to aspire to. At the same time, in so many of the legends she is depicted as lonely or having this unrequited love or a yearning to be something different than she is. I think that duality in a mermaid is something that people connect to very easily.”
Weinstein lets the women do the talking in Mermaids, presenting slices of their lives. The thing that binds them is the inclusive and empowering nature of the mermaid world. “All tails are welcome here,” says one woman.
“I was hoping from the start that someone who walks in and watches the film might find it amusing at first,” Weinstein says, “but by the end they would feel they could really relate to these people even if they don’t share the desire to wear a tail.”
“Mermaids,” a new documentary from Toronto filmmaker Ali Weinstein, isn’t a historical look at marine folklore or the history of the Starbucks’ logo. Stories of the underwater half-fish, half-human beings luring sailors to their death have been written for centuries but Weinstein takes a humanist approach, deep diving into the lives of people living the mermaid fantasy.
In 75 minutes the film introduces us to women for whom the wearing of a prosthetic tail is a transformative act. There’s Cookie De Jesus, an incest survivor (whose husband tailors her tails) whose love of dressing as a mermaid helped her overcome feelings of worthlessness. We meet Rachel, half of a mother, daughter mermaid team, a handful of the famed Weeki Wachee mermaids of Spring Hill, Florida and Julz, a transgender woman who found acceptance in the mermaid community.
Weinstein let’s the women do the talking here, presenting slices of their lives. The thing that binds them is the inclusive and empowering nature of the mermaid world. “All tails are welcome here,” says one woman.
“Mermaids” doesn’t delve much deeper than that, but it’s an intriguing and positive snapshot of a subculture. Visually Weinstein keeps things interesting with beautiful underwater cinematography, but the film’s strength is its message. “You’re half fish and half human,” says one mermaid, “and I think the best of both.”