Notebook Primer: Mermaid Cinema

Notebook Primer: Mermaid Cinema
The Notebook Primer introduces readers to some of the most important figures, films, genres, and movements in film history.Above: The Witch Who Came From the SeaAcross decades and genres, mermaids and sirens rise from the deep to confront audiences with the already unstable human identity.In 2009, Nadya Vessey, an Australian double amputee, bewitched the world with her personal transformation—with the help of special effects company Weta Workshop, she acquired a prosthetic mermaid tail. As glamorized as it was by news stories, Vessay’s adult mermaid embodiment serves as an example of how the female—and disabled—body queers one of the longest-standing fetishes of the male gaze. It is precisely the hybrid nature of the marine feminine which attracts and repulses, its fluidity intimately tied to female maturation, in the process of which the flesh and bone remain both human and foreign at the same time. There’s
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