‘Lu Over the Wall’ Tells a Mermaid’s Tale

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The Japanese animated feature “Lu Over the Wall” (2017, 107 minutes) is playing through May 17 at Laemmle’s NoHo 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood.

From visionary anime auteur Masaaki Yuasa comes a joyously hallucinogenic but family-friendly take on the classic fairy tale about a little mermaid who comes ashore to join a middle-school rock band and propel them to fame.

Kai (Shota Shimoda) is talented but adrift, spending his days sulking in a small fishing village after his family moves from Tokyo. His only joy is uploading songs he writes to the Internet. When his classmates invite him to play keyboard in their band, their practice sessions bring an unexpected guest: Lu (Kanon Tani), 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.

As Kai spends more time with Lu, he finds he is able to tell her what he is really thinking, and a bond begins to form. But since ancient times, the people in the village have believed that mermaids bring disaster and soon there is trouble between Lu and the townspeople, putting the town in grave danger.

Winner of the Grand Prize at the prestigious Annecy Animation Festival, and premiering in English as an official selection of Sundance 2018, “Lu Over the Wall” (Japanese title: “Yoake Tsugeru Ruu no Uta”) is a feel-good demonstration of Yuasa’s genre-mixing mastery that will leave you humming long after you leave the theater.

All screenings will be in Japanese with English subtitles except for the daily 3:50 p.m. screenings and the Saturday/Sunday 10:30 a.m. matinees, which will be in English.

Other showtimes are 1:10, 7:10 and 9:45 p.m. For more information, call (310) 478-3836 or visit www.laemmle.com.

“Lu Over the Wall” is also playing at the following Southland theaters:

• Harkins Cerritos 16, 600 Los Cerritos Center, Cerritos, (562) 865-4140, www.harkins.com

• Harkins Chino Hills 18, 3070 Chino Ave., Chino Hills, (909) 627-8010, www.harkins.com

• Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21 IMAX & RPX, 500 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, (844) 462-7342, www.regmovies.com

• AMC Dine-in Ontario Mills 30, 4549 Mills Circle, Ontario, (909) 476-1234, www.amctheatres.com

For more information on the film, visit www.luoverthewall.com.

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