Cinema: Poe with a Megaphone

Night Tide. Amidst the clapboard and tinsel of the amusement park at Venice, Calif., a siren song lures a young sailor toward destruction. He meets a girl, Mora, whose dark eyes distill the rapture of the depths. "I am a mermaid," she tells him—perhaps referring to her job, which involves slipping into a scaly fishtail and then into a tank at a boardwalk sideshow. But Mora is unfathomably fey. She collects starfish and coral. Gulls fly into her arms. She is tormented by a mysterious Woman in Black who appears with jet veils...

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