TaLe of taLes
released Out NOW! 2016 | 15 | Blu-ray/dVd Director Matteo garrone Cast salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, John C reilly, toby Jones
Mention Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty and chances are you think of Disney, but the earliest published variants were set down by Neapolitan courtier Giambattista Basile. Tale Of Tales adapts three further stories from his collections, and with its grotesque imagery, savage violence and adult sexuality is worlds away from Walt.
In one, Salma Hayek’s Queen turns to a sorcerer to give her a son. In another, a King (Toby Jones, quite hilarious) makes a pet of a giant flea. In a third, Vincent Cassel’s horndog monarch mistakenly woos an old crone.
Unsanitised and carnivalesque (brace for an FFM threesome and a hula-hooping bear), these dark fairytales feel authentically of the oral tradition, wending their way through absurdist turns that make them impossible to predict. They’re ravishingly beautiful too, with lavish costumes and stunning Italian locations. One weakness: the tales are interwoven, but there’s practically nothing to connect them. A series of standalone TV dramas might work better. How about it, HBO?
Extras A delightful Making Of (56 minutes) with much behindthe-scenes footage, full of quirky details – like Salma Hayek being pushed around in an inflatable dinghy. Plus: three interviews (40 minutes) and the trailer. Ian Berriman
A major influence on Garrone was Goya’s grotesque Los Caprichos etchings – he had prints of them stuck to his office wall.
They would have got up but their clothes were too heavy.