TaLe of taLes

Grim fairy­tale

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

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.

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