Tale of Tales (Matteo Garrone, Italy, 2015)

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tale of tales

Extraordinary work from cinematographer Peter Suchitzky in Tale of Tales: the whole film looks like Renaissance painting at its best, with gorgeous décor and the most sumptuous costumes as a perfect setting for the fantastical, otherworldly, frightful and harsh. I liked the film also, and I’ve never seen Selma Hayek better: she’s become like a great silent film actress, both astonishingly beautiful and hauntingly expressive. The film’s a bit dark and gory, as fairy tales should be. And all the surprises are told in the most matter of fact way. The horror, both bodily and fantastical is shown as if from a culture that teaches one to simply expect the worst and bear it. There is gore but much less so than in your average horror film, actually practically nothing. There’s a scene where a princess slashes a troll’s head (which is delightful) and that’s about the worst of it. I can see why it would leave some people slightly cold: the different intertwined narratives are morality tales meant to be pondered over, and with intelligence; and they’re not told at the pace of Gods of Egypt. It’s not for children; it’s not quite a genre film; it’s not gory enough to satisfy horror fans. It must be murder to market. Yet, all the more reason to make an effort to see it.   I think it’s one of the most beautiful, haunting and resonant films of the last few years.

It is available to see as a VOD on Curzon Home Cinema here: https://www.curzonhomecinema.com/#!/film/CRZ_TALE_OF_TALES

 

José Arroyo

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