Tale of Tales (2015)
July 22, 2016 1:05 AM - Subscribe

From the bitter quest of the Queen of Longtrellis, to two mysterious sisters who provoke the passion of a king, to the King of Highhills obsessed with a giant Flea, these tales are inspired by the fairytales by Giambattista Basile.

Robbie Collin (The Telegraph): These aren’t the bedtime stories your parents told you: if they were, you might still be lying awake. [...] there’s a reasonable chance it will be the strangest experience you’ll have in the cinema all year. Garrone’s film – his first in English – is a triptych of fables drawn from the Pentamerone, a 17th-century book of Neapolitan folk stories compiled by the Italian poet Giambattista Basile. Watching it often feels, in the best possible way, like wading through a pond of dream soup.

Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian): Ovid is mulched in with Hansel, Gretel, the Beauty, the Beast, the Prince, the Pauper, in no real order. At times, Garrone seemed to have taken inspiration from Michelangelo Antonioni’s own fabular tale The Mystery of Oberwald – at others, it felt like he had deeply inhaled the strange and unwholesome odour still emanating from Walerian Borowczyk’s Immoral Tales. But there’s also a bit of John Boorman’s Excalibur, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Blackadder, The Company of Wolves, the Tenniel illustrations for Alice in Wonderland… and Shrek.

Eric Kohn (IndieWire): There’s plenty of material to dig through in terms of the movie’s potential as social criticism, including a feminist slant involving its suppressed female characters lashing out, and the casual nature of tyrannical behavior from all of the regal figures on display. But the bigger picture revolves around the dangers of institutions and the mad delusions they create.

Press conference in Cannes '15.

posted by sapagan (3 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I very much enjoy wading through a ponds of dream soup. This movie looks very intriguing and visually stunning. Can't wait to see it. Thanks for all the great links!
posted by pjsky at 2:44 PM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

obsessed with a giant Flea


I enjoyed this a fair bit, but I am a super easy sell for this aesthetic.

Visually, it's more reserved than you might expect. It reminds me more of a standard Shakespeare adaptation, and not the kind of thing you'd get if you told Guillermo del Toro or Tarsem Singh, "Go make a fairy tale movie." It's not a visual orgy, (though there is an orgy). It knows you like castles and mazes and princesses, but it's not trying to super-stimulate you.

I was happy with the ending. The feeling at the end is sort of, "The stories go on forever, you know, but the movie ends here." The pieces are not really woven together leaving not much to grasp on to. Like waking up or falling asleep, it is a feeling of letting go.
posted by fleacircus at 12:34 AM on December 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just watched this and wish there was more.
posted by bunderful at 4:50 PM on December 30, 2018

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