Italy, UK, France 2015
Inspired by the celebrated fairytales by Giambattista Basile.
The stories recounted in THE TALE OF TALES cover all of life’s opposites: the ordinary and the extraordinary, the magical and the everyday, the regal and the obscene, the straightforward and the artificial, the sublime and the filthy, the terrible and the tender, scraps of mythology and torrents of popular wisdom. The tales recount human feelings pushed to the extreme.
From the first reading of the 50 tales which make up the book, myself and my fellow screenwriters faced numerous choices in choosing the stories that we liked most and then making them credible, concrete, as if we were seeing them take place before our eyes. Our approach was to search for something powerful, physical, shared and authentic, even in the stories in which the imagination was the most fired-up. In Basile’s work, there’s a great pleasure in the narrative, and that should also be a prerogative of cinema.
My previous films have been based on true stories, which I transformed to the limits of an almost fantasy dimension. Here, we did the journey in the opposite direction. We were inspired by fabulous situations that were brought on to a realistic basis through a process of subtraction, so the spectator can at each moment feel involved in the story, and become immersed in the adventures of our characters.
I would define THE TALE OF TALES as a fantasy book with some touches of horror. In an indirect yet palpable way, these two genres – fantasy and horror –
come through and can already be felt in my previous work: in THE EMBALMER and in FIRST LOVE, the horror notes can already be clearly heard; in REALITY, the fairy tale mood inspires the stories as much as the style; and even in GOMORRAH, beyond the realism of the situations, the tone of some episodes is that of a genuine dark fable. When you think about it, THE EMBALMER – which also has some grotesque and poignant aspects – actually resemble one of Basile’s tales: “Once upon a time there was a dwarf who stuffed big animals and who fell in love with a beautiful young man.”
Cast & Crew
Directed by : Matteo Garrone
Written by : Matteo Garrone, Edoardo Albinati, Ugo Chiti, Massimo Gaudioso
Produced by : Matteo Garrone, Jeremy Thomas
Director of Photography : Peter Suschitzky
Editor : Marco Spoletini
Production Design : Dimitri Capuani
Costume Design : Massimo Cantini Parrini
Composer : Alexandre Desplat
Sound Design : Leslie Shatz
Main Cast : Salma Hayek (Queen of Longtrellis), Vincent Cassel (King of Strongcliff), Toby Jones (King of Highhills), John C. Reilly (King of Longtrellis), Shirley Henderson (Imma), Hayley Carmichael (Dora), Stacy Martin (young Dora), Bebe Cave (Violet), Christian Lees (Elias), Jonah Lees (Jonah)
Nominations and Awards
- EFA Feature Film Selection 2015