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NZIFF - Tale of Tales

NZIFF - Tale of Tales

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  • Thu 20 Aug ’15, 3:45pm
  • Sat 22 Aug ’15, 8:30pm


Isaac Theatre Royal, 145 Gloucester St, Christchurch


All Ages

Drawing on the rich and lurid vein of Neapolitan fairy tales, Matteo Garrone’s lavish, eye-popping fantasy thrusts a stellar international cast into its wildly baroque world of kings, queens, hags and monsters.

“Salma Hayek eating a serpent’s heart; Toby Jones cuddling a giant flea. Python meets Pasolini in this horrific, hilarious – and very grown up – fairy tale anthology… The Italian director Matteo Garrone has abandoned the heightened social realism of Gomorrah and Reality for something much older and eerier: a triptych of fables drawn from a 17th-century book of Neapolitan folk stories compiled by the Italian poet Giambattista Basile. The Tale of Tales dances on a razor’s edge between funny and unnerving, with sequences of shadow-spun horror rubbing up against moments of searing baroque beauty. The result is a fabulously sexy, defiantly unfashionable readymade cult item.” — Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

“Ogres, giant fleas, albino twins, an old woman flaying her skin in search of youth and a queen feasting on the heart of a sea monster: the sheer, obstinate oddness of Tale of Tales sends crowd-pleasers like Game of Thrones and The Hobbit scuttling into the shadows of the forest in terror…

What links these strange, seductive tales is a cheeky observation of the follies of power. One king (Toby Jones) breeds a flea and accidentally marries off his daughter to a brute; another (Vincent Cassel) allows his rampant sexual desire to lead him into bed with an old crone; yet another (John C. Reilly) dies after taking the advice of a mysterious old man on how to cure the inability of his wife (Salma Hayek) to have a child…

There’s much to delight as Tale of Tales takes hold – not least Garrone’s belief in the power of these stories to travel through the years.” — Dave Calhoun, Time Out

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