Matteo Garrone is back with The Tale of Tales, a bold English-language horror/fantasy starring Salma Hayek – as a Spanish queen who eats a raw dragon’s heart – Vincent Cassel and John C. Reilly.
The film’s trailer was recently released to a flurry of divisive reactions and just premiered at the Cannes film festival to incredibly varied reviews.
Check out the trailer below:
The Tale of Tales is adapted by Garrone and three other writers from Giambattista Basile’s The Tale of Tales or Entertainment for Little Ones. Switching back and forth between three stories in a kingdom of forest witches, black magic, giant fleas, ogres, and kings and queens. The film doesn’t hold your hand while you descend into the rabbit hole, you’re in full-on Wonderland right from the start.
Basile’s stories, written in the 1630s were influenced by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. His writing spins macabre tales of sex-crazed monarchs, feckless parents and women obsessed with beauty that still ring true today, said Garrone, who is making his English-language debut with The Tale of Tales.
Though first reactions out of the film’s premiere in Cannes were incredibly mixed, ranging from “breathtaking” to “maddening and disturbing,” most critics are urging people to see it, if only to believe it. In the trailer, we’re treated to such sights as: Salma Hayek eating the heart of a sea monster (boiled and served by a virgin in order to become pregnant), Toby Jones taking care of what looks like a giant flea, and Vincent Cassel throwing a woman out a window. However, most of the really weird stuff is retained in the feature film.
Hayek spoke during a press conference at Cannes about some of the more unsettling aspects of the shoot:
“The heart tasted disgusting…He [Garrone] wanted it to look exactly like a real heart inside, so a doctor would recognize what I was eating…It was [made of] pasta, candy – all kinds of disgusting things, I was gagging.”
Director Matteo Garrone recently said that Game of Thrones was a cinematic and aesthetic reference for the film’s overall creation, and the film is a big-budget project with CGI flourishes is a departure for Garrone. His earlier film, Gomorrah won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2008 and explored the inner workings of the mob in and around Naples.
The Tale of Tales is now out in theaters in Italy, and will be hitting French cinemas on July 1st. At this time, there is no American release date announced.
Images: 01 Distribution