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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 03.23.16] Spain horror fantasy adventure avant-garde

Tale of Tales comes from director Matteo Garrone's who's Gomorrah and Reality were incredibly well received. From the goodwill following those films he's assembled a stellar cast to bring the early fairy tale work of Giambattista Basile to life.

Basille is chiefly remembered for writing the collection of Neapolitan fairy tales titled "Lo cunto de li cunti overo lo trattenemiento de peccerille" ("The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones"). If you don't remember your parents telling you these ones, it's likely because they were a bit to... thematic.

Tale of Tales stars John C. Reilly, Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel and Toby Jones among others.

Sea monsters, monarchs, ogres, and sorcerers: Salma Hayek and John C. Reilly star in this breathtaking Baroque fantasy from the visionary director of Gomorrah.

Based on three spellbinding stories of magic and the macabre by 17th-century folklorist Giambattista Basile, Tale of Tales unleashes a barrage of mind-bogglingly gorgeous and fantastical imagery as it brings to life the (mis)adventures of three kings: in the kingdom of Darkwood, the King (Reilly) and his Queen (Hayek) attempt to conceive a child through very unusual means; meanwhile, in Highhills, the none-too-bright monarch (Toby Jones) marries off his daughter to brutal ogre while developing a strange obsession with breeding a giant flea; and, the sex-obsessed crown of Strongcliff (Vincent Cassel) is in for a shock when the woman he falls in love with is not quite what she seems.

Overflowing with surreal, dazzling surprises, this intoxicating cinematic spectacle is a delirious excursion into the dark heart of fairy tales.

Manuel, our European correspondent, was pretty harsh on the film when it premiered at Cannes, but I still can't wait to check this out.

Tale Of Tales is available now on DirecTV and will hit On Demand channels on April 22nd.

here's the new and wonderfully mad US trailer.

Recommended Release: The Tale of Tales

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