Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

Tale of Tales 2015

Il racconto dei racconti

Directed by Matteo Garrone

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.

France / Italy In English
125 minutes CinemaScope / DCP



Matteo Garrone
Jeremy Thomas
Jean Labadie
Anne-Laure Labadie


Edoardo Albinati
Ugo Chiti
Matteo Garrone
Massimo Gaudioso. Based on the book by Giambattista Basile


Peter Suschitzky


Marco Spoletini

Production designer

Dimitri Capuani

Costume designer

Massimo Cantini Parrini


Alexandre Desplat


Salma Hayek (Queen of Selvascura)
Vincent Cassel (King of Roccaforte)
Toby Jones (King of Altomonte)
John C. Reilly (King of Selvascura)
Shirley Henderson (Imma)
Stacy Martin (young Dora)
Christian Lees (Elias)
Jonah Lees (Jonah)
Bebe Cave (Viola)


Cannes (In Competition) 2015


“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