Thursday, May 15, 2014

Breaking News: "The Tale of Tales" In Production (That's Right - We're About to Get Basile's Tales On Film. In English!)

Grannonia and the Fox from The Serpent by Warwick Goble
UPDATE 9pm 5-15-14:
I've updated the cast members announced today, as well as added a description & brief synopsis.

From earlier in the year we learned this from Variety:
Salma Hayek and Vincent Cassel are set to topline Italian helmer Matteo Garrone’s “The Tale of Tales,” the helmer’s follow up to “Reality,” which won a Grand Prize at Cannes.
The English-language film will shoot in Italy during the spring. Garrone’s most ambitious project to date, the period fantasy is based on three tales from Giambattista Basile’s “Lo cunto de li cunti.”
(It would seem Vincent Cassel is on a fairy tale kick, no? We totally approve. And at least this one we will get to see!)
UPDATED 9pm 5-15-14: Just today it was announced that John C. Reilly (Chicago) and Toby Jones (Frost/Nixon) have also joined the cast. 
And a description & brief synopsis from The Hollywood Reporter
The film is described as an Italian baroque era fantasy story.It is inspired by and loosely based on Tale of Tales by Giambattista Basile, a 17th century Neapolitan author whose fairytales are recognized as the forerunners of worldwide fantasy literature.
Garrone co-wrote the story and screenplay with Edoardo Albinati, Ugo Chiti and Massimo Gaudioso, with the script billed as a “fantastic journey through the baroque era, narrating the stories of three different kingdoms and their respective sovereigns.” 
From the bitter quest of a jealous queen (Hayek) who forfeits the life of her husband (Reilly), to two mysterious sisters yearning for youth in order to provoke the passion of a king (Cassel), to a king (Jones) obsessed with a giant flea leading to heartbreak for his young daughter, the stories weave the beautiful with the grotesque. 
Well it's now in production in Sicily and there's a little more news about this English language (yes!) fairy tale film.
The Prince and Filadoro with the snails from The Dove by Warwick Goble

(I cannot believe how excited I am about this!)

Excerpted from the exclusive Variety interview:

Q: The movie you are about to shoot is based on “The Tale of Tales,” a collection of fairy tales by 17th century Italian author Giambattista Basile which, among other stories, contains the earliest versions of famous fables like “Rapunzel,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella.” What made you want to work with this book?  A: I chose to enter Basile’s world and make it my own because when I read them I immediately felt these stories were something familiar. I really connected with their spirit,  their irony and also with their dark aspects. In his fables I found that mix of real and unreal that has always characterized what I strive for as an artist. This project could seem far-removed from the rest of my work to date. But actually I think it pretty much fits in with what I’ve done so far. 
Rita riding on the dolphin
from The Three Enchanted Princes by Warwick Goble

Q: How so?  A: Among my movies, “The Embalmer,” or “First Love” or even “Gomorra,” and also “Reality” all had fable-like elements. Perhaps in those cases I took my cue from reality to transfigure it into a fantasy-like, or dreamlike, dimension. Whereas this time I’m doing the reverse, I’ve taken fable-like situations and turned them into something more realistic and believable. However, it’s the first time I’m venturing into supernatural territory and playing with magic.  
Q: In terms of genre how would you describe it?  A: I would call it a fantasy film with horror elements.  
Q: What are some of the themes in “Tale of Tales”?  A: The stories we chose to work with are amazing because they are so modern, so contemporary. They comprise a yearning for youth and physical beauty, the suffering of a woman willing to do anything to have a child, generational conflict, the struggle for power.
Parmetella gathering the golden leaves from The Golden Root by Warwick Goble


Added from The Hollywood Reporter today:

Garrone said: “I chose to enter Basile's world because I found in his fables the mix between reality and fantasy that has always defined my artistic research. The stories described in Tale of Tales form a world in which all the opposites of life are exposed: the ordinary and the extraordinary, the magical and the mundane, the real and the surreal, the simple and artificial, the sublime and the filthy, the terrible and the pleasing.”

Interestingly, while many places shoot on set to look like it's set in a real place, Garrone has taken the opposite approach. They spent seven moths location scouting throughout Italy, looking for real and complete places that looked as if they might actually be a set.

According to IMDB (which isn't exactly the best source, but the only one I could find with a date) the film is set to be released sometime during 2014 in Italy at least. That will be some quick post production if they do! Maybe Christmas..?

I already like the sound of how this is going to look and what it's about. I hope it's stunning and draws a lot of people in. I was just thinking at the beginning of the year that there aren't enough beautiful looking volumes of Basile's tales. Other than the versions with Warwick Goble's illustrations and the one with George Cruikshank's, they all look old, outdated, cheaply printed and not at all precious or important, which is not how they should be presented at all. We need some Il Pentamerone volumes that look like the gorgeous - and loved - collections available of Grimm's andAndersen's tales. Then people might actually pic them up and read them again. Hopefully this film will do that too.
The Lizard showing Goat-Face the palace by Warwick Goble
Click on the image below to go to a simple overview of The Pentamerone:
And once you have the overview, head over to SurLaLune to do some in depth reading, starting HERE.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like it could be great! "The Flea" is one of my favorite stories in Basile.