Archive of films Tale of Tales / Il racconto dei racconti

Italy / France
2014, 125 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2015

This time around, the director of Gomorrah (2008) drew on an old book by a Neapolitan author that was a primary source for many other famous fairytale writers. The film blends the stories of the kings and princesses of three kingdoms, but it also includes undersea monsters, hypertrophied fleas, witches, and giants. This visually riveting and dramatic narrative, spiced with humor and references to the history of the visual arts, was shot in English in order to appeal to a wider audience.


This time around, the director of Gomorrah (2008) leaves the contemporary world behind and sets off into the realm of fairy tales as told in the early 17th century by Neapolitan poet Giambattista Basile, whose collection The Tale of Tales (Lo cunto de li cunti) provided material for many famous fairy-tale writers. The filmmaker explains why he chose this work: “In his tales I found that blend of the real and the fantastic which has always characterised my artistic endeavours.” Shot in English, his film tells the story of three kingdoms full of castles and palaces populated by kings and queens who have a variety of weaknesses, desires and sorrows. We also see princes and princesses alongside strange creatures and monsters, ogres and dragons, but also jugglers and washerwomen, since this is an alignment of life’s opposites: the ordinary and the supernatural, the sublime and the vulgar, the brutal and the tender, and the dramatic and the comic. The director effected a sumptuous piece, almost Baroque in style, betraying clear references to the history of the visual arts and music, but also mischievous insight into the unchanging qualities and behaviour of human beings.

Eva Zaoralová (2012)

About the director

Matteo Garrone

Matteo Garrone (b. 1968, Rome) studied fine arts. He began working in 1986 as an assistant cameraman while continuing his painting. His first feature film Land in Between (Terra di mezzo) took the Special Jury Prize at Torino’s International Festival of Young Cinema in 1997. Subsequent films were also well received on the international festival circuit, such as the documentary Oreste Pipolo, Wedding Photographer (Oreste Pipolo, fotografo di matrimoni), the feature film Guests (Ospiti) and particularly the drama The Embalmer (L’imbalsamatore, 2002), which was included in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in 2002 and KVIFF’s Horizons section in 2003. Karlovy Vary audiences also had the opportunity to see his award-winning First Love (Primo amore, 2004 – Silver Bear for Best Film Music at the Berlinale), Gomorrah (2008, Grand Prix at Cannes) and Reality (2012, Grand Prix at Cannes).


The Festival Agency
Kwerk, 22 Bd Malesherbes, 750 08, Paris
Tel: +33 954 904 863
E-mail: [email protected]

HanWay Films
8 Basing Street, W11 1ET, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 290 0750
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Matteo Garrone
Screenplay: Edoardo Albinati, Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudioso na motivy pohádek / based on fairytales by Giambattista Basile
Dir. of Photography: Peter Suschitzky
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Editor: Marco Spoletini
Art Director: Dimitri Capuani
Producer: Matteo Garrone
Production: Archimede Film
Coproduction: Le Pacte
Cast: Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, John C. Reilly, Toby Jones
Sales: HanWay Films
Contact: The Festival Agency


Leslie Vuchot

Distributor, Service Company Rep.


© 2023 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. [email protected] +420 221 411 011 All contacts

AccommodationsAccommodations Festival Pass, tickets, reservationsFestival Pass, tickets
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days Programme 2021Industry Days Programme KVIFF Eastern PromisesKVIFF Eastern Promises
VideogalleryVideogallery PhotogalleryPhotogallery
ContactsContacts Posters of the 57th KV IFFPosters of the 57th KV IFF
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide