Monday, May 11, 2015

The Italian Trailer for "Il Racconto Dei Racconti " (Tales of Tales") Is Amazing!

Put everything on hold: I must see this NOW!

Here's the Italian trailer. It's more loigcal in terms of story progression than the other trailers so you get more of an idea of what's happening, especially if you took a good look at my previous Tale of Tales post on the weekend. 
Only problem is, it's in, well, Italian (obviously) so I have to listen super-closely to understand what's being said and I still haven't found all the words I don't know in an Italian-english dictionary. Never fear though: the film was made in English so the Italian is dubbed over the actors speaking English. You don't need many words to understand what's going on anyway.

It's just beautiful, with lots of footage not included in the other English ones. Enjoy!
Don't worry - I am keeping my eyes peeled for US andUK distribution and will share as soon as I know!


  1. I am really interested in this film -- but also wary. It's so powerful visually -- and it may be that it has given so much visual space to the "reality" of the violence and heart eating, that those moments claim more attention in the telling than where the real "heart" of the story resides. If I think of the Armless Maiden tales treated this way (and we see a version of this in the film Titus Andronicus), I think we would lose the underlying narrative of a rites of passage becoming visually trapped in the violence of her losing her arms. We could never past emotionally the horror to the real journey of transformation. I don't know, maybe I am being a purist, but it seems such a modern conceit to adapt the stories to modern sensibilities -- to intellectualize them into complex existential narratives. They are beautiful and stunning, but they don't allow us to have our own feelings about them, because they come at us with so much technology. Maybe that's why I do like something like "Pan's Labyrinth" -- because it feels so invented, it's own tale with allusions to so many others, but unique unto itself -- the private vision of storytelling from one filmmaker. This film is about re-interpreting old tales, giving them a shot of adrenalin (as if they needed it to be relevent for today's audiences) and it worries me a little.

    1. TWO PART REPLY (because apparently I got wordy...):
      Food for thought - and important thoughts at that. How to reply? In some ways I agree but in other ways I am a huge advocate of stories being told and retold in just about any form - the more the better so that one image/telling doesn't dominate, as far as I'm concerned. (Remember too - that this is a trailer - it's marketing, and designed to whack a solid, unforgettable punch.)
      It took me a long time to realize what I dislike about Disney is that any tale the company 'retells' (no matter how loosely inspired by it is), it becomes the reigning image for that tale in popular thought. They're designed that way, of course, to make more money, to have the monopoly. If they could buy the copyright to fairy tales they would. Thankfully that's off the table, but in all my disappointment and frustration with this, it took me a long time to realize that it's largely due to Disney that these tales are kept alive in popular culture and society at large at all (society in it's current form, that is - perhaps tales would dominate in other forms if Disney had never formed his company but we'll never know).
      People argue that there are better forms and better tributes in literary circles and in research fields - and generally, I agree, but folk and fairy tales are not the purview of the educated elite, but rather, they are the stories of the common people and that's how they survive best. In our society that's pop culture, memes, televised entertainment and social media. When tales remain in circulation in these areas, they are kept alive - as they should be - which is a double-edged sword. The pro is that the tale, or traces of it at least, are visible and easily 'trackable' by almost anyone - the 'tale gene' stays strong, despite all efforts to dilute it. The con is that they change form, the narrative emphasis changes, they morph according to society's status, reactions and become the expression of a collective state of mind. Sometimes this results in films being made, books, being written, songs being composed and urban legends evolving - it's a response and effectively states - in tale form - where society is 'at'. Additionally tales are mined specifically in reaction to the very same things - trying to find our roots and substance when all is gone to glitter, or war, or wishes, or despair. I don't know why Garrone has chosen to mine/revive/express some of the Pentamerone at this time, or why he chose to do it as he did. I do know, however, that the Pentamerone is almost extinct in society (West and East) at large. It's only the well read, or folkloric-inclined few that even know of it's existence (outside of Italy that is - there it is held in higher esteem, like a cultural heritage). It could be that Garrone feels the world could benefit from becoming familiar with these tales again, reminding us that we're not more evolved than our ancestors at all, that human is human in both guts and glory - and has decided to express that in his forte - the film medium. He may just be putting into form the way he sees the tale (which his interviews tend to indicate).

    2. PART TWO (embarrassing, but I must finish my ramble...)
      I do know this: I would rather the Pentamerone come back into circulation, by whatever means, to ultimately be made more available to everyone (there are very few English versions available out there, for instance, and the ones that are not truly accessible to the average reader today - if the film is popular that will change, for the better). I would rather we have Disney's (animated) empty-headed Cinderella than no Cinderella available to the uneducated, the common mean. I would rather Rapunzel be Mangled/Tangled than become extinct except to the eccentric few who kept their grandmother's old fairy tale books... all these bastardized versions have led an overwhelmingly large percentage of folklorists and writers to begin working with these stories in the first place - and the popularity of the field as respected study is rising, not waning. No - it's not ideal, and yes, it makes one heart-sore sometimes to see what's been glossed over but at least the trail is visible - and that trail has gotten bigger and brighter as a result of those glitzy breadcrumbs we love to hate from so many years ago.
      The tales need people to tell them as much as people need the tales. I think stories are stories - they're not really ancient or modern. That's the things about fairy tales in particular - it's peculiar to the 'genre' (or whatever you want to call it). If we're not adapting them to modern sensibilities in some form then I think we are guilty of allowing them to be too precious, to collect dust and become unusable, useless relics.
      I have to admit, I am more than a little guilty of Pre-Raphaeliting (yes,I made it a verb) fairy tales - to have given them this sheen of romantic importance and sincere pathos and jealously defending their honor, but fairy tales have always been bawdy and excessive and extreme. I think this is just Garrone's version of exactly that - and what he's trying to convey.
      Different people see different things in the same stories. And different forms of the story speak to different people. Perhaps this version is not what your soul needs. Perhaps your primary language isn't Garrone's - or perhaps it's the opposite - perhaps you find it's exactly that and, therefore too imposing on your own. I don't think it seeks to define these tales in the same way as Disney does, though - to become the defining form of the Pentamerone.
      It's very difficult to discuss without seeing the movie as it's intended to be seen - of the director was only interested in what's in the trailer, he would have stuck to just doing a trailer. All the images we've seen are completely out of context - something which is the bane of any storyteller. I don't know if Garrone had any input in putting that together or not - generally, the way it works in the US is that directors have no (or extremely little) say at all, and they find it very frustrating to have their film represented this way but they're resigned to the same thing as many authors have come to terms with: you don't fuss over the cover of your book is it's getting people to buy and read it.
      I think this is a case of let's wait and see...