Following the corporeal dramas of Gomorrah and Reality, director Matteo Garrone presents something truly expected: a fulsome feast of gothic fantasy. Taking its cue from the folk stories of Giambattista Basile, Garrone presents a twisted tapestry of dark fairytales, all set around an accursed royal court. Salma Hayek plays a bitter queen on a bloody quest, while Vincent Cassel’s libidinous King is tormented by two mysterious sisters, and Toby Jones is another monarch who becomes obsessed with a giant flea.
Much like Game of Thrones, Tales of Tales offers yet another step in the rehabilitation of the fantasy genre, while also helping to reclaim the dark fairytale from its recent Hollywood reinvention as a teen genre. Garrone’s film is undeniably adult, but it leavens its outlandish episodes with a playful air that come across like The Princess Bride directed by Terry Gilliam. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2015, Tale of Tales is a visually wonderful and gloriously distinctive film experience.
Comedy 1977 106 mins Director: Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam's first feature as a solo director, here gloriously restored, is a riotous tale of monsters, true love and medieval manners.
Comedy 2018 97 mins Director: Gabriel Abrantes
Diamantino, Portugal’s (the world’s!) top football player, becomes embroiled in a genetic experiment and a conspiracy to leave the EU, in this joyful, postmodern political fantasy.
Fantasy 1939 102 mins Director: Victor Fleming
Venture down the yellow brick road once again with this sumptuous magical fantasy.
Comedy 1992 103 mins Director: Robert Zemeckis
Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn face off in this hilariously dark supernatural comedy, a 90s classic.
Fantasy 1934 102 mins Director: Maurice Elvey
After spitting on Christ on the way to crucifixion, a Jewish man is cursed with immortality
Fantasy 1955 38 mins Director: Jack Clayton
A clerk in a cold warehouse wants one of the warm sheepskin coats stacked around him.
Best Films of 2016
Documentary 2015 99 mins Director: John Dower
Louis Theroux investigates the secretive world of the Church of Scientology, armed with his characteristic deadpan wit.
Romance 2016 97 mins Director: Olivier Ducastel
A brief encounter at a naked sex club in Paris seems to be going well for Theo and Hugo, but a sudden realisation changes everything.
Drama 2016 85 mins Director: Ira Sachs
Ira Sachs’ poignant drama about how money affects relationships follows an artistic family’s attempts to attune to a new Brooklyn neighbourhood.
Comedy 2016 101 mins Director: Taika Waititi
Juvenile delinquent Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) forms an unlikely partnership with Sam Neill’s grizzled bushman in this hilarious wild adventure from Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows).
Comedy 2015 96 mins Director: Rachel Tunnard
Anna (Jodie Whittaker) is an emotionally stunted 30-year-old living in her mum’s shed, learning to confront adult reality, in Rachel Tunnard’s quirky debut.
Drama 2015 88 mins Director: Sean Baker
A big-hearted film shot on a small phone, this LA tale of two transgender working girls out for vengeance fizzes with wild energy.
Featuring Salma Hayek
Thriller 2018 111 mins Director: Kim Nguyen
Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård are sensational as scheming cousins on a lucrative but ethically dubious mission, in this fast, funny and topical technological caper.
Period drama 2018 136 mins Director: Jennifer Kent
A young Irish convict enlists the help of an Aboriginal tracker in her quest for vengeance, in this ferociously powerful revenge drama from Jennifer Kent (The Babadook).
Comedy 2017 91 mins Director: Sophie Brooks
The captivating Zosia Mamet (Girls) takes centre-stage in this smart and sassy Manhattan-set relationship drama which channels the spirit of Nora Ephron.
Biopic 2017 107 mins Director: Marc Meyers
Marc Meyers' adaptation of Derf Backderf’s revered graphic novel is an unnerving teen horror-drama about the makings of a murderer.
Comedy 2019 118 mins Director: Gurinder Chadha
In 1987 during the austere days of Thatcher's Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen.
Documentary 2019 102 mins Director: Richard Lowenstein
Capturing his rise to super-stardom and subsequent tragic fall, Mystify gives remarkable insight into INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence and a truth he took to the grave.
Drama 2019 95 mins Director: José Celestino Campusano
A history of abuse is uncovered in this provocative and challenging coming-of-age drama from Argentina.