Anthology Gone Wild!
DIRECTED BY DAMIAN SZIFRON/SPANISH/2015
Wild Tales can best be described as Quentin Tarantino directing episodes of The Twilight Zone in Argentina. Besides having Pedro Almodovar’s name as a presenter, this movie is completely under the radar and unfortunately so. It’s made up of a set of vignettes that would completely hold up on their own and make a great episode of an anthology show like Black Mirror. However, the connections made by the director make it a true film
What’s great about each story is they are all driven by destruction, horror and revenge. Yet each still keeps a piece of it’s tongue in its cheek and never takes itself so seriously. If you are going to try to pull off what director Damian Szifron does in this film, you need to keep the right amount of self-awareness in the equation.
The stories connect, but not in some forced, film-school way. They also don’t connect in that way you would see with every knock-off post-Tarantino film from the late-90’s. Rather they connect in a smarter, more subtle way. Themes overlap in the most nuanced ways. There’s hidden premonitions. Seemingly throw-away lines from a character in one story connects the dots in another story. Decisions made by certain characters seem to be advice taken from characters in other stories. Through it all it feels like you are in the hands of a precise craftsman who puts such exact work in seemingly insane moments.
This small gem is virtually unknown in the US (even though it was nominated for Best Foreign-Language film at last year’s Oscars), but has all of the workings of a cult classic. Give it a shot soon and jump on board before a bandwagon has even formed.