Film: Wild Tales

wild talesArgentinian director Damián Szifrón’s scathing anthology film Wild Tales (2014) is a collection of nerve-wracking, blackly comic short stories about people coming undone in high-pressure situations. A teaser segment on an airplane sets the darkly madcap tone, before the film jump-cuts frantically to tales of spontaneous revenge, extreme road rage, civic corruption, accidents spiraling out of control, and nuptials run amok.

To summarize any of the chapters would be to rob them of their crucial shock value and twisted humor, but suffice it to say it’s a remarkable film, unpredictable and ferocious. If pressed to compare it to something, I would mention Black Mirror, in the way that its high-strung, violent, absurd scenarios comment mercilessly on the pressures of modern life. But really it’s unlike anything I’ve seen before, an ambitious and occasionally overwrought project full of inventive scenarios involving ordinarary people going postal in jaw-dropping ways. While some of its segments are much more effective than others, overall I found it an original and riveting cinematic concoction. This one won’t please everyone, but for arthouse fans with strong stomachs it might really connect.

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