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 Michael Bergeron
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Wild Tales

Wild Tales
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Wild Tales are just that: A series of vignettes that in some way explore perverse relationships or hazardous confrontations. Writer/director Damián Szifrón presents half a dozen stories that are connected thematically in this Argentinian film that was recently nommed for a best foreign film Oscar. Some viewers will recognize actor Ricardo Darín from the 2000 film Nine Queens.

The thing about Wild Tales is that each story ups the bar in the sense of how are they going to outdo what just happened? And yet, each story seems to push an additional boundary. The introduction, if not ironic in view of this week’s news, features several people on an airline flight who realize that the reason they all got free tickets to fly on this particular day coincides with the pilot, who has locked himself in the front cabin, wanting to kill them all. This sequences ends in a shot from the ground where the plane descends into a neighborhood pool owned by the pilot’s parents and the nose of the jetliner freeze-frames in league with the title graphic.920x920

Not to spoil all the separate stories, lets just say the plots revolve around Faustian bargains or tales of vengeance. The first tale centers on an incident of road rage that escalates into a full-on confrontation that involves flat tires, defecation, ramming one car with the other and finally a metallic fight to the death where nobody wins. When investigators find the two charred remains of bodies they conclude that the men were lovers.

There was also a Graham Nash solo album called Wild Tales, no relation. Wild Tales opens at the Sundance Cinemas Houston this weekend.

- Michael Bergeron