Returning home from a business trip to discover his wife missing, a man delves deeper and deeper into a surreal kaleidoscope of half-baked leads, seduction, deceit, and murder. Does anyone in the building know something?
A grizzled thug and his gang head to an island retreat with a haul of 250 kilograms of gold bullion to lay low; however, a bohemian writer, his muse, and a pair of gendarmes further complicate things, as allegiances are put to the test.
Following the disappearance of his wife, a man finds himself on a dark and twisted trail of discovery through the labyrinthine halls of his apartment building. Led on a wild goose chase by cryptic messages from his mysterious neighbours, he becomes entangled in a hellish nightmare as he unlocks their strange fantasies of sensuality and bloodshed. The Strange Colour Of Your Body's Tears is a visually dazzling experience from the creators of Amer that takes you on a journey into mystery and blood soaked terror that you will never forget.Written by
Writer-directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani are the duo responsible for Amer. That film shares a great deal of similarities with their latest feature, The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears. Both use the iconography and music of the Italian giallo films of the 1970's as the basic ingredients to construct an art film. Motifs familiar to fans of the genre include a character called Edwige, a black leather gloved assassin, retro phones, gaudy décor, early 70's looking women and a distinct lack of 21st century technology. We also have a soundtrack made up of a variety of music from 70's gialli – amongst others there are choice cuts from Killer Nun (1978) and All the Colors of the Dark (1972). Even its title is a knowing nod to the gloriously convoluted names that early 70's gialli often went under. Amer was made up of three parts, the middle section having no giallo influence at all; alternatively, The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears is fully focused on a giallo influence from start to finish. But make no mistake, this film like its predecessor is really not a giallo per se. It uses the imagery and music from the genre in a highly experimental manner. Consequently, this is not a story-driven film in the least. It's all about the look and feel.
Frankly, I found the story to be pretty incomprehensible to be perfectly honest. In brief summary, it's about a man who returns home to his apartment to find it locked from the inside and his wife mysteriously gone; his subsequent investigations lead to a variety of very strange events. It is pretty episodic, with some parts being more successful than others. While the film is overwhelmingly beautiful to look at, a problem I had with it was that its story and characters were very unengaging. This meant that it wasn't always easy keeping your attention on events. The cinematography is really very, very good though; if anything even more impressive than in Amer. The widescreen is used to its full extent, there is interesting framing, the use of colour is fabulous, there is inventive use of split-screen and black and white is interspersed with colour. It's consistently inventive and often quite gorgeous. But it is so pronounced and relentless that after a bit you almost feel tired-out by it. And because there are such distant, unengaging characters involved in such an incomprehensible story, this means that the beautiful imagery doesn't always amount to as much as it could if there was something we could empathise with going on.
But don't get me wrong, the imagery is extremely alluring at times and there is an interesting atmosphere of mystery generated some of the time. In terms of visual artistry, this is rather good but as a thriller, it can try your patience. Overall, it's another very worthwhile effort from Cattet and Forzani but I sort of wish the next time they would employ their undoubted visual artistry around a thriller with a plot-line we can engage with more. If they can do that, then they could make something extraordinary. This one, impressed me in some ways but left me a somewhat frustrated as well.
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