Monday, 4 November 2013

Review - The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears (2013 - Dir. Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani)

Oh dear. Where to start with this one. I'll put off the inevitable by giving you the synopsis first: Dan Kristensen (Klaus Tange) gets home one day to find his wife missing. Inexplicably the chain is still on the door. We then follow his attempts to find his wife, against the backdrop of a murderer on a spree.

The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears is a hard film to watch, gruelling in fact. This isn't due to any scenes of unpleasantness, but to the relentless arty shots that focus on style over any semblance of a story. Just have a look at the screenshots - they're gorgeous - shame it's so difficult to make any sense of them when they're linked together. I could vaguely follow parts of it, though as a whole, I've got no idea what was going on. Gialli aren't known for their logic but at least you can general work out what's happening. There is also a lot of repetition. Admittedly things change very slightly each time certain shots are shown. It's not enough to escape the tedium though.

It's more of a film based on sensation and suggestion. I left with an overall impression of eroticism, fetishism and murder, which in small doses is quite intoxicating. As a whole it's really hard work and for the last half, I just wanted it to stop.

And now, I'm going to stick up for it. In this risk-averse world where blandness is strived for and celebrated purely to maximise profits, filmmakers that go down such an anti-commercial route should be applauded. Supposedly in the audience at Celluloid Screams, one person loved this film and everyone else hated it. But the thing to remember is that one person - it could be you - loved it. Without the directors sticking to their plan of pushing a giallo to its limits, that person would have missed something special to them. When I think of my favourite films, most of them were very risky affairs with little commercial success. So even though I don't like it, I'll give it an extra point or two on the rating for being so uncompromising. (Unlike something that's just rubbish and cynically commercial, like V/H/S.)

On top of that I've got a strange desire to see it again. It was the same with Amer. Didn't like it at the time, but now it's on my Christmas list. I suspect that a similar thing will happen with this. There's something alluring about the atmosphere that will draw me back.

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  1. Replies
    1. Interesting, but I think you'd hate it. I'll no doubt get it at some point so you can have a look. But don't get your hopes up.