Condition: C8 Excellent
Approx. Running minutes 99
Release dates 11/04/2014
BBFCInsight Contains strong bloody violence and strong nudity
Genre(s) Thriller, Horror
Director(s) Hélène Cattet,Bruno Forzani
Cast includes Klaus Tange, Ursula Bedena, Joe Koener, Birgit Yew, Hans de Munter, Anna D'Annunzio, Jean-Michel Vovk
StorylineFollowing 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.
There’s a story to this film, one involving a businessman returning home to a dead wife and an apartment that might not be empty. All of that, in the best way, is window dressing. De Palma was one of the first to utilize these techniques in suspense films, where the advanced technology allowed him to obscure perfunctory plots, often where the “who” in whodunit was blatantly, nakedly obvious. Cattet and Forzani are less dismissive of their narrative as much as they acknowledge it’s one of many props in an impressive arsenal. We don’t learn much more about the story: this businessman’s wife may have anticipated an attack, the police don’t fully trust or understand him, and his attempts to find a concrete answer to this riddle only introduce more logistical impossibilities.
And then, there is a scene where a jealous man sees his lover from afar, on the steps of a coliseum. She speaks hurriedly to another man, but the voyeur is distracted by a little girl urging him to take her candy, in small crimson wrapping paper. He takes a moment to accept the candy in his pocket but loses track of his lover. And when he finds her again, she is unrecognizable. He reaches for the candy, but the sharpness of the paper cuts him badly, with shades of red, folding into each other like origami.
Like “Amer”, this new film takes its cues from giallos in its zoom lenses, exaggerated colors, and moody music. But the references seem deeper, more complex: this is less Argento and more Sergio Martino, The sounds come from Ennio Morricone, Riz Ortolani and even Stelvio Cipriani, but this time, they feel less like loving touches and more like misdirection, gateways into the unknown. If Scarlett Johansson is leading her victims anywhere during “Under The Skin”, it’s into this movie. The camera keeps its distance, but Cattet and Forzani disorient by cranking and over-emphasizing certain effects. If leather is adjusted, the film makes it feel as if it is pressing against your face. When glass breaks, it is as if every window in your apartment building is shattering. The film is just as likely to shift from quick cuts to stop-motion, color to black and white.
Viewers aren’t going to be able to make much linear sense of “The Strange Color Of Your Body’s Tears.” The film is borderline installation-worthy, and would probably work just as well if the scenes were drastically re-arranged. But within this film is the dirty secret that horror movies only sometimes wink towards: that the real fear is in the director as ultimate creator. No matter how safe your characters might seem, there’s an invisible hand off-screen, ready to manipulate and destroy them, and re-shape the reality which you’ve already felt comfortable with. The success of found footage speaks to how this unseen creator could suddenly be relatable, understandable, human. “The Strange Color Of Your Body’s Tears” veers violently in the other direction, re-establishing these creators as vengeful gods with no inherent bias. In that way, perhaps it’s a little too scary for some.