The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears

Film Title: The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears

Director: Hélène Cattet , Bruno Forzani

Starring: Bianca Maria D’Amato, Marie Bos, Charlotte Eugène Guibbaud

Genre: Drama

Running Time: 102 min

Fri, Apr 11, 2014, 00:00


A man comes home from the airport to find that his apartment is locked from the inside and his partner missing. His discovery is punctuated with disconcerting monochrome flashes: a blade across a nipple, a creepy doll, restraints pulled tighter.

The man talks to his neighbours, each of whom is weirder than the last. They impart tales of disappearances, strange noises, and, with a shoutout for Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a faceless figure living beneath the wallpaper. Nightmarish, eroto-violent images pile up: broken glass, a knife-wielding maniac, leather gloves (of course).

In 2009, husband-and-wife directing team Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani burst onto the fantasy circuit with Amer, a mesmerising, discombobulating homage to Dario Argento and Italian giallo . By the end of The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears, the Belgian couple have cemented the notion that they are the movieverse’s answer to Genesis and Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge. Experimental, cerebral and psychedelic, their oeuvre is a visual riot of allusions to Hitchcock, Swankmajer, Brakhage, Kon Satoshi and the Whole Sick Crew.

Strange picks up where the twisted carnality of Amer left off: in a hazy dreamscape of nipples, reds, jolting musical cues, erotically charged close-ups and, oh yes, peacocks. There are corridors and secret rooms and multiple reflections and slashing.

Amer played kinky games with a coming-of-age narrative; Strange does bondage with no safe word on a cherchez-la-femme plot. The new film is more, more, more. A relentless visceral assault, it lacks the shapeliness of its attractive predecessor. No matter: crazily lush production values (Manu Dacosse’s cinematography and Yves Bemelmans’ Morricone-addicted sound design) keep pace with the hysteria.

Greatest Freudian Hits. Played maybe a little too loud.