The Art of Being Brutally Experimental
Branding into one’s brain like a pair of scissors thrust forcefully through the top of the skull, the second feature from maestros Bruno Forzani and Hélène Cattet more than delivers on the promise of their debut Amer, and, somewhat improbably, goes even further towards a contemporary, devilishly stylish revisiting of the giallo genre. In Belgium. (The title – in English, The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears – could have been used in 1973 by Dario Argento or Sergio Martino.)
The events of this truly unforgettable film take place almost entirely within the confines of a Brussels Art Nouveau apartment building, as a man searches for his vanished wife, with each door leading deeper into the subconscious, each scene attempting to top what comes before it. Plot be damned: Cattet and Forzani approach cinema with an incessant desire for experimentation, done towards something like a distillation of giallo to its essence: say what you want about L'Étrange Couleur des larmes de ton corps – brutally violent, it’s probably not for everyone – it’s certainly got the strength of its convictions.
Those better versed in the intricacies and history of giallo cinema than I will surely find a lot to unpack here, in terms of imagery, references, and musical choices – but one constant delight comes in Cattet and Forzani’s selections of 70s cult classics from composers such as Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai (including the amazing “Sabba”), even employing the motif from Nico Fidenco’s score for Emanuelle Around the World. Only criticism: where is Asia Argento?