The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears review

Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani‘s feature film début, Amer, was an intense picture, a psycho-sexual triptych that explored the mind of a woman at three stages in her life. It really made me lean forward and take notice when I first saw it in 2009.

That film was perhaps best known for being a neo-giallo, indebted as it was to that wondrous seventies Italian horror genre, but it was more than just an exercise in aesthetic magpie-ism. Amer was beguiling because of its style, but it was also fascinating because of the way in which that style was being used to express ideas to the audience.

With their follow-up, The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears, the pair have not strayed from the Giallo-infused look and sound of their first film, but this latest feature is far less interesting or communicative than even the first twenty minutes of Amer.

The plot of The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears is actually relatively simple but the way it’s related is anything but. Klaus Tange plays a man named Dan who can’t find his wife, and when he begins searching for her around the large ornate Art Noveau building in which he lives, he encounters other residents and with them, further mysteries. This slim plot accounts for the bulk of the film and The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears really does suffer as a result of its meagre narrative. The film sadly starts to drag in the second half as the stylistic myopia evolves from mildly enjoyable to utterly exhausting.

As Dan races around the building we are constantly disorientated by the way in which Cattet and Forzani have chosen to shoot its various staircases and rooms. We, like Dan, are unable to understand what is going on spatially and are therefore lost in a confusing maze. The film has been built as a puzzle box by the filmmakers, a trap from which there is no escape for Dan or for the audience. But where this creation should fill one with dread and terror, the lack of development leaves the film’s dead ends more likely to breed frustration, tedium and the sense that this is all going nowhere.

And of course, it doesn’t go anywhere.

Many will perhaps “enjoy the trip” but The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears is a very disappointing sophomore feature from Cattet and Forzani and an unfortunate example of filmmakers’ passions and obsessions enveloping their work to the point of suffocation.

The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears is out in UK cinemas on the 11th of April. Strand Releasing have the US distribution rights but have yet to announce a release date.