Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani are at it again. Like a beloved rock band whose sound never changes, the duo’s follow-up to Amer and “O is for Orgasm” is packed full of more of the same impeccably beautiful visuals and sounds we’ve come to expect from the giallo aficionados. That’s not to say that The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears isn’t an effortless feat; in fact, it’s even better than Amer. It’s a gorgeous kaleidoscopic painting of a film that fills a massive, Dario Argento-shaped hole in the souls of genre fans.
The erotic knife play, squelching leather gloves and trembling sighs that have become hallmarks of Cattet and Forzani’s films are proudly on display in The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears, only this time, those hallmarks are more bawdy, ardent, perplexing, confrontational and tantalizing. The film is an experimental homage to the Italian giallo films of the ‘70s with little treats sprinkled throughout for genre fans, including a fantastic stained glass window shattering a la Phenomena, and the name of a missing character, Edwige, who is undoubtedly named after the smoldering star of many a giallo flick, Edwige Fenech.
The story follows Edwige’s husband, who combs through his very old, part-Gothic, part-Art Nouveau, 100% creepy apartment building looking for her. He comes across some pretty weird characters that complicate the story and throw in a few red herrings. It could be as if Argento or Sergio Martino remade Polanski’s The Tenant with a bit of creative direction from David Lynch. Of course, a film made by Cattet and Forzani is less about the plot than it is about how stunning and atmospheric the picture is, and that’s to say nothing of the sound. Like the previous films in their twisted roster of murderous movies, the sound design is lush and stimulating. Much like the recent Berberian Sound Studio, Strange Colours amplifies and evangelizes every little noise—the wet echoing a drop of blood makes is as of much of an event as is a knife blade scraping softly yet menacingly against an endless landscape of sensual bare skin
The film’s one flaw is that it goes on a little too long and becomes very abstract at its end. However, this rapturous film is exquisitely insane and beautiful, much like a few of the neighbors in the apartment of sadistic pleasures. See it in a dark theater if you can, or set up your best sound system if watching at home; you’ll want to soak up every breath, scream, sigh, peeping eye, and shade of red for this one.