The Strange Colour of your Body’s Tears – Review by Frank L.
Directed by by Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Stars: Klaus Tange, Ursula Bedena, Joe Koener
EXCLUSIVELY at the IFI from April 11th 2014
Here the story begins with a chiselled-faced, gimlet-eyed, late forties executive arriving back from the airport after another no doubt successful deal to the breathtakingly beautiful art nouveau apartment block, only to discover his wife is missing and the apartment is locked from the inside. Confronted with that mystery, he discovers more unusual phenomena about the apartment block. All is about to change.
Directors Cattet and Forzani, a husband and wife team, have apparently revitalised the Italian giallo genre of the 1960s and ‘70s, with their feature Amer and numerous shorts, according to the press release. The pair have so far made six shorts and two features, dating from 2001 to present day.
The directors flash before our eyes images of a steel zip in a black leather jacket, the close-up texture of human skin presumably female, the irregularities of the skin of a nipple. The German word for nipple, Brustwart literally “a body wart” springs to mind, a long razor-sharp stiletto moving across the skin to the nipple now definitely a Brustwart, the magnificent stained glass windows of the art nouveau apartment block, the monumental staircase with its electrically-lit torchères standing guard at its base, the stained glass patterns being moved in a Kaleidoscope and blood, loads of blood. Blood oozing, blood trickling, blood flowing, blood drying and every other verb you can think of that might do something with blood, other than coagulating which which takes far too long
There are various fleeting moments of suspense but this tension does not seem to engage the directors as the images change so quickly any possible suspense is even more quickly dissipated as a further deluge of images flash before your eyes. Many of those images are eerily beautiful but what the film is about the directors seem incapable of revealing or chose not to reveal. The expression “form is everything, content nothing” springs to mind. I suppose it could be said that its one hundred and two minutes duration identified the strange colour of a body’s tears as red but I think I could have guessed that fact before I sat through this offering for each of those long one hundred and two minutes.