×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Locarno Film Review: ‘The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears’

This blood-spattered pseudo-Freudian nonsense is suitable only for the most avid giallo groupies.

With:
Klaus Tange, Jean-Michel Vovk, Sylvia Camarda, Sam Louwyck, Anna D’Annunzio, Manon Beuchot, Ursula Bedena, Birgit Yew, Hans de Munter. (French, Danish, Flemish dialogue)

When does an exercise in style become a wearying ADD slog through blood-splattered pseudo-Freudian nonsense? When it’s “The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears.” Helmer-scripters Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani (“Amer”) once again plunge viewers into giallo territory with a confused story regarding disappearances, people behind walls, and gaping head-wounds resembling vaginas, edited to within an inch of its life and suitable only for die-hard Fangoria readers and other devotees of ersatz 1970s Italo schlock. Frenzied consumption by the genre’s most avid groupies awaits (Metrodome nabbed U.K. rights following the Cannes market screening); others will ankle.

When Dan (Denmark’s Klaus Tange) comes home to Brussels following a business trip, he finds wife Edwige (Ursula Bedena) missing and the door chained from the inside. Looking for someone who can explain what happened, he meets older neighbor Dora (Birgit Yew) on the seventh floor, dressed in black lace and fetish boots. Sometime earlier her husband disappeared through a hole he made in the ceiling; could the two be together? What’s moving behind the wallpaper? Who’s the mystery woman in the red hood?

Rather than worrying too much about the answers, those sticking around will have more productive thoughts imagining what they could do with the fabulous art-nouveau spaces Cattet and Forzani lucked into using. It’s certainly more rewarding than trying to make sense of the ultimately offensive way the pic wallows in fear of murderous female pudenda. Unsurprisingly, there are copious amounts of blood, repeated slashings with sharp instruments, and loving images of broken glass ground into naked flesh. Stuttered black-and-white pictures of a knife caressing a woman’s nipple are presumably meant as mood enhancers, though the same can be said for practically every frame onscreen since the plot is too baroque to follow.

No shot lasts more than a few seconds, making “Strange Color” even more of an endurance test. As with “Amer,” the helmers indulge in lurid colors and split screens as well as kaleidoscopic images meant to hark back to the gialli whence it came. As if the antecedents weren’t already clear, they clog up the soundscape with Ennio Morricone tunes and other musical snippets from lurid genre pics of the era. Helmer Peter Strickland (“Berberian Sound Studio”) is credited as voicing one of the screams.

Locarno Film Review: 'The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears'

Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (competing), Aug. 11, 2013. (Also in Toronto Film Festival — Vanguard.) Running time: 101 MIN. Original title: "L’etrange couleur des larmes de ton corps"

Production:

(Belgium-France-Luxembourg) A Numero Zero (in Belgium)/Shellac (in France) release of an Anonymes Films, Tobina Film, Epidemic, Red Lion, Mollywood production, with the participation of Canal Plus, Cine Plus, BeTV, Belgacom, in association with Indefilms. (International sales: Bac Films, Paris.) Produced by Eve Commenge, Francois Cognard. Co-producers, Eurydice Gysel, Koen Mortier, Pol Cruchten, Jeanne Geiben.

Crew:

Directed, written by Helene Cattet, Bruno Forzani. Camera (color/B&W), Manu Dacosse; editor, Bernard Beets; production designer, Julia Irribarria; costume designer, Jackye Fauconnier; sound (Dolby Digital), Dan Bruylandt, Yves Bemelmans, Mathieu Cox.

With:

Klaus Tange, Jean-Michel Vovk, Sylvia Camarda, Sam Louwyck, Anna D’Annunzio, Manon Beuchot, Ursula Bedena, Birgit Yew, Hans de Munter. (French, Danish, Flemish dialogue)

More Film

  • Joker

    Korea Box Office: 'Joker' Remains on Top, 'Gemini Man' Lands in Fourth

    Warner Bros.’ “Joker” remained on top of the South Korean box office in its second weekend. The American psychological thriller earned $5.71 million from 768,000 admissions between Friday and Sunday, for a total of $28.3 million from 3.85 million admissions after two weekends. It accounted for 46% of total weekend box office in the country. [...]

  • dolittle-DRD_Tsr1Sht_1011_RGB_4_rgb-1

    Robert Downey Jr. Embarks on Perilous Journey in First 'Dolittle' Trailer (Watch)

    Robert Downey Jr. is setting sail with some furry friends in the first trailer for “Dolittle,” Universal Pictures’ reimagining of the classic story about a man who could speak to animals. “We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey,” he says. Set to a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' Posts Powerful Opening in North America

    Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.  Neon opened “Parasite” at The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average of [...]

  • Joker Movie

    'Joker' Dominates International Box Office With $124 Million

    “Joker” is showing impressive traction internationally with a second weekend of $123.7 million on 24,149 screens in 79 markets — a holdover decline of just 29%. Joaquin Phoenix’s psychological thriller has totaled $351.2 million outside North America after only 12 days in release. And with $192 million in domestic grosses, “Joker” has now topped $543 [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker' Remains Box Office Ruler With $55 Million

    Joaquin Phoenix is king of the North American box office once again as “Joker” scores an easy victory in its second weekend with $55 million at 4,374 sites. “Joker” dominated a trio of new entries with animated comedy “The Addams Family” leading the rest of pack with $30.3 million at 4,007 venues, topping forecasts. Will [...]

  • French director Bertrand Tavernier attends the

    Bertrand Tavernier on Coppola, Scorsese, Cayatte, Cinema’s Bright Future

    Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier (“Round Midnight”) – president and director of the Institut Lumière and Lumière Festival, which he co-manages with Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux – has played a pivotal role in restoring classic French films and defending the importance of French directors, such as Claude Autant Lara, Henri Decoin and André Cayatte, who were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content