Gialloween Day 15: The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears
The first of two films neo-giallo films in our series, The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, is the second foray into the genre by directors Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani. Let me be upfront, this is a highly stylish film that, at times, literally becomes the definition of sensory overload. Viewers who love experimentation and presentation over plot should stay— those looking for a more traditional film narrative should look elsewhere.
A man arrives back home from a business trip to find his wife missing. That’s it, that’s about as much as I can give you and that’s presented wonderfully within the first 20 minutes. Searching for his wife he talks to different characters who are used to transition into a series of stories that happen within the same apartment complex. Each is presented in a variety of different styles. Close-ups, garish light, highly saturated colors, black & white stop-motion, are only some of the techniques featured. It is all wonderful to look at but as the film chugs along the combinations of sight and sound become overwhelming.
Symbolism abound, there are many visual references to female imagery. Cuts, decoration, and formations all look like vaginas. There is one shot near the end which leads me to believe the title is a reference to what happens when a girl comes of age, but there is still much more I don't get with my viewings.
One thing that definitely improves over viewing are the allusions to previous films in the genre the directors are clearly influenced by. Visual shout-outs to iconic scene’s from Deep Red and The Strange Vice of Mrs.Wardh are some of the great ones. I was pleased to find some subtle references to some of our earlier Gialloween entries too! There is a scene where our protagonist is cleaning his apartment to one of the theme’s from Seven Blood-Stained Orchids. One shot displays a massive poster of eyes that could be a shout out to the gigantic face mural we see in Death Walks At Midnight.
Altogether the high focus of style combined with a disjointed narrative makes for an experience that provides a lot to digest. A feast for the senses, the film excels in delivery while doubling as a love letter to the genre. Putting it another way, this film is like a puzzle that looks just as good with its pieces scattered as it would be if they all fit together. The question will boil down to how much time will you want to spend figuring it out?