“A loud, visually assaultive assemblage of genre tropes as technically accomplished as it is difficult to watch, The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears has plenty to impress while simultaneously offering so little,” begins Eric Kohn at Indiewire. “The movie depicts the Kafkaesque experiences of a baffled man seemingly trapped in his eerie apartment building in the midst of a puzzling quest to find his missing wife. However, as with Amer, directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani‘s previous ode to the viscerally intense language of Italian giallos, the plot mainly provides a backdrop for an unending collage of disturbing images and histrionic music cues.”
“It is a beautifully assembled film, packed with arresting images, stunning production design and baffling moments,” grants Screen‘s Mark Adams, “but while it offers blood, strangeness and bold surreal moments it is also remarkably lacking in any emotional impact. There is a lot going on, but not a great deal happening.”
Update, 8/23: “A Danish man (Klaus Tange) comes home from the airport to find that the door to his apartment—in a building that suggests architect Victor Horta in his Lady Gaga—is locked from the inside but that his wife’s not home.” Boyd van Hoeij in the Hollywood Reporter: “How the puzzle pieces fit together will slowly be revealed, though many—too many—psychedelic detours are in store first, a lot of them relying on the hypnotic qualities of the building’s Art Nouveau design and the insistent and inventive soundscape. The naturally curvy lines of Belgian Art Nouveau form a somewhat odd but rather effective foreshadowing of and, later, backdrop to the plentiful naked female bodies that any giallo worth its salt must feature.”
The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears will screen in the Vanguard program in Toronto.
Update, 8/29: “When does an exercise in style become a wearying ADD slog through blood-splattered pseudo-Freudian nonsense?” asks Variety‘s Jay Weissberg. “When it’s The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears.”
Update, 9/8: “The problem here isn’t that Cattet and Forzani slice and dice their story into near abstraction,” writes A.A. Dowd, dispatching to the AV Club from Toronto. “Amer did that, too, which was one of the things that made it such a pure-cinema delight. Strange Colour simply suffers from an excess of material; after a while, the swirling camera moves, split screen, still-image violence, deafening sonic assault, and endless close-ups (of red lips, leather-glad hands, knives, razors, and lots and lots of eyeballs) becomes a little numbing. Until then, however—and breaking points will vary—it feels like the most visually dazzling film of the fest.”
Updates, 9/11: “Where Amer could at times feel like an academic excavation of subterranean genre subtexts,” writes Fernando F. Croce in the Notebook, “The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears is bent on replicating (and outdoing) the sheer sensory delirium of those films, to the point of madly repeating and reshuffling its own psychedelic imagery. The results unspool, fascinatingly, as a deluge of anchorless footage from some not quite finished horror opus, piercing the viewer’s psyche by sheer agglutination.”
Strange Colour is “a fantasia of death, sex, panic, confusion, primary colors, aggressive music, 60s modern interior design, nipples, blood and straight razors,” writes Jordan Hoffman at Film.com. “Put it this way, every budding cineaste owes it to himself to have a taste their vice of choice and bathe in this film.”
Update, 9/12: Todd Brown at Twitch: “Laced with the sort of violence and sexual content that was the giallo movement’s stock in trade—and again using a soundtrack with music lifted from classics of that age—it’s tempting to reference Strange Colour as a sort of neo-giallo, a term applied frequently to its predecessor. But it’s not, really. It’s something else, a strange new language that uses those familiar elements as their base while going off in some other direction. And while it may very well be the case that Forzani and Cattet are the only ones who really speak that language at present—a fact that many will find frustrating as they try to work their way through it—there is a definite fascination with trying to unlock its mysteries.”
Update, 9/14: At Ioncinema, Nicholas Bell suggests that “if you give into its lusty charms, you won’t be disappointed in its endless delights, surpassing the intensity of many titles it owes its existence to.”
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