When you leave the theater after watching The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, you’ll be exiting with a crowd half of whom are angered to have paid admission, and half of whom are thoroughly entertained. There will also be a few — those who have a penchant for leather sex play — who will be a little turned on.
But while the room will be split between starkly rotten-or-ripe tomato commentary, it’s unlikely two people in the audience will have had quite the same experience. And while there will be no argument that the film is homage to giallo (think: gory, sexy, even pocked with misogyny), there is so much more to be discussed regarding the visual flair and camera works that co-directers Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani have pumped into this Belgian murder mystery.
Messier than a David Lynch flick, sexier than Eyes Wide Shut, and more cohesive than Cattet and Forzani’s first directorial effort, The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears trails business-man-Dan in the aftermath of his wife’s disappearance as he discovers a labyrinth of lustful deceit hidden behind the walls of his own home. Literally. But more important than how the events unfold — they often weave in flashbacks and abruptly shift point of view — is what the story relays in mood. In fact, at times Cattet and Forzani seem to disregard narrative altogether, but they never abandon the effort to make your pupils dilate, skin crawl, or nipples harden.
With rapid-fire scene changes, split screens, extreme close-ups, and triumphant sound design, Strange Color is an avant-exploration of the visceral. It’s as if you’re looking through a blood splattered kaleidoscope — you must continue to refocus your eye to attempt to see the whacked out world develop on screen, and even then your view is disrupted by the bedazzled and begrimed excesses that ooze from each and every frame. But that ooze didn’t deter us; it just had us pressing our eye harder against that tricky mirrored cylinder.
THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS | NR | IN SELECT THEATERS NOW, COMING TO THE COOLIDGE 10.3 + 10.4