The Strange Colors of your Body's Tears (2013) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Strange Colors of your Body's Tears (2013) Review

Horrorific content by TE Simmons on December 07th, 2021 | Movie Review | Slow Burn, Psychological, Mystery, Giallo, Arthouse

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It’s a neo-giallo homage about a man running around his apartment building after losing his wife.

The Strange Colors of your Body’s Tears was co-written and co-directed by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (Let the Corpses Tan and Amer) and stars Klaus Tange (Tribes of Europa), Ursula Bedena (in her debut), and Jean-Michel Vovk (Un honnête commerçant).

Can a film missing a plot – but not flair – still scare?

The Strange Color of your Bodys Tears Review

The title of this French film is a reflection of its non sequitur content. First: your Body’s Tears? Bodies don’t have tears; bodies have blood and bile. Second: yes, eyes have tears, but tears are colorless. Anyhow, the subjects of the title are neither tears nor blood – but their strange colors. So, what is the title referring to? Who knows? Certainly not yours truly.

As a narrative, The Strange Colors of Your Body’s Tears is best described as a dazzling dream. Indeed, the opening shots show our protagonist Dan napping has he flies back from Frankfurt to Paris, suggesting that all which follows occurs behind his flitting eyelids in first class.

There’s a tiny glitch in the main character at about the 30-minute mark. It’s like a burn in the celluloid. Or a gap. It winks at us, suggesting that there’s something flawed about the film itself. Perhaps this isn’t the protagonist’s dream but rather the directors’ dreams. That would explain all the portals – the keyholes, holes in the walls, holes in the ceilings, hat box caverns, windows, peepholes, skull holes (rather vagina-shaped ones) – they’re all holes which admit light – they’re camera shutters! Apertures!

Dan deploys his half-full glass of scotch as a loupe to examine the details on some back-and-white photographs of his wife. And there’s another tenant in the building with a darkroom.

What of the slashing deaths? They’re metaphors for the film editing process, cutting and cutting and leaving a mess on the floor. Admittedly, I’m grasping at straws here. The imagery is ultimately opaque. But slasher/arthouse commentary film itself as metaphor? Perhaps.

On the other hand, it feels more like a 102-minute music video. The best parts are those with music accompanying them – selections from the scores of 1970s giallo films like Killer Nun and So Sweet … So Perverse. If anything, music is utilized much too sparingly here, and ambiguity is rendered much too generously.

I suspect the real message of the film is that it has no meaning. It certainly makes more sense that way, leaving only the richly textured cinematography. If you do give it a try, resist the inclination to follow the plot. Simply try to experience it.

Worth Watching?

Not unless you’re planning on enrolling in film school or you really enjoy giallo tributes.

The Strange Color of your Body's Tears Review (2013) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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