Italy’s subgenre of giallo crime thrillers—loaded with near-orgasmic victims, killers in black gloves and a disco-lurid color palette—had its heyday in the late ’60s and ’70s. To bask in a movie like Dario Argento’s Deep Red (1975), sick and yet purely pleasurable, is to wonder why the trend ever fell from fashion in the first place.
For Belgium-based directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, it hasn’t. The duo behind 2009’s similar Amer returns to its retro comfort zone for a mystery about a missing woman. Shot digitally with no apparent loss of lushness, The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears is bloodier, with multiple stabbings and a new fetish in broken glass applied to soft skin.
But there’s no denying a dampening of enthusiasm after the pair’s giddiness-making Amer; the filmmakers’ command of the form extends to intentionally dopey performances and a total rejection of plot, all of which gets tiresome. Nonetheless, you don’t often see style this gorgeous (however empty), and that must count for something. Groovy soundtrack cues by Ennio Morricone and others do the heavy lifting.
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