Not content to remain merely inspired by the giallo films of the 1960s and '70s, filmmakers Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani seem determined to reinvent giallo as its own genre. The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears is their latest foray into feature film and it is screening as part of the Toronto International Film Festival's Vanguard Programme.
Cattet and Forzani made several short films on a miniscule budget before their feature debut, Amer, in 2009. These short films speak in a commanding language despite containing little to no dialogue.
2002's Chambre Jaune was awarded Best International Fantastic Short Film at Sitges and also screened at Montreal's Fantasia Festival, eventually appearing on Synapse Films' Small Gauge Trauma: Vol. 1, a 2006 compilation of Fantasia short films.
L'Etrange Portrait De Le Dame En Jaune, from 2004, won The Cult Film Archive Award at the 2006 Kinofilm in Manchester as well as Best Short Film at Spain's Festival de Terror de Molins del Rei in 2005.
In 2009, Cattet and Forzani released Amer, which examined three different phases in its female protagonists's life--childhood, adolescence, and adulthood--all marked by sensual discovery and visceral unease.
In an interview with Australia's Desktop, the duo reveals that Amer was not only shot in 39 days, but also that they "tested all the storyboards with a DV-cam and tested all the camera settings before the shoot." Additionally, they note, "we shot the total film with the two of us acting all the characters" before the actors eventually came on board. The result was 900 shots and 2,200 cuts, which is astonishing considering their limited funding.
2012's The ABCs of Death boasts a segment from Cattet and Forzani, the exquisite "O is For Orgasm." Like their previous work, it shows Cattet and Forzani continuing to explore and expand the same visual and sonic hallmarks of their previous works: garish colors, deep shadows, experimental mise en scene, and re-recorded and non-diegetic sound.
For The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears, screening at this year's Toronto International Film Festival Vanguard Programme, Cattet and Forzani adopted a slightly more narrative approach, described on the AnonymesFilms website as such: "A woman vanishes. Her husband inquires into the strange circumstances of her disappearance. Did she leave him? Is she dead? As he goes along searching, he plunges into a world of nightmare and violence . . . "
With Cattet and Forzani behind the cameras, one can expect more sumptuous, provocative images, but no doubt there will be surprises, too.
THE STRANGE COLOUR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS Screening Times:
Wednesday, Sept 11th, 6:00 PM THE BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
Thursday, Sept 12th, 9:30 PM SCOTIABANK 3
Saturday, Sept 14th, 12:30 PM SCOTIABANK 8