Let the Corpses Tan (2017, Cattet & Forzani)

Normal movies have exciting, memorable, flashy parts, but most of their run-time is composed of the necessary plot and character development. Cattet and Forzani dispose of all plot and character, creating ninety-minute movies where every single minute is marvelous.

This one is their “western,” criminals with stolen gold hiding out with locals and hitchhikers and some intruding cops. If you screenshot whenever someone speaks a character name, and chart the time-of-day intertitles preceding each scene, you can construct a logic puzzle to piece together who’s who and figure out who betrayed whom at what point – but if instead you focus on what the filmmakers are emphasizing, the movie is a sensual marvel of bodies and fire and the sound of stretching leather. Nice to see them get outdoors and work with bright, sunlit colors for once.

Elina Löwensohn (Amateur and Nadja) is the only actor I might have recognized – I think it’s her place where all this is going down. A writer named Bernier (Marc Barbé, a marquis in Don’t Touch the Axe – he must be the guy with the green ring) was staying at her place along with a lawyer who’s in on the heist. The three murderous thieves are the bald guy, the grey-haired guy and “the kid” (Rhino, Gros and Alex – possibly in that order). Returning with the gold they pick up three hitchhikers: the writer’s wife Melanie, the maid Pia and a child. One of the two cops gets shot in the face straight away, and the other lasts pretty long. Not positive who is alive at the end, but it’s one of the women based on the silhouette.

Michael Sicinski on Letterboxd:

There’s a subtle but crucial difference between Cattet and Forzani and other Eurotrash revivalists … The disreputable B pictures offer certain formal possibilities — jagged edits, dramatic wide angle cinematography, extreme close ups, and an expressionist use of color — that both commercial and art cinema never really explored any further. Corpses isn’t an exercise in nostalgia so much as a rejoining in progress, an exploration of those largely untapped potentials.

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