French filmmaking duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani were perhaps born into the wrong decade and country, such is their love of 1960s and 70s Italian genre films and 35mm. They have built their careers on a bedrock of giallo, dragging it into the 21st century with lurid, bloody panache at the same time as they expand its boundaries into other iconic Italian genres of the era, including Spaghetti Westerns and the Italo-Crime films known as Poliziotteschi.
From their very first short film, 2001’s Catharsis, they’ve displayed a fascination with texture, colour, sound and form. Often mood compositions of surreal, hyper-saturated imagery, their shorts paved the way for their debut feature in 2009 with Amer, a sensorial overload of neo-giallo that turns a female sexual awakening story into a psychedelic visual symphony. With their subsequent features – 2013’s The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears and 2017’s Let the Corpses Tan (based on Jean-Patrick Manchette’s 1971 novel) – the couple have cemented a truly distinct cinematic signature.
MIFF’s Cattet/Forzani retrospective will screen their entire body of work, with the festival welcoming both Hélène and Bruno as guests.