Amer (2009)

You know, the films of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani kind of frustrate me. I want to love The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears and Let the Corpses Tan, but they felt like they were at times more concerned with their own style, particularly the former. But man, I must have been in the right mood because Amer worked just fine.

We follow the life of Ana, whose life-long search for carnal pleasures is also haunted by the specter of death itself, symbolized as a black lace hand that holds her screams inside her body. There are three different stories and three different versions of our heroine as she grows from a frightened child into, well, a frightened woman played by three actresses: Cassandra Foret, Charlotte Guibeaud and Marie Bos.

The Variety review of this claimed that this film has “virtually no plot to speak of, and repeated use of shock zooms, jump cuts, monochrome filters and hissing sounds.” So, basically a giallo, right?

The soundtrack shines, as all manner of 70s Italian murder ballads play, including songs from The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail (Bruno Nicolai), What Have They Done to Your Daughters? (Stelvio Cipriani), Black Belly of the Tarantula (Morricone), Killer Cop (Cipriani), The Great Kidnapping (Cipriani) and Adriano Celentano’s “Furore,” which played over the opening titles of Bava’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much, which totally fits into this film.

Sadly, we won’t ever live in the glory days from 1970 to 1975, when films like this were playing. But we can dream, can’t we?

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