While Let the Corpses Tan tells a thin tale about thieves on the run, it’s nothing short of complex in terms of visual storytelling. Using – quite possibly – the best edits I’ve seen in a movie this year, Belgian directors/screenwriters Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (The ABC’s of Death) offer audiences pure entertainment that works as both a western and a crime-thriller.
Movie goers observe two teams – the good guys and the bad guys – as gnarly crooks plan for an escape after a gold heist getaway is infiltrated by hitchhikers and the police. Cattet and Forzani don’t offer much personality through their writing, so it’s hard to identify with the band of thieves at first – likewise for the unfortunate outsiders who get roped into the danger. But once the violent exit strategies are at play, the filmmakers are aware enough to scale back on the dialogue, and use the conventions of the film’s structure to carry the film forward – ironically using a narrative that cuts back in time to small fragments in order to show different perspectives during shoot-outs and sneaky plans.
Let the Corpses Tan is clearly style over substance, but this is a rare example of how crafty filmmakers figured out how to spin that into gold.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie