Berberian Sound Studio

"Excellent"

Berberian Sound Studio Review


Fiendishly clever British filmmaker Peter Strickland (see Katalin Varga) offers a treat to movie geeks with this clever behind-the-scenes blending of comedy, drama and horror. It's so finely observed that it can't help but get under our skin, letting our own imaginations do much of the heavy lifting as things get increasingly, insanely freaky.

Toby Jones finally gets the leading role he deserves as the tweedy sound designer Gilderoy, who travels to Italy in the 1970s to mix the audio track for a trashy blood-soaked giallo horror movie called The Equestrian Vortex. It's about nuns who are viciously interrogated for being witches, so Gilderoy's job entails directing actresses to scream their lungs out into microphones as assistants smash melons and cabbage heads to create the grisly sound effects.

Then as the workings of Italian society drive him around the bend, Gilderoy begins to lose his grip on reality, as if the horror movie is leaking into his private life.

Strickland only shows us the gonzo title sequence of the film within the film, leaving us to see everything else through what we hear. And we hear plenty! The movie's dialog is arch and rather crazed, so we can tell that this is a grisly B-movie even as the director (Mancino) insists that it's a serious historical drama. Watching the workings of the sound studio is wickedly hilarious, as are the darkly funny clashes between the cast and crew, who continually storm out of the studio in a huff.

We see all of this through Gileroy's eyes, as his meticulous approach to sound design is continually subverted by the chaos of the noisy Italians he's forced to work with. And Strickland portrays this with a range of images and sounds that are nothing short of genius. The detail in this film is simply breathtaking, and worth seeing on a big screen in a cinema with a first-rate sound system. As the story gets increasingly surreal, it starts to feel like a David Lynch movie that blurs the lines between imagination and grim reality. So if the film's ending seems a bit of a let-down, everything that came before was so masterful that we don't mind too much.

Rich Cline



Berberian Sound Studio

Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Friday 31st August 2012

Box Office USA: $28.6k

Distributed by: IFC Films

Production compaines: Illuminations Films, Warp X

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Fresh: 75 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Mary Burke, Keith Griffiths

Starring: as Gilderoy, Tonia Sotiropoulou as Elena, Susanna Capellaro as Veronica, Cosimo Fusco as Francesco, Hilda Péter as Auditionee, Layla Amir as Equestrian Girl, Eugenia Caruso as Claudia, Antonio Mancino as Santini, Fatma Mohamed as Silvia, Chiara D'Anna as Elisa, Kata Bartsch as Screamer, Lara Parmiani as Chiara, Suzy Kendall as Special Scream Performance

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.