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

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

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.