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Berberian Sound Studio - A Mix of '70s Giallo and Blow Out


lordcookie
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Peter Strickland made the excellent revenge thriller, Katalin Varga (my review), with his own money and he is now back with a new film; Berberian Sound Studio.

Synopsis: A sound engineer's work for an Italian horror studio becomes a terrifying case of life imitating art.

The film stars Toby Jones and has been getting good reviews since its showing at the EIFF. It is released on August 31st (no doubt a home release will follow shortly).

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  • 1 month later...

Well the people I've heard from directly were very keen on this movie going in as they are big giallo fans. I think Fright Fest attracts a pretty broad spectrum but generally the patrons are of a refined taste, taking pleasure in the partaking of all manner of horror films. Horror of course being the superior genre.

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Given the reviews I've read I don't think Fright Fest was the right place for it. Whilst it might be a film about doing the sound for a giallo it isn't necessarily an out and out horror itself but closer to a confined Polanski thriller or Juraj Herz style head fuck film.

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Kerraig says you're scum and no one should listen to you.

I'm glad someone liked it the clip they played on Mayo's show really appealed to me (love a good melon chop) , I think I will give it a go, I moved to (near) Greenwich months ago and still haven't been to the picture house there and this seems the ideal opener.

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Five stars in The Guardian.

To be honest, I'm not bothered that it's not really a horror, as this line makes it sound far more interesting than that:

utterly distinctive and all but unclassifiable, a musique concrète nightmare, a psycho-metaphysical implosion of anxiety, with strange-tasting traces of black comedy and movie-buff riffs. It is seriously weird and seriously good.

Unfortunately, the Phoenix Picturehouse doesn't appear to be showing it. DAMN!

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This is getting 5 star reviews and film of the week recommendations everywhere. I didn't think it was that good but it's a great bit of work.

Toby Jones is great - his slow descent into insanity is beautifully done. The rest of the cast are also excellent - the guy who plays the producer is delightfully sleazy and the Argento-esq director is a lot of fun.

There's so much good stuff here. I love the way we never see any of the film (apart from the beautiful credits sequence) Gilderoy is working on. And any scenes where he's working with the analog gear, microphones, tape recorders etc are excellent. The way the atmosphere builds and the way the sound drops out at times is very good.

The obvious influences are David Lynch and Roman Polanski with a man slowly (maybe?) losing his mind. I think I'll need to see it again because there was some stuff that passed me by. It loses it's way slightly near the end but it's still a very interesting film.

4/5

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Well this was a heartbreaking viewing and made me feel a bit uncomfortable slagging off the frightfest crowd

This had so much going for it in the first acts that it was easily my film of the year up until about the hour mark. But the fact it didnt turn any of the good will it had built up in its tension, characters or nightmarish atmosphere into anything resembling any dread, jeopardy or intrigue felt like a huge waste to me. I'm a big fan of Katalin Varga's economic and tense storytelling. And this looked to be treading similarly knowing paths, but the fact that it chose to do nothing with the themes and tropes it played upon led me (and most of the audience) to tune out. It had me in the palm of it's hand at one point and it chose to throw my attention away with a bunch of vague, mildly interesting scenes that didn't really pose any interesting questions. When the end credits hit you could see the dumbfounded disappointment on the whole crowd.

A bloody beautifully crafted, stunningly researched missed opportunity

3/5

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If people went into this expecting a giallo they are fucking idiots, sorry.

Saw this last night and loved it, haven't been so tripped out by a film since Mulholland Drive.

===

Are you an audio geek? Are you a film geek? Are you both? Then you will probably blow your load over Berberian Sound Studio. Audio porn of the highest quality. Microphones and tape recorders become fetishistic objects, capturing the sounds of vegetables behind smashed to fake the horror of the Italian Giallo being produced at the Berberian Sound Studio.

Toby Jones gives the performance of his life, as this timid little man from middle-england has his sanity disintegrated by the work. I was with him all the way - I've not felt so chewed-up after a film since Lynch's Mulholland Drive. Just like Lynch's masterpiece, you leave the film completely spun out, with a dozen different interpretations spinning through your mind.

A stand-out film of 2012, and a must-see for audio and film nerds alike - 4/5

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If people went into this expecting a giallo they are fucking idiots, sorry.

Lordcookie is a fucking idiot as well then? The movie is about giallo, cookie's quoted synopsis mentions 'life imitating art'. The subtitle he chose for the thread is 'mix of giallo and blow out'. I'll grant you Toby Jones has been explaining in interviews that it isn't a giallo. But only because one of the questions being asked is: So is it a giallo? And not everyone listens to interviews.

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