Berberian Sound Studio

Berberian Sound Studio

(2012)

A new world of sound awaits you.

Mind-bending psychological thriller set in the 1970s about British sound technician Gilderoy (Toby Jones) who travels to Italy to work on a gruesome horror film. As he goes about assembling the movie's terrifying soundscapes he finds his state of mind wobbling and his psyche under threat from the nightmarish task. Winner of Best Director, Best Actor and Best Achievement In Production at the 2012 British Independent Film Awards.... More

"Films that attempt to replicate the lurid style of Italian giallo films from the ‘60s and ‘70s often mimic the obvious details - colored gel lighting, psychedelic soundscapes and black gloved killers - without going any deeper. Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio takes an entirely different approach. This is a bizarre atmospheric thriller that digs deep beneath the skin to probe giallo’s bloody beating heart. The titular sound studio provides Strickland with both a means of paying homage to the esoteric details of giallo - particularly the genre’s unique approach to sound design - and a context for Gilderoy’s collapse into madness. Toby Jones delivers an exceptional performance as a naif who is thrust into bizarre world where cinematic horror and reality are inexplicably fused." (Fantastic Fest 2012)Hide

On Demand, DVD & Blu-Ray

Available from 2 providers

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 1 ratings, 1 reviews
Reviewed & Rated by
Your rating & review
Rate / Review this movie

BY Jordan superstar

I walked into "Berberian Sound Studio" with only the knowledge that Toby Jones played Arnim Zola in the film "Captain America: The First Avenger".

With only this, it was always going to be an odd and mysterious adventure for me to take through the landscape that is "Berberian Sound Studio".

This is the tale of Gilderoy, a British Foley artist who is tasked with completing sound for the Italian giallo film, The Equestrian Vortex.

As the production takes longer and longer to reach it's end,... More Gilderoy's world starts to unravel.
That buzzword, "sound" stings you from the start. As the screen sits devoid of movement before the first scene rises, its genius through audio shines from the get-go, succeeding in the director's task of hiding the film Gilderoy is working on, and instead focusing on what happens behind the scenes.

Each crushed watermelon, glass smashed, scream heard, is a harrowing moment as it forces the audience to imagine what could be occurring on the screen Gilderoy is producing the sound for.

But it's not only the unseen that is so frightening, but the small moments we will all experience throughout life such as footsteps heard, crickets humming in the night and a match being struck to light a candle that grate at you as the film goes on.

While the soundscape itself is brilliant, the imagery delivered is just as good. A mess of sorts at times, it acts as a metaphor for the current mental-state of Gilderoy, and will throw you around like a washing machine.

The dialogue is strong, delivered wonderfully by the cast on hand. Toby Jones is fantastic as Gilderoy, showing the loneliness of a person in another country who steadily walks into the throws of madness. His Italian co-workers, whose role is almost implied to be something of comic relief, remove you from what is happening with Gilderoy's mind, just so when something else happens within, it grabs at you, pulling you toward the same experience Gilderoy is going through.

At the end, I was drained and many questions were raised without easy answer. And though I initially walked out displeased with the film, as I thought about the film afterwards it had dawned on me that this film requires the viewer to process so much more outside of their initial viewing, as they must do while watching it.

It is a maddening ride, and I feel that is the whole, beautiful point of it all.Hide


The Press Reviews

81% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • A love letter to the weird territories of foley and film sound and also to giallo, the grand-guignol horror genre carved into the flesh of Italian cinema by Argento, Fulci, Crispino, Avati et al in the 1970s. Full Review

  • A delicately detailed immersion into the world of Z-grade Italian horror cinema that ultimately may or may not be a horror film itself ... a tense, teasing triumph. Full Review

  • With each cut and splice, <b>Berberian Sound Studio</b> becomes quietly insinuating and unsettling: as with <b>The Artist</b>, as with all artists, its worst fears lie in screaming and not being heard. Full Review

  • Anchored by a typically flawless performance by Jones, Strickland's second film begins as an audio geek's dream, before spiralling inexorably into the stuff of David Lynch's nightmares. Full Review

  • 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 Full Review

  • In this era of cookie-cutter cinema, Strickland's deeply personal moral and stylistic vision deserves the highest praise. Full Review

  • Crammed with detailed craft, its appeal is further widened by dealing in universal fears: homesickness, identity, mental health. Full Review