Berberian Sound Studio
Jul 05 - Jul 11, 2013
(Peter Strickland, UK, 2012, Blu-ray, 92 min)
It's 1976, and Berberian Sound Studio is one of the cheapest, sleaziest post-production studios in Italy. Only the most sordid horror films have their sound processed and sharpened here. Gilderoy, a naive and introverted sound engineer from England, is hired to orchestrate the sound mix for the latest film by the horror maestro Santini. Thrown from the innocent world of local documentaries into a foreign environment fueled by exploitation, Gilderoy soon finds himself caught up in a forbidding mix of bitter actresses, capricious technicians and confounding bureaucracy.
The longer Gilderoy spends mixing screams and the bloodcurdling sounds of hacked vegetables, the more homesick he becomes for his garden shed studio in his hometown of Dorking. His mother’s letters alternate between banal gossip and an ominous hysteria, which gradually mirror the black magic of Santini’s film. As both time and realities shift, Gilderoy finds himself lost in an otherworldly spiral of sonic and personal mayhem, and must confront his own demons in order to stay afloat in an environment ruled by exploitation both on and off screen.
"It’s one of the fiendishly smart touches in this fiendishly smart film that we experience this trashy flick primarily through our ears." —Seattle Weekly
"The most entertaining comedy I have seen since Bowfinger." —The Stranger
"A creepy thriller. . .an homage to the old-school art of creating sounds." —The Seattle Times
"A treat for fans of vintage horror cinema (in particular, the experimental giallo genre) and vintage sound gear, this stylish, darkly humorous thriller locks us in a claustrophobic studio in 1970s Italy for a paranoia ride." –Globe and Mail