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Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 5,637 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 39 user | 216 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

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

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Title: Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gilderoy
...
Francesco Coraggio
...
Giancarlo Santini
Fatma Mohamed ...
Silvia as Teresa
Salvatore LI Causi ...
Fabio (as Salvatore Li Causi)
...
Elisa as Teresa
...
Elena
...
Claudia as Monica / Screamer
...
Veronica as Accused Witch
Guido Adorni ...
Lorenzo
...
Chiara as Signora Collatina
Jozef Cseres ...
Massimo
Pal Toth ...
Massimo (as P'l Tóth)
Katalin Ladik ...
Resurrected Witch
Jean-Michael van Schouwburg ...
The Goblin (as Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg)
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Storyline

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

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

31 August 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Berberian Sound Studio  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

At the very beginning of the film, Elena calls Francesco to announce Gilderoy's arrival at the studio. Although the film is set in Italy, when she picks up the phone a continuous dial tone is heard, which is normal for the US or UK; however, the actual dial tone would have sounded very differently in Italy, a country where the phone system has a very distinctive and non-continuous dial tone (consisting of a 425Hz tone with a duration of 0.6sec followed by a 1 second pause, followed by a 0.2 sec tone then a 0.2 sec pause, repeated in a loop until the first digit is dialed). See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are actually put together of those from The Equestrian Vortex, the fictional horror flick that's going to be post-dubbed in the movie, with fast-cut animations, medieval depictions of hell, demons, naves, animal skeletons and tortured female faces, mostly red and black colored. See more »

Connections

References Evil Ed (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sound to Die For
19 September 2012 | by (London, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Peter Strickland's second feature, Berberian Sound Studio, is an original homage to the art of analogue sound and the power of the medium.

Sound engineer Gilderoy, (Toby Jones) a meek, middle-aged bachelor, is transplanted from home-counties life living with his Mother to engineer the soundtrack for a 1970s Italian film. Trapped in the Italian studio with manipulative, Producer, Francesco (Cosimo Fusco) and a monosyllabic, aged, studio manager, he has no idea what elusive Director, Santini (Antonio Mancino) has in the can beyond the title, The Equestrian Vortex. Confronted by twin Foley goons smashing watermelons in lab coats, Gilderoy questions the relevance to horse riding! While he recoils at the violent, exploitative 'giallo' horror that Francesco reveals, Gilderoy is ensnared in the menacing studio, cashless and unable to recover any of his costs from beautiful, contemptuous, secretary Elena (Tonia Sotiropoulou). Ignorant of the language, overwhelmed by the explosive dynamics between charismatic, unscrupulous Santini, Francesco and the cast, Gilderoy retreats into his work, his only outside communication the letters from his Mother recounting the changing pastoral life he longs to record. Immersed in the simulation of sonic sadism, the resonance of repeated takes twist Gilderoy's grasp of reality. Berberian Sound Studio, produced by WarpX with Screen Yorkshire and the UK Film Council, is a blackly comic film, pregnant with menace. The sound is to die for, a master class in the language of horror and the alchemy of the artists.

There's much comedy in the contrasts, the Anglo-Italian cultural clash, the screen artifice and the studio reality. A droll voice-over introduces each sadistic scene, "A dangerously aroused goblin stalks the dormitory". In the sound booth, actresses bitch about mundanities before the next sickening scream. Murdered vegetables decompose in a festering studio vat substituted for the film that we never see. However, underlying the comedy is a sense of the viewer's complicity in the violence. While familiarity with the exploitative 'giallo' genre and its far-reaching impact on modern horror cinema is not necessary, it is rewarding. Strickland questions the corruptive power of horror and our own self-deception

Writer/Director Peter Strickland is a rare talent whose ambitions are refreshingly original. A clever low budget conceit, his follow up to Katalin Varga, is a fascinating tour de force with a daring tone. It's only weakness, as in 'giallo', is that as Gilderoy's sanity deteriorates, plot seems secondary to sound and vision.


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