Berberian Sound Studio: The Maddening Noise of Life

Posted: June 3, 2013 in Movies

berberian soundstudio

Vegetarians should beware that their is a lot of vegetable violence in Berberian Sound Studio.  Toby Jones is a 1970’s sound engineer called to work on an Italian giallo horror film featuring school girls who encounter a coven of witches, none of which (save a Satanic title sequence featuring shadowy demons and fleeing humans) is ever seen.  The shy, reserved engineer who is use to working on nature documentaries and children television programing slowly becomes unhinged as he attempts to match audio equivalents of produce mutilation with the pain, horror, slicing and dicing, sizzling flesh and hot poker vaginal penetrations he sees on screen and that is mirrored in uncanny ways in the film production crew around him.   Director Peter Strickland keeps the giallo homages flowing with flashes of red and bits of psychedelia that enters full David Lynch territory by films end.  But alas, as poor Toby Jones goes mad so does Berberian Sound Studio as it throws all narrative logic away like bad sound clips, the knowing dissonance producing disinterest with every unneeded repetition.   Strickland, a former experimental musician, gets the music right but the dance wrong.  Berberian Sound Studio gets a B.

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