Berberian Sound Studio (2012)
May 22, 2015 8:40 AM - Subscribe

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

This is part of the MeFi Horror Club series. More info on MeFi Horror Club.
posted by Artw (10 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Can I Stream It may be inaccurate here - last time I checked it was available to view without charge on Netflix - viewing with charge available on other services.
posted by Artw at 9:05 AM on May 22, 2015

Can I Stream It is usually inaccurate. When it says something is available, it's right, but when it says it's not, that's a crapshoot.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:48 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I loved this film, but it's hard to pin down why. I think the sense of unease it's able to nail, that sense of being in a foreign country. And of course this movie just needs to be heard at full volume.

I absolutely adore Strickland's next film, The Duke of Burgundy, which isn't horror and I don't think has been discussed on Fanfare yet.
posted by Catblack at 1:13 PM on May 22, 2015

Given the nature of the movie doing sound right was going to meal or break it, and I think they absolutely nailed it. Having Broadcast on board doesn't hurt, of course.

Also I would totally watch The Equestrian Vortex.
posted by Artw at 2:47 PM on May 22, 2015

It's a great film, but it strikes me as less scary than incredibly sad. I just felt so awful for Toby Jones's character the whole time.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:00 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Anyone here seen the 2001 Denzel Washington vehicle Training Day?

It's nothing like this movie, for the most part, but both Training Day and Berberian Sound Studio evoke a very specific horror very well: the sense of being out of one's element, to the point where that feeling grows beyond general discomfort into a kind of gnawing dread of imminent violence. There's a particular scene in Training Day where Ethan Hawke nails this so well -- he's out of his depth in an unfamiliar place, among people he doesn't know and can't trust who are making increasingly threatening overtures, and the tension escalates until it can't do anything but explode. (Spoiler alert: it does.)

Toby Jones's character and his situation in BSS reminded me of that a lot -- far from home, doesn't speak the language, things are not going well, things in fact are just fundamentally wrong and tensions are rising quickly. The movies are very different in other ways but to me they both capture the nagging sense of not-belonging, and increasingly not-welcome, very well.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 9:56 PM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]

Very interesting film. Yeah, it definitely nails the "fish out of water" horror thing. Also, while I've always thought it would be fun to do foley for a horror film, I've never thought about how terrible that would be for someone who's sensitive to that sort of thing. Just watching the same brutal thing, over and over again... Yikes!
posted by brundlefly at 7:06 PM on May 24, 2015

Another film that it reminds me of (in the genre "Anglo-saxon begins to suspect the Italians are out to get him") is Greenaway's The Belly of an Architect.
posted by Grangousier at 9:17 AM on May 25, 2015

As someone a bit phobic of paperwork the horror of the expenses not being quite right really sticks with me.
posted by Artw at 9:54 AM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

It's also kind of explicitly about systemic abuse of women. Gilderoy has his misgivings but the tragic ending is he becomes complicit with that.
posted by RobotHero at 6:29 PM on May 2, 2020

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