Berberian Sound Studio (2012) | Director Peter Strickland’s mind-bending tribute to giallo cinema


‘This is not a horror film. It’s a Strickland!’ Berberian Sound Studio is director Peter Strickland‘s homage to 1970s Italian horror and giallo cinema and it is something very special indeed – a psychological thriller with a metaphysical twist – and is now available to rent on BFI Player (£3.50).

‘Don’t be afraid, a new world of sound awaits you…’

Toby Jones plays Gilderoy, a mild-mannered British sound engineer who arrives in 1970s Rome to work on a new film, The Equestrian Vortex, only to discover it’s not the nature documentary he thought it was but a horror film about witches haunting an elite riding school. With no money to get back home, he suffers in silence. But with his British reserve putting him at odds with his Italian peers and the pressures of working in the claustrophobic confines of the studio weighing heavy, Gilderoy soon withdraws into himself, until he cuts himself off from reality altogether…

Toby Jones in Berberian Sound Studio

Boasting a quietly disturbing performance from Jones, Berberian Sound Studio is an expertly crafted evocation of 1970s filmmaking and the analogue technology that made it distinctive. And if you have never seen films like Death Lays An Egg or Short Night of the Glass Dolls, which served as the film’s inspiration, then you might find yourself hunting these down after watching this atmospheric arthouse treat, while the brilliant Broadcast soundtrack is also a must-have. The film’s title, incidentally, is a nod to the late, great avant-garde singer Cathy Berberian, wife and muse of Italian composer Luciano Berio. This is a must-see.


About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on November 23, 2013, in BFI Player, British Film, Horror, Must See, Must-See and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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