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Berberian Sound Studio 2012 ***

Writer/director Peter Strickland’s low-budget horror was released to praise and confusion in 2012; lacking in any real incident, it was something of a turn-off for genre fans, but it’s a strange little film that rewards patience. Gilderoy (Toby Jones) is a put-upon sound engineer who unwisely takes a job in Italy in the 1970’s, where he’s all-at-sea amongst sexual and studio politics. Although Strickland’s film opens with the credits of the film Gilderoy is working on, The Equestrian Vortex,  the audience is left to guess what kind of content it has; as he slices up cabbages under microphones and recoils from the macho producers, it’s clear that Gilderoy is slipping into a private and personal hell. If you can get your head around the fact that nothing much happens, Strickland’s film is an atmospheric and disturbing meditation on the timidness of the British male abroad, well played by Jones.


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