Berberian Sound Studio
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Détails sur le produit
"Behind the Scenes" : making of (21')
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Description du produit
Berberian Sound Studio, 1 DVD, 89 minutes
1976 : Berberian Sound Studio est l'un des studios de postproduction les moins chers et les plus miteux d'Italie. Seuls les films d'horreur les plus sordides y font appel pour le montage et le mixage de leur bande sonore. Gilderoy, un ingénieur du son naïf et introverti tout droit débarqué d'Angleterre, est chargé d'orchestrer le mixage du dernier film de Santini, le maestro de l'horreur. Laissant derrière lui l'atmosphère bon enfant du documentaire britannique, Gilderoy se retrouve plongé dans l'univers inconnu des films d'exploitation, pris dans un milieu hostile, entre actrices grinçantes, techniciens capricieux et bureaucrates récalcitrants. À mesure que les actrices se succèdent pour enregistrer une litanie de hurlements stridents, et que d'innocents légumes périssent sous les coups répétés de couteaux et de machettes destinés aux bruitages, Gilderoy doit affronter ses propres démons afin de ne pas sombrer...
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La partie sonore est probablement plus intéressante. Pour un film sur les effets sonores, Berberian Sound Studio possède, logiquement, un mixage sonore très travaillé et très bien rendu ici. Si la spatialisation et l'utilisation des enceintes arrières est assez timide, l'ensemble ne manque pas pour autant de pêche ni de dynamique. Le caisson n'est pas non plus en reste, même si le film l'utilise avec parcimonie.
Image : 9/10
Son (5.1) : 9/10
Film : 9/10
A la fois objet théorique, mais aussi follement improbable et divertissant, Berberian Sound Studio fait partie de ces petites perles qui sortent discrètement, sans faire de bruit, mais qui finissent logiquement par avoir leur dossier dans Positif.
Berberian, c'est le giallo des coulisses, le film d'horreur sans mort ni meurtre ni sang.Lire la suite ›
Le début intrigue; cet anglais coincé se voit confronté à un univers qui n'est pas le sien (et son seul contact avec l'extérieur sera les lettres de sa mère): une ambiance claustrophobe; nous ne sortirons jamais du studio et les gros plans (dans les tons marrons) abondent.Du film sur lequel il travaille nous ne verrons que le superbe générique qui évoque les productions italiennes des années 70. "Ce n'est pas un film d'horreur" dit le réalisateur paternaliste et vantard mais qui utilisera ce terme peu après; pourtant les images qu'il doit sonoriser semblent troubler l'anglais timide.
De plus les rares personnes qu'il croisera semblent se hair et cacher d'inavouables secrets.
Fantasme ou réalité ? le film ne donne pas de réponse et s'enlise petit à petit dans l'incohérence la plus totale et débouche, à cause aussi de la lenteur de son rythme, doucement sur l'ennui.
On pense à du David LYNCH (l'anglais est venu par un vol qui n'aurait jamais eu lieu..) avec quelques gros plans incongrus et répétitifs; ou cette séquence où le héros voit projeté (par qui ?) sur un écran ses faits et gestes d'il y a quelques secondes ce que la technologie datée employée dans le studio rend impossible (on utilise des magnétos a bande ou des machines à écrire qui renvoient le tout au moins aux années 80).
Puis ne sachant sans doute pas comment conclure le réalisateur termine sur un point d'interrogation, mais nous avons décroché depuis un moment de ce film ambitieux qui, hélas, ne tient pas les promesses de son inquiétant début.
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I saw Berberian Sound Studio in a 110-seat theatre. It was a Wednesday matinee, so I expected a light crowd, but I was one of four people in the seats. The conclusion I had reached by the end of the film was that there were one hundred six people who had had the chance to catch a Wednesday afternoon matinee of Berberian Sound Studio and didn't, and there are one hundred six people in this world who are worse for the experience. To make it short: if you are at all a fan of movies, even a casual fan, you can simply forget the actual plot of the film: this is a study in fascination, an endlessly-interesting look at film composition during the golden age of giallo.
It's obvious that everyone involved in the making of this movie eats, sleeps, and breathes giallo, which is one of the things that makes it so effective. It also means that people who are already familiar with the genre may find the movie a little more interesting than the general public, but really, rent yourself a handful of mid-seventies Dario Argento pictures and early-seventies Lucio Fulci pictures to get a basic grounding in the field and you're good to go. (Just in case you actually decide to follow this, grab Profondo Rosso--the 126-minute cut released by Anchor Bay, not the horrific 89-minute piece of butchery that landed in American theatres--Four Flies on Grey Velvet, Don't Torture a Duckling, and just for the sake of variety, Antonio Bido's The Bloodstained Shadow and Pupi Avati's The House with the Laughing Windows. The last of those, actually, has more parallels in this movie than I realized whilst watching, now that I think about it.) But like I said before, the actual plot of the film takes second stage to the act of putting a movie together, so that's kind of an optional step that will let you soak in more of the movie's amazing atmosphere.
The plot: Gilderoy (The Hunger Games' Toby Jones) is a timid, mild-mannered foley artist from England whose specialty is travel and nature documentaries. (For the uninitiated, a foley artist is the guy who creates and mixes the ambient sounds in a movie--for example, when we see a shot of one of Gilderoy's finished products, there's a sweeping panorama of a British countryside view that has an orchestral soundtrack and some birdsong. The foley artist is the guy who goes out, records the birds, sits down with the footage, and then puts together the music and the birdsong and syncs it all with the visuals. There are a lot of amazing shots of sound storyboards here, and I wish I knew enough about foley work to know what those things are called because I probably sound like an idiot right now, but man, Strickland uses them to great effect here.) Before the film starts, we soon learn, he got a job offer from Italian director Giancarlo Santini (Antonio Mancino in his first feature film, and he looks far less like George Clooney in the movie than he does in his IMDB headshot) to come and do the foley work on Santini's newest "equestrian" film--which turns out to be a supernaturally-driven giallo picture called The Equestrian Vortex. The timeframe of the movie is never explicitly stated, but it's obviously meant to be during giallo's golden age, which would put it somewhere between roughly 1971 and 1978. Not that is matters, other than in the costuming, as the entire film takes place in the titular sound studio and Gilderoy's rented flat. Gilderoy, obviously not used to working on such fare, find himself shocked, and not a little grossed out, by the onscreen goings-on, but every time he expresses his misgivings, the producer, an overbearing jerk by the name of Francesco (The Card Player's Cosimo Fusco), browbeats him into submission. He is cowed by the two sound effects guys, Massimo and Massimo (Pal Toth and Josef Szeres, both in their first screen appearances--minor characters, but oh how I loved them, and both have very bright careers ahead of them), who really are kind of scary. In fact, his only real friend on the set seems to be Silvia (Katalin Varga's Fatma Mohamed), one of the film's leading ladies, but even she keeps asking questions that make Gilderoy uncomfortable... questions like why he thinks Santini chose him to work on the movie. The closer the crew gets to finishing the film, the deeper Gilderoy has to reach into himself to hold on to his sense of reality...
SPOILER ALERT: you really should go into this knowing nothing. I tried to reveal as little as possible, but even that may be too much. You have been warned.
I've seen the movie called a horror film and a psychological thriller. I would not consider it either of those things, and I wonder how that mismarketing makes the film play with audiences. There are elements of both, of course--like I said, this is a movie that is steeped in the giallo tradition--but, and I say this at the risk of spoiling the movie, though I will attempt to do so in as minor a way as possible, though I will tell you "stop reading now and just go see the damn thing!", ultimately it is yet another character study of a person who is slowly going mad. And yes, I say "yet another", because how many movies of that type have we seen since good old Gaslight? But holy crap, Strickland, and let's remember that this is just his second movie (Katalin Varga was his first, and it just rocketed to the top of my must-see list), piles on the style, style, style. To give you one of the movie's less-subtle symbols for Gilderoy's failing grip on reality, the crew use a huge amount of produce to come up with their sound effects; one of the Massimos drops a squash in order to simulate the sound of a body hitting concrete, Gilderoy rips the green tops from bunches of radishes, etc. Francesco provides the crew with a bin to toss all the refuse in (and I did wonder, given the Gilderoy is strapped for cash throughout the movie, why he wasn't just taking all this stuff home and eating it, but honestly, just roll with it here), but he never gets round to emptying it, and every once in a while we cut to that bin and see how much more rotten the vegetables are. And then there's the thing with the daddy longlegs that keeps appearing in Gilderoy's room. (That is not going where you think it is.) But the real killer here is Toby Jones himself. This is a tough role. Gilderoy is balancing any number of emotions on a very fragile beam here, as well as becoming more and more paranoid, but still trying to keep up the air of professionalism that will allow him to finish the movie and get the hell out of Dodge, and Toby Jones is marvelous at depicting this. I wish I could tell you more about some of these scenes, and some of the stylistic choices Strickland makes in the final third of the film that really start bringing it all home, but the less you know about this movie going into it, the better off you will be, and I have already probably said far, far too much here.
Besides, it's all about the sounds anyways. I spent as much time marvelling at the inventive uses of produce in this movie as I did cringing at Gilderoy's timidity. I suspect you will as well. And you know what? I can't believe I got through this entire review without mentioning Berberian Sound Studio's own foley guy. I mean, a movie that's about a foley guy is pretty much guaranteed to have its audience paying more attention to foley than any other movie they've ever seen, and Heiki Kossi--a guy popular enough in the biz that since his career as a foley artist started in 2000, he's racked up almost one hundred fifty credits (on this side of the pond, the most notable is probably the cult horror-comedy Rare Exports)--rises to the occasion. He gets a good deal of help from foley recordist Miia Nevalainen (Kossi's version of Massimo and Massimo!), and man, they do the job. I kept looking for nits to pick in the sound in this movie, and I couldn't find a one. I went into this movie with ridiculously, unrealistically high expectations, and it loved up to them all.
I am just now realizing that sound has played a huge part in three of the last four movies to which I gave five stars--Mary and Max, Eloi Eloi Lema Sabachthani?, and Absentia. Berberian Sound Studio focuses on sound; what do you think is going to happen here? I am one of those guys who is continuously behind the loop where movies are concerned, and to date (I'm writing this on June 26, 2013) I have only seen thirty-nine movies released in 2012; I am having a very hard time believing, even despite that, that 2012 produced a better movie than Berberian Sound Studio. The fortieth movie, barring a few revisions that got bumped down half a star or so, to which I have ever given five stars. *****
The film also has at its core the wonderful Toby Jones, who is fast becoming a character actor with an awful lot of leading roles under his belt. His star turn as Truman Capote a few years ago in Infamous blew Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance right out of the water. Jones is wonderful here (as he usually is) and draws the viewer into his increasingly distorted mental state with consummate skill and subtlety. This is no mean feat considering much of his screen time consists of adjusting sound levels, looking perplexed at the odd assortment of people around him and reacting in growing discomfort at the images for which he is recording horrific sound effects. Wisely, we never see the footage for The Equestrian Vortex, the fictional film Jones is sound-scaping. The constant shrieking, screaming, stabbing and bludgeoning sounds are like a cacophonous symphony of horror. Images would diminish their effectiveness. Filmmaker Strickland well recognizes the power of the audience’s imagination.
The film is full of eccentricities, from voice artists who babble incoherently to a near parody of the self-important Italian film director who considers himself an artist (“don’t call my film a Horror Movie!”), to a strange set of letters Gilderoy receives from his mother that seem to portend his fate. Jones tries to take it all in stride but his discomfort is established from the get go when he fails to received reimbursement for the cost of his flight to Italy. Clearly a fish out of water, despite his considerable reputation as a sound artist, Jones fights an uphill battle all the way.
The extra features provide little in the way of insight, apart from the director’s commentary. Even so, BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO is a difficult film to sit through twice. It’s worth seeing, however, for the strangeness of its setting and particularly Jones’ performance.
1.This mindbender is a movie about making a movie. It’s partly a drama, and partly a tribute to the giallo films of the 1970’s. It’s by a fairly new director, Peter Strickland.
2. It’s about a shy, introverted foley artist (that’s the guy in charge of sound effects in movies) named Gilderoy that makes a trip to Italy to work on a film that he thinks is about horses. Gilderoy discovers the movie is actually a horror movie, and he is responsible for making the torture and killing scenes sound realistic. This does not sit well with the more peaceful nature of Gilderoy, and he has trouble doing it.
3. The producer and director of the horror film are rude, egotistical, and sexist. Their behavior gets progressively worse. The horror scenes get more extreme. Gilderoy is feeling more stressed and uncomfortable.
4. Eventually, his reality begins to crack. He starts to become detached, and the boundaries of his life get fuzzy. And then, well, it’s hard to explain what happens next. He seems to slowly become fictionalized. His life transforms, in bits and pieces, into the movie he’s working on. I think.
5. While the movie being made is a horror film, we never see any of it.The director of the real film, Strickland, reverses everything. Instead of seeing the various tortures and murders being depicted, we just witness the ways in which the various sounds of it are created. This makes the movie quite educational.
6. Fans of 1970’s Italian giallo directors like Argento and Fulci will appreciate the camera work and the soundtrack of this movie (and the one in it).
7. As you might suspect, this movie is all about the sound. Pay attention to how and when sound is created, used, and repeated. They provide one of the few clues to what is actually going on.
8. It’s hard to say if the movie actually means anything, or if it is just a “Twilight Zone”-ish head scratcher. If Strickland is trying to say something deeper about movies, or life, or whatever, it probably comes from the fact that the killers in giallo films stereotypically wore black gloves and a trenchcoat. Look for where that shows up in this film.
9. This is an impressive film for the director, who had only made one film before this, with his uncle’s inheritance money. It’s a creative, strange tale of movies and madness. And lots of garden vegetables.
The problem is that the men helping him are at most barely cognisant or one is totally hostile. He decides to plod on and the cast are far from fan boys themselves. We see an array of vegetables getting smashed, dropped, ripped apart or stabbed to the flickering reflection coming from the studio screen. Our senses are heightened still further by the use of the sound board, so we know what is taking place on the unseen screen as say a witch is having her hair pulled out or a multiple stabbing is taking place as an unsuspecting cabbage get the `Psycho' shower scene treatment.
All of this is taking place amidst the seeming constant background noise of screaming. As the film gets more and more to Gilderoy, the more his reality seems to get mixed up in the happenings of the film. I also noticed that there is a tension both actual and sexual that is volatile through out and I think as most of the action takes place in the studio, this gives it a claustrophobic hue which adds to both a feeling of intimacy and immediacy.
This is a film that will stay with you, not only will you never look at a vegetable quite the same way again, but it has a power to come back into your mind for some time afterwards. I really liked it but almost exhaled in relief when it ended, which on reflection is some achievement for a film that rolls just over an hour and a half. In Italian and English with sub titles in all the right places. For fans of Italian horror as this makes a brilliant companion piece and for people who like films off the beaten path this is one to add to your collection.