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This is absolute force majeure filmmaking. It's extremely confrontational; unassuming at first but over time it crescendos into abject madness. The first time I watched Berberian Sound Studio in 2013, I felt physically & mentally drained by the end; the movie had poked and prodded at the raw nerves in my subconscious, coaxing genuine anxiety, sweat, dread, and paranoia out of me even though I was constantly telling myself, "it's just a movie." THIS IS THE EXPERIENCE THAT ALL HORROR MOVIES ARE SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE. Sadly, most audiences don't want to feel genuinely and/or thoroughly uncomfortable while watching horror movies these days — instead people prefer to have the illusion of a horror movie, (ex: a James Wan/Conjuring type of BS), where they can tell themselves they love horror but in reality they consider 2017's Stephen King adaptation, "IT" (part I, because everything is a franchise now...), their favorite "horror" movie in recent years.
What the Horror genre desperately needs — or just cinema in general right now — is a lot more people like Strickland, Ari Aster, and Robert Eggers. If you actually love the genre & especially love stuff like Eraserhead and Beyond the Black Rainbow, then you have to check out Berberian Sound Studio — like, IMMEDIATELY. Did I mention Toby Jones is also amazing in it? Because Jones has a career of stellar performances to his name, but this one stands out among his very best work.
Santini (a character in the film) says: "this is not an horror movie", and he is right about that. "Berberian Sound Studio" is an unsettling exercise in style, especially for what concerns sounds. You might not like it at the end (I am not even sure I did) but if anything it will be clear how important sound is in a movie. When this weird indi work becomes bonkers, it finally becomes interesting and fascinating, but the main reason of my dislike is the almost absence of a narrative, and some repetitive sequences. Last note: a lot of vegetable were armed in the making of this movie.
Hmmmmm... I think its, ummmm... hmmm. It was... different. It's right up David Lynch's alley. If you're not a fan of surrealist movies that aren't about the plot and more about the viewing experience, then imo skip this. If you're looking for a straight-forward plot that has some form of a conclusion, skip this. If you're looking for something that will scare you (not unnerve you, but actually scare you) then skip it. If you like Lynch movies and love films that are totally open to interpretation, watch this. If you like movies that make you think/analyze a lot, this is for you.
I've been reading online for 2 hours trying to look for people's interpretation of this movie and the most I can find is that it's about a man's descent into madness/psychological breakdown. I agree with that. But that's so surface-y. There has to be more meaning to it, and everyone says they like it but no one offers up a meaningful interpretation of it. If you have one, pls reply to this and give me your take. I'm sick of everyone saying they like it but then don't even attempt to explain what they just witnessed. Or may be it's me... may be it's not about the interpretation and it's only about how it makes you feel. I genuinely don't know. Pls help.
I'm still giving it 3.5* bc I enjoyed the visual experience of it and I enjoyed how the last third of it made me feel. I would give it 4* but I didn't like the abrupt ending.
Here's my take on what transpired: Gideroy, an experienced sound eingineer who still lives with his mom and is a bit timid/shy, comes into a totally foreign country to work with people who speak a foreign language to work on a fil genre that's totally foreign to him. As the movie slowly plays out, all these foreign factors begin to take a toll on him, breaking him down piece by piece. It's a story about a man's psychological and emotional breakdown. This is evidenced by his work in The Equestrian Vortex going from order to chaos (everything is normal to start then people begin quitting, the reels get trashed, etc). It's also evidenced by The Equestrian Vortex starting off as a mild horror movie (evidenced by the required sound effects) which slowly has it's gore factor upped more and more. They all signify his descent into madness. To the point where he's so engrossed in his work experience (there's only 1 location for the whole movie, the sound studio) that he blurs the line between reality and him being in his own scary movie. To the point where he goes from a mild mannered respectful individual to one who tortures a co-worker. All of the movie makes sense with theory, imo, except the fact that accounting says there wasn't any flight that corresponds with his receipt. Does this mean it was all a dream (nightmare) and he never left for Italy? I don't know. So again, pls help me or give me your feedback on the theory I presented. Thanks for reading.
A niche product to be sure a strange and avant garde paean to a chapter of cinematic history many didnt so much forget as never care about but its incredibly well executed and if not actually scary, damned creepy.
Muitas pessoas me perguntam sobre bons filmes mindblowing. Bom, aqui está um exemplo pouco conhecido, mas figurinha marcada em listas não convencionais desse tipo de história.
Gilderoy é um americano que aceita um emprego como Engenheiro de Som de uma equipe de produtores de filmes na Itália na década de 70 (aparentemente), em uma clara homenagem aos diretores de giallos da época.
Acostumado a tramas infantis e tradicionais, Gilderoy se assusta ao saber que o filme dirigido pelo arrogante e egocêntrico Giancarlo Santini remete ao terror, envolvendo bruxas e eventos sobrenaturais. Na medida em que o filme se desenrola, uma série de problemáticas envolvendo Gilderoy vai assumindo um papel cada vez mais central e profundo na trama, o levando a ficar perdido entre a realidade e a fantasia em um universo psicológico intenso que se condensa ao trabalho com os equipamentos, o desfile de personagens tortuosos e sua relação com a técnica cinematográfica.
O trabalho estético de Berberian Sound Studio é singular. Aproveitando-se de brilhantes incursões com violência exterior ao cenário, em um filme completamente fictício criado dentro do próprio filme, Peter Strickland jamais revela o filme de Santini, remetendo-o ao cunho imaginativo de Gilderoy e convertendo a magia da recriação dos efeitos, mixagem, edição de som em cenários até relativamente ridículos em algo extremamente aterrador e aterrorizante. A sequência de repetição para encontrar o som adequado e o convívio quase permanente com a obra acaba por adentrar a mente perturbada do protagonista, criando um amálgama poderoso envolvendo uma realidade fragmentada.
Embora a meia hora final seja um bocado confusa e com algumas situações que considero excessivas, Berberian Sound Studio é uma verdadeira pérola do cinema de horror recente, proporcionando uma experiência metalinguística bastante intensa e de grande interesse. Ótimo filme.
Went nowhere; didn't make sense.
One for cinephiles, a bit too arty for me
A creative tribute to Giallo horror cinema. It's interesting, inventive, dark and showcases a vital part of the film-making process. Berberian Sound Studio chooses to make the view listen to the horror instead of watch it, and makes it all that much more effective.
Very interesting and fresh.
Either it was too pretentious, or I'm simply to dumb or hip enough to get this movie. I didn't really get where it was going, and I wasn't thrilled with any visuals onscreen. Great sound at least, and I do like how it's a love letter to giallo and how sound design works.