berberian-sound-studio-jan-30thFollowing his success with Katalin Varga, Strickland now explores the Italian exploitation horror genre of the 1970s. Toby Jones plays the hapless sound editor, Gilderoy, a mummy’s boy from Dorking, whose previous experience has not prepared him for the weird excesses of his new employers. However Strickland’s intention is to portray Gilderoy’s mental unravelling. Not to mention the fabulous sound effects, into which we are given a sometimes hilarious insight. “With a face suggesting cherubic innocence, vulnerability and cruelty, Toby Jones gives the performance of his career, and Peter Strickland has emerged as a key British film-maker of his generation” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (Cert 15)
Dir: Peter Strickland 88 mins UK 2012

Programme Notes

Berberian Sound Studio
UK, 2012, 88 mins, Cert 15

After beginning his work as an audio engineer on the production of The Equestrian Vortex, Gilderoy discovers that he is contributing to a Giallo film. With the literal meaning of yellow, these became a very successful Italian genre in the 1960s and later. The problem for Gilderoy, who seems to be missing his mum, is that horribly violent scenes, which he has to watch in order to do his work, but we don’t (hope you’re not too disappointed) are not really his cup of tea. For once the term Kafkaesque would seem to be appropriate.

Gilderoy – Toby Jones
Francesco Coraggio – Cosimo Fusco
Giancarlo Santini – Antonio Mancini
Silvia as Teresa – Fatma Mohamed
Fabio (as Salvatore Li Causi) – Salvatore Li Causi
Elisa as Teresa – Chiara D’Anna
Elena – Tonia Sotiropoulou

Director – Peter Strickland
Screenplay – Peter Strickland
Cinematography – Nicholas D. Knowland
Editing – Chris Dickens
Music – Broadcast
Production design – Jennifer Kernke
Producers – Mary Burke, Keith Griffiths

“Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio, one of 2012’s finest films, recalled Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece The Conversation in its vivid, enthralling sound design. Listening to Broadcast’s soundtrack divorced from Strickland’s images, it becomes clear just how vital their music was to the strength and impact of the picture” – Daniel Paton (




“Very good”

“I loved it. Mud cake, anyone?”

“Excellent example of a film that doesn’t need dialogue to tell a great story even though some moments were pretty creepy.”

“Beautiful cat but I didn’t want to watch a film about a small girl being frightened.”

“A Kafkaesque nightmare”


“An excellent experience, even though it messed with your head on more than one occasion.”

“Disturbing film – silences sometimes more eerie than sound effects. Very unlovable characters but I felt for Gilderoy.”

“Great pairing of short and feature – clever programming. However, the feature would have benefitted from some of the King Edwards and half a ton of nutty slack from the short.”

“Insanely inventive”

“Perfectly pitched”

“Clever but not a bundle of laughs”

“Different. Would it work better if we had a Giallo season? Was not being able to understand the English dialogue part of it, do you think?”

“Interesting and thought provoking but not a complete film”

“Started off intriguing but ended up boring.”

“Fascinating to start with but too repetitive, repetitive.”

“The short was so much better, and Kafkaesque. Feature very much over the top.”

“Give me the Svankmeyer any time!”

“I sort of understood the film but began to dream of collecting potatoes and pulling out my own hair.”

“Extreme use of antique technology. Were they corrupted by technology and its possibilities?”

“About sound but spoilt by bad script, screenplay and ultimately bloody awful sound! It kept waking me up.”

“Weird and pointless – it kept interrupting my nap with bizarre screams.”

“I struggled to find much coherence in the film but felt sorry for the little English guy – must have been the magpie!”

“I did not understand either of tonight’s films. Maybe I am more of the type who would prefer the following kind of films – Lassie Come Home, Tarzan of the Apes, King Solomon’s Mines, Rin Tin Tin.”

“What does a squirm sound like? I couldn’t be bothered!”

“Totally pointless and inconclusive. Did I miss the Equestrian Vortex Sound?
Much too long, with insufficient material. Should have been edited down to 10mins!”

“What a terrible waste of perfectly good fruit and veg.”

“Gilderoy may be as mad as my family now but did he get paid?”


A:5, B:7, C:10, D:11, E:8 to give 44%