Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In short: Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

I find two types of films the most difficult to write about. The first one are films so mediocre in all aspects they leave me with the feeling they don't exist as anything else than as artefacts created to fill otherwise empty spots in DVD stores or TV schedules; these movies aren't painful to not write about.

The second type, on the other hand, are films like Peter Strickland's utterly brilliant Berberian Sound Studio that leave me a little exhausted by their sheer aesthetic perfection. Here, the only way to write appropriately about a film is to describe every noise on the soundtrack, every edit, every movement on screen in the most meticulous detail possible. Proceeding thusly, one does of course only produce a long, tedious piece that could never even hope to explain or reproduce the aesthetic richness of the experience of actually watching the movie. So that's not a thing to do either.

Therefore, the only out left - apart from ignoring a film much too wonderful to ignore - for me is to pretend being a professional movie critic. That song goes a little something like this:  "Berberian Sound Studio - Brilliant acting, brilliant soundtrack, brilliant sound design, brilliant direction. 10 out of 10! Watch if you have even the slightest bit of love for Italian genre movies of the 70s, hauntology, films that don't slavishly adhere to the most simple narrative structures, intelligent weirdness, critique for genre tendencies that still loves the genre it critiques or just plain great cinema!"

Gosh, I sound just like Entertainment Weekly if they'd let people with actual taste write for them.

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