IFC Midnight | Release Date: June 14, 2013
7.1
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 30 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
18
Mixed:
11
Negative:
1
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6
Mike_MJun 19, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. As nearly every professional critic mentions, this movie is more of a cinematic freakout than a story, though there's enough story to grab on to. Is it good? Is it self-indulgent with a whiff of pretension? Is it cryptic enough to leave you without an easy answer? Yes, yes and yes.
It isn't really a horror movie, except for in a psychological, David Lynch way. I would say that the main weakness [and here's the mild spoiler] is that it gives us yet another metadramatic "Is it real? Is it a fantasy? A dream? Is he insane and it's all in his head? Is it about filmmaking itself?" kind of thread to pull on. And I think that thread is threadbare this decade. It's been beat to death.
This said, I half-expect to change my score to a 3 or a 9 after I eventually see this movie again. It's so weird that I'm not even sure if it's good, lousy or great.
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1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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5
nutterjrJun 21, 2013
I was drawn by the positive reviews of this film and justified my choice to watch it having seen Peter Strickland’s debut feature Katalin Varga, which was defined by its vivid direction and use of a powerful score as contributing characterI was drawn by the positive reviews of this film and justified my choice to watch it having seen Peter Strickland’s debut feature Katalin Varga, which was defined by its vivid direction and use of a powerful score as contributing character to the film. Regrettably this was a lot less lucid and much more convoluted, confusing and even disturbing at times. The soundtrack on a league of its own and deserving all the possible awards in this category, but unfortunately, apart from the technical merits there is little else to write home about. Expand
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6
lasttimeisawSep 9, 2015
British filmmaker Peter Strickland is a peculiar figure in the contemporary arthouse cinema sphere, his debut KATALIN VARGE (2009) is a Romanian revenge thriller infused with an unearthly trait both in its visual and aural experiments. Now, aBritish filmmaker Peter Strickland is a peculiar figure in the contemporary arthouse cinema sphere, his debut KATALIN VARGE (2009) is a Romanian revenge thriller infused with an unearthly trait both in its visual and aural experiments. Now, a double-bill of his consequent two features, both confined in isolated surroundings, introduce an esoteric profession, and furthermore probe the extremity of his unique cinematic language.

keep reading my review on my blog, please google: cinema omnivore, thanks!
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5
nicholasbertJan 26, 2015
A film about film is something arthouse likes to endeavour in, sometimes with success, sometimes not; and Berberian Sound Studio borrows from the greats (Inland Empire in particular). The idea is good, delving into the technical aspects andA film about film is something arthouse likes to endeavour in, sometimes with success, sometimes not; and Berberian Sound Studio borrows from the greats (Inland Empire in particular). The idea is good, delving into the technical aspects and "behind-the-scenes" of a production, with gripping performances by the cast - however, it doesn't take off, due probably to the lack of a more structured plot.

Don't get me wrong, I know these movies aren't supposed to have plot, but normally they make up for it with symbolism, or cinematography, or sense of awkwardness, or what have you. Toby Jones's descent into a state of morbid attraction towards the film he's helping to produce doesn't feel at all gradual or symbolic, but rather curt and uncalled for. The cinematography is good, the score is better, and there certainly is a sense of awkwardness throughout. It just doesn't play well with the story.

In conclusion, Berberian Sound Studio goes in the right direction but at a wrong pace, or for the wrong reasons if you will. It's still interesting to watch.
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