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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Berberian Sound Studio [Blu-ray]


(Peter Strickland, 2011)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Illuminations Films

Video: Artificial Eye



Region: 'B' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:32:07.563 

Disc Size: 45,332,345,821 bytes

Feature Size: 24,712,747,008 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.00 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 31st, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 3335 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3335 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio Italian 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit



English, none



Audio commentary by director Peter Strickland
Interview with Peter Strickland (32:25)
The making of Berberian Sound Studio (46:48)
Deleted scenes with commentary by Peter Strickland (19:55)
Production design gallery (20:28)
'Box Hill' extended documentary (5:19)
'Berberian Sound Studio' original short film (1:00)
Theatrical trailer (1:36)





Description: 1976: A timid sound engineer from rural Surrey arrives in Italy to work on a mysterious horror film, mixing blood-curdling screams with the grotesque sounds of hacked vegetables. But as the on-screen violence seeps into his consciousness reality and fantasy become blurred and the nightmare starts to awake. Daringly original and masterfully constructed, this inspired homage to 70s Giallo horror is a devastating assault on the eyes and brain, already being compared to the films of Ingmar Bergman and David Lynch.



The Film:

One of the underappreciated cinematic gems of 2012, Berberian Sound Studio features the superb Toby Jones as a sound engineer working in the mid-1970s. For his next job, he heads to Italy, to start working on a new horror movie, where his task is to put together the audio mix for the film. However, things don’t prove to be that simple. As he watches more and more of the movie in question, Jones’ character gets increasingly affected by it, to the detriment of his mental state. As he does so, Berberian Sound Studio intelligently pays homage to the likes of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, and it emerges as something of a love letter to the Italian horror movies of the era.

It’s also an excellent film in its own right. Jones’ sound engineer is very much a fish out of water, aside from when he’s at his mixing desk, and the film is anchored by one of his best-ever performances. Director Peter Stickland, who contributes an excellent commentary track to the disc, is equally keen to give due respect to the art and tools of sound mixing, and that he weaves all of this in so successfully is very much to his credit.

The disc also boasts a good making of documentary, and there’s no shortage of further behind the scenes material to explore. It’s a thoughtful, rewarding package for a sublime piece of cinema. Strongly recommended.

Excerpt from Jon Foster at Amazon.UK located HERE

A delicately detailed immersion into the world of Z-grade Italian horror cinema that ultimately may or may not be a horror film itself, Peter Strickland's "Berberian Sound Studio" is a tense, teasing triumph. Affording the humble sound engineer his finest onscreen showcase since Brian De Palma's "Blow Out," this exquisitely crafted sophomore feature makes good on the atmospheric promise of Strickland's debut, "Katalin Varga," and offers British thesp Toby Jones a subtle moment in the spotlight.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Berberian Sound Studio gets a solid transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye.  It is definitely into dual-layered territory and has a decent bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. The improved contrast adds subtle layers to the visuals with defined shadows and occasional depth. There is only some minor noise. The 1080P supports a pleasing appearance in the 1.85:1 frame. It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film. It supplied a fine video presentation.

















Audio :

Audio comes in the form of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a strong 3335 kbps. Of course, there are plenty of sound effects and they ring very true via the uncompressed with deft separations. Generally the rendering is quite impressive. There is also a linear PCM stereo option and there are optional English subtitles for the non-English dialogue and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

As well as an interesting audio commentary by director Peter Strickland, there are almost 2 hours of video extras including a 1/2 interview with Strickland, a 3/4 hour Making Of..., 20-minutes of deleted scenes with commentary by the director, a production design gallery, 'Box Hill' - an extended documentary lasting 5-minutes and the original short film for the project, as well as a theatrical trailer. Fans will enjoy delving into these.



Wow - this was a blast - great atmosphere. Berberian Sound Studio is one of those obtuse masterpieces that surface every few years.  Genre fans will appreciate the most - the filmmakers had a strong sense of the Giallo.  The Artificial Eye Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation with very appreciated supplements. Those even remotely keen shouldn't hesitate. 

Gary Tooze

January 1st, 2013


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Gary W. Tooze






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