You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Movies

Movie Review

In ‘Berberian Sound Studio,’ what you hear isn’t what you get

The noise heard in many blockbusters these days doesn’t raise one’s confidence about the future of sound in Hollywood. But the poetic nuances of, say, a splattered zucchini can be heard in Peter Strickland’s challenging thriller, “Berberian Sound Studio.” His film not only exploits one of cinema’s most important modes, it also attempts something more difficult: turning a genre movie into a work of art.

To its credit, the 1970s Italian studio of the title values the art of sound, but that doesn’t mean it’s a nice place to work. On the contrary, it might be an anteroom of hell. Meek British sound engineer Gilderoy (Toby Jones) arrives and is greeted by a rude receptionist and a woman’s screams. The latter are being recorded for a film in production; it’s only a movie, but as Gilderoy’s growing paranoia blurs the real and the hallucinatory, you have to wonder, what does “only a movie” mean?

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week