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

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BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO

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 Young) arrives there and is greeted by a rude receptionist and a woman’s screams.

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