In week 5, we explored the genre of horror, taking an in-depth look at the film Berberian Sound Studio(2012, Peter Strickland). The film was based around the story of a sound engineer named Gilderoy who begins working at a studio. The work in this studio gradually begins to have an adverse affect on Gilderoy, who drifts further and further into a sort of insanity. The film uses a number of elements, the most prominent being sound.
It was during our class, therefore, that we too a more in-depth look at sound and its characteristics:
- Pitch(high or low)
Each of these had a role in creating the space of Berberian Sound Studio, and making the sound effects of vegetables being smashed and cracked all the more disturbing. Sound can create atmosphere, and is just as important as the visuals.
Of all the elements of film technique, sound design works on the most subliminal level.
Sounds can call attention to, and emphasize, particular objects within the scene in a way that makes it appear to be issued by the image. Michael Chion suggests in one of our readings ‘
Audiovision: Sound on Screen’ that sound is able to work subliminally and unnoticed, in that the viewer may find the visuals responsible for the influence on them… when it is really sound.
Overall, I enjoyed this week but found the movie quite confusing. It strayed from the usual horror film conventions as there wasn’t one evil entity or bad guy responsible for anything. By the end of it I was questioning who the bad guy was and if anything horribly evil had actually even happened. I definitely need to pay more attention to sound from now on!