Tag Archives: Italy

Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

Peter Strickland‘s seething and self-conscious Berberian Sound Studio offers a dynamic that’s impossible to resist: being trapped in a Kafkaesque netherworld of vintage Euro-genre film post-production. It’s Italy in 1976, in that post-dubbing-crazed industry’s seediest foley studio, where Toby Jones, as a shy British sound engineer, is imported to fabricate the soundtrack for what seems to be an absurdly gory Dario Argento-ish giallo. We never see the film in question, but only hear it, as a thousand cabbages and melons are decimated with knives and sledgehammers, and as the brittle Gilderoy finds himself lost in whimsical Italian bureaucracy and appalled by the bloody mayhem on the screen. His strained subjectivity takes over, and the two films he’s “in” cross-fertilize each other – until there’s almost no film left.

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A Little Romance (1979)

The Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy.
The Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

L’amour between two precocious young teens—an American girl (a fresh-faced Diane Lane) and a French boy (one-shot-wonder Thelonious Bernard)—on the streets of Paris, and their flirtation takes us on quite the tour: Parisian markets, the Champs Elysées, the Tuilleries, and more. In an effort to pledge their eternal love, they run away to Venice to kiss under the Bridge of Sighs in a gondola at sunset, and they treat us to Italy in the bargain. Laurence Olivier accompanies them, trotting out a French accent that sounds as unassailable as his German accent in Marathon Man.