This week we’re presenting favorites from past Fantastic Fests. I imagine some of you out there might feel a little left out by us maniacs foaming at the mouth over this festival every September, but there’s a silver lining, friends. Without fail, some seven-to-nine months after the festival, a TON of films from the fest turn up on streaming. So when a favorite of mine, say, Berberian Sound Studio, shows up on Netflix and stays there forever, everybody wins. You guys get to see what the fuss was all about, and for me it makes up - slightly - for the fact that there’s no blu-ray of it in the States. Damn it.
I liked Berberian Sound Studio quite a bit back in 2012, and I’ve revisited it a few times since on streaming. Another writer on this site lamented the recent trend of what he called a “giallo circle-jerk”, but I can count the homages on one hand (maybe that’s what he meant with the masturbation reference?), and I’ll gladly take the lush, colorful, textured aesthetic of giallo over the milky digital look that’s become de rigeur for so many indies. On top of those great visuals, the sound design will give your home theater system a pretty thorough workout. Some folks complained that the dream logic of the film doesn’t add up, but given how many of you can’t seem to watch a movie without tweeting your way through the entire goddamn thing, Berberian’s disjointed narrative shouldn’t detract a bit, its aesthetics alone providing a lively backdrop to your brilliant real-time online bon mots.
What I'm saying is Berberian Sound Studio works whether you're paying attention or not, so fire it up and let it work on you. I’m super excited to see Peter Strickland’s new film, The Duke of Burgundy, at this year’s fest, and again on streaming around June 2015.