Exclusive: Writer/Director Peter Strickland Discusses Berberian Sound Studio and More - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Writer/Director Peter Strickland Discusses Berberian Sound Studio and More

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Exclusive: Writer/Director Peter Strickland Discusses Berberian Sound Studio and MoreOut now in limited release and on VOD is writer/director Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio, a haunting exploration of isolation and loneliness set against the backdrop of a Giallo movie, which stars veteran actor Toby Jones (Captain America).

Dread Central recently chatted with Strickland exclusively about what inspired Berberian Sound Studio, how creating a story about sound design challenged him as a filmmaker and much more. Berberian Sound Studio is now playing at the IFC Center in New York and in Los Angeles at the Arena Cinema in Hollywood and Downtown Independent in Downtown LA. For those of you not in those areas, the film is also currently now available on VOD.

Dread Central: Thanks for chatting with me today, Peter; I thought this was an incredibly fascinating film and definitely a very unusual story as well. What inspired you to create a story around a sound engineer and Giallo films, of all things?

Peter Strickland: Oh, thanks so much; I think for me I was interested in capturing the mechanics of exploitation cinema. I think part of that comes from my fascination with DVD extras and so I wanted to make a movie that circled around that kind of world but make it a little more fictionalized and, of course, entertaining. I think what was most powerful to me was this ridiculous image of a grown man smashing watermelons with this horribly violent movie playing behind him; I wanted this movie to exist in that kind of confusion and explore the power of violence but not in a didactic way.

Another reason I made Berberian Sound Studio is that I wanted to show just how complex the idea of movie violence really is and reduced that idea down to only the sound. At the same time, I wanted to create a very visual movie about the world of sound, something I don’t think I had seen before; I also wanted to pay tribute to this incredible time period in cinema in particular because there has always been a strong connection between Giallo films and their music and sound design. People really tend to forget that Giallo films created an amazing link between high-art concepts and b-movie exploitation, which is endlessly fascinating to me.

Dread Central: I would definitely say a lot of that certainly plays into Toby’s character, and it’s very compelling to see just how affected by this world he becomes; can you discuss collaborating with him for this role and how the two of approached Gilderoy and his downward spiral throughout the film?

Peter Strickland: Toby was wonderful and added so much to this character- I mean, of course I knew he would, but it was beyond anything I could have initially hoped for while I was writing the script. I just thought it would be interesting to see how someone who has no frame of reference for this world would react to being suddenly immersed in it; what does that do to his psyche and how does it parlay into his own feelings of isolation being in a world he knows nothing about?

And Toby really embraced that and I definitely think that’s why the movie works so well; you just cannot take your eyes off of Toby, who in turn cannot take his attention away from this world he’s suddenly been put in the middle of and can’t relate to at all. He’s used to working on children’s stories so Italian horror movies, to him, are utterly shocking and almost a bit maddening. A lot of what you see in the final film was in the script, but of course Toby managed to work in certain elements of this character that only he could, and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out and with my experiences working with him on this movie.

Dread Central: Because you’re making a movie that’s focused on sound design, did that add any pressure on you in terms of creating the perfect sound mix or incorporating the right sound design elements you needed for Berberian Sound Studio?

Peter Strickland: I think that for me the element I was most emphatic over was the sound perspective and just how a voice sounds in one shot and how that same sound or sentence will travel to someone’s headphones. Keeping the sound consistent throughout was really the biggest challenge- we wanted everything you were hearing to feel authentic, even during the moments where maybe we were amplifying certain sounds for dramatic effect. The biggest temptation for me was to just ‘go crazy’ with it during the mixing process because we actually had a great budget allotted for sound, but then I thought better of it. That wouldn’t have added anything to the movie at all so we really just concentrated on those tangible sounds – hearing what you’re actually seeing – and getting them to seamlessly integrate into the rest of the sound mix.

Dread Central: As someone who grew up during the 80’s, I have to say it was nice to see someone celebrate classic filmmaking, and I thought the studio itself was very visual striking- particularly the scene where Toby has the loops of tape spooled and hung throughout the studio.

Peter Strickland: Oh thanks- I love that scene; it really reflects the cyclical nature of the script and it’s by far one of my favorite visual moments from the film. I think that one of the main reasons I wanted to write about analog sound is because it WAS so incredibly visual both in terms of the machinery and the performance aspect of splicing tape and looping it. When you look at those old control rooms, they do have a very powerful, almost otherworldly feel to them- there are the racks full of oscillators and filters and all of that. There’s almost a ritualistic and mysterious quality to everything you see in those rooms, and Berberian Sound Studio is a celebration of just that. I wish more people could appreciate the artfulness to filmmaking in that era.

Toby Jones and Tonia Sotiropoulou star. Check out our Berberian Sound Studio review here.

Synopsis:
Set in 1976: Gilderoy is hired to orchestrate the sound mix for the latest film by Italian horror maestro Santini. As time and realities shift, Gilderoy is lost in a spiral of sonic and personal mayhem and has to confront his own demons in order to stay afloat.

Berberian Sound Studio

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Edward James Olmos Says Shane Black’s The Predator is Really Funny, Yet Deadly

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When we first heard that writer-director Shane Black (Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Band, The Nice Guys) and his main collaborator Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps, The Monster Squad) were going to be taking on a big-budget reboot/sequel of Predator we were excited as hell. As we’re sure you were as well.

We knew the film was going to be, at least in some aspects, the funniest Predator film we have seen thus far. I mean with Black and Dekker penning the script how could it NOT?

But just how funny will The Predator be?

Well, if we are to believe ScienceFiction.com and co-star Edward James Olmos, the movie is going to be hilarious… yet still deadly.

The Blade Runner actor was recently out and about promoting the new Disney film Coco, and dropped some all-new info on Shane Black’s The Predator.

“Oh, my goodness. That’s an interesting story,” Edward James Olmos told the site. “I haven’t seen any of it, but it’s gonna be funny. The kids in the thing. Yeah, the humor. Huge. Huge. I mean I was in shock, because, you know this is a really intense franchise, and it still is. Don’t get me wrong. You’re gonna be inside of it. But the characters are… what he did — Shane is an incredibly gifted writer, and he’s a great director, and so he ended up getting an incredible ensemble, and when I reached it they had already been filming for three months so they were a unit. So I jump in as the General and there were some moments where I just had to laugh in the scene and I couldn’t be laughing in the scene. ‘I’m sorry guys. Really, I’m sorry.'”

“Keegan (Michael Key) and Thomas Jane, they’re paired off in groups of three groups,” he continues. “Six guys. The way they work, they were all post-traumatic stress disorder guys who were inside of an insane asylum. A mental hospital. Then they put the lead character in there to kind of make them disappear, because they want them kind of out of the picture. And so he gets involved and then boom, the world goes crazy and these kids are released. But out of a freaky incident with some of the Predators. It’s crazy. It’s so crazy. I’m excited for it, and I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I got a good feeling about it. I mean if it’s really funny, and yet deadly like Predator is.”

I’m not surprised at all that the film is going to be funny, and the thought of a humorous Predator movie doesn’t worry me in the slightest either. I have utter faith that Black and Dekker will give us one of the best Predator films in the franchise.

What do you think? Let us know below!

The Predator stars Thomas Jane, Edward James Olmos, Sterling K. Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Alfie Allen, Yvonne Strahovski, Augusto Aguilera, and Keegan-Michael Key.

Black is directing from a script by Fred Dekker. John Davis, Joel Silver, and Lawrence Gordon — who produced the original — are producing.

The Predator comes out August 3, 2018.

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The Girl in the Spider’s Web Snares It’s Bad Guy

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A few months back word dropped that “The Crown” star Claire Foy would be taking up the role of Lisbeth Salander in director Fede Alvarez’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web.

The movie is a sequel/reboot to David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and before all of this gets too confusing, it breaks down like this:

There were a series of books based on Lisbeth Slander called the Millennium trilogy a few years back. The books were called “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl who Played with Fire”, and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”

These were made into a series of Swedish movies with Prometheus star Noomi Rapace as Salander.

The first in a planned trilogy of American remakes was produced by Fincher and starred Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth. But the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo wasn’t a smash success so all future installments were abandoned.

In the meantime, a new trilogy of Lisbeth books were published over in Sweden and the first was called “The Girl in the Spider’s Web”… and now Sony is just skipping all the other books and jumping right to the new trilogy for a reboot.

Make sense?

I know, it doesn’t but whatever. For the time being, let’s just call this new flick a sequel/reboot to David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and leave it at that.

Anyhow, today’s news concerns the new film’s villain who will be played by Claes Bang (The Square). On top of that, Sylvia Hoeks (Blade Runner 2049) has also joined the cast as Salander’s twin sister.

The new installment is directed by Fede Alvarez from a script by Steven Knight and Fede Alvarez & Jay Basu, based on the book by David Lagercrantz

The film begins shooting this January in Stockholm before hitting theaters Oct. 19, 2018.

Synopsis:

She is the girl with the dragon tattoo — a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit. He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.

Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female superhacker — a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it…

 

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Check Out the Opening 2 Minutes of Another WolfCop

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It was just earlier today that we brought you guys The Dude Design’s the newest poster for writer-director Lowell Dean’s horror-comedy sequel Another WolfCop.

And now we have the movie’s opening 2 minutes!

The clip showcases the new flick’s villain trying to sell us on his “Chicken Milk Beer” before losing his cool and taking it out the commercial’s crew. We then cut to a ragtag group of criminals, dressed as homeless Santas trying to outrun the cops.

A fun two-minutes if you ask me!

You can check out Another WolfCop‘s opening scene below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on social media!

The film is written and directed by Lowell Dean, produced by Bernie Hernando, Deborah Marks, and Hugh Patterson, and distributed worldwide by Cineplex.

Another WolfCop co-stars Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, and Serena Miller. The film also features special appearances from Canadian music icon Gowan and legendary filmmaker Kevin Smith. It was executive produced by Sean Buckley, J. Joly, Bill Marks, Brian Wideen, Michael Kennedy, and Michael Hirsch.

The film is slated for a wide Cineplex theatrical release on Friday, December 8, 2017, with the film seeing a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital home entertainment release through A71 and Black Fawn in 2018.

Synopsis:

A month has passed since the eclipse transformed hard-drinking Officer Lou Garou into the crime-fighting hellion WolfCop. Although the Shape Shifters controlling the town have been extinguished, Woodhaven is far from returning to normal. Lou’s liquor-fueled antics and full moon outbursts are seriously testing his relationship with Officer Tina Walsh – the new Chief of Police. An old friend has mysteriously reappeared with a truly bizarre secret to share, and a homicidal new villain has emerged from the shadows looking to finish what the Shape Shifters started. To defeat this lethal adversary, it will take more than a lone wolf packing a pistol.

Prepare for the next chapter of WolfCop that will be more dirty and hairy than the original! Consider yourself warned.

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