It’s rare for a film to cause a stir not for its images but for its sound.
But Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio did just that. An ode to Italian giallo cinema, this 2012 meta-horror followed a sound engineer as he worked on a doomed low-budget film. It was replete with loving shots of old tape arrays and dusty mixing boards – audiophile porn, in other words, and a love letter to a lost component of filmmaking.
The film came with a wonderfully unsettling soundtrack by Warp retro-wanderers Broadcast, and its followup looks set to be similarly well-equipped. The Duke of Burgundy, which chronicles a troubled S&M love affair, sees Strickland turn his crosshairs on vintage Euro erotica. In the sound studio this time are The Horrors’ Faris Badwan and singer Rachel Zeffira, who made an album of dark, Phil Spector-ish pop as Cat’s Eyes back in 2011.
First to emerge is the title theme, a gorgeous, pastoral number which could have been lifted from some forgotten 70s baroque-pop record. It sounds rather innocuous given the film’s content – but we suspect there’s trouble lurking beneath the surface.
The Duke of Burgundy is due in cinemas on 20 February.