Berbarian Sound Studio: some thoughts

If you decide to make a career in the entertainment industry, there may come a time when you must make a choice.

A time when you must choose whether or not you will work on a horrible thing.

A time when you must choose whether or not you will remain silent about the things your bosses are doing because it is A Job.

A time when you must choose whether to leave, or to bury yourself in the Work, and the Craft, and to choose to quietly wall off the part of you that wants to leave and focus entirely on doing the best damn job with your skills on the part of this horrible thing you are charged with making.

This horrible thing may be obvious in its horribleness. It may be subtle. But you will know it is horrible. And you will know there is a choice.

If you are lucky you may see this choice looming in your future while you still have ample time to get out. If you are lucky you may see other people making this choice, or having this choice made for them, and see what it does to them.

I was lucky. Other people I worked with in the entertainment industry were not.

The protagonist of “Berbarian Sound Studio” does not know this choice exists, I think. Until he suddenly finds he has made it.


I learnt tonight that there is a wound deep in my soul from the time I spent choosing to bury myself in my work and thinking I was avoiding making this choice. I learnt this because the last act of “Berbarian Sound Studio” gently lifted up the layers of my soul atop it, with meticulous, surgical precision. And then it licked its finger, and ever so gently traced the edge of this wound, and then delicately replaced the layers of mostly-healed soul almost exactly where they were beforehand. I thought it was all healed but now I know it is not, and perhaps may never be.

I had to take a shower afterwards.

This movie is going on the same shelf as “Requiem For A Dream”: beautifully, compellingly made movies, which I never ever want to see ever again in my life.


Berbarian Sound Studio: a nebbish who is very, very good at making soundscapes finds himself stuck working on a horrible piece of torture porn cinema, and makes his choice.

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