Berlinale Talent Campus Diary: Day 2
by Myriam Raccah
24/02/2010 - Berlin,16/02/2010. The day at the Berlinale Talent Campus began at 11 with the discussion The Secret Life of Sound: British director Peter Strickland (Katalin Varga [trailer, film focus], 2009 Silver Bear winner) and German sound designer Stefan Busch (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer [trailer]) spoke of the their passion for sound design and the trascurate potential of sound as an autonomous narrative and expressive instrument with respect to the image.
Too often sound is merely functional, it imitating or amplifying messages already visually expressed. But Strickland and Busch, both great admirers of the industrial noise of Eraserhead and in general of David Lynch’s work with sound, believe in forcing sound, in its alienating power, in a dialogue that is not necessarily calm and coherent between the audio and the image (hear the pervasive and disturbing mechanical sound of the rustling and “natural” sounds in a scene of running in a field in Katalin Varga).
They also believe in a constant search for new "sonorous epiphanies", for foleys recorded and created ad hoc for each film, for each scene. "It seems as if every film has the same dog,” joked Busch, a bit indignant. Rightfully so, seeing as how the work for Perfume placed practically every sound in evidence through an assiduous research and invention.
At 2 pm we went to the theatre at the HAU 1 to hear Christian Berger, the extraordinary DoP known in particular for his work with Michael Haneke. The highly likeable Berger accompanied us on a chronological journey throughout his career, stopping to talk about the esthetics that are subject to the photography of each film (from the HD shoot of Hidden [trailer, film focus] to the sophisticated black and white of The White Ribbon [trailer, film focus]).
Berger spoke about the evolution of his relationship with Haneke, through to their current total (apparently, on set they don’t even need to speak to one another), and compared the very different working methods of various directors, in particular Haneke and Gitai. The encounter was further enriched by gossip and salient anecdotes (such as Isabelle Huppert’s antics on the set of The Pianist!).