Not since Brian De Palma’s Blow Out has the role of a humble sound engineer been foregrounded to this point. However, Strickland’s second feature is just as much indebted to David Lynch’s Eraserhead and, even more explicitly, to Mulholland Drive.
A musician himself, the director first planned to make a movie about the real-life avant-garde composers and performers who paid the bills moonlighting on giallo soundtracks; the title alludes to avant-garde singer Cathy Berberian. Instead of emulating the gore and sleaze of this 1970s horror genre, Strickland cunningly leaves it to our imagination. With an extremely limited number of claustrophobic locations, our ears perceive more than our eyes. The visual focus is almost entirely on vintage sound recording equipment and a cornucopia of mashed and dismembered vegetables. Additional music comes from the bands Broadcast and Nurse with Wound. Live accompaniment on Sun 27 by a foley artist.