“Berberian Sound Studio” and “The Duke of Burgundy” madman Peter Strickland returns with “Flux Gourmet,” another twisted ode to class horror, this time trading in giallo for gastronomy with the story of a collective of gourmands and the internal power struggles that unfold within their midst. Asa Butterfield and “Duke of Burgundy” star Gwendoline Christie lead a cast that also includes Ariane Labed, Fatma Mohamed, Makis Papadimitriou, Leo Bill, and Richard Bremmer. IndieWire exclusively shares the official trailer for the film below.
The sonic collective at the film’s center takes up residency at an institute devoted to culinary perfection, its members going to war with the institute’s head over creative differences. In this universe, music is made with food and youngsters dream of culinary ambitions rather than becoming pop stars. With the various rivalries unfolding, Stones, the Institute’s “dossierge,” has to privately endure increasingly fraught stomach problems whilst documenting the collective’s activities. “Flux Gourmet” marks Strickland’s first movie since “In Fabric,” which turned its eye on the demonic powers of fashion.
IFC Midnight opens “Flux Gourmet” June 24 in select theaters, on digital platforms and VOD.
“’Flux Gourmet’ originally started as a satire on artists and their complex relationship with the institutes that fund their work,” Peter Strickland said in a director’s statement shared with IndieWire.
“I tried to remain neutral and look at both perspectives offering both sympathy and ridicule. Whilst exploring the month-long residency of an art collective that deal with food, I became interested in the idea of taboo and shock value in art, which in this context opened up the dark side of the stomach and the bowels. This eventually led to the story of a man in the institute suffering from very private and embarrassing stomach problems — the kind of problems many people suffer from, but are sometimes too embarrassed to mention even to a doctor.
“The influences for ‘Flux Gourmet’ are Robert Bresson’s films with his solemn and almost religious voice-overs, Rob Reiner’s ‘Spinal Tap’ for the rock n’ roll clichés, the Viennese Aktionists for the corporeal shock value and Marcel Marceau for his mime work. The time and place are not specified in order to enhance the film’s dream-like nature.
“Ultimately, through the use of performance art and avant-garde music, I want to reveal a very human story about problems that people are often too embarrassed to talk about, but hopefully many of us can relate to regardless of how healthy or unhealthy our stomachs are. Within the seriousness, I also wanted to present a somewhat silly world exploring creative conflict, rejection, power and the dilemmas facing both artists and their patrons.”