“It’s interesting how pleasure is always seen as threatening”: Peter Strickland on Flux Gourmet
Flux Gourmet is the new, eccentrically playful film from critically acclaimed British director Peter Strickland. As with other instalments in his filmography, such as Berberian Sound Studio (2012) or In Fabric (2019), it immerses its audience in a fascinatingly surreal world of Strickland’s making – in this case, revolving around the trials and tribulations of working in a sonic culinary band. We follow their exploits through the eyes of a writer who observes and documents their daily processes, with proceedings in some ways emerging like a satirical take on a music biopic. The spanner in the works is that our interlocutor suffers from chronic irritable bowel syndrome: his crippling embarrassment at his bodily noises and smells emerge as a kind of torture that pervades the story. Amongst the exceptional cast are Fatma Mohamed (a common feature in Strickland’s work), as the frontwoman of the collective, plus some unexpected faces including Gwendoline Christie and Asa Butterfield, while the avant-grade visuals are a feast of orgiastic proportions.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of speaking with the director about his experimental film ahead of its release. He shared how his own part in a sonic culinary band in his youth informed the surreal story, how he creates idiosyncratic worlds and works with sound distortion, and what it was like collaborating with his cast and familiar faces playing against type. We also discussed how the feature grapples with the idea that natural bodily functions and pleasure remain taboo on-screen, in contrast to graphic violence and gore.
Flux Gourmet is released in select cinemas on 30th September 2022. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for Flux Gourmet here: