- Gareth Crook
Flux Gourmet (2022) - 6/10
I’m not sure how I got here, probably it being a Peter Strickland film. Who doesn’t love that unnerving grainy tone he delivers. This though might push even me a little too far. It’s weird. Obviously. The setting is the Sonic Catering Institute. A artistic workspace where a collective have gathered to work with a crank call receiving, pompously controlling, increasingly bizarrely dressed resident director and a somewhat submissive writer, photographer, documentarian with some gastric issues. It’s not easy to nail down quite what everyone’s purpose is. There’s a lot of pretension. A lot of awkwardness. Nobody seems to like one another all that much as they do workshops, endure nightly dinners and sleep in grotty dorms. The collective in residency, made up of Elle, Billy (Asa Butterfield) and Lamina are an art troupe band. Using food as a device for performance art. It’s as much about the sound though, with sound sources wired up through vats, pots and blenders, as Elle in the first performance writhes naked in what looks like blood. This is one of the more palatable expressions. I’d like to say it’s interesting, well acted. That the narrative is compelling and the characters engaging. None of that is true. What I can say is I like slightly confounding art house indulgence and this ticks that box. It looks good too. Not every frame by any means, but there are several arresting scenes that grab your senses. A Strickland film is rarely an easy watch. He’s a director intent on challenge and you’ll have to work to enjoy this. If you like something that makes your brain wonder and whirl at what you’re watching and why you’re watching it though, then Flux Gourmet is worth a taste.