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FLUX GOURMET (2022, GBR) – 6/10

Peter Strickland is an avant-garde British filmmaker who the vast majority of average filmgoers have probably never heard of. He makes rather bizarre, hermetic films, so he presented himself with the acclaimed “Berberian Sound Studio” and “The Duke of Burgundy”, followed by the weaker “In Fabric”, and “Flux Gourmet”, artistic, surreal and standardly hermetic, is no better. a combination of black comedy and horror with which he presented himself in one of the accompanying programs in Berlin. Somehow I have the impression that Strickland is a kind of spiritual successor of the older British filmmaker and namesake Peter Greenaway, also an avant-garde author who put visuality and image before narrative.

The same is the case with Strickland, and “Flux Gourmet” is, as expected, a real visual treat, but again it was somehow too stilted, closed, incomprehensible and too bizarre for my taste. This wild film can also be seen as an allegory or a satire on today’s world of modern, conceptual art, on today’s woke culture, and even on today’s celebrity cuisine, in which even those who cook food are considered artists, but it left me quite vague and too abstract for my taste. Here we follow a group of experimental conceptual artists known for a process they call “Sonic Catering”, and their wild performance involves producing disturbing sounds with food and dancing with food.

They settled temporarily in an artist’s colony or a chef’s commune, in a typical British villa run by the mysterious director Jan Stevens (Gwendoline Christie, who is still best remembered as the tall and masculine warrior Brianne of Tarth from “Game of Thrones”). The boss of this quasi-art collective is the arrogant and uncompromising Elle di Elle (Fatma Mohamed), whose performance involves dancing or, more precisely, rolling on the floor in food. The accompaniment that produces sounds while she performs are the aloof sound engineer Billy (Asa Butterfield) and the cook Lamina (Ariane Labed), and these performances regularly end with real orgies.

With them is the Greek journalist Stones (Makis Papadimitrou), who was hired to record everything that happens and is also the narrator of the whole story, and he suffers from indigestion and reflux. It is really difficult to describe what is happening here and what is the goal of this artistic collective, and although “Flux Gourmet” is described as horror, it has little to do with fear and horror, but rather is a kitschy, visually interesting and highly aestheticized satire, bizarre and a thoroughly eccentric black comedy in which almost no one is normal. Even the Stones, who at first seemed like the only normal member of this community, spending time with these bizarre people, will become part of the collective without realizing it.