FLUX GOURMET is Peter Strickland’s Avant-Garde Presentation of Culinary Creativity and Horror

The horrifically artistic experience is coming to theaters and digital streaming platforms on June 24th.

Ariane Labed as “Lamina Propria” in Peter Strickland’s FLUX GOURMET.
Courtesy of IFC Midnight - An IFC Midnight release

Flux Gourmet (2022) from IFC Films is an independent film blending dark comedy and horror. It first premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last February. The film’s director is known for The Duke of Burgundy (2014), In Fabric (2018), and Björk: Biophilia Live (2014). Before becoming a filmmaker, Peter Strickland worked with The Sonic Catering Band, where he produced culinary soundscapes. IFC Films President, Arianna Bocco, stated, “Peter Strickland’s films are unmistakable in their visual style and brilliant narratives and he consistently confronts audiences in a way that challenges and rewards each time.” Gwendoline Christie, Asa Butterfield, Ariane Labed, Fatma Mohamed, Makis Papadimitriou, and Richard Bremmer star in the film.

Flux Gourmet centers around a group of artists, Elle di Elle, Billy Rubin, and Lamina Propria, who reside at an institution dedicated to the realms of culinary and alimentary digestive performance. The film focuses on internal power dynamics and creative differences. The internal power struggles of the group are compounded by having to answer to Jan Stevens, the head of the institution. Stones, played by Papadimitriou, a dossier for the institution, documents the artist group while suffering from significant gastrointestinal problems. He quietly endures his unfortunate alimentary condition while engrossed in their comical and conflict-ridden interactions. The film is rife with political infighting, creative direction disputes, and gastrointestinal discomfort.

Strickland discussed his reasons for creating the film and the message he hopes to convey in an official statement: “Flux Gourmet came about through a personal frustration with how alimentary disorders or food allergies have been comically portrayed in some films, and without wanting to embark on a finger-wagging mission, I wanted to write something devoted to the disruptions of the stomach whilst attempting to maintain a degree of dignity to deeply private and embarrassing symptoms." Strickland has created a unique and inventive approach to a topic, previously depicted as a comedic joke throughout the film. Although it is a foodie film, the sensory overload might send those with sensitive stomachs to grab onto a barf bag, especially when Elle di Elle plasters a stool sample all over her face. It’s satire encompassing artists' relationships with their craft and institutions that fund their work.

While comedy is present, it seems to stem from the interactions of the collective and not through the film’s element of stomach ailments. Strickland brought together talented actors to produce a bizarre film documenting culinary ambitions, creativity, and human experiences—embarrassing or not—and giving these topics a space for conversation. Flux Gourmet is where food becomes the aesthetic instrument for artists.

Flux Gourmet will release in theaters and on digital VOD on June 24, 2022.