Flux Gourmet and In Fabric are available to rent or buy.
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FLUX GOURMET (2022)
Art is in the eye of the beholder, whether it be a bed surrounded by junk, a meticulous oil painting depicting a historical scene, or a deconstructed cottage pie coated in a silky thick Jus. Over the years, Peter Strickland has deconstructed art, asking us to explore the absurdity, diversity and horror of the world around us through genre-defying films that explore art in its broadest context. He has pointed his lens at fashion, sound and sex, and in Flux Gourmet, he slices his way through the world of haute cuisine and bodily digestion.
Surrounded by his regular troupe of performers while welcoming a grungy Asa Butterfield to the clan, Strickland’s Flux Gourmet is a bizarre, absurd and delightfully strange journey into the world of culinary theatre. Here, digestion and discomfort are just as important as the food on the table as we join the Sonic Catering Institute, led by the flamboyant Jan Stevens (Gwendoline Christie).
From Elle di Elle (Fatma Mohamed) writhing around naked covered in red sauce as Billy and Lamina (Ariane Labed) use various sonic instruments to create jarring sound to the foul stench that emanates from journalist Stones (Makis Papadimitriou) as his digestive system emits loud gaseous outbursts, Flux Gourmet is vile, creative and downright bizarre from the opening scene to the last. As with all of Strickland’s work, Flux Gourmet may not appeal to everyone’s tastes. But for those willing to dine at its table, it’s a delicious magical mystery tour of art, horror, food and bodily gas.
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IN FABRIC (2018)
Set in the fictional town of Thames Valley on Thames, Peter Strickland’s In Fabric is a devilishly clever horror-comedy exploring consumerism past and present. Here, the town at the story’s heart sits in a timeless void, where the traditional 70s British high street remains intact. Dentley & Sopers department store sits in the centre of town, its vast cavern of wonder encouraging residents to spend their hard-earned cash. In Strickland’s world, the classic British department store of Are You Being Served is subverted into a gothic nightmare of secrets and desires with a staff team dressed in Victorian attire. In Dently and Sopers, Mrs Sloacombe and Mr Humphries are replaced by Hammer Horror-inspired creations that send a shiver down the spine as they fornicate in the basement after the lights go out.
A beautiful red dress sits at the heart of Dentley & Sopers, its elegance and grace reflected in its flowing curves and luscious material. However, the dress is tinged with tragedy, its enchanting allure holding a deadly spirit. But, for single mum Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), the dress captures her attention as she plans a dinner date. On purchasing the red dress from the creepy staff at Dentley & Soper’s, Sheila has the confidence to believe her life can be better. However, the dress has its own plans.
The dress at the heart of Peter Strickland’s film burns with ferocious energy as it glides through a blood bath of humour and terror. But, when the arresting visuals and tongue-in-cheek comedy are combined with a score composed by Cavern of Anti-Matter, In Fabric transcends the usual boundaries of horror and comedy to become a gloriously absurd exploration of British consumerism and desire.