“What if the primary sensory goal of cooking were to stimulate the ears? What if you experienced a movie through your nostrils and taste buds, or felt it in your gut? These bizarre, intriguing questions are part of the foundation, the spine — the sofrito — of Flux Gourmet, the fifth feature by the British writer-director Peter Strickland. Food, in the world of this film, is the music of love. Culinary sound collectives are the equivalent of rock bands, building walls of expressive noise from the whine of blenders and the sizzle of vegetables dropped in hot oil.
One such group has been granted a residence at an “institute devoted to culinary and alimentary performance” in a converted rural manor house. The film follows the simmering tensions between the institute’s director Jan Stevens (Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones) and Elle di Elle (Fatma Mohamed, a Strickland stalwart), the visionary, vegetarian leader of the troupe. It also observes the ongoing power struggles between Elle and her bandmates, played by Asa Butterfield and Ariane Labed. All of this is chronicled by a saturnine fellow named Stones (Makis Papadimitriou) who works as the institute’s “dossierge.” A writer by trade and a wallflower by temperament, he observes Elle and her colleagues, filming their meetings and performances, interviewing them together and taking notes on their squabbles, all while dealing with his own secret digestive ailment. Flux Gourmet is Strickland’s funniest film to date, with more outright jokes than its predecessors, and a few sublime visual gags. It’s like a Restoration comedy run through a John Waters filter and sprinkled with Luis Buñuel itching powder. I’ve never encountered a flavor palette quite like the one he assembles here… it’s a taste very much worth acquiring.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times