Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland, 2022)

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DarkImbecile
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Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland, 2022)

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Feb 07, 2022 11:52 am


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therewillbeblus
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#2 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Feb 07, 2022 12:41 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Mon Feb 07, 2022 11:52 am
Peter Strickland’s Flux Gourmet
I saw a 'concert' in Boston a few years back, which was essentially a woman playing recordings from her MacBook of cooking sounds mixed together into offbeat rhythms- something that I believe was her thesis at Berkeley College of Music. It was pretty fascinating stuff- so this isn't exactly a novel concept, though I expect Strickland will take it there!

French Inches
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#3 Post by French Inches » Mon Feb 07, 2022 4:23 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Mon Feb 07, 2022 12:41 pm
DarkImbecile wrote:
Mon Feb 07, 2022 11:52 am
Peter Strickland’s Flux Gourmet
I saw a 'concert' in Boston a few years back, which was essentially a woman playing recordings from her MacBook of cooking sounds mixed together into offbeat rhythms- something that I believe was her thesis at Berkeley College of Music. It was pretty fascinating stuff- so this isn't exactly a novel concept, though I expect Strickland will take it there!
Yeah, Matmos has been doing this for 25 years; they've made whole records from the sounds of medical procedures, etc. And of course musique concrète has been around for almost a century.

Personally, I dislike Strickland's stuff, one of the primary reasons being that so many of his fanbase thinking he's doing something novel. Yet another example of culture going sideways. No thanks.

Also, I suffer from misophonia and find this entire idea repellant.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: The Films of 2022

#4 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Apr 29, 2022 1:31 am

Flux Gourmet is the logical next step for Strickland after In Fabric, very much toeing a similar line of broad social commentary and specified absurdist irreverence, only this time more directly planted in the experimental art world- as if he's turning the mirror to face himself. There are two main narratives we are following in this film: a pretentious culinary performance art band in conflict with one another and their promoter over creative differences, and an interviewer who has severe and potentially-mortal gastrointestinal issues, giving a deadpan voiceover to cue us into scatological insights that juxtapose real plights with silly humor. Nothing else should be spoiled, but I do think swo17 should find out wherever this is playing next and hop on a plane to get there. That, or join some secret prestigious food-art-band institute, and let us know if art imitates life. Oh, and this may be Strickland's best use of Fatma Mohamed's talents, which is saying a hell of a lot. It's a versatile and at times incredibly brave performance, where the more I think about it, the more impressed I am.

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swo17
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Re: The Films of 2022

#5 Post by swo17 » Fri Apr 29, 2022 1:45 am

therewillbeblus wrote:
Fri Apr 29, 2022 1:31 am
That, or join some secret prestigious food-art-band institute, and let us know if art imitates life.
One step ahead of you already

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Matt
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Re: The Films of 2022

#6 Post by Matt » Sun Jun 26, 2022 11:16 pm

Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland) is available to buy or rent on VOD. Watch with the best audio option you have available.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: The Films of 2022

#7 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Jun 26, 2022 11:53 pm

It really demands to be seen in a theatre, partly because the sound design is key, but also because it's about performance and on a meta-level is performing its own eccentric presentation for the audience like the shows within. The film really surprised me because its wavelength appears esoteric to an extent but it's pretty universally appealing- my audience was roaring in unison, and the type of humor if pitched in a slightly different key would not have appealed to such a diverse room of demographics! It's a testament to Strickland's talents that he's able to get a room of elderly people in Harvard Sq cry-laughing over deadpan scatological running gags.

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Matt
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Re: The Films of 2022

#8 Post by Matt » Mon Jun 27, 2022 12:49 am

Sadly, I would have to cross multiple state borders to see this in in a theater as even the ostensible indie/art theaters near me are running Top Gun: Maverick on multiple screens just to stay afloat. But I agree with the sentiment: everybody do your best to see the film at its best! We need to live in a world where Peter Strickland can continue to make movies like this.

And while were on the subject of moviegoing in summer 2022, I enjoy this tweet from @caitiedelaney:
I haven't had covid yet and it's because I am insanely cautious and don't do anything, and now the build up is just so much that no matter how I get it will sound like the stupidest thing ever. Canceled my life for 2+ years to get covid while watching the Elvis movie?? Fuck off
I briefly considered that seeing a new Cronenberg in the theater might be worth getting Covid for, but I still would have had to drive at least an hour to get anywhere that was showing it.

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swo17
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Re: Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland, 2022)

#9 Post by swo17 » Thu Jun 30, 2022 4:23 am

This was profoundly silly, and for such a sound-focused film, its sense of musicality is extremely pedestrian. (Even French Inches/Nothing would've known to hire Matmos as composers/consultants!) But the joy is in all of the bizarre rituals that Strickland follows out to their own logical conclusions within the reality of the film.
SpoilerShow
Like all the wonderful post-meal speeches, Elle's attempt to save face with the line "I thought she said 'badger,'" or the break-up consolation that "maybe we can still get a little time in together at one of the orgies."
Ariane Labed's presence is both very welcome and a big clue to what you're in for here. And everything about the film's audience surrogate--the anxious but eloquent Stones--is artfully inspired, right down to the gratuitous touch of having him narrate the film in Italian. If anything, I feel like the film lost its way a little when
SpoilerShow
it punctured the mysterious/shocking ambiguity regarding Elle's performance with the stool sample to spell out that it had actually been chocolate mousse. (The stagehand picking from the jar afterward did enough to hint at this without ruling out the possibility of him also being a weirdo.) And then shortly after this, the Mangrove Snacks(!) appear to be on the attack, except that it is immediately revealed to be the three main characters in a bumbling attempt at revenge. Sure, in a standard movie you might want to establish precisely what's going on to avoid audience confusion/disgust, but you'd think a film like this would revel in the opposite. These developments lowered the stakes for me somewhat, so while I appreciated the subsequent colonoscopy concert and delivery of the celiac diagnosis (that also felt like a very pat resolution to all of the stomach issues, though the absurdity of the scene sold it), by the time we reached the final performance with body parts in a blender and Elle mysteriously alive again, I didn't feel the film had quite the transcendent effect it was initially heading for.
I'd say this still mostly delivers, though it also has a dreadful IMDb score, so it's probably safe to call it an acquired ta--WHAT ARE YOU DOING, DO NOT ACTUALLY PUT THAT IN YOUR MOUTH

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland, 2022)

#10 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Jun 30, 2022 10:42 am

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The chocolate mousse reveal was disappointing to me in the moment too (I must have missed the Mangrove Snacks reveal), but in hindsight, I appreciated how these inclusions prompt deeper questioning of the implications of this new information- allowing us to move from confusion and gut-busting shock over the 'how' into a more cerebral confounding state of 'why.' Like, does that mean that every band who is 'chosen' for the program is triggered in the same way, and falls into the same next stage of resentful attacks, becoming the new Mangrove Snacks? I find that to be hilariously ironic for implying that every Unique Artist (especially these individualistic, free-will demanding ones) will conform into the same rote expected stage in a determinist fashion. But also it's surreal that such singular emotionally-charged reactions could and would be executed in the same way for everyone across the board, reaffirming the You're Not That Special collectivistic provocation regarding developmental psychology stages in a way that's less ironic but incredibly cheeky.

Additionally, Elle becoming mysteriously alive again at the end worked for me in calling into question why it would be important to fake her death, who was in on it, and so who is the intended audience for this trick or reveal... us, I imagine? It makes little sense in terms of who would be the in-film target of such spectacle, uprooting all rationality- be it our projected connective tissue or the internal logic of the film. Same with the feces being fake- these ruses may lose their perversity in the observational shallowness of a 'That Happened?!' reactions from us, but the more I think about.. 'Well, Why?!', the more they work by obfuscating rationality further. If anything, within the world of the film, it would have been more rational if these incidents occurred as we assumed they did at face value ('It's just Strickland being weird, don't look under the iceberg, y'all')! But that wouldn't elevate the Art beyond a surface-level and Strickland seems to intend to push things further with this movie -past the more obvious satire markers spliced throughout the film- which is risky and doesn't always work, but I welcome it.

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swo17
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Re: Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland, 2022)

#11 Post by swo17 » Thu Jun 30, 2022 2:58 pm

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To be clear, I don't have a problem with the finale per se. I just mean that its impact is somewhat blunted by the nagging feeling that there's a safe explanation for it too.

As for the Mangrove Snacks reveal, I mean how within moments of their appearance they bump into each other and you hear their voices. So you both know it's them and their menace is reduced to that of clumsy cartoon characters. Then again, they're pretty silly antagonists to begin with, so I dunno, maybe that fits

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland, 2022)

#12 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Jun 30, 2022 3:40 pm

Yeah I was just building on those points to find new merits in what I also perceived to be blunted choices during my viewing, because that's a fun and interesting thing to do. I'd need to see it again to see if they hold true

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