The trio of artists is led by the self-absorbed and uncompromising Elle di Elle (Fatma Mohamed). Along with her partners Billy (Asa Butterfield) and Lamina (Ariane Labed), Elle puts on provocative, performance art pieces for a fawning crowd. One piece has her withering on the floor naked, covered in a viscous red fluid, pretending to be a pig getting slaughtered by continually popping herself in the forehead with a microphone, while Billy and Lamina come up with jarring sounds in the background.
Unwavering and stubborn, Elle butts heads with everyone she comes in contact with. Throughout the movie, she is locked in a battle of wills with Jan Stevens (Gwendoline Christie), the institute’s extravagantly dressed director. When Stevens suggests lowering the volume on the flanger pedal during the aforementioned pig performance, Elle flat out refuses—even though she had no idea what a flanger is until Stevens brought it up.
All this is happening while Stones is quietly going through some health issues. With a foul stench emanating from his mouth and acid reflux bellowing in his digestive system, he’s in a constant state of discomfort. He spends his days and nights just trying not to break wind in a noisy, malodorous fashion.
Yeah, “Flux Gourmet” is an odd one. Distributed by IFC Midnight (aka the part of IFC Films that specializes in genre films and all things WTF), “Flux Gourmet” is being marketed as some sort of sick horror show. But a lot of what happens, no matter how deranged and/or baffling it gets, is played for satirical laughs.
Writer/director Peter Strickland (“The Duke of Burgundy,” “In Fabric”) appears to be having a wicked time sending up both so-called artists and the people who enable them. (He’s also really pushing the concept of sonic catering, something he’s been doing with his band for years.) No matter how shocking or sticky Elle’s performances get, the audience is there to give her love—literally. Shows usually end with her and her bandmates having an intense orgy with the crowd. (Stones is on the sidelines, sitting in a chair, taking notes.)