Director: Peter Strickland
Stars: Gwendoline Christie, Asa Butterfield, Ariane Labed, Fatma Mohamed, Makis Papadimitriou
Adding a pinch of Greek Weird Wave to the mix fails to redeem writer-director Peter Strickland’s latest slice of dark whimsy, a misfiring art satire. The setting is a Sonic Catering Institute that’s been established in order to monitor culinary and alimentary performance. It focuses on the rivalry between the institute’s imperious luvvie director Jan Stevens (Christie, camping it up to mildly amusing effect) and Elle di Elle, the head of a visiting collective (Mohamed, the unnervingly ingratiating clothes shop assistant from Strickland’s ‘In Fabric’). The collective also includes sullen emo Billy (Butterfield) and Lamina (Labed, from ‘Alps’ and ‘Attenberg’). A voiceover is provided by another guest, Stones (Papadimitriou), a journalist with a severe gastric condition that causes excessive, shaming flatulence. The scenes of the collective squabbling like a failing indie band are fairly droll, if dialogue like ‘you’ve jeopardized this mission with that silly willy of yours’ floats your boat, and Christie is typically game as the diva-like owner, frequently clad in 80s-style, slightly off couture. But Strickland's rigidly formalist & hermetically-sealed style means this is unlikely to appeal to anyone outside the faithful devoted.