A sonic collective who can’t decide on a name takes up a residency at an institute devoted to culinary and alimentary performance. The members Elle di Elle (Fatma Mohamed), Billy Rubin (Asa Butterfield) and Lamina Propria (Ariane Labed) are caught up in their own power struggles — and their dysfunctional dynamic is furthermore exacerbated when they have to answer to the institute’s head, Jan Stevens (Gwendoline Christie). With the various rivalries unfolding, Stones (Makis Papadimitriou), the institute’s “dossierge” has to privately endure increasingly fraught stomach problems whilst documenting the collective’s activities.
Upon hearing of Stones’s visits to the gastroenterologist, Elle coerces him into her performances in a desperate bid for authenticity. The reluctant Stones puts up with the collective’s plans to use his condition for their art — whilst Jan Stevens goes to war with Elle over creative differences.
This flatulent, scatalogical and satirical takedown of artistic pretension and “good taste” from cult director Peter Strickland pushes its provocative premise to absurd lengths –– a sensorial nightmare combining the best and worst tendencies of performance art and European arthouse sleaze.
“As usual, Strickland has made a sumptuous meal out of social impropriety — a strange cinematic delicacy about the discomforts that need to be shared so that others don’t have to be stomached.” —David Ehrlich, IndieWire “...Plays like a gonzo skit, and is hilariously unabashed on that level, but there’s clearly a level of commentary here regarding the crazy whims of artistry.” —Tim Robey, Telegraph (UK) “Strickland builds his own worlds with such a distinctive style — down to the fonts, the bilious shades of green and the textures of the silks — that the viewer can’t help feeling pulled into his crazy maelstrom of quirk.” —Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter