I Have to Love My Characters: Peter Strickland on Flux Gourmet | Black Writers Week

And when you talk about spontaneity, what happy surprises occurred during filming?

I wouldn’t call it spontaneity exactly. But things with Fatma, you know, cause English isn’t her mother tongue, so she would make mistakes, which I just left in, with the language. She wanted to accuse Asa’s character of having “wet dreams,” but she said “white dreams.” There’s something quite poetic about that. I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m ridiculing her. It’s just something quite poetic about that. 

I mean there’s other small things that no one else would see. When they burgle Gwendoline Christie’s character’s bedroom and they come across this post-orgy with these policemen, because of the pandemic, we just couldn’t get enough policemen in there. It’s not allowed to have that many people in there, so it was just missing something. So I thought: Oh wouldn’t they have crisps on the floor? They all had crisp before they had sex. It just seemed kind of absurd, so I was just crushing all these crisps on the floor, but you just can’t see them in that shot. So that was spontaneity.

And a lot of it was the actors. They would be spontaneous. There are many moments in that film where I see Fatma pulling a face or Asa doing a little change that really makes it. And you leave those things in, really.

Jan Stevens’ dislike of the flanger takes on a prominent role here. I know you used to be in a band, so what about the sonic quality of a flanger drew you to pick that effect? 

Well, oh, that’s a long story really because that comes out of my own misunderstanding. When I was in a very similar band, there was an effect which I thought was a flanger, which I hated, and we always argued about it. And it was not a flanger. It was actually a pitch shifter. Then I got to learn what a flanger does and I kinda realized, there’s so many moments in music where it really, really, really got to me. 

The best example, in music and film, would be “Christiane F.” That junky film about a kid in Berlin on drugs. It’s a scene at the beginning, where she takes the S-Bahn at night. And it’s that point of view shot for me, with the S-Bahn in Berlin, when David Bowie’s “VT-Schneider” begins, where I’m pretty sure there is a flagger. It kinda sounds a bit like an airplane taking off. It’s got that slight subsided, if you can say that word, sound. It’s almost like a funnel or something being sucked in. In “Flux” it’s more like a McGuffin to me because Fatma’s character doesn’t even know what a flanger is.

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