Flux Gourmet (2022) Movie Script

Wider, please.
Sorry, that's what
the director asked for.
And you obey her every command?
A suggestion more
than a command.
But feel free to try something
different if you so wish.
Jan Stevens.
Beginning as you mean
to go on, then?
I just like to be in control
of how I'm portrayed.
Don't we all?
But may I suggest
a more conciliatory tone
with our dossierge here.
He's just doing his job.
By God, you have strong breath.
And an acute case of reflux.
Which might explain
the extraordinary stench.
You're just
experiencing heartburn
or are there other problems?
Bloating, perhaps, and...
maybe wind?
You mean flatulence?
How unfortunate.
Well, I can prescribe something,
and we can take a view on
how things are in a few weeks.
But I suspect
that one might do well to heed
the teachings of Hippocrates
in this instance.
What do you think?
You do know Hippocrates?
I know the name but...
You're a writer and
you haven't read Hippocrates?
I'm just a hack.
And hacks don't read?
Well, maybe I've read something,
but I can't remember right now
with this anxiety
and these problems.
"Let food be thy medicine."
Remarkable how such a simple
yet profound tenet
can last through the centuries.
But besides a sensible diet,
it might serve you well not to
eat too close to your bedtime.
And if you raise your pillow,
it might prevent any
excess acid from surging
and making you
whispered about unfavorably
by your boss.
Thank you.
DR.- And I trust that
this bill will go to her?
The life of a hack.
I know several writers
who would claim
that such work is beneath them.
You must know some
wealthy writers, then.
DR.- I couldn't imagine
anything worse than your job.
Having to humor and indulge
a different set
of feckless faux provocateurs
each month.
Still, one might argue that
it can't be any worse
than peering into foul-smelling
orifices for a living.
And who's in residence
this month?
Silence from an audience
was always my fear.
And anything I could do to break
that silence
became more important
than anything else.
To hear a laugh, a gasp,
a cry, or even a protest
was validation.
To taste their shock is
to be controlled by it.
And, with that, the need to go
further and further
into oblivion.
Cooking and performing
is always a hazard.
I could tell you about
countless accidents
with other collectives here.
This was not an accident.
Because the applause
would be ecstatic.
The pain was an insignificance.
You don't see?
I'm not a performer.
Yes, but you write.
You're still looking
for validation.
If I hear the sound
of a page turning,
I'm content.
Maybe you'd feel differently
if it was your work.
Why don't you try?
Some might argue that even
an instruction manual
has some imprint
from the writer.
So, there is something of you
in what you write about me?
And how much of you is in this?
You mean the performance?
And Billy and Lamina?
They're here to realize
what's in me.
And that's how they see it?
Not quite.
Sometimes they try to put
their stamp on things,
especially Lamina.
But you're a collective?
Every collective needs a leader.
And, besides, I could
replace them
and nothing would change.
And you want to replace them?
We'll see.
I love them...
but sometimes love can mean
more by walking away.
Wouldn't it be easier
to compromise?
That's what they all say
when they come in here.
I thought you believed
in creative freedom.
To a degree.
But give anyone too much freedom
in anything
and it's often
I wish you luck, Director.
I'm not going to steamroller
over her,
and I'm not going to
give her notes
for the sake of giving notes,
but if I feel something is going
in the wrong direction,
I need to voice it.
It's not as if I haven't
given free rein
to other Sonic Caterers.
Has she decided on a name?
Elle and The Fatty Acids,
but she wants to sleep on it.
She really has to decide
before we go to print.
She can't keep changing
her mind like this.
Jan Stevens.
We don't take kindly
to being ignored.
They're still not
leaving you alone?
Jan Stevens.
Nobody rejects us
and lives to tell the tale!
"Make sure the table is laid
in a tasteful manner
and the condiments are..."
They're waiting for you.
Tell them I'm not ready.
It's just a speech.
It's not like it's a big deal.
Oh, really?
I'll remind you of that
when it's your turn.
Yeah. Whatever.
And, Billy...
applaud with enthusiasm
this time.
"Always remember to put a beer
in the fridge."
For a journalist,
you don't talk much.
I'm not really a journalist.
I'm just hired
to document things here.
So, what would I call you then?
Jan Stevens calls me
"the dossierge."
And what would you
call yourself?
I don't know.
I write.
Write what?
Thoughts, feelings...
You mean stories?
I don't know if you can
call them stories.
And where can I read those
"thoughts, feelings,
and questions"?
You'd have to burgle me
to read them.
Why don't you
get them published?
I tried, but it's not easy.
Meanwhile, I need to make
some money, so...
Ladies and gentlemen,
may I have your attention?
It gives me great pleasure
to introduce
our first after-dinner speech
of the residency.
Whilst we mostly encourage
the artistic pursuit
of alimentary
and culinary salvation
to be done as
public performance,
the after-dinner speech
offers more relaxed,
convivial surroundings
in which to continue
our investigation
into an array
of interculinary disciplines
and experiment with anecdotes,
or just simple ideas
that maybe wouldn't work
on a less intimate canvas.
Elle di Elle's speech,
she tells me, will...
"Speech" is maybe
too reductive a term
for what I'm about to do.
For what I will read
is found text and it comes
from an old house-making manual
that belonged to my mother.
"Edna May's Supper School."
"Lively recipes and fun tips
to preserve your man's love."
As a child, I wanted to be
the model housewife
and this book was my bible
until I began to question
what I was reading.
I once saw my mother wipe away
a tear in the kitchen,
and she tried to pretend
it was the onions,
but I could see how tired
she was compared to my father,
who was often pretending
to work upstairs,
but just masturbating
to the Tennis Ladies' Annual.
Edna May was
what every woman knew
their spouses wanted them to be.
However, it wasn't clear
if that woman on the cover
was this mythical Edna May
or even if there ever
was an Edna May,
since the perspective
in the book
was very much in favor
of a man's comfort,
which made me question
who wrote it.
And what if this Edna May
genuinely enjoyed cooking?
Does that look like
a real smile to you?
Personally, I think you're
reading too much into it.
Maybe that's her subtle way of
subverting those patriarchal
commandments in the book.
A chink in her smile.
That's not a chink.
That's a genuine,
heartfelt smile.
You're merely projecting
your own resentful ideology
onto the poor woman's face.
Just as thousands
of men projected
their bone idle
and selfish ideology
onto that poor woman's face,
trying to turn their wives
into an Edna May.
Generations of us were led to
believe by these men, Dr. Glock,
that our role was only
in the kitchen.
My mum never cooked.
It shows.
See, just by that comment,
you imply that it's only
a woman's job to do such tasks.
I suppose you never read
about the Minoans?
So I should
put a sock in my mouth
just because they tried it
the matriarchal way
thousands of years ago?
Both of my parents cooked
and they never counted who...
This is an after-dinner speech,
not a debate!
If you all allow me to read you
"Edna May's Ten Commandments
of the Kitchen"
on page nine,
then you can decide
for yourselves
whether it was written
by a woman or a man,
and, if by a woman,
was that something
she really believed in?
Why are you smiling?
Smiling in appreciation.
Don't let me hold you back.
Be a good chap and pass me
the mint sauce would you?
Keep a small notepad
in your handbag
for grocery lists, chores,
and friendly reminders
from your husband.
Get to know your local grocer
so you can be primed
for the best quality food.
Remember to don a
figure-hugging dress for when
your husband returns
tired from work.
Make sure the table is laid
in a tasteful manner
and that condiments are within
easy reach for your husband.
Always remember to put a beer
in the fridge
for when your husband
gets thirsty
after his drive home from work.
Six. Get some fresh air
by walking round the block
or call on your neighbor to
indulge in some local gossip.
Good posture makes you look more
attractive when serving food
and lowers the risk
of back pain.
Time spent cooking is time
in which you can dream about
the things you want out of life,
even if they might
not be possible.
Notice amusing and delightful
events during your day
and recount them to your husband
during suppertime.
He'll be appreciative.
If, after following these
kitchen commandments,
you find yourself unable to
please your husband,
seek medical advice
from your doctor
"and take the pills
he gives you."
Thank you for listening
to my wonderful
after-dinner speech.
I'm sorry.
I couldn't take it in there.
You try living with her for days
on end and you'll see.
Ah, there he is.
You missed the review.
All manner of meta
and contra-patriarchal
points made in your absence.
The previous dossierge Jan hired
would never have been
so disrespectful.
I'm sorry.
I just needed some air.
Pills not working?
Let's see.
you're still flatulent,
old bean?
Who's flatulent?
Nobody's flatulent.
Just some indigestion.
You haven't touched your food.
You'd know all about that.
Fasting, are we?
I've noticed three days now
and you're hardly eating.
"They say it is three days now
that her lips have fasted,
that she has kept her body
pure from Demeter's grain."
Could you please pass me
the bread?
I take it
that didn't ring a bell?
- Sorry?
- Phaedra's fasting.
"Hippolytus"... Euripides.
You haven't read Euripides?
What did he just say?
What happened?
The Mangrove Snacks.
Who are the Mangrove Snacks?
They applied for the residency.
They didn't get it.
And this is how they respond?
Happens all
the time, this kind of thing.
For every culinary collective
I offer a residency to,
a dozen others give me hell
for rejecting them.
I have a whole folder filled
with poison pen letters.
I'm sorry.
I'm used to it, sadly.
Why did you reject them?
I don't like what they do
to terrapins.
So, you only chose me
because I'm vegetarian?
I'm not going to get drawn
on my selection process.
All I will say is it involves
a huge amount of thought
and responsibility.
I'll ignore your facile comment
since we welcome carnivores
as much as herbivores.
I'd consider the Mangrove Snacks
if they actually had any talent,
only, for your exclusive
they can't even
do transgression very well.
If it was me,
I'd grab The Mangrove Snacks
by their shriveled
little testicles and...
Can we leave it, please?
I'd rather focus on our trip
to the shops tomorrow.
Yes, but we're dealing
with rascals here.
If it was me, I'd make a stew
out of their lousy...
I said!
You're in the shops.
You're looking around.
Items all around you.
Maybe you need some tomatoes
for that soup.
Squeeze them to make sure
they're ripe.
You're pushing
your trolley along,
looking around,
and there's Mrs. Chieveley.
You don't really like her,
but a quick nod of the head
will suffice,
and that will allow you to
proceed to the dairy counter.
Maybe you could ask the cheese
laddie can slice you
a few hundred grams of Taleggio
and he can wrap it up for you.
He licks his fingers before
taking the wrapping
and you don't really like that,
but you're too polite
to say anything.
Put the cheese back
in your trolley
and head to the spice cabinet.
Some herbes de Provence
to sprinkle on the soup.
But wait, there's nothing
like that here.
Look surprised, look bereft.
A little more bereft.
That's it.
But it's time to move on.
There's a promotion stall
and some samples.
Avocado paste
on a crispy rye base
sprinkled with
piment d'espelette.
You can try one.
Hmm, tastes good.
And you try your luck
and take another sample,
hoping the vendor
won't make any comments.
But the guilt makes you choke.
Oh, no...
time for the Heimlich Maneuver.
That's it. Harder.
Now pay for your items.
At what age did you decide
you wanted to be in
a culinary collective?
My whole life.
It seemed ungraspable
for an underdog like me,
but I had to find a way.
I remember, as a child,
when I'd sit with my parents
watching sonic caterers
on the television,
and I was transfixed
by the intensity
and the deliberation of sound.
But it felt ridiculous
to dream of something
that everyone wanted to do.
It was indoctrinated in us from
an early age that certain
callings in life
were beyond our reach,
especially if, like me, you went
to a run-down school.
And what gave you
the conviction?
Only one thing.
The memory of Miss Lindenson
dying at my birthday party.
She was my kindergarten teacher
and she was allergic to nuts,
and the kitchen staff didn't pay
attention when making the cake.
A big, chocolate wonder cake.
She went into anaphylactic shock
as soon as she ate her slice.
Her face started to swell up
and the other children
started to laugh,
thinking how comical it looked.
I screamed for help and
she started to gasp for breath.
The other teacher
called an ambulance,
but nothing could
save her in time.
How something so tasty for me
that could be so deadly for her
completely changed the way
I thought about food.
I'm sorry.
All this is in her honor.
I've never been so embarrassed
in my whole life.
They'll think
we are amateurs now.
I wouldn't be so hard
on yourself.
It's your first performance.
But he had it right
in rehearsals.
So, it's all my fault, is it?
It's not my thing
that went wrong.
Yeah, pretending to be
a dead pig...
Even a toddler can do that
You try going naked on stage
with all those people.
You think it's easy?
Congratulations, all of you.
Jan Stevens.
Sorry, we're just trying
to work out what went wrong.
Why "sorry"?
I thought it was
very involving...
A promising first concert.
Wonderful, in fact.
Could've been much better
if he knew how to press buttons.
You're on a residency.
Remember that.
The whole point of a residency
is to allow space
for trial and error.
It's the last concert
that counts.
Everything leading up to that
is just practice.
The audience understand.
They liked it?
They loved it.
Isn't that right, Stones?
They had a good time, yes.
And now they're waiting
to pay tribute.
They're outside.
What shall I do?
Send them in.
It only occurred to me
when I was caught up
in the blender,
but Elle and the Artificial
Additives could be a name.
It gets worse
with each suggestion.
Well, what about Elle,
Lamina, and Billy?
So, only you're allowed
to be named?
I found the group and, besides,
I take the...
That was your fault.
How can it be my fault when...
A calamity.
It'll dry by the morning.
What are you talking about?
It's oil!
It's a death trap.
Nobody will be using
the stairs tonight.
We can't leave it like this
unless you want to find
cracked skulls
and broken necks in the morning.
Maybe Technical Assistant Wim
can deal with it?
No, it's late.
Let's not disturb him.
Nonsense, that's his job.
- Youngster!
- No.
- You deal with it.
- Why don't we all deal with it?
Let's find something
and clean this up.
I'll get a mop.
Are you okay?
I don't feel good.
It'll take all night
to clear this.
Maybe we could find
some other mops
and then it won't take so long.
It's oil. Oil on stairs.
A mop alone is not enough.
We need hot water and soap.
A mop is just going to spread...
Okay, okay. I don't need to
hear this any more.
What's wrong?
I feel faint.
Don't listen to her, Stones.
Anything to get out
of a bit of work.
- Look at her, she's...
- Stones!
It's okay. It's okay.
It's okay.
One of us can take you back.
And what about Billy and me?
If I let go, she will fall.
Welcome to our world.
With all the
collectives that come here,
my duty is first
and foremost to support
and nurture their vision.
The practicalities of realizing
an idea in front
of an audience can be a shock
to the system.
The gulf between the head
and the reality of the stage
can be forbidding
and often requires
shepherding by someone
who can lead the way...
We are our own harshest critics,
and we have these discussions
by ourselves.
I appreciate that,
but as someone
who is supporting you,
I would very much like to be
involved in those conversations.
- By guiding you.
- Hm.
I can see you're independent
and strong-willed,
and I can adjust my notes
We don't need notes.
I understand
you don't need notes,
but the Institute's money
is funding this,
and I expect something
in return.
What you get in return is this.
Everything we are doing.
I'm just asking for you
to engage.
Form your own
culinary collective, then.
You go out and do this and see
how you feel when someone else
comes along
and tells you what to do.
And how about
you don't accept my support
if you don't like the terms?
This is still your vision.
I'm just asking you
to change a few things.
So, it's your idea of my vision?
You don't even
know what the notes are yet.
Maybe they won't be
so unpalatable.
That's not the point.
It's the principle.
So, even if you agree
with a note, you won't do it?
I'm not a big note person
compared to my forebears
who have held this role.
I respect the artist,
but if I strongly disagree
with something,
I will expect you
to at least engage.
But you said it was
wonderful last night.
Yes, it was wonderful,
but that doesn't mean
we can't discuss.
I found out what was wrong
with the ring modulator.
It wasn't the ring modulator.
I'm talking about the first half
when everything was working.
It's your use of a flanger
I want to discuss.
What's a flanger?
It's an electronic device
that mixes two signals
resulting in a phase shift.
You didn't like it?
I think it should
be on a lower setting.
Just fractionally.
When you alter the sound
that much,
you lose all connection
to the activity.
But that's the whole point
of what we do.
Why do it if it remains
in the culinary context?
And why do it if it's completely
divorced from it?
Then it's just sonic
without the catering.
So, you want catering
without the sonic?
The best collectives here
stretched the elastic
of their culinary sounds
as far as they could,
but there was always
a connection
to the source material.
A semblance of what the sound
once was.
We can take it out, man.
It only lasted a few seconds,
Then mix it down?
Are you going to
give in that easily?
You hardly notice it either way.
That's not the point.
You didn't even know
what a flanger was a minute ago.
I thought she said badger.
I'm just trying to
protect your vision.
Can we discuss this
another time?
You're ruining my graphic score
with all this flanger nonsense.
If that's the case,
stop what you're doing
and engage with us.
Come on, Elle.
I'm the boss!
How much say do you
have in the band?
I don't know.
I mean, Elle's the boss.
But she can't do
anything technical.
So, that's down to us.
She says what she likes,
what she doesn't like.
But sometimes she doesn't
explain herself very well,
which leads to things
sounding the way they do
because of a misunderstanding.
In fact, I'd say
misunderstanding between us
is probably
the key to our sound.
And what made you want to be
a Sonic Caterer?
I don't know.
Something you just fell into?
I only really knew
what I didn't want to do.
My parents sent me
to this expensive school
to help with my table manners,
and it wasn't really a world
that I understood.
I wanted something else.
Like what?
I don't know, like...
I liked making things.
I liked soldering things.
I like making noises.
It didn't really have much
purpose until Elle came along.
And what was the purpose?
She had ambition.
She had ideas.
It's like she could
channel something
that was aimless in me.
And she just...
She would make things happen.
She had the confidence to do
things one hundred percent-ly.
And she was... she was fun
to be around, you know.
In what way?
She would pinch my nipples.
And what happened
when she did that?
I don't know, it felt good.
She would say some exciting
things and I'd, you know, I'd...
I'd fiddle with myself a bit.
We had... We had this game
called The Finger Game
where she'd fiddle
with herself too
and then I'd sniff her fingers.
But it was never anything
more than that,
in case it compromised
her artistic integrity.
And what about
your artistic integrity?
I don't know, I mean...
we got lots made
during that time.
I suppose we didn't think about
what our behavior
meant until afterwards.
So, it didn't last with Elle?
I mean, we got bored.
I mean, we would, sort of,
frisk out when we were bored,
then we got bored of frisking
when we were bored.
Was it just the two of you
in the band then?
No. There was this other guy
who was doing electronics,
but they fell out because
of dietary differences.
- Meat?
- Yeah.
I mean, anyone caught eating
meat in our band is dead.
DR.- And deep breath.
And hold.
And again.
And hold.
I can't even see the tail
of your pancreas,
what with all the globules
of gas obscuring it.
Who would've thought that
flatulence could look so dainty?
So, what now?
Throw away the pills and come in
for some more examinations.
Don't look so alarmed.
You just need a few tubes
to go down you
and up you if we're going to get
to the bottom of this.
If the inflammation carries
on like this,
you aren't going to have
any bowels left to fart out of.
Am I going to die?
Of course you're going to die.
Name me a living thing
that isn't going to die.
I mean...
I'll be okay, won't I?
You're in the shops.
Billy and Lamina,
you're a happy couple
pushing your weekend trolley
down the aisle.
You bought some nice ingredients
for your bourgeois frittata.
But to save time, Billy,
you should head to the check-out
soon to reserve your place,
and then Lamina
can continue the shopping,
pretending she forgot something
and then bring items
back to the trolley.
It's a good idea.
You see Elle heading
towards you,
and even though she only has
a jar of saffron dust
for her amuse-bouche,
you make sure you beat her
to the till
with your half-full trolley.
Lamina, you can
continue shopping
as long as you remember
to look like
you forgot something each time.
Elle, you will
roll your eyes now
but maybe give her the benefit
of the doubt
when she returns
with the Gruyre cheese.
Lamina, pretend to look
annoyed with yourself
as you remember there is
just one more thing to buy.
Go off and find it.
Elle, glare at her
when she returns with
the quatre pices spice mix.
She's gone again to grab
a packet of party sticks
and a ready-made Tarte Tatin.
you've reached boiling point,
but you're still
holding it together.
Billy and Lamina,
you've paid for your items
and bagged them up.
You may now exit the shop
and leave your trolley
by the till
for someone else to deal with.
the trolley left in your way
is the last straw.
Push it towards them
and unleash your rage.
This was on
my school field trip.
And I had just turned 14,
and the way I saw things
was starting to change.
Because I went to
an all-boys' school.
And at home it was just
my brother and my dad.
My mum was always away
directing and stuff.
So, the whole female idea
was a bit of a mystery to me
until I went on this trip,
and at the hotel we were at,
there was this egg station
in the breakfast parlor.
And if you wanted an omelet,
you would go and you'd queue up.
And you would...
You'd ask this lady to cook
one up for you.
she was...
she was blonde and curvaceous,
you know.
And she had this uniform
which kind of accentuated
her curvaceous figure.
I mean, she was probably
about as old as my mum.
And I knew she'd never
really be interested in me,
but I thought if I ordered
an omelet,
maybe it'll start
some conversation.
I never... I never actually got
to know her name.
I only...
I only knew her as the egg lady.
And I remember, I remember
dreaming about her.
Squatting over my face
and laying an egg into my mouth.
You know, I fell in love.
And I know everyone says
that it can't be love
if you've only ordered
an omelet, but it was love.
And I've never felt feelings
that powerful
since for anyone.
Be a good chap and pass me
the mint sauce, would you?
And, yeah, and then,
after, it was on the third day,
I realized that if you asked her
to sprinkle onions
on your omelet,
it would involve her
bending forward
to scoop them
out of the onion tub.
And that was when
Tom Pithers saw me
looking down her blouse
and told Mr. Rollinson.
There was already
some discussion at the table
as to why I was always queuing
at the egg station,
but I think
this new evidence damned me.
Mr. Rollinson fell out of temper
and he hit me at the table
in front of everyone.
I remember he, sort of,
got me by the head
and rammed me down...
five or six times, quite hard.
And I remember seeing
Matt Hornsley and Glen Rogers
sniggering at the whole thing.
And then, on the last hit,
it knocked over the glass
of milk that was on the table.
And it made my ear,
this ear, pop
and I lost my balance.
And I've always heard things
a bit differently
out of that ear.
And Elle taught me to see it
as an advantage.
DR.- Never mind your ears.
What we all want to know
is do you still eat omelet?
A terrible shame, young lad.
All because of a formative
psycho-sexual trauma,
you're missing out on
a vital source of vitamin D.
- I get it from the sun.
- DR.- The sun?
What about winter?
Unless you're an Oracle retiring
from the Temple of Apollo
during the coldest months,
you need your vitamin D
if you don't want your bones
to get all rickety.
You do know about the Oracles?
You're an Oracle of stupid.
Now, everyone.
Oracle of stupidity.
You didn't tell me that
was going to be your speech.
So what?
It'd just be nice to be
across these things
in order for us to have
a consistency of vision.
What do you mean by consistency?
What do I mean by consistency?
By consistency, I mean
not undermining my speech
which was all about
male domestic oppression.
Everything you said dismantled
the polemics, the irony, the...
At least mine was personal.
So sexually objectifying women
cooking for men is fine
as long as it's personal?
Can we go to sleep?
So, you don't believe there is
such a thing
as male domestic oppression?
Of course, I believe
there is such a thing
as male domestic oppression,
but what also needs
to be spoken about
is Elle-creative oppression.
"What about,"
"what about," "what about."
- Not "what about."
- You're straying from the topic.
Okay, back on topic.
I have another household tip
you could've incorporated
into your next
after-dinner speech.
Staying up all night mopping up
extra virgin olive oil
from the staircase
while the person who spilled it
can walk away from it all
without even uttering
a thank you.
Thank you, Lamina.
And Billy.
Thank you, Billy.
And don't forget
to thank Stones.
What is he doing in there?
He practically lives
in that toilet.
He keeps denying
there's anything wrong.
Well, there is something wrong.
I hear him fart at night.
Whenever he thinks we're asleep,
he lets them slide out,
one after the other.
And you never fart?
Not as much as that.
Can you stop?
I'm trying to sleep.
How many times do you fart?
Never. I don't fart.
Of course you fart.
Have you ever heard me fart?
But it's biologically impossible
not to fart.
There's a lot of things
biologically impossible
when it comes to Elle.
They say the average person
farts around 14.5...
He's coming!
Are you okay?
You know, I was reading
about cloves.
They dispel the air
from the intestine
in a nice, gentle,
and noiseless way.
I've been talking
to Dr. Glock.
And what does he say?
He wants to do some tests.
How did you meet her?
She was balling my dad.
And my mum came back from
a film shoot in the jungle
and caught her
pinching his nipples.
She tried to pretend she was
scratching a mosquito bite,
but my mum saw right through it.
I mean, she knew a thing or two
about mosquitoes
after shooting in the jungle.
So, my mum moved out,
Elle moved in.
It kind of didn't
really matter to me
'cause I never saw my mum anyway
and kind of hated her for it.
And in a way...
In a way, I was happy,
'cause I finally
landed myself a mum
who'd be around a bit more.
So, she became your mother?
Kind of.
I mean, she left the cooking
for my dad like my mum did.
But the fact we kind of
fiddled around sometimes
maybe unmothered things
between us.
In a way, I think Elle needed
a father figure
after years of being away
at boarding school.
She told me she went
to a run-down school.
Maybe she meant
the hockey changing rooms.
I remember her saying
those needed doing up.
And Lamina?
She just went to
a regular school, I think.
No, I mean,
how did you meet her?
She worked at a restaurant,
and then Elle got into
a fight there,
and they ended up getting
involved with each other.
Lamina's really secretive
about food,
and Elle found that fascinating,
but then she got
too secretive and Elle...
Elle got bored.
But, you know, by that point,
all sorts of things had
already happened between them,
and they ended up
hating each other.
But that's not really
anything new between us.
We all kind of hate
each other anyway.
Even though we do
need each other.
Mind if I join you?
How are you finding
your time here?
Has Elle decided on a name yet?
And the flanger?
You don't look happy.
It's hard to eat and talk.
Most people manage.
Maybe I have a small mouth.
Let me see.
Not now.
Show me.
That doesn't look small to me.
let's compare sizes.
You see?
Almost the same.
A perfect match, even.
Haven't you read that thing
enough times?
Mind if I borrow it?
Oh, you look a little lost
without it.
It's just something to hold.
And what if I gave you
something else to hold?
I think Elle's waiting
for me out there.
Oh, really?
And you do everything Elle says?
She's the boss.
And how does that make you feel?
I just make my noises.
I was reading about you
and your noises.
You gave an interview, remember?
Oh, yeah.
I read it with great interest,
and at times
I thought to myself,
"This can't be true."
Do you know something?
I always wanted to be
an egg lady.
You could queue up
for an omelet...
and I'd serve you first.
- Jan Stevens...
- It's okay.
It's okay.
I need you, Billy.
Ever since I first met you,
I've been thinking about you.
I know I need to be
but I can't stop thinking
about you,
and I know you feel
the same about me.
Jan Stevens.
Why are you doing this?
I do wonder sometimes if you're
perpetuating an archetype
of epicurean toxicity
with all this culinary hysteria.
I don't want to give the public
the impression
we're espousing any kind
of dysfunctional
alimentary ideology.
So, what do you want?
The happy chefs?
You know, what I would
appreciate is for you
to take some of
my ideas on board.
Just because I'm not involved in
the making of your sacred art
doesn't mean my ideas
lack validity.
You don't have to agree
with everything,
but to dismiss every opinion
of mine out of hand
when I've chosen to fund you
and promote you
above dozens of others
reeks of entitlement
rather than your perceived
notion of integrity.
Okay, we are all ears.
That's all I wanted to say.
There are critical forces
beyond me out there,
believe it or not,
and to make you aware of them
is part of my job,
even if you choose
not to subscribe to them.
- And that flanger...
- The flanger is staying.
I'm just asking you
to turn it down a notch.
You can keep
the epicurean toxicity,
but indulge me on
the flanger, please.
Are you okay?
Just go back to bed.
There's nothing you can do.
Any news about the tests?
Maybe tomorrow.
He's got another test planned.
I'm sorry.
Is it okay to say I'm scared?
It's okay.
I know.
It will be okay.
I know it.
You heard me?
That flanger.
What about it?
Did you talk to her about it?
She's not going to
change anything.
Once she decides something,
there's nothing you can do.
And if I try and say anything,
she just shouts
and accuses me of something.
Maybe you should think
about slapping her, then.
Well, don't say I told you,
but a quick slap
always does the trick.
It might shock her out of
her entrenched arrogance.
And what if you muted
the flanger?
Chances are
she won't notice anyway
what with all
the other noise going on.
You don't know
how angry she gets.
And she'll notice now she knows
what a flanger is.
Just try it.
I don't know.
I don't want to start
a fight and...
You will turn the flanger off.
I will turn the flanger off.
And you will convince Elle
to do everything I say from now.
And I will convince Elle to do
everything you say from now.
Jan Stevens.
Her ability to provoke
for the sake of provocation
began to wane.
Once she got a taste of scandal,
she became addicted.
And it soon became a distraction
from the work Billy
and I were doing,
yet she knew that
the shock value
and polemics would make a bigger
noise than anything we could do.
Could you survive without her?
But Billy and I were always
intuitive in our approach.
Elle always did the applications
for funding
and always knew
how to word things,
which I always envied.
I was always led to believe
that the visceral urge I had
about making culinary sounds
wasn't valid
unless backed up by theory
or at least the kind of
conceptual package
that Elle could pull together.
Sound always excited me
and... and transformed me,
but I could never explain why.
What made you want to be
a Sonic Caterer?
Maybe my mother.
My father only ever went
to the kitchen to eat,
and I saw what it did
to my mother.
She silently cooked
and washed the dishes,
pretending it couldn't be
any other way,
and he took her for granted,
never once considering himself
it could be another way.
And, besides,
he earned the money,
even though she had to
brush her own dreams
and ambitions under the carpet
to facilitate his earnings.
She later claimed that no woman
should live like this,
but when my... my brother's
girlfriend moved in with him
and didn't do her share
of the cooking,
she resented her.
Jealousy usurped ideology,
and it was clear that my mother
expected other women
to work as hard as she did
in the kitchen,
even though she knew it wasn't
the way it should be.
That struggle in her head
between demanding freedom
from the kitchen
and being confined to it
contaminated my...
My brother's relationship
and resulted in him
leaving his girlfriend.
And then my... my mother
picked on my girlfriend,
who turned out to be Elle
and even lazier than my father.
Yeah, I was the one doing
the cooking in the relationship.
How did you meet her?
She got into a fight in
the restaurant where I worked.
Some creep kept groping
one of my colleagues,
and she came to her defense.
I felt awful for not helping,
but... that was Elle.
Unlike me, she was...
She was fearless
and she would stand up
for vulnerable people,
even if she'd lose.
So, she told him to leave
my colleague alone,
and he punched her hard
in the womb,
but she fought back,
even if it resulted in her
being kicked to the ground
by this thug and his friends.
And after that we became friends
and then bandmates then lovers,
only I-I left her for someone
I was balling and...
since then, it's been nothing
but mini-punishments from her.
She told me you were
secretive about food.
Just that, she was curious.
How do you mean?
Doesn't matter.
The Mangrove Snacks.
Looks like
one of your installations.
You would say that.
But, seriously,
we could use this.
But it's a terrapin.
Since when did we do anything
with meat?
We've always been about fruits,
vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Don't forget eggs, Billy.
You'll never let me
live that down, will you?
You're the one who announced
that you're struggling
with an egg fetish.
It is not a fetish!
So, having white dreams
about hotel staff laying eggs
is not a fetish?
Not to mention
sexually objectifying
the uniforms of the poorly paid.
What was that for?
Stop it, all of you!
Jan Stevens.
The Mangrove Snacks
have paid us another visit.
I've called the police force
and they'll come
and take fingerprints.
Nobody is to touch anything.
And whatever equipment was left
here will have to be examined.
Why didn't the youngster
pack everything?
That was his job.
Technical Assistant Wim
is not your servant.
He does what he can.
But whatever was left here will
have to go for fingerprinting...
You set this up.
Don't be ridiculous.
How convenient for you.
We can live without the flanger.
You're in cahoots.
This is a conspiracy.
Until the authorities
say otherwise,
we'll have to put
a pause on proceedings.
Get some rest.
It'll do you good.
You might also consider the fact
that we're still waiting for you
to decide on a band name.
Elle and the Gastric Ulcers.
See, they always undermine me.
Is that your final name?
I don't know. Maybe.
Okay. Sleep on it, then.
But hurry up...
unless you want me to come up
with a name for you.
You know,
when this residency's over...
you'll still have that catalog.
Wouldn't it make more sense
to appreciate the things
that might not be
around much longer?
You've had your fun and now it's
back to the stupid catalog!
I didn't know we were serious.
We're not,
but there's something
between serious
and being completely ignored.
I'd just like some affection,
or is that too much to ask?
Why did you...
you know...
Why did I what?
Why did you chase me?
Why do you think?
Because I liked you.
Was it because of this
flanger business?
There's no flanger business.
So, you'd still
allow me in your bed
even if we kept the flanger?
Of course.
Even two flangers.
Would you allow me in your bed
after the residency's over?
What's wrong?
We can make this work
if you want to.
I don't know.
It's just starting to feel...
heavy... you know?
Look, if this is about
the flanger,
we can put all of that
to one side.
It's not about the flanger.
Well, I don't know, maybe
the flanger's got me thinking.
Thinking what?
We have a tour coming up and...
I can do international love.
Look, I like you, Jan...
So, that's it, then?
We could ball each other
at one of the orgies.
That's really constructive
of you, Billy.
Well, I should probably go.
They're already
asking questions.
Do you know something, Billy?
In all the years I've done this,
I've always
maintained a distance.
It didn't matter
how attracted I was
or how lonely it got
in this bedroom.
I've always remained
You were the first person
to ignite something in me
to such a degree
that I couldn't stop myself.
I really didn't want to be
one of those people
using my position
to seduce someone,
and I'm sorry.
I'm really sorry.
Can't we try somehow
to make it work?
Sometimes love can mean more...
by walking away.
Not the catalog!
No! Don't go, Billy! No!
Billy, I need you! Stay!
No, don't go, Billy!
Please, stay!
I need you!
Please, Billy!
It wasn't the flanger, I swear!
It wasn't the flanger.
Are you okay?
Leave me alone.
Any news about the flanger?
I don't know.
These things take time.
She did it on purpose.
Come on, you really think she
orchestrated the whole thing?
She did it for her advantage.
She didn't take the hob away
for fingerprints,
but she took the flanger.
So, what do you suggest?
Stop that. Shh.
Yeah, alright.
Jan Stevens.
So, she holds police parties
as well as Billy parties.
I could've told you
that one erection
would never be enough
for someone like her.
- Sad you weren't invited?
- No.
You always have to
spill your night juice
wherever you go.
But to do it to a patron
is your number-one disgrace.
You're incorrigible,
you know that, Billy Rubin?
You've jeopardized our residency
with that silly willy of yours.
You've jeopardized it
with your silly...
Silly what?
See? You can't even touch.
Wait till I write my memoirs.
Threatening me again.
You write those memoirs.
I will.
Okay. Fine.
Just don't forget to write about
that stupid salami
you hide in your bed.
Stop it!
For all our arguments
as a group,
the one thing that united us
was a quest for catharsis.
Maybe we disagreed on... on what
we defined as catharsis,
but we were all harboring
something that needed purging.
And could I ask
what you were harboring?
Just things.
Could you elaborate?
Does knowing about our demons
make any difference
to what you hear?
Only that Elle was very open
about hers.
Not as open as
you'd like to think.
I know about Miss Lindenson.
I know what really happened.
The only person laughing at her
going into anaphylactic shock
was Elle herself.
A comical looking, puffed-up
face, just like in the movies.
But surely she didn't know
she was going to die?
But she still laughed
until it was too late.
But she was a tiny girl.
But she's an adult now,
and she still can't
face herself.
For Elle,
it's easier to reinvent the past
to... to gain people's sympathy
than to confront the guilt
and... and risk people's anger.
Elle's father was at the party,
and he slapped her hard
in the face for laughing.
So, yes, that tragedy
did affect her,
but not in the way
she'd like you to believe.
You're in the shops.
You're lost in the aisles.
Back and forth.
Back and forth.
A thought is troubling you.
Could it be the absence
of a gteau de mnage
that is playing tricks
on the mind?
Or the sight of Dan,
the twilight
replenishment operative,
coming back from his shift
to search for
a mystery
Chartreuse Elixir Vegetal?
Or is it something else?
A cake from the past that
never leaves you alone
and follows you into the shops.
I certainly hope not.
You're feeling tired
but you can't leave
until you've shopped.
Your fellow customers
are collapsing all around you.
One... by one.
They call it the retail malady.
And, one by one,
you will all succumb to it.
DR.- So...
your results are in.
How do I say this?
You have...
I think I left something
at home.
I could have sworn...
I know I had it
by the front door when...
What do I have?
I was going to tell you.
Tell me, what do I have?
Celiac disease.
- What?
- Celiac disease.
It's okay.
Your villi are a mess,
but you'll live.
What is it?
It's an autoimmune...
Let me go!
Keep talking.
What do I need to take?
You don't need to take anything!
Avoid gluten.
Avoid gluten and you'll be fine.
Tell me more!
It's in wheat.
Avoid bread, pasta,
beer, pastries,
and Christmas pudding.
Christmas pudding.
Blast this thing!
Too tired to say my name?
What do you want?
A peace offering.
So, your policeman friends
didn't find fingerprints?
Clearly not.
And I thought you'd like it back
for your final performance.
So, you're allowing us
to use our flanger?
I'll just leave it here.
You decide whether to use it
or not.
This is what I think
about your peace offering.
What are you laughing at?
The prospect of giving
an after-dinner speech
is somewhat daunting.
Some people relish the idea of
having an audience in thrall
to even the most meager
of their thought processes,
but the rest of us
have no great urge
to communicate with the world
and struggle to do so.
I acknowledge the fact
that this is compulsory,
but I can't pretend
to find it easy.
In fact,
I resent it.
Lamina, if you're
that uncomfortable,
we can forgo the whole thing.
- Any excuse for her to shirk.
- No, no.
I can do it.
And I'm going to continue.
I consulted various guides
on after-dinner speaking,
and I'm now ready to
bring life to this room
with the news that after
this residency is over,
I'm going to leave the group.
You don't believe me?
What would you do?
When Hephaestus
was thrown off Olympus, he...
Not you! Not you.
I don't need your metatextual,
alpha intellectual one-upmanship
on top of everything else.
There are plenty of things
I could do, Elle dearest,
as long as they don't involve
being anywhere near you.
In fact, I'm going solo.
Without me,
it's not going to work.
You know that.
No voice, no ideas. No vision.
Technique without visions? No.
Because you think it's going
to work without me?
You didn't even know
what a flanger was
until a few days ago.
Just stay. We can...
We can talk this out, man.
You're welcome to join
if you want.
Billy, no!
Well, I'm not staying
if Lamina leaves.
- You set this up!
- I did no such...
So, now it's my fault?
I didn't say that.
You don't have to say.
You orchestrated all of this
with loving precision.
Have a stupid day.
- Elle!
- No, no, no!
Elle, stop it!
Hang in there, Elle.
I'm sorry.
We'll get you some help!
Where's Dr. Glock?
He's gone!
Can't you see?
What did you expect?
I finally have the name
for our band.
Tell us, Elle.
Please tell us.
Elle and the...
What was that?
What did she say?
Tell us again, Elle.
A thousand hands
applaud tonight
I sing my songs,
my star shines bright
I stop and smile,
I take my bow
I leave the stage
and then somehow
Backstage I'm lonely
Backstage I cry
You've gone away
and each night
I seem to die a little
Out on that stage
I play the star
I'm famous now
I've come so far
A famous fool, I let love go
I didn't know
I'd miss you so
Backstage I'm lonely
Backstage I cry
Hating myself since I let you
say goodbye
Every night a different girl
Every night a different club
And yet I'm lonely
all the time
When I sign my autograph
When I hold an interview
Can't get you out of my mind
Come back my love
Come back to me
I need you now
so desperately
What good is fame,
it's just a game
I'd give it all
to be the same
Backstage I wait
now hoping I'll see
Your smiling face waiting
there backstage for me
Your smiling face waiting
there backstage for me