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British auteur Peter Strickland is back with his fifth feature, “Flux Gourmet,” and it is as striking and uncompromising as his previous body of work, which includes “In Fabric” (2018), “The Duke of Burgundy” (2014), “Berberian Sound Studio” (2012) and “Katalin Varga” (2009). “Flux Gourmet” world premieres at the Berlin Film Festival’s Encounters strand on Feb. 11.

The film follows a sonic collective trio with rocky interpersonal dynamics, who take up residency at an institute devoted to culinary and alimentary performance and have to answer to the institute’s head, who has her own opinions about their work. Their chronicler, meanwhile, is dealing with stomach problems.

“Flux Gourmet” began life as Strickland was completing “In Fabric” when a financier offered him the opportunity of making anything he wanted, provided the budget was under £1 million ($1.3 million). “When I showed them the script, they ran a mile,” Strickland told Variety. “They said, ‘Do whatever you want, but not that.'” Strickland eventually found other backers.

Conceptually, “Flux Gourmet” dates back to the Sonic Catering Band project, co-founded by Strickland in 1996, which took the raw sounds recorded from the cooking and preparing of a vegetarian meal and treated them via processing, cutting, mixing and layering. No source sounds other than those coming from the cooking of the dish were used and every dish was consumed by all members of the band.

“I didn’t just want to do a Sonic Catering film, it felt very self indulgent, dare I say narcissistic. But then it fit into stomach issues, which I haven’t seen on film,” said Strickland. “It is more and more prevalent, which is somehow misunderstood quite widely. It’s like this last taboo, which shouldn’t be taboo, it just fed into the idea of shock value — ‘What is shock value? Why that shock value?’

“It just fit into these two characters, one who suffers from stomach issues and another one who sees that as an opportunity to use it for her art,” added Strickland.

The cast includes long-time Strickland collaborator Fatma Mohamed (“Berberian Sound Studio”) as the leader of the collective, the members of which include “Sex Education” star Asa Butterfield and Ariane Labed (“Alps”), with Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones”) as the institute head and Makis Papadimitriou (“Chevalier”) as the chronicler.

“I wanted to do something different and challenge myself a bit,” Butterfield said. “I got quite excited, because this was a really fun way to push myself and also just work with a really talented and unique director who would inspire me in different ways, make me think in different ways.” Strickland discussed the Sonic Catering Band with Butterfield and told him that his character was based on one of the band members. The actor looked up the band and also immersed himself in the director’s previous work to get a sense of the “otherworldliness” of it, as he describes it.

Strickland says that another inspiration for Butterfield’s character came from the low-key characters played by Joe Dallesandro in the films from the 1970s, produced by Andy Warhol and directed by Paul Morrissey. “I’ve always been fascinated by that [low register] with actors, especially men for some reason… I return to it again and again,” said Strickland. “You don’t get too excited, you don’t get too low, you’re just having this very narrow bandwidth. And it seemed he could channel that — he had the right look, he had the right voice.”

Filming took place in a mansion in York, England, with the cast living and acting on the premises. “It felt very real and added to this strange world we were living and working in,” said Butterfield. The film also has an element of performance art, which is a challenge that Butterfield embraced, having never done theater before.

Next up for Strickland is a short film. Butterfield will shoot horror film “All Fun and Games” in Canada before going to season four of “Sex Education.” The actor is open to more roles in the vein of “Flux Gourmet.”

“I’d love to do more weird or wonderful movies like this, because they’re few and far between and not enough of them get made,” said Butterfield. “And you need real visionaries like Peter to be brave enough to write them and try and get them made. Because [there are] a lot of safe movies, and safe TV, which a lot of them are great, but they don’t push boundaries.”

“Flux Gourmet” is produced by Serena Armitage of Red Breast Prods. and Pietro Greppi of Lunapark Pictures, and co-financed by IFC Films, Bankside Films, and Head Gear Films/Metrol Technology. Bankside Films is handling international sales. IFC Films will release the film in the U.S. later this year.