In Fabric
December 3rd, 2022

In Fabric


Please join Cultivate Cinema Circle as we screen four films written & directed by Peter Strickland. Next up is his British Independent Film Awards-nominated In Fabric [2019].


Event Sponsors:

Venue Information:

Downtown Central Library Auditorium
1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203
(Enter from Clinton Street between Oak and Washington Streets)
716-858-8900 • www.BuffaloLib.org
COVID protocol will be followed.


TrailerSynopsisDirector BioLinks

A lonely woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), recently separated from her husband, visits a bewitching department store in search of a dress that will transform her life.

She’s fitted with a perfectly flattering, artery-red gown—which, in time, will come to unleash a malevolent curse and unstoppable evil, threatening everyone who comes into its path.

From acclaimed horror director Peter Strickland (the singular auteur behind the sumptuous sadomasochistic romance The Duke of Burgundy and auditory gaillo-homage Berberian Sound Studio) comes a truly nightmarish film, at turns frightening, seductive, and darkly humorous. Channeling voyeuristic fantasies of high fashion and bloodshed, In Fabric is Strickland’s most twisted and brilliantly original vision yet.

Tidbits:

  • Toronto International Film Festival – 2018
  • BFI London Film Festival – 2018
  • Tribeca Film Festival – 2019
  • AFI Fest – 2018
  • British Independent Film Awards – 2019 – Nominee: Best Production Design, Best Casting, Best Sound, Best Cinematography, Best Effects, Best Costume Design, Best Make-Up & Hair Design, Best Music & Best Screenplay
Courtesy of Daniel Gasenzer.

“I’m glad British film produces mainstream crowd-pleasers, but I don’t want to make one.”

Courtesy of Flux Gourmet press kit:

Peter Strickland (born in Great Britain’s Thames Valley in 1973) has made five feature films steeped in tragedy, sonic psychosis, bondage, retail nightmares and stomach problems.

Peter Strickland started making short films on Super 8 and 16mm in the early ’90s. After directing his adaptation of Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ for Reading’s Progress Theatre in 1992 he went on to direct a short film in New York called ‘Bubblegum’, which played at festivals in 1996. After a long hiatus making culinary soundscapes with The Sonic Catering Band, he returned to film in the early part of this century. His first feature film, ‘Katalin Varga’ was funded from an inheritance and shot and edited on a budget of £25,000. The Carpathian tragedy led to funding from the British film industry and the Milano-Dorking sonic anguish of ‘Berberian Sound Studio’ followed in 2012 along with the bondage romance, ‘The Duke of Burgundy’ in 2015. Several radio plays along with a concert film for Björk co-directed with Nick Fenton were made in the last few years and his fourth feature, the Thames Valley retail nightmare, ‘In Fabric’ was released in 2019. His latest feature is the gastrointestinal drama ‘Flux Gourmet’.

Filmography:

  • Flux Gourmet (2022)
  • In Fabric (2019)
  • The Duke of Burgundy (2015)
  • Björk: Biophilia Live (2014)
  • Berberian Sound Studio (2012)
  • Katalin Varga (2009)

Here is a curated selection of links for additional insight/information:

  • Cultivate Cinema Circle info-sheet – link
  • “Comics artist Howard Chaykin once (or twice) said that the role of advertising is to flatter you into thinking that you’re smarter than advertising. That concept is put to work in In Fabric, a slippery horror-comedy about the equally treacherous relationship between salespeople, consumers, and their possessions. Watching In Fabric, the latest giallo-inspired adult fairy tale by British writer/director Peter Strickland, is often disorienting given how blunt its anti-consumerist symbolism and queasy sense of humor can be. But if you respond to Strickland’s weird combination of psychedelic elusiveness and kitchen sink melodrama, In Fabric might stick in your mind. Strickland frequently tests viewers’ patience, but his off-putting sensibility is powerful enough to make In Fabric as mesmerizing as its subject matter: salesmanship as a sinister, inescapable form of hypnosis.” —Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com [2019] – link
  • “Stylish in both subject and form, In Fabric is shot in retina-searing greens, oranges and, above all, reds (crimson-lacquered nails, oozing blood, the rippling chiffon of the dress), a lurid colour palette that heightens our senses, already sharpened by the film’s supernatural goings-on. The director Peter Strickland stitches strings of fetishistic images together to create an uneven, collage-like effect, a movie that rips through critiques of materialism and presentations of middle-aged solitude with a shuddering acuity. Through its exploration of commodification, the feature humorously satirises our obsession with endless acquisition, no matter what the cost. In Fabric is devilish and daring, a head-spinning journey into the paranormal. Passing from chest-beating alpha males to brides-to-be on its destructive path, the shape-shifting garment comes to mimic consumerist desire itself: an ambulant, morphing entity that, in the wrong hands, can prove cut-throat.” — Yasmin Omar, Harper’s Bazaar [2019] – link
  • “Strickland’s emphasis on sonic ‘texture’, and its ability to create mood and atmosphere evokes how a film’s surface holds an affective charge for spectators. As [Giuliana] Bruno puts it, ‘affect is actually ‘worn’ on the surface’ to become ‘an enveloping fabric…an extensive form of textural contact’ or, even more poetically, ‘our second skin, our sensory cloth’.10 In light of this, Fenton’s earlier criticism that she could not ‘wrap her head around’ the film seems beside the point. One might be able to read the film’s monstrous dress, insane department store, and tyrannical bankers as a critique of consumerism. Or, perhaps, view the film through a psychoanalytic lens to examine its use of the uncanny, the abject, or its Freudian motifs of motherhood, desire and death. But such approaches would – more than likely – prove ill-suited for the task. Indeed, it might very well be impossible to conclusively unravel In Fabric’s ‘meaning’. In Fabric asks us to not ‘read into’ and make sense of what might lie beneath its surface so much as sensually and emotionally feel our way through it. ‘Film itself can be said to be a form of tailoring,’ says Bruno, ‘stitched together in strands of celluloid, woven into patterns, designed and assembled…like a customized garment’. Just like its cursed red dress, In Fabric somehow seems to stick to the skin, lingers in the mind, and follows us long after we leave its strange world. Its textured imagery and wild soundtrack are woven into its own kind of “fabric” that gives an unrelenting affective caress. Like the hypnotic advertisements for Dentley & Soper that Sheila watches on the television, In Fabric lures spectators in and grabs hold. Being in In Fabric’s fabric returns us of our own materiality and, in doing so, also reminds us of our embodied capacity to feel, to be moved, and to imagine.” — David Evan Richard, Senses of Cinema [2019] – link
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