Flying Lotus Defends Debut Film Amid Walkout Controversy

Musician Flying Lotus (Steven Ellison) has defended his debut film Kuso amid critical backlash and reports of mass walkouts from its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

Techno website The Verge called Kuso “the grossest film ever made”, publishing an account of the audience walk out, as well as vivid descriptions of the film’s most graphic and objectionable moments. The reviewer went on to say, “It’s really easy to imagine Kuso’s creators laughing at critics trying to apply meaning where there is none.”

The film, an ambitious mix of live-action, puppetry and animation, was screened as part of Sundance Festival’s Midnight selection. It has also received a savage critical reception from Variety Magazine, whose review states: “Everybody… is going to want to take a wide detour around this insufferable mishmash of interwoven segments — aimless in themselves, even more so as a whole — almost entirely concerned with bodily functions and bodily fluids.”

Fly Lo has responded publicly to the film’s early reception, down-playing the walkout reports and claiming that he “warned people” about what to expect from the film. In a deleted Tweet, Fly Lo expressed his uncertainty about how to proceed with Kuso’s distribution deal, saying: “All this talk makes me not want to sell Kuso and self distro myself.”

The public crowd loved it and stayed. The press screening had the “walkouts” who cares?

— FLYLO (@flyinglotus) January 26, 2017

It was only like 20 people out of like 400 who walked out. Wasn’t as dramatic as they make it out to be. I tried to warn folks.

— FLYLO (@flyinglotus) January 26, 2017

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