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Saturday Short : Next Floor - Denis Villeneuve

Sunday 10 August 2014, by Elise Loiseau

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Before adapting Wadji Mouawad’s Incendies in 2010 and earning himself an international reputation with Prisoners, Canadian film maker Denis Villeneuve directed this cultish short that toured festivals around the world and won the Best Short prize at Cannes’ Semaine de la Critique in 2008.

Villeneuve’s sickening and beautiful meatfest Next Floor boasts production values to match his aesthetic ambitions. A dozen or so guests wearing their Sunday best sit down for a meat-filled blow out. Dish after dish comes out: animal carcasses, rib cages sticking out, blood-drenched innards, and audiences are treated to stifling and nauseating close-ups of torn flesh to the sound of frenetic chewing and bones snapping.

Waiters are at hand, tending to their every need, rythmically pouring wine and cutting into the meat, as the guests gorge themselves, obsessively and compulsively, oblivious to their surroundings, so that when the floor under their feet collapses, they carry on unblinkingly and impassively shovelling in the grub as they and the dinner table land on the floor below, only for it to give way and them to fall through to the floor below that.
Only the odd, subtle looks the waiters exchange signal the whole thing might be a silent conspiracy to sabotage the guests.

Villeneuve’s beautiful carnage is available at the link below:


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