Before he blew our collective minds with Incendies, Prisoners, Enemy and recently, Arrival, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve made a surreal and darkly humorous short film in 2008 called Next Floor which strongly evokes the films of Luis Bunuel. The 11-min film doesn’t feature any dialogues except for one, which is repeated more than once throughout its entire length. Here’s a quick, spoiler-free summary:
A group of gluttons is seated around a table gorging on all sorts of animals (with the exception of snakes). They don’t communicate much except for the occasional gestures and facial expressions. The time period, judging from the costumes, is sometime in the 1800s. There seem to be no end to their feast as more delicacies – bigger animals – keep coming in. But something, err, an “earth-shattering” occurrence keeps interrupting it.
Villeneuve’s usual trademarks are visible here as well: slow zoom ins and zoom outs, an ominous background score (featuring drums) which is accompanied by some classical music and some really stunning imagery (with a little CGI) – all which reminds one of Kubrick’s films as well. The film seems to be making an allusion to man’s basic nature (or is it about vegetarianism?). You can check it out below: