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Next Floor (2008)

 -  Short  -  April 2009 (USA)
7.5
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During an opulent and luxurious banquet, complete with hordes of servers and valets, eleven pampered guests participate in what appears to be a ritualistic gastronomic carnage. In this ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Simone Chevalot ...
Guest
Luc-Martial Dagenais ...
Musician
Kenneth Fernandez ...
Guest
Mathieu Handfield ...
Server
Ariel Ifergan ...
Guest
...
Musician
Jean Marchand ...
Maître D'
Sergey Marchenko ...
Guest
Deepak Massand ...
Guest
Gaetan Nadeau ...
Guest
Charles Papasoff ...
Guest
Sébastien René ...
Server
Daniel Rousse ...
Guest
Helga Schmitz ...
Guest
Emmanuel Schwartz ...
Server
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During an opulent and luxurious banquet, complete with hordes of servers and valets, eleven pampered guests participate in what appears to be a ritualistic gastronomic carnage. In this absurd and grotesque universe, an unexpected sequence of events destabilizes the endless symphony of abundance. Written by Anonymous

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Next Floor: A Reflection on Consumption
14 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Back in March of 2010, the Hirshhorn Museum at the Smithsonian on The National Mall showed a short film on the basement level entitled "Next Floor," by Denis Villeneuve. Many other museums also showed the film, as well as other venues. Recently, "Next Floor" has become available for download on I-Tunes. This film is striking, profound, very well done, and teaches a weighty lesson about consumption.

Here is the premise of the film Next Floor according to the web site's synopsis:

"During an opulent and luxurious banquet, complete with cavalier servers and valets, eleven pampered guests participate in what appears to be a ritualistic gastronomic carnage. In this absurd and grotesque universe, an unexpected sequence of events undermines the endless symphony of abundance."

As this scene unfolds at this banqueting table of decadence and over-consumption, the bottom literally begins to drop out beneath those at the table. As they eat themselves into oblivion, they begin to fall from one floor to the floor below them until they are left falling with no end in sight, as if being sucked into a hellish black hole. Their dark demise is illuminated only as the chandelier falls behind them lighting each floor below until it disappears into nothingness as the film ends.

The viewer is left with their mouth hanging open in disbelief and conviction. The scripture from Philippians 3:19 begins to come to mind, "But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites." This short film Next Floor, and the picture that Paul paints in Philippians 3:19, is a frightening and realistic social commentary on our gluttonous and over extravagant culture of consumption and greed. We are, indeed, spoiled rotten.

In Galatians 5:15, Paul warns us that if we bite and ravish one another, in no time we will be annihilating each other. When our appetites get so insatiable that we do not care who we hurt or step on to get what we want, there is a huge problem. Selfishness and greed have no place in our lives as followers of Jesus. Our god is not our stomachs or our appetites.

The culture and the world around us seek selfish gain by taking from others, through selfishness, gluttony, and greed, but we are called to so much more than this. We are called to give selflessly and to think of others more highly than ourselves and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Material wealth, possessions, and the things of this life are not to be our gods and we are not to look to these to satisfy us or to fill us. Our consumption can consume us and our appetites can control us, if we let it, and if it is left unchecked. The film "Next Floor" paints this picture vividly for the viewer.

I highly recommend this film.

Bibliography

Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002, S. Ga 5:15, Php 3:18-19

Preview of Next Floor from the Trailer on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R6xXS_VqlA


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