From June 5 to August 12, a new installation from the Phi Centre pays tribute to Next Floor, the spectacular short film from ten years ago that marked the opening of Montreal's then-newest arts and culture centre.
The installation at the Phi Centre invites visitors to screen the movie before an exclusive peek behind the scenes, provided by a making-of video, production stills, storyboards by illustrator Jocelyn Bonnier and costume sketches by Renata Morales, all staged in the unusual ambiance of this history-making short film.
Next Floor, 10 years later
In 2008, the century-old building located at 407 Saint-Pierre Street in Old Montreal was about to be gutted and transformed into the Phi Centre. Its founder and director Phoebe Greenberg sought a way to preserve the memory of a place about to vanish: "I had this idea for a movie, Next Floor, that would pay tribute to this magnificent building. Since the interior would be demolished to make way for the Phi Centre, there was a high degree of freedom at hand to create both a cinematographic and documentary work inspired by this truly singular decor."
Denis Villeneuve and a unique meeting of the minds
The fish narrator covered in blood from the movie Maelström would bring together Phoebe Greenberg and director Denis Villeneuve who agreed to helm the project. Producer Phoebe Greenberg explains: "I immediately seized upon the connection between this absurd fish and the universe portrayed in Next Floor, which in turn was inspired by buffoons and their subversive role in art. It was a tremendous privilege to share my vision with such an extraordinary artist and creative genius, with the generosity to dive in despite a busy schedule!"
Released with great pomp at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival in the Semaine de la Critique section, Next Floor would win the Canal+ Award for Best Short Film, the first of many international awards. Its success, both wild and unexpected, signalled with a bang the arrival of the Phi Centre on the Montreal art scene.
Photo (cover): Maxence Bradley