Leonardo, a successful industrial designer, lives with his family in an architectural wonder, a midcentury Le Corbusier home. One morning, he wakes to an irksome noise and is appalled to discover that workmen next door are constructing a large window that faces directly into his home. Leonardo protests, using a number of excuses (privacy, building codes, his wife), in an attempt to coerce his neighbor, Victor, into scrapping his plan. But Victor just wants a patch of sun to catch some rays. Thus, one man’s light is another man’s blight.
Enamored of architecture, the film is meticulously designed. Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat give it a carefully crafted weirdness as well as a figurative quality. Its caustic humor comes in contemplating why the window completely undermines Leonardo. Does it reveal his arrogance, affectation, and lack of compassion; or dispel his bourgeois illusion of power? The Man Next Door offers a biting critique of moral shallowness—and what happens when thou dost not love thy neighbor’s window.
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