In theatre, set designs are often very abstract. Out of artistic intent and/or because of budget restrictions. However, movies (shorts, series etc.) tend to be realistic in most respects, with a very few exceptions. And in those (at least the ones I know), the abstract setting is part of the story being told. I am not looking for abstract movies, I am looking for movies (short, feature, what have you) that tell a story in an abstract setting. I suppose examples would be: Jim Henson's "The Cube": https://archive.org/details/TheCube-JimHenson-1969 An absolut must watch IMO in terms of "experiments in television". Then obviously "Cube": http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0123755/ Almost there: "Nothing": http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0298482/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 In all three cases, the setting is an integral part of the story. One movie that also fits the bill, although I would argue that is goes into the direction of theatrics, is Lars von Trier's "Dogville": http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0276919/?ref_=nm_knf_i2 Then there is Tron, but I would put that in a box with every science-fiction or fantasy flick, where there is a setting that is invented/obviously fictive but functions pretty much like reality would. So, if any one can think of a movie that tells a realistic story and an abstract setting, please post your references in the comments!