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ERIC Number: ED346516
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 64
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Shopping Mall: Film Chronotope of the 1980s.
Montgomery, Michael V.
This paper examines the portrayal of shopping malls in the films of the 1980s and attempts to "narrativize" the trend found between the films as the story of a subculture as it adopts and develops a belief system based on consumerism. The paper begins with an exploration of the evolution of the mall as a modern meeting place and center of social activity, particularly for teenagers. It discusses some of the films that focus on the lives of teens who spend much of their time at malls, including "Fast Times at Ridgemont High,""Valley Girl,""Can't Buy Me Love,""Night of the Comet,""Chopping Mall,""Phantom of the Mall," and "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." The paper first examines the ways the mall's message of consumerism is shown infiltrating the lifestyle of the 1980s teenager through the extension and development of the "shopping mall high school" analogy, especially in mall montages. Next, the paper considers the films' more intimate psychological "appeals" to the teens in the form of "unlimited shopping" and predatory fantasy sequences, which suggest that the "consumerist discourse" of the dominant culture has successfully begun to exploit teen insecurities and desires. Finally, the paper examines how, by the end of the decade, mall "consumerism" is showing up in the way teens form relationships with each other, in particular showing how the construction of male-female relationships and high school "cliques" in "Can't Buy Me Love" is founded upon consumerist values. Fourteen references are attached. (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A