The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
MALLS R US
"Malls R Us dexterously balances seduction and repulsion" -Artforum
"Provocative" -Roger Ebert
"Helene Klodawsky directs with panache" -Chicago Reader
Recommended! "Uncommonly timely... [Klodawsky] has an elegant eye and this strangely beautiful, kaleidoscopic inventory is indelible" -NewCity Chicago
"An engaging globe-trotter of a doc" -Chicago Tribune
Combining nostalgia, dazzling architecture, pop culture, economics and politics, Malls R Us examines North America's most popular and profitable suburban destination - the enclosed shopping center - and how for consumers they function as a communal, even ceremonial experience and, for retailers, sites where their idealism, passion and greed merge.
The film blends archival footage tracing the history of the shopping mall in America, visits to some of the world's largest and most spectacular malls - in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Poland, France, and Dubai - and interviews with architects, mall developers, sales managers, environmentalists, labor activists and social critics, as well as commentary from mall shoppers themselves. Malls R Us discusses the psychological appeal of malls to consumers, how architects design their environments to combine consumerism with nature and spectacle, how suburban shopping centers impart social values, how malls are transforming the traditional notions of community, social space and human interaction, and shows nostalgic mall fans who commemorate the closing of older malls on their DeadMalls.com Web site. Visiting the construction sites of several of the world's largest shopping centers of the future, in Dubai and India, Malls R Us reveals how their gargantuan growth, both in size and geographical expansion, as virtual cities devoted to tourism, leisure and luxury shopping, threaten small shop owners and the environment. As entertaining as it is informative, Malls R Us offers a trip to the mall like no other, reveling in their architectural splendor as consumerist paradises but also showing how the social dynamism they represent can be a destructive force, one that confuses the good life with the world of goods.
Directed by Helene Klodawsky, Canada, 2008, BetaSP, 78 mins.