On this week’s Movies vs. Capitalism, hosts Rivka Rivera and Frank Cappello are joined by television and film writer Karen DiConcetto for a material analysis of a film about materialism: Amy Heckerling’s 1995 teen comedy Clueless.

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A rough transcript of the episode is available here.

Every holiday season, Americans across the country participate in one of our most hallowed traditions: Black Friday shopping. Last year, Black Friday sales reached a record high of $9.12 billion, and revenue projections suggest those numbers could keep increasing. A time previously focused on gratitude, community, and family has been transformed into a consumerist competition to find the best deal.

Almost 30 years ago, filmmaker Amy Heckerling satirized our consumerist hellscape with her teen comedy classic Clueless. In today’s interview, Rivka, Frank, and Karen celebrate Heckerling’s brilliant script while unpacking the rampant materialism depicted by the film’s Beverly Hills teenagers — and how those themes were potentially harmful to its audience, particularly young women. 

They also draw a line between the lead character Cher Horowitz and the liberal charity model, and even go so far as to describe this film’s satire as “The Wolf of Wall Street for rich teenagers.”

For next week’s movie, MVC will be watching Sidney Lumet’s and Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 satire of corporate media, Network.

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