Tags: capitalism, commodification, consumption/consumerism, corporations, marketing/brands, theory, critical theory, culture industry, subtitles/CC, 00 to 05 mins
Access: No online access
Summary: These 2 separate scenes from Fight Club draw on a familiar dialogue about consumers and are a great illustration of the culture industry (begin/end 4:45-5:40; 29:06-31:15). The scenes include the narrator's (Edward Norton) discussion of Ikea, and his conversation with Tylder Durden (Brad Pitt) about consumption and social control. In one scene, Norton discusses all the Ikea furniture around his apartment. He begins: “like many others, I have become a slave to the Ikea nesting instinct” as the screen pans around his apartment and overlays the space with images and text like it was straight out of an Ikea catalog. In a later scene, Norton laments the loss of all of his stuff, saying “when you buy furniture, you tell yourself ‘that’s it, that’s the last sofa I’m gonna need. Whatever else happens, I’ve got that sofa problem handled. I had it all … I was close to being complete.” Brad Pitt’s character concludes the scene stating “The things you own end up owning you,” which often facilitates very lively and interesting class discussion.
Submitted By: Paul Dean
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