An organic progression from his documentaries, Cohen’s feature debut – set in an overcast, flourescent netherworld of malls, hotels and transport interchanges – constructs a cohesive milieu from footage shot in seven countries and 11 US states. Researching American theme parks, Tamiko (Nikaido) awaits orders from her Tokyo corporation, whose mission statement becomes a kind of mantra; non-person Amanda (Billotte) scavenges from shopping centres, talks into a dead cell-phone and confides in a video camera. Ostensibly at opposite ends of the spectrum, the women’s experiences of mallworld are similarly aimless and atomised, each well-versed in consumerism and bereft of human contact. Cohen finds grimly witty equivalence in litanies of chain-store names and debt relief voicemails, luxury-brand outlets and derelict pharmacies – a floating world where awnings promise ‘Zero coming soon’.
Cast and crew