We've all seen shoppers like the lead character in Andrew DeYoung's new short film, Shopping. Some of us have even been sucked into conversation with them. Sometimes they're really annoying, sometimes not, but they generally radiate a modern sort of loneliness that draws our pity, if not always our sympathy.
DeYoung's film uses both improvised and scripted scenes to explore this phenomenon, centered around a shopaholic whose up-to-the-minute observations of price and inventory changes suggest an otherwise empty life. Her fixations on Costco, and later Target, isn't banal; the issue goes far beyond that.
As the film progresses, it's hard to tell whether the woman's behavior is an attempt to connect with others through objects, or an artless dodge around human connection altogether. Either way, what we're seeing is a warped function of the desire to belong.