Fantastic mood and style in this portrait of England's equivalent of rust belt malaise. Deserves much of the credit for capturing moody '90's cool that often goes to (say) Linklater's sophomore work or Reality Bites. Without being too psychological about it, Shopping delves into the hungry fantasies that so often lie opposite fantastic wealth and consumer showmanship. The subject is not one but two juvenile contests.
Feels more like something made to exemplify Anderson's future credentials as a director for hire as opposed to something made out of a genuine concern. The vaguely post-apocalyptic setting is interesting but not fully developed, while the satirical swipes at consumerism and desensitised youth culture are obvious and second-hand. Nonetheless, Anderson turns in a great Ridley Scott impression and the action is salient.
I also almost took a pass on this one. Throughout I was reminded of Hill's "The Warriors", Cronenberg's "Crash" and Jarman's "The Last of England" as well as "Blade Runner" and "A Clockwork Orange". In a future England "vapidly rebellious" teens crash stolen cars into stores to steal (or not) the goods inside. Nothing particularly original when you come down to it but a nice bit of post modernism for what it is.
Anderson has crafted an interesting dystopian drama that doesn't indict society for the crimes of its youth (like A CLOCKWORK ORANGE). Instead, the film focuses on the pains and joys of a group of delinquents, slaves to a self-destructive lifestyle who enjoy their slavery. Blessed by good performances, beautifully nasty urban imagery, and a kick-ass soundtrack, SHOPPING is fascinating and entertaining throughout.