Smiley Face (Gregg Araki, 2007)

Rather than a capitalist economy driven by the dream-engine of aspiration, wherein what is promised is that work (whether one is an un-unionized sausage factory worker or a university economics professor who relies on the contingent labor of a graduate student) inexorably leads to the consumption of goods and services, or a gift economy driven by a different dream-engine (where the labor-intensive construction of a batch of pot cupcakes leads to the adulation of one’s fellow B-movie geeks), this film imagines a smoke-engine of aspiration, where unkind kind dealers and the unwilling good deeds of unwitting strangers might somehow lead to the ingestion of Tostitos and orange juice.

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