The Store | Chicago Reader

The Store

The store in question is Neiman Marcus's flagship (and corporate headquarters) in Dallas, and as with many of Frederick Wiseman's documentaries scrutinizing American institutions, this 1983 feature provides a kaleidoscopic look at day-to-day operations, in this case during the Christmas shopping season and on the eve of the store's 75th anniversary. Wiseman eavesdrops on jewelry sales, fashion shows, strategic meetings, training sessions, job interviews, photo shoots, and other protracted activities; company bigwig Stanley Marcus gets flattering attention, and Lady Bird Johnson makes a cameo appearance. The pursuit of consumerist pleasure has seldom been so glorified or so tedious—this sociological record is best saved for a time capsule.

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