&#8220;Downsizing Is About Saving Yourself&#8221;: The Paradoxical Nature of Work and Career Success in <span class="hi-italic">Downsizing</span>

“Downsizing Is About Saving Yourself”: The Paradoxical Nature of Work and Career Success in Downsizing

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Abstract

In this clip from the 2017 film Downsizing, as in director Alexander Payne’s body of work more broadly (e.g., Election, Sideways, About Schmidt), we see a contemplation of the American success myth: the idea that “the opportunity for material attainment and spiritual fulfillment is every individual’s birthright and is within each person’s power, as Levinson puts it. The clip shows a fictional near-future in which scientific advancements allow humans to “downsize” their bodies and then be transported to an alternate, parallel environment in which money is not a worry and leisure and happiness rule. Freed from the financial pressures of their former lives, those who are downsized can pursue their passions, indulge in leisure activities, and generally live as they wish. The clip connects in ...

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