Hi Justin,

How about Chaplin's Modern Times? You could use it in several ways: handicraft production vs. Machine process in Veblen; labor process in Marx, etc.

You may also search YouTube for "communist manifesto in cartoons." You'll know if when you see it. It takes pieces from cartoons of the post war vintage and cuts them together to follow a narration of the manifesto. It's opportunity to discuss the social relations of production and how this drives history.

I would reach out to Antonio Callari at Franklin & Marshall. He used to teach a course just like this, and likely has good suggestions.


Mitch Green

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015, 3:30 PM Eric Hake <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
An easy one would be Marx and The Matrix.  I have used clips from this film to great effect. Not sure what condensed version of his theory you could
use, but most of the concepts are in the film.

On 9/17/2015 4:39 PM, Justin Elardo wrote:
Dear AFEE Members,

For several years I have toyed with the idea of creating a course that would introduce students to economic ideas and content through the use of fictional films.  This term I have an introduction to  economics as a social science type course with low enrollment.  A conventional lecture course seems less than ideal with a small group.  As a result, I am strongly considering a trial by fire Economics in Fictional Film class.

Conceptually, I envision the course operating in such a manner that we view fictional films in class, I assign an reading from a thinker such as Veblen or Marx, and students are then asked to write short papers relating the theoretical content with the film content.  For example, the movie Pretty Woman (Julia Roberts, Richard Gere) could be shown with an associated reading content of Veblen's "The Barbarian Status of Women."  I have a list of other movies such as Office Space, Wall Street, Burn...and some reading ideas, but I am not sure I am satisfied as of yet.  I am in search of some more input.

Does any AFEE member have thoughts or suggestions?  I would love to hear different ideas.

Thank You,

Justin A. Elardo, PhD
Portland Community College


Eric R. Hake

Professor, Economics
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