Going, Going… Gone
“The Callers” is about a group of Pennsylvania auctioneers who are able to sell a lot of merchandise to people in states of transition and while this is not the kind of film that I would ordinarily watch, I was totally charmed by it.
“The auction world is an interesting one. We have a complex relationship with stuff, with consuming, with collecting, sometimes even hoarding. Auctioneering is about the art of the sale, mortality, recycling, and our changing cultural landscape. Agriculture to which auctions have long been tied continues to shrink. Family ties, community ties continue to break down. Myriad media outlets clamor for our shrinking attention spans. Hectic modern lifestyles don’t allow the time to devote to spending all day at an auction. Auctioneering is arguably an antiquated profession. And, it is arguably a timely one. People across America sold a bill of goods by bankers and brokers can go to the local auction house and themselves set the value of something by deciding what they are willing to pay for it on any given day. The auction method is a fair method, arguably the fairest method. And when you are elbow to elbow with a crowd of bidders, adrenaline coursing through your veins, your heart pounding as you flick your card, wiggle your nose, scratch your ear in time to the auctioneer’s call, it is undeniably a most entertaining one. At an auction there’s always a winner. Sometimes if the bidding goes your way, it can be you. And if it’s not, in that sea of merchandise many more chances await just down the row”.—Susan Sfarra
I was amazed that the film drew me as it did because I really have no interest in the subject yet I sat glued to my chair as I watched. We get a look at several experienced auctioneers and at buyers as we learn of the complex relationship people have with what they own and what they want. Auctioneering is an old and respected profession in America and it is still revered today. At auctions we determine how much something is worth and it gives us a completely different understanding of value.
- Posted in: Film