A deconstruction of modern American life as filtered through as many brands, movie clips, social media references, viral videos, music mashups, as the filmmakers could cram in. We’re used to seeing a deliberate, orderly presentation of product placement. Here we have the opposite: bombardment from all angles.
Squeezed in-between all the brand montages, Consumers gives us three unrelated stories of discontent: Robby lives a party lifestyle until he realizes he’s in love with his best friend, Angela. Jerry is a 34 year office worker with a World of Warcraft addiction and unsupportive parents. And Sammy is a normal 14 year girl who meets an older boy at the mall and considers hooking up.
Watching the film feels like flipping through channels, and that’s the intended effect — it highlights the fragmented chaos of post 2nd screen life, post brand over-saturation, post anything sacred. It may appear crude — and it is — but the shoddy production value and awkward acting is intentional. There’s a wry sense of humor on top of a keen cynicism. When/if you get on its wavelength, it’s hilarious, in addition to maddening.
An ode to the phony, crass, cheap, generic, cliche; the companies, the entertainment, and the value systems that define contemporary America. It’s a remarkable piece, one of the strangest films of the year, doomed to be misunderstood and unseen because it plays by none of rules of “successful indie films”. If Adbusters commissioned Ariel Pink to make a film, it might look something like this. Directed by Daniel Belkin and Matthew Kotzin. (84 minutes)