CONSUMERS: A film directed by artists Daniel Belkin and Matthew Kotzin (2015)

CONSUMERS is a feature film about our time, our relationship with technology, and its effect on our lives. It was directed by artists Daniel Belkin and Matthew Kotzin.

What do you do if you fall in love with your best friend?
How much World of Warcraft is too much World of Warcraft?
Should you have sex with Brendo?

Sammy is a 14 year old girl who makes YouTube videos. Robby just moved to New York City after college. Jerry is a single 34 year old network administrator living in the suburbs. Through their fragmented experiences, CONSUMERS explores the dialectical problematics of the contemporary experience.

CONSUMERS is an experimental comedy.

CONSUMERS Manifesto:

Sammy is a 14 year old girl who makes YouTube videos. Robby just moved to New York City after college. Jerry is a 34 year old network administrator living in the suburbs. CONSUMERS explores how the mediation of our experiences through digital media presents challenges to everyday life. Of particular interest is the way our consumption of media, music, movies, culture, and brands has become a dominant component of the way we communicate, and accordingly occupies a significant place in our consciousness.  CONSUMERS is dialectical.  It is not about technology, media, consumerism, etc., being bad or good but instead presents a complex picture of the contemporary experience filled with these signifiers.  CONSUMERS is a “digital quilt” of varied visual textures. The disjointed narratives and visual styles serve as metaphors for the way technology collides with “real” life in often jarring juxtapositions and interruptions.

(Texting break)

CONSUMERS uses experimental/art techniques such as appropriation to deal with the way that visual media, music, and other forms of signification are used and reused in the Sharing and Remix culture.  Media was once defined strictly in terms of production (by a select few specialized entities) and consumption (by the masses). Clay Shirky, who has a cameo in the film, observes in his book Cognitive Surplus that these roleshave been blurred.  Instead, the act of sharingshould be seen as a form of creation that is just as significant in the cultural economy as classical production.  Sharing the movie for free on YouTube is not only conceptually integral to CONSUMERS.  It is a political act for a more democratic creative economy.  Duh. Bürger Kino is cinema art for the middle class.  Challenging both cinematic conventions and teutonic academic tradition, Belkin and Kotzin are forebears of a “new media.”  The duo began collaborating as freshmen at NYU’s Tisch School. CONSUMERS was born from their conversations on the physical and existential challenges presented by technology, which define the experience of being alive now.  Then they wrote and then directed and then edited CONSUMERS.*

Manifesto written by Daniel Belkin & Matthew Kotzin


*CONSUMERS should in no way be seen as an extension of the Dogme 95 movement or the truculent, chauvinistic and banal movies of Lars Von Trier.

For more information about artist Matthew Kotzin, visit his website by clicking here.

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