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Shop 'Til You Drop

The Crisis of Consumerism

Shop 'Til You Drop

Duration: 52 min
ISBN: 1-932869-40-9
Date Produced: 2010
Subtitles: English

Filmmaker Info
Study Guide
Press Room
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Press Reviews
Praise for the Film

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Shop 'Til You Drop
The Crisis of Consumerism

Are we too materialistic? Are we willfully trashing the planet in our pursuit of things? And what's the source of all this frenetic consumer energy and desire anyway? In a fast-paced tour of the ecological and psychological terrain of American consumer culture, Shop 'Til You Drop challenges us to confront these questions head-on. Taking aim at the high-stress, high-octane pace of fast-lane materialism, the film moves beneath the seductive surfaces of the commercial world to show how the flip side of accumulation is depletion -- the slow, steady erosion of both natural resources and basic human values. In the end, Shop 'Til You Drop helps us make sense of the economic turbulence of the moment, providing an unflinching, riveting look at the relationship between the limits of consumerism and our never-ending pursuit of happiness.

Peter Whybrow, author of American Mania: When More is Not Enough
Juliet B. Schor, author of The Overspent American
Cecile Andrews, author Slow Is Beautiful
Duane Elgin, author of Voluntary Simplicity
Chris Jordan, photographic artist
James B. Twitchell, Professor of English & Advertising at University of Florida
Julian Darley, co-founder of the Post Carbon Institute
Eli Jaxon-Bear, author of Sudden Awakening
Rod Gorney, Ashley Montagu Institute
John de Graaf, co-author of Take Back Your Time
Carol Holst, founder of Postconsumers
David Room, founder of Energy Preparedness

Librarians: Download and print a DVD Amaray Case Cover if you would like to replace the recycled digipak case.

Filmmaker Info

Produced, Directed & Edited by Gene Brockhoff
Cinematography & Sound Recording by Jeff Deveraux
Original Music by Jonah Sharp
Post Audio & Sound Design by B.Z. Lewis
Animation & Motion Graphics by Kiko Taganashi
Narrated by Alex Peterson

Filmmaker's Bio

GENE BROCKHOFF | Producer & Editor
Gene Brockhoff has no history in film. He has been and still is a flooring contractor who made this film in his spare time. "Nobody else was doing films about consumerism, so I thought I'd fill the void," he says. "It was also a way for me to confront my own desires for materialism." In the making of the film he became very proficient with Apple's editing software Final Cut Pro and did some of the cinematography as well. "I discovered a love of editing and the trillions of possibilities. I'm a possibility junkie!" He is still available in the SF Bay Area for installing and refinishing hardwood flooring in a sustainable and non-toxic way.


American Sociological Association's annual meeting | Atlanta, GA | August 14 - 17, 2010

Film Festivals

The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen
American Mania: When More Is Not Enough by Peter Whybrow
The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need by Juliet B. Schor
Slow Is Beautiful: New Visions of Community, Leisure and Joie de Vivre by Cecile Andrews
Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich by Duane Elgin
Sudden Awakening: Into Direct Realization by Eli Jaxon-Bear
Take Back Your Time by John de Graaf
Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough by Carol Holst and Peter Whybrow
Branded Nation: The Marketing of Megachurch, College Inc., and Museumworld by James B. Twitchell
High Noon for Natural Gas: The New Energy Crisis by Julian Darley
Running the Numbers by Chris Jordan
Chris Jordan Photography
James B. Twitchell
Post Carbon Institute
Energy Preparedness
Center for a New American Dream

Press Reviews

Anthropology Review Database
Psychology Today

Praise for the Film

"Bringing together an impressive line-up of scholars and activists of late capitalism and contemporary consumption... and seasoned with entertaining and visually dazzling clips and images, the film makes a strong case for an essential problem deep in the heart of capitalism. Shop 'Til You Drop is a powerful and memorable bit of filmmaking. We have all heard the issues before, and perhaps we are overwhelmed by them, even exhausted by them. But the message of the film, together with its compelling visuals, makes it appealing even as it is disquieting. Suitable for high school and college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of globalization/capitalism, environmental anthropology, anthropology of popular culture, and American/modern studies, as well as general audiences."
- Anthropology Review Database

"[Shop 'Til You Drop] takes viewers from the Industrial Revolution to the present, concentrating on the 1950s through the 1970s, when women moved into the workforce, celebrity culture saturated the media, and suburban dwellers worked harder than ever to keep up with the Joneses. Now, of course, they work even longer hours and rack up more debt, leading to a host of social problems. Recommended."
- Video Librarian

"A fast-paced blend of expert interviews, photo and film montages, and background music ... the program sends a powerful message as interviewed writers, artists, professors, and others make well-reasoned arguments about consumerism and the steady erosion of natural resources and values."
- Booklist

"Shop 'Til You Drop: The Crisis of Consumerism is a refreshingly contemporary and interdisciplinary peek into the machinery of American consumerism and advertising. Though it sees no end in sight to our appetite for overconsumption, it documents an end to the capacity of our planet, with its limited resources, to sustain that appetite. Shop 'Til You Drop is more than a useful tool for the overshopper; it's a much-needed wake-up call for all of us. The film encourages us to see that the habit of "keeping up with the Joneses" -- whether they live next door or in the fantasy world of television and other media -- misuses our lives and our planet. It offers us some perspective and invites us to step back and reassess our values and goals."
- April Lane Benson | Psychology Today

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