Let us begin by saying that we are not about to suggest we all stop going to see summer blockbuster movies. Truth be told, we went out and saw “Inception” on opening night (and, by the way, kudos to Leonardo DiCaprio for convincing the film studio to use primarily renewable solar energy on the film’s set). However, we think that one of the keys to being a good postconsumer is to simply be aware of the ways in which the culture of consumption is ingrained in the activities that we do daily. Here are some things to be aware of (and possibly avoid) when you’re enjoying summer blockbuster movies.
Pre-Movie Advertising: We’re all pretty much aware of this because most of us, after paying up to fifteen dollars for a movie ticket, will then complain that we’re subjected to advertising beforehand. But we are! Even entertainment that you’ve paid to see is not free of media messages! You can avoid these either by going into the film slightly late (though you then risk not getting a great seat) or by having a conversation with the people you went to the film with while the advertising is happening.
The Dreaded Concession Stand: Let’s even leave out how unhealthy and even, in some cases, dangerous the food that’s served at the concession stand is. The clear message at movie theater concession stands is “more is better.” Is that huge tub of popcorn really necessary? Is a ten-dollar gallon of fountain soda? Make responsible choices at the concession stand not just for your wallet but also for your health. If you’re at the movies with your children and they insist on the big sizes, make sure you have them pay you back for every piece of popcorn or drink of soda that they don’t finish!
The Idea of the Blockbuster: Even the idea of the blockbuster is evidence of the “more is better” culture that we live in. Do movies really need to cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce? Consider balancing out your summer blockbuster movie trip with a trip to your local theater as well. That’s supporting local arts and the idea that, sometimes, less is more.
Summer blockbusters are fun, but they’re an institution heavily ingrained with the idea of “more is better.” Just be aware of the messages that you’re receiving when you head out to see the latest action flick, and mentally battle against giving in to them!