Thursday, May 5, 2011

American Shopper

Year: 2007
Director: Tamas Bojtor, Sybil Dessau
Writer: Adam Keker, Tamas Bojtor
Genre: Documentary

Documentaries are some of my favorite things to watch when I'm not knee deep in horror movies. I don't really care about historical or war-related docs. My main interest lies in films which document odd, obscure, or societal topics. American Shopper fits the bill quite readily.

So what this movie is about is slightly hard to explain but I'll do my best. Basically, it documents the attempt by one man to create a new sport: aisling. Aisling is not a typical sport though in any way. It comes from the word "aisle", the supermarket aisle to be specific. People engaged in aisling dance and maneuver creatively around with their shopping cart while grabbing predetermined items off the shelves. Players may also customize their carts and have music to go with their runs. It's basically a sort of performance art, but in a really unusual location.

It sounds pretty ridiculous but that's what aisling is all about. And though I never had a word to use for it, there have been many times where I've felt like bursting out dancing in supermarkets when good songs are on - or with my MP3 player. I see no problem with that... as long as I'm not damaging products or seriously bothering others, it seems a pretty legal and fun way to shop around. I might try it more in the future.

Anyway, the film shows the first (and only) aisling tournament as well as delving into the lives of some of the competitors. They're an interesting cast of people, although one couple (a geek and a beauty queen) reminded me of the weird "busy bee" couple from Best in Show. You know you're quite the character when someone compares you to ANYONE in that mockumentary.

So, it's a pretty good documentary. It makes me sad that aisling apparently didn't go anywhere after the competition but that was mostly expected. In the future, I just know I'll be more apt to dance around in the aisles. Even if everyone thinks I'm crazy I'd hope it might brighten the day a bit too.

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