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The Creators of ‘Ingrid Goes West’ Explore the Dark Side of Instagram Obsession

“If you don’t have anyone to share anything with, then what’s the point in living?” So asks Ingrid Thorburn, the titular lead of Matt Spicer’s debut feature, Ingrid Goes West, that sees release this Friday. It’s a question for the ages—but perhaps especially for an era when online “sharing,” “following,” and “friending” overwhelm our social stratosphere, and even more for those, like Ingrid, who know no other world. With a satirical bite that crackles from its hyperkinetic trailer (think Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers with a Cali soul), Ingrid Goes West could’ve easily become a film that wears its irony on its sleeveless romper: too slick to be serious, too quick to be profound.

But such an assumption would have to overlook what remains one of the most complex—and compelling—protagonists on-screen this year. When our semi-heroine swiftly becomes a total stalker—heading to Los Angeles to befriend Instagram It Girl Taylor Sloane (played to filtered perfection by Elizabeth Olsen)—viewers are forced to reconcile judgment with self-recognition. Ingrid is at once a highly original, tortured individual and a metonym for a zeitgeist taken to its extreme. When three out of four teenagers are plugged into social media (and teen depression rates skyrocketing), her plight is risible only insofar as we can dismiss her as “crazy”—which, thankfully, the dark comedy never lets us (completely) do. …

This post is from vice. Click here to read the full text

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