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INGRID GOES WEST (2017) Discussion Thread

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
(FOR SCHWARTZ!!)




I went to see INGRID GOES WEST over the weekend.

(I'm not going to go into anything too specific, but some comparisons I make below may spoil the overall trajectory of the film for you)


Aside from a predictable overly-Black Mirror-ish ending (because the film is also not too dissimilar from the meow-meow-beans episode starring Bryce Dallas Howard), I really really liked it! Its commentary on the shallow falseness of social media is obvious, but I really enjoyed the performances; particularly from O'Shea Jackson, who I'm seeing for the first time in a movie (I missed Compton). His character is SO much fun. Plaza is working in her wheelhouse, but is really good too.

And that's what disappointed me about the ending. Because the commentary was so obvious and predictable, the ending felt like a copout that cheated me out of better exploration of these good characters to richer places.

But still, really enjoyed it.
Edited by mcnooj82 - 9/19/17 at 3:29pm
post #2 of 28

Does Ingrid go west in the same way that Fievel did?

post #3 of 28
With Dom DeLuise?
post #4 of 28

He's the only Dom that matters. 

post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post
 

He's the only Dom that matters. 

post #6 of 28

I stand by my statement. 

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
look at what happened, Schwartz!!!!


Edited by mcnooj82 - 9/19/17 at 3:29pm
post #8 of 28

You never even answered my question! Now I'll never know if this movie is for me!

post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post

With Dom DeLuise?

Did he give birth out of his fat folds yet?

post #11 of 28

Thoroughly enjoyed this black comedy which ultimately works as anti-comedy in the purest sense. Excellent performances abound. Saw the ending coming from miles and miles away but still found it to be marvelous. Also, Ice Cube's son is turning into a fine actor.

post #12 of 28

Yeah, so this scared the fuck out of me.

 

It's like the most perfect combination of The Talented Mr. Ripley, complete with homoeroticism, with A Clockwork Orange's ending but through the lens of women in the social media age. From the opening moments I really, really felt for Plaza's Ingrid and just wanted someone, anyone to see how broken she is and help her. I mean, I guess that's what was supposed to happen in the psychiatric ward, but I guess that didn't work out at all. 

 

And then, much like Ripley, there's a stretch of the movie where she actually pulls off the lie and things seem like they're going to work out. And amazingly the movie gets you on Ingrid's side. I kept saying, okay, she hasn't lied that much, she can pull this off. But then, of course, Nicky comes along.

 

Nicky is a fascinating character because he's the world's biggest asshole, but also obviously cares for his sister (although he brings out the worst in her) and has an immediate, intuitive distrust of Ingrid. So when he confronts her, there's this fine balance of him technically being in the right, even if he handles it wrong by blackmailing her, and yet Ingrid actually handles her confession to him so well that I was hoping bygones could be bygones.

 

At this point I figured the movie would spiral down into violence, but it never quite delves into the dark underbelly like it could. And that's not really this movie. In fact, a major theme of this and of millennial culture is being performative to create an illusion of a life, so it's appropriate that Ingrid never quite goes full Single White Female but dallies in it.

 

The role of Instagram in the movie is pretty seamless, doubling as a voice-over at times, though it's a little odd to hear someone say what an Emoji is aloud. Guess there was no way around that, but since Olsen's Taylor is supposed to be exuding extreme honesty and confidence, what could have been a more biting satirical delivery feels a little bit off.

 

What was also off was Ingrid sending letters to Charlotte for half the movie. I understand it's so there could be an Ingrid narration, but that could have been done by her writing a blog or, perhaps, doing little videos throughout the movie, with her suicide one being the capper. It doesn't really matter if #iamingrid is her first video, it matters that it's supposed to be her last.

 

What's not off is O'Shea Jackson Jr. as Dan Pinto. His Batman obsession is, of course, immediately endearing but the fact that it's specifically Batman Forever really tickled me. His line about, "You're supposed to be Catwoman, but you're just Two-Face" was so earnest! I love it. And segueing into a scene with him already talking about Jim Carrey as the Riddler, haha!

 

Oh hai, I didn't notice that was Mantis as Harley Chung!

 

So yeah, great performances all around but there's this tension the whole time, in a very Breaking Bad sort of way, where you're rooting for a troubled person but keep thinking, "If they can just...they'll be okay." Definitely made me uncomfortable, but in a good way. And yeah, definitely sends a chill up your spine about that phone in your hand. I haven't watched Black Mirror yet so I haven't really experienced something like this that engages so brusquely with the modern experience of smartphones. 

 

This movie understands snapping photos of your avocado-spread toast from just the right angle.

post #13 of 28

Also, holy shit does Wyatt Russell look and sound like his dad during that scene by the pool.

post #14 of 28

Here's where I get meta for a moment. I posted a video in the Social Media thread about "parasocial relationships," when media icons address the audience directly. It talks about everything from Johnny Carson to modern vloggers:

 

 

But, ironically, I first learned about this video from reading Lindsay Ellis's Twitter feed. Here she discusses the video and her general feelings on how she approaches her audience:

 

 

 

 

 

And, of course, this got me to thinking about this movie. Because Ingrid Goes West is the perfect encapsulation of how we engage with media personalities in 2017. Ingrid's "Hi Taylor" moment to a response on Instagram is equal parts touching, pathetic, and chilling.

 

And it occurred to me, especially with @Boone Daniels knowing her personally, that I can be a bit foo familiar when discussing Lindsay Ellis at times. Knowing someone knows her has made me much more self-conscious about my excitement whenever a new video drops. And I know that even a year ago I probably would have couched every response to her videos with side comments about her being attractive, etc. 

 

So anyways, Ingrid Goes West?

Really makes you think. 

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 

still not a fan of the ending!

 

I get what they're going for, but it feels too obvious and I knew how it would play out as soon as Ingrid started shooting her confessional.

 

It felt like a cop out.

 

 

AND I WANT INGRID AND DAN TO BE HAPPY 

post #16 of 28

Yes, of course.

 

But how do you feel about parasocial relationships?

post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 

I actually haven't had the time to watch that video yet with work stuff this week.  But I definitely have opinions about the general topic and my own experience in dabbling and recognizing myself doing it.

 

I'm saving it to watch it and read Lindsay's tweets you posted above this weekend.

 

I will get back to you.

 

I promise.

post #18 of 28

Damn it.

post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 

patience

 

post #20 of 28
I haven't watched the video either.
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 

awww you never need to tell us you haven't watched something!

 

 

there there

 

there there

post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 

I watched the video and read Lindsay's tweets 

 

and also ended up watching more of that channel's videos (her video diving deeper into the history of the 'Uncanny Valley' is really good!)

 

 

 

SO, my brush with really becoming more aware of my own dabbling in the PARASOCIAL is that episode in which I expressed irritation on the boards about Evan and Phil's discussion on the topic of whitewashing surrounding the Ghost in the Shell movie on an episode of their podcast...

 

...and called them out for what I felt were opinions I found frustratingly limited.  Both Phil and Evan actually dropped by the thread and, to my recollection, would apologize for causing me to lash out at them.  And I in return apologized for lashing out.

 

And while both Phil and Evan were people I'd actually interacted with on CHUD for years before they had a podcast, I would without-a-doubt include my response to their casual discussion on the podcast into the realm of parasocial relationships (with some caveats).

 

Despite the interactions I've had with Phil and Evan here and on facebook, I could OBJECTIVELY state that they weren't real friends, but just social media acquaintences.  BUT, my knee-jerk response to their conversation about Ghost In The Shell made me realize that my UNCONSCIOUS couldn't make that same claim.  Because at a certain point, listening to two good friends banter every few weeks on a podcast felt like I was listening to two actual friends banter in real life. 

 

And, related to the points the video above made, it's not insignificant that the BirthDeathMovies podcast never had Evan and Phil shilling for LootCrate, Casper, Harry's, Audible, retweet, likesharesubscribeshit etc etc etc which would break that ILLUSORY connection.

 

I thought (and still think) that they're cool guys with opinions I respect.  But for some reason, the tenor of their discussion about whitewashing/racebending controversies (which I think Phil later agreed had taken on a slightly more aggressive and frustrated bent contrary to their usual laid-back energy) got me strangely worked up and frustrated about how two cool smart guys could sound so clueless about this topic.

 

In that moment, I forgot the time it took for me to get to my current feelings about the topic and that I'd once had thoughts similar to what Phil and Evan had expressed.

 

The caveat to the parasocial relationship element here is that this wasn't a one-sided thing.  I don't think I would've gotten as frustrated and disappointed in Phil and Evan had I not interacted with them before.  And I don't think Phil and Evan would've taken the time to respond on the boards had they not known me in some fashion as someone who was generally pretty laid back online as well.

 

But in the end, their podcast isn't something they do specifically with me in mind.  And I'm just listening in as a member of the audience.  But my brain momentarily forgot about that in OUTRRRAAAAAAAAGGE and responded as if they were real friends I could be disappointed in.

 

 

I think that episode is one of the reasons I'm always up for meeting you guys (CHUD/facebook friends in general) in person when I travel.  As someone who has trouble meeting new people, it's a great feeling to meet someone for the first time and be able to just start chatting immediately as if we've known each other for a decade.

 

This goes out of the confines of the definition of the parasocial relationship because we bicker back and forth on the boards about anything and everything on a two-way street, but there's still a reason I don't get too personal about my life on the boards (or facebook) beyond my experiences on social media itself.  I've come to respect a boundary between real life and the personas we display online.

 

 

 

Lindsay's thoughts on all this from the POV of a content creator fascinates me in the same way I found that old article about struggling Youtube content creators fascinated me.  Because that life sounds EXHAUSTING.  What was once a cool thing people could do on their personal time has become normalized enough where it's ALL tactical monetization methods.  Because it isn't enough to simply create the content.  To succeed, you have to sell your soul to the DEMON that is audience engagement and retention. 

 

And while I can sit on the outside looking in wondering how cool it must be to be able to connect with cool people and artists, the thought of having to maintain the parasocial as an ongoing lifestyle? 

 

WOOF

 

 

 

ingrid goes west?

 

pretty good

 

 

the ending?

 

only so-so

 

 

this video?

 

very informative!

 


Edited by mcnooj82 - 12/9/17 at 12:07pm
post #23 of 28

Yes, mostly I brought up this subject for how Ingrid represents our side, the audience. But there is a content creator aspect with Taylor that the movie only slightly engages with, which is unfortunate.

 

Like I brought up above, there could have been more satire with Taylor. The fact is, the movie doesn't really disapprove of her. There's a few moments, like when she fusses with the mechanic about how to get the best picture, and there's a tension with her husband about him not being on social media and wanting to be "authentic." But by the end when she tears into Ingrid, I think we're supposed to be on Taylor's side. 

 

Like, even the end with Ingrid being so pleased about the responses to her suicide attempt feels neutrally portrayed, only leaning toward tragic due to the objective sadness of the situation. 

 

Good movie, but it could've gotten meaner! 

 

I'd be interested in hearing Phil's thoughts on this. I know he's sensitive to his public image, and the image of BMD, because of how he'll show up in the film critic thread to clarify rumors and such. 

post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 

I think the film's portrayal of Taylor was just right in terms of the film being told from Ingrid's POV.

 

Because you're supposed to feel Taylor has this perfect life and gradually have that image slip away the more Ingrid gets to know her.  But the sadness comes in from the fact that Ingrid still can't let go of the ruse even after that.  

 

I don't think the film's portrayal of the ending isn't really neutral.  It feels like it's going for a slight HORROR tinge.  "heeeeere we go agaaaaain!"

 

Wasn't the final shot of the film an extreme close-up of Ingrid's eyes once again ENTRANCED by social media?

post #25 of 28

Yes, but it's accompanied by Dan's big smiling face. I think I needed him to be exhausted by her and abandon her to really hammer home the horror. His pleasure over all the responses felt a little off, since he was the only "normal" guy the whole movie.

 

Even Ezra, so concerned with being an artist, has horrible, uninspired paintings that are undercut by the movie. Plus he's introduced wearing Confederate flag stuff. Was that supposed to be hipster irony or something?

post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 

On the topic of content creators and the personas they cultivate online, I found it refreshing that Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos' EVERY FRAME series just let the work speak for itself.  It seems pretty clear that they purposely kept their actual lives pretty separate from their work on the videos.   Hopefully very healthy.

 

 

Phil certainly has reason to be sensitive about his image... especially since he's got a lot of followers on twitter in addition to his presence on BMD.  And I actually appreciate that he still seems to have enough affection/connection to this place to find it worth coming in to clarify things here and there.

post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartleby_Scriven View Post
 

Yes, but it's accompanied by Dan's big smiling face. I think I needed him to be exhausted by her and abandon her to really hammer home the horror. His pleasure over all the responses felt a little off, since he was the only "normal" guy the whole movie.

 

Even Ezra, so concerned with being an artist, has horrible, uninspired paintings that are undercut by the movie. Plus he's introduced wearing Confederate flag stuff. Was that supposed to be hipster irony or something?

 

I just want more DAN.

 

Ezra was an interesting character on the periphery.  He sells himself as an artist, but seems to have enough self-awareness about himself and the trajectory of his relationship to Taylor that he has a moment of honesty with Ingrid later in the movie.  

post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartleby_Scriven View Post

Yeah, so this scared the fuck out of me.

It's like the most perfect combination of The Talented Mr. Ripley, complete with homoeroticism, with A Clockwork Orange's ending but through the lens of women in the social media age. From the opening moments I really, really felt for Plaza's Ingrid and just wanted someone, anyone to see how broken she is and help her. I mean, I guess that's what was supposed to happen in the psychiatric ward, but I guess that didn't work out at all. 

And then, much like Ripley, there's a stretch of the movie where she actually pulls off the lie and things seem like they're going to work out. And amazingly the movie gets you on Ingrid's side. I kept saying, okay, she hasn't lied that much, she can pull this off. But then, of course, Nicky comes along.

Nicky is a fascinating character because he's the world's biggest asshole, but also obviously cares for his sister (although he brings out the worst in her) and has an immediate, intuitive distrust of Ingrid. So when he confronts her, there's this fine balance of him technically being in the right, even if he handles it wrong by blackmailing her, and yet Ingrid actually handles her confession to him so well that I was hoping bygones could be bygones.

At this point I figured the movie would spiral down into violence, but it never quite delves into the dark underbelly like it could. And that's not really this movie. In fact, a major theme of this and of millennial culture is being performative to create an illusion of a life, so it's appropriate that Ingrid never quite goes full Single White Female but dallies in it.

The role of Instagram in the movie is pretty seamless, doubling as a voice-over at times, though it's a little odd to hear someone say what an Emoji is aloud. Guess there was no way around that, but since Olsen's Taylor is supposed to be exuding extreme honesty and confidence, what could have been a more biting satirical delivery feels a little bit off.

What was also off was Ingrid sending letters to Charlotte for half the movie. I understand it's so there could be an Ingrid narration, but that could have been done by her writing a blog or, perhaps, doing little videos throughout the movie, with her suicide one being the capper. It doesn't really matter if #iamingrid is her first video, it matters that it's supposed to be her last.

What's not off is O'Shea Jackson Jr. as Dan Pinto. His Batman obsession is, of course, immediately endearing but the fact that it's specifically Batman Forever really tickled me. His line about, "You're supposed to be Catwoman, but you're just Two-Face" was so earnest! I love it. And segueing into a scene with him already talking about Jim Carrey as the Riddler, haha!

Oh hai, I didn't notice that was Mantis as Harley Chung!

So yeah, great performances all around but there's this tension the whole time, in a very Breaking Bad sort of way, where you're rooting for a troubled person but keep thinking, "If they can just...they'll be okay." Definitely made me uncomfortable, but in a good way. And yeah, definitely sends a chill up your spine about that phone in your hand. I haven't watched Black Mirror yet so I haven't really experienced something like this that engages so brusquely with the modern experience of smartphones. 

This movie understands snapping photos of your avocado-spread toast from just the right angle.

That's a great comment! What's your email address?


Sorry . . . I-I had to.

I liked how Dan and Ezra's art endeavours mirrored each other. Would have been nice to get a brief hint of Ice Cube's kid's fanfic in a similar way to what we got of Kurt Russel's kid's repurposed art to complete that balance.

Hated the brother. Could swear he was gonna challenge Ingrid to ski the K-12. Right out of an 80's college comedy, that guy. We're already sort of weirdly on Ingrid's side by then, he didn't need to be such an over the top dick to get us where we ended up. I think dialing that down would have made a big difference to the film's whole middle leg.
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