House by David Hyun, 1961, Los Angeles
I’ve never been to LA, but this film is actually set in a place I visit all the time: boho California as represented in social media.
I had a laid back upbringing in New Zealand, with plenty of actual (but less Instagram-ready) camping, surfing, dinners in the garden, and road trips to scour secondhand shops for retro pottery. Now living in London, homesickness for those things has given me a weakness for blogs with a similar vibe. Lately there are more and more of these and many of them seem to be Californian. Of course it should be obvious to me that some are just exploiting a trend: that Free People are just trying to sell me clothes, that even some of the most authentic, unpretentious-seeming personal blogs/instagrams include carefully curated product placements. But it all taps into my homesickness for a similar lifestyle, so i buy into it. Consequently, of all the recent movies about the perils of social media, this black comedy (about an Instagram stalker and her obnoxious target) unsettled me the most. I’m used to assuming actresses on magazine covers are photoshopped, but it’s somehow easier to forget that the places and lifestyles in apparently impromptu amateur snaps can be just as cynically contrived. (Photo via blog.freepeople)